October 1, 2013

The government shutdown.  The biggest story of the day, but we didn’t know about it until we went out to get to a scenic area up the M-58, only to find it blocked with construction.  We decided to stop at the National Park Service center that we happened to see on our way back to see if there was another route.  The center was closed, and a sign indicated why.  Sigh…

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We came back to the cabin, and spent time reading.  The cabin is very comfortable – two bedrooms, one bath, a kitchen, living room, with enclosed back and front porch.  It is pleasantly furnished, and easy to sit around and talk.  It doesn’t have any electronic communication devices (TV or internet).  Hank was kind enough to cook breakfast in the morning, making Swedish pancakes with strawberries and raspberries to put on top, as well as maple syrup.  Excellent!  The picture at right is the view from the window at sun-up.

Upper Pen trip 30 Sep   013 (1)

In the afternoon, we went out on the Pictured Rock cruise.  Pictured Rocks are carved from the sandstone that lines Lake Superior on the UP side from Munising up for over 40 miles.  It is much easier to see them from the water than from the cliffs above, and we got to see quite a bit of them in our almost three-hour tour.

A lot of the pictures are created by water seeping out from the rocks, having leeched minerals from within, to create colored “stains” on the cliff face beneath.  Most prevalent are the iron stains, creating various shades of reds, oranges and browns.  Other minerals include copper (greens), cobalt (blues), manganese (black), and calcium (white).   Upper Pen trip 1 Oct  010 Upper Pen trip 1 Oct  016

The way the stains mark the rocks can sometimes create images that resemble petroglyphs.  Upper Pen trip 1 Oct  015

The shape of the cliff faces also suggest images, such as Indian Head Point, Battleship Row, and Elephant’s Paws.

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The sandstone is not a long-lived stone, and there are a number of archways tunnels and caves which are changing year to year as the sandstone gives way.  Upper Pen trip 1 Oct  018

That evening, we went out to dinner at the Brownstone Inn, which turned out to be excellent.  On the way there, we stopped at a relic furnace in Hiawatha State Park.  Upper Pen trip 1 Oct  020 Upper Pen trip 1 Oct  021

Tomorrow we drive to Bayfield, Wisconsin.

And here are a few more of the pictures from the Agawa Canyon train trip.

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