I know you just can’t get enough lighthouses and waterfalls are always a favorite, so here’s how we spent Sunday in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan, along Lake Superior’s shore. Sit down…this might take a bit of time.
On our way out of the Copper Country we stopped in Marquette, one of the largest towns in the UP. There we saw the Marquette lighthouse.
It was built in 1866 and is the oldest building in Marquette. There’s a tour available, but we had so much to see that day we decided not to wait. We’ll be through Marquette again, and it’s now on our list of things to do on the next trip.
The museum there has a few retired Coast Guard boats out front, and I’m putting this photo in just for friend Michelle who is retired from the Coast Guard.
These guys have seen better days, but still, they’re being recognized for their work keeping the waterways safe, so it’s all good.
Then as we were passing through Munising we stopped for a quick visit to Miners Falls.
We and about 30 of our closest friends walked the short walkway back to the falls and shot the obligatory picture. Then husband and I climbed stairs and shot one that was more interesting. There is a lot of water falling over the cliff, unusual for this time of year, which made it especially pretty.
Onward we went, heading east across the top of the UP to the Au Sable Light Station, located way out on an isolated point of land near Grand Marais. This is, perhaps, my favorite lighthouse, both because it’s beautiful and because it’s so isolated. As early as 1622 this bit of land was called the most dangerous place for ships during storms because of reefs just offshore. To get to the lighthouse, after you drive miles through beautiful countryside, you walk down a 1.5 mile path along the shore of Lake Superior.
We had a beautiful day and enjoyed listening to the quiet little waves roll against the shore just feet from our path and the golden light streaming in through the fall colors. But still, the 1.5 miles seemed like more. And then finally, finally you could just catch a glimpse. Do you see it?
It’s a window and a bit of the tower. And as you move closer, and then explore the grounds you see what a wonderful building it is.
And inside the rooms were huge, painted as they would have been in 1910, with wonderful views of the lake outside the many windows.
We stayed there a long time, and not just because we were resting up from the 1.5 mile hike in and the 94 stairs up to the top of the tower (where you could see views like this!)…or the thought of the 1.5 mile hike back to the car.
Really. It was just that it was so beautiful there.
We eventually had to move on…we wanted to get to Whitefish Point for sunset…many miles to the east. But first we stopped at Sable Falls, a waterfall quite close to the lighthouse. The information we had said the walk to the falls was only 500 yards from the parking lot. We knew we could do that, though we were stiffening up on the drive over there.
It is an absolutely beautiful waterfall!
They apparently didn’t think it was important to mention the 166 steps you needed to climb down in order to see this wonderful waterfall. Or the 166 steps you had to drag yourself back up after.
But we made it, and lived to laugh all 500 yards back to the car.
Now we had to really hurry to get out to Whitefish Point, along the eastern edge of the UP, up at the top, it’s near where the freighter SS Edmund Fitzgerald sank in a November storm in 1975.
We arrived as the sun was sinking, the evening was warm, the light was pink.
Sunday night the lake was deceptively calm and as we waited for the sunset we watched another freighter pass silently by.
We walked maybe a half a mile or more down the beach, clambering over logs tossed to shore during past storms and slipping on smooth Superior polished stones as we chased the sun. We must have taken hundreds of pictures of the sky filled with peach and pink and then orange light. I’ll share just one. You can imagine the rest.
After the sun went down and the freighter slipped over the horizon we picked our way through the growing darkness to the car.
And we smiled.