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This is your very first post. Click the Edit link to modify or delete it, or start a new post. If you like, use this post to tell readers why you started this blog and what you plan to do with it.
My wife and I had the chance to sneak away for a quick 2-day trip to Munising. We wanted to spend a little time checking out some of the different waterfalls but also take the time to kayak with Paddling Michigan and try to see the sunset as we were coming back. What we didn’t expect was the awesome adventure that awaited us.
Most people like to work through a plan or schedule of events and would rather not live for the adventure. But then where is the fun in that?
Our plan was to arrive in Munising later in the evening, spend the next day according to our schedule and then head home the following day. What we didn’t know was that while we had planned out our events, the weather made different plans for us.
The morning after our arrival started out pleasant enough. There was a little sun and some clouds were passing through. It looked like an excellent day for kayaking but that wasn’t set to launch till about 3pm. So we were able to sneak a couple of quick little trips. In Munising there are many to choose from. The Twin Falls are one of those semi-secret locations. While they are not as well know as some of the other waterfalls around Munising they are some of the coolest. There is a short hike to get back to the 50’+ drops. When the water is flowing strong they are pretty incredible to see. The paths are well marked but as you walk along these cliff type edges you truly get the feeling that you’re walking back to a secret cove. Once you get into the cove you can totally immerse yourself in the waterfall which you would swear is really some far off tropical getaway. It’s amazing these are literally in our back yard and yet the location feels so secluded.
Our next stop was sand point. One of the most fascinating things you will find is the maroon sand. This maroon sand is called Jacobson Sand. It is only found along the shores of Lake Superior. The tale of Jacobson Sand is in itself nothing short of a mystery. Much like the Black beaches of some exotic far off place, the maroon sand holds its color and creates a feeling of wonder in finding something that you will not find anywhere else. Don’t miss it.
It is now finally time for our Kayaking trip. We knew immediately that this was the adventure that we had been waiting for. There was a massive storm system that was moving in and it had the chance to run either north or just a little south of use. The great thing about the storm is that it was being pushed by a southern wind. South winds make the water along the shoreline of Lake Superior calm and almost tropical. We were delayed until we knew it was safe to venture out on the water. The sun started to peek through in a couple of spots with made the combination of the calm water and the stained rocks breathtaking. These are some of the things that photos and words just cannot describe. The minerals from inside the sandstone leak out with the water and literally paint the sides of Pictured Rocks. This national park is one of best kept secrets of all the US parks. The chance to kayak up close to these 2000 ft cliffs is something you won’t soon forget.
As we got close to Lover’s Leap (the most well known arch along the Pictured Rocks) we received a call from the weather service, issuing a warning to get off the water. We were 4 miles away from our launch point on Miner’s Beach. Our only choice was to land on Mosquito Beach and hike back the 4 miles to Miner’s Beach. We had a few minutes to explore Mosquito River and had to sit in awe of the storm front that was moving across Lake Superior.
The hike back was part of the adventure we hadn’t planned on but in my humble opinion it is what makes memories. We all have choices that we face every day in our lives. We often plan our paths and activities but how often do those plans or activities turn out exactly as we had thought they would. It is at these points that we make a decision. The decision that will truly touch your soul and allow you see what lies below our normal everyday way of life.
About 10 minutes into our hike back to Miner’s beach it started to pour. A steady rain that you know is here for a while. They type that slowly drenches everything around you. It is at this point in our adventure that I can truly say “I absolutely love living in Northern Michigan.” The ability to get out where there is no cell phone coverage. Where there are no other people and it is just your group of friends and nature. A chance to look into your soul and discover what it means to be alive. Our 2 hour hike was one of the best hikes my wife and I have ever taken. It was a special experience that allowed us to say that we alone shared.
Living in Northern Michigan is a chosen lifestyle that we don’t regret. The experiences we can share along with the rest of our family are things that bring us closer and allow us to laugh and really know who we are instead of the fake profile accounts that so often permeate our lives.
All I can say is as you live your life – Enjoy the sunshine and Embrace the rain. You can’t avoid both and only you can decide what your memories will be.
For more outdoor activities around Michigan, make sure to bring something warm like our Beer Koozie Hoodie so you can stay warm while keeping your beverage cold.
from LIVNFRESH http://blog.livnfresh.com/trip-kayaking-munising-michigan/
We took off for an overnight trip to see a few of the larger more spectacular waterfalls of the Upper Peninsula in Michigan. One of the first stops we made on our way up was an old fashion drive-up dinner (which I honestly didn’t were still around). When we pulled up it was a little confusing, much like attempting to remember how to use an old rotary pay phone. The awkwardness of do I get out and go up to the counter or wait for this caffeine buzzed teenager to scurry over to take our order made the visit seem a little surreal at first. Ultimately, it was a cool experience. The food came out with a window tray and we were able to steal a couple of moments that had almost been forgotten with time.
