Monthly Archives: October 2011

Summer of 2011’s Last Hurrah; Land Cruising and Beach Time

I am guilty. Guilty of something I think others here can relate to. I tend to come up with these big, overcomplicated trips where I have way too many things to see, too many things to do, and somehow, in a crazy notion, I expect to have lounging around time to chill out and relax. In reality though my over stuffed agenda intervenes and I either end up cutting activities out, setting up camp in the dark, stressing myself out, or a combination of all three. I don’t do it deliberately but I do indeed see a pattern. This writeup is from early September when I had 10 days off between work trips and wanted to take Alyssa out for the weekend to see some sights in the eastern UP that she hadn’t gotten around to yet.

While I didn’t have a rigid plan, I had an idea of where I wanted to go and things we wanted to do…. quite a few things I have to admit. Camp on some remote stretches of Lake Superior beaches, swim, gather rocks, lay in the hammock, hike, see Taquemenon Falls, …well you get the picture. As normal, too many things to do in a two day weekend and drag someone along for. What unfolded however was a great exercise in self restraint, and doing what I always preach to do…. stopping and just enjoying the moment, spending time at camp, and relaxing. It took my better half to help me see the light! Here is a short photo essay of the outing.

I had the Land Cruiser packed up and ready to go so when Alyssa got off her last call with work we could split out. We were heading east from Marquette and following the south shore of Lake Superior.

half buried wooden boat at Sand Point on the eastern side of Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore.

What once seemed like an adventure in itself, driving H58 from Munising to Marquette, across opend expanses of landscape that looks similar to savannah on sandy, blown out excuse of a county road, is now the territory of sports cars and street bikes. H58 has now been paved completely connecting these two towns and creating a tourism corridor along the national park. I admit, I didn’t like the idea at first, but now that I see the numbers of folks who are enjoying Pictured Rocks and utilizing the road, I am changing my mind. The road’s eastern half is sinuous to put it kindly…. what is a blast in say a Porsche 911 or a classic roadster is, well, less fun in a laden Land Cruiser, pitching like the proverbial trauler in heavy seas. Regardless though, its still pretty fun burning the knobbies off of my BFG Mud Terrains. This shot is from a stretch along twelve mile beach as we were heading towards Grand Marais.

We hit Grand Marais well after sunset. We stopped at the Dune’s Saloon, also known as the local brewery. We ordered up a pizza and ran into some friends of mine from the lower peninsula I hadn’t seen in years. They were up on a brief vacation in the area. By the time we rolled out it was 11:30 and we still had to find camp! Luckily I had a place in mind close to Grand Marais I had used before to camp that I loved. Despite a memory that more closely resembles a good gruyere than a gouda, I negotiated a series of two tracks through pine stands east of town to a remote beach on state land. It was a great spot perched up on a small ridge above the beach in an opend stand of pines. We were beat though so after popping the tent, we crawled in and crashed.

We awoke to a nice, comfortably warm day and a great view of Lake Superior.
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Categories: camping, Lake Superior, Land Cruiser, Overlanding, Upper Peninsula | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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