Our journey took us to the edge of Lake Superior just outside of Marquette. There are tons of scenic turn offs but since the sun was just about to set we looked for an abandoned beach with hopes of catching some magnificent sunset colors. Sunset glowed in an incredible fashion as it reflected off Lake Superior. Several lonely pieces of driftwood allowed us to get some great set photos.
We got up the next morning with high hopes and lots of energy. First stop, Canyon Falls. We were not disappointed. The short 10 minute walk to the deafening echoes of the falls from the canyon walls is well worth the trip. We spent the next ½ hour exploring the rest of the canyon. There were some hair raising drops and great views that allowed us to feel the awe of just how incredible the Upper Peninsula of Michigan really is. All in all we hiked about 2 miles and it was relatively leisurely.
We had planned to stop at Miner Falls and Munising Falls but decided to head straight to Sable Falls. The water was high and while the view was great the adventure was worth the stair climb. We made it down to one of the first side paths along the river and built a few stone towers. We then continued to adventure to the beach front. This is a Rock Collectors dream. The beach was alive with magnificent colors and all sorts of different type of rocks. We even found some petrified wood, which was a unique find.
We made our way to Tahquamenon Falls. This engineering marvel shows how powerful a force water is. The water is a orangy brown from the amount of mineral deposit found throughout the Upper Michigan. The lower falls is where you will want to take a few moments to allow you to just take in all the sites. The stopping points allow for some incredible nature shots and if you have the time to sneak across to the island you will have an up close and personal experience with the mighty Tahquamenon Falls.
Show off your pride for Michigan and lake living with our fun Great Lakes Girl varsity sweater.
from LIVNFRESH http://blog.livnfresh.com/overnight-waterfall-trip/
The Great Lakes of North America have played a significant role in forming communities in both Canada and the United States. The lakes’ roles extend from establishing towns along their shores to shipping important goods to and from major trading posts.
Like all bodies of water, the Five Great Lakes have their own charms and temperaments. Over time, these bodies of water have claimed from 6,000 to 25,000 sea vessels and thousands of lives. Most of these wrecks were either lost at sea or left to decay in their waters. Each of these shipwrecks has a heartbreaking yet fascinating story behind the sinking.
Lake Huron is no exception. One deadly storm in particular that passed over the Great Lakes hit Huron the hardest. Starting on November 9, 1913, 16 hours of relentless extreme weather conditions ripped over Lake Huron. Ten ships were lost at sea and 235 people lost their lives.
Some of the most notable shipwrecks that took place at Lake Huron include many from that fateful day. While that wasn’t the only time the lake had dangerous waters, most of the following wrecks come from the great storm of 1913:
One of the casualties of the 1913, storm was a huge steel freighter named Charles S. Price. Most people considered Charles S. Price an especially fascinating Great Lakes wreck and is located near Lexington Harbor in Michigan. Discovered in the 1960s, the vessel was found upside down; the stern dipped so far down it’s difficult to determine the true full length of the vessel.
The Charles S. Price wreckage is a famous dive spot in the Sanilac Shores Underwater Preserves. Her bow is visible at 30 feet and its propeller is reachable at about 47 feet. Her hull is immersed at 64 feet under water. In its early discovery, the wreck was believed to the SS Regina but was later correctly identified as the Price.
For more than 50 years, the SS Regina was lost in Lake Huron’s deep waters. She was also a victim of the Great Lakes Storm of 1913 and was left undiscovered for decades until found in 1986. The SS Regina was discovered upside-down at a depth of 80 feet. To this day, the wreck remains intact and is a popular destination for divers of all skill levels.
The SS Regina was heading toward Port Huron in Michigan after encountering that raging storm near Pointe aux Barques. Unfortunately, she ripped her sides on shoal and began sinking. Upon reaching Lexington, the crew anchored the vessel and then evacuated but the captain remained on board. A mere 35 minutes after dropping anchor, the SS Regina succumbed to the raging water and capsized. Tragically, the crew was not able to escape the devastating storm after they abandoned ship.
Mary Alice B is perhaps the most controversial shipwreck in Lake Huron. Found in 1992, this Depression-era tugboat rests 92 feet under water in the Sanilac Shores Underwater Preserve and it immediately become a favorite diving spot because of its good condition. Many parts of the Mary Alice B are still intact and divers can still access most of the ship.
In 1962, another private owner took charge of the Mary Alice B and continued to sail until September 5, 1975. The boat was being tugged when it sank for seemingly no reason. When located several years later, explorers found open valves, which suggests the ship was sunk on purpose. However, the owner refuted all accusations.
The American Ship Building Company constructed the SS John A. McGean in 1908 at their shipyard in Lorain, Ohio. It was one of the finest steamships to sail the Great Lakes with a length of 432 feet, its beam measuring 52 feet across, and had a draft of 28 feet. Still, even with a massive weight of 5,100 tons, the ship was no match for the Great Lakes Storm of 1913.
She was last seen off Tawas Point Lighthouse on November 7, 1913, and a few days later sank in Lake Huron along with her 23 crew members. The wreck was discovered in 1985 near Port Hope Michigan where it was determined she suffered damage from large waves that led to her sinking.
Melancthon Simpson built the PS Waubuno in 1865 at Port Robinson; it was a side-wheel paddle steamer. Waubuno came from Algonquin word which means “Sorcerer” or “Black Magician”. The J & W Beatty and Company owned the steamer which carried passengers and freight between Collingwood and Parry Soundin for 10 years from 1860 to 1870.
On the night of November 22, 1879, it sank during a ferocious gale but the exact reason why remains unknown. Nevertheless, much of this shipwreck’s popularity stems from the fact that accessing it is a relatively easy dive.
If you have an interest in all things Lake Huron, the Great Lakes and everything Michigan has to offer, our Lake Life t-shirt is just for you!
On Lake Superior, known for its massive size, sea vessels can easily succumb to treacherous waters brought on by a vicious storm. Here are some of the most memorable shipwrecks in this greatest of great lakes.
This massive steel-hulled freighter measures about 525 feet long, 55 feet wide and 31 feet high. The SS Henry B. Smith was built specifically to withstand strong storms in the Great Lakes. However, the massive freighter was no match for the ‘Great Lake Storm’ on November 9, 1913. Carrying a cargo of iron ore, she was lost near Marquette, Michigan and all 25 people aboard the ship perished with her.
Even though SS Henry B. Smith does not have any chilling stories behind it, it hunted explorers for more than a century. After her disappearance, the SS Henry B. Smith was the most sought after ‘ghost wreck’ for more than 100 years. She was finally found in 2013 at a depth of 535 feet and near Marquette.
Built in 1888 in Detroit, The Hudson was a propeller ship measuring 288 feet and was one of the finest vessels on the Great Lakes at the time. While crossing Lake Superior from Duluth on September 16, 1901, the ship sank near Keweenaw Point. The Hudson probably succumbed to a vicious storm while carrying a flax and wheat cargo and was never seen again. Her haul was prone to shifting in big waves which likely caused it to lose balance and sink.
However, that’s not the end of her story, for The Hudson made her own legend.
According to hearsay, a tugboat captain and his mate were traveling Lake Superior on September 16, 1940. As they approached Keweenaw Point, they saw a rusty ship covered with mud and heading towards their direction. The tug captain was able to avoid collision with the ship. As instinct dictated him, he boarded the muddy ship to see if it was in distress but was only ‘greeted’ with the ghost of The Hudson’s captain and crew. The ghost allegedly told the tug captain they relive the sinking of the ship every year on September 16th. Frightened, the captain jumped overboard and swam back towards his tugboat in icy cold waters.
The SS Western Reserve was one of the first steel freighters to set sail on the Great Lakes. The ship is 41 feet wide and measures 301 feet long. On August 30, 1892, SS Western Reserve was to get a load of iron ore but broke in half and sank in a fairly mild storm. The sinking occurred offshore Deer Park, Michigan.
After the incident, a report surfaced about the improper construction of the Western Reserve. The ship was allegedly built with weak steel that was contaminated with sulfur and phosphorus. This led to the creation of new laws and testing regulations for steel used in shipbuilding.
Out of the crew of 27, which included the owner and the famous banker Peter Minch and his family, only one man survived the disaster: the wheelsman named Harry Stewart. Another strange thing about the sinking of Western Reserve tells about a dream of Captain Truedell of the Great Lakes Life-Saving Service. In his dream, he reportedly visualized every detail of the disaster. In fact, the dream was so realistic he even recognized the body of Minch when they found it on shore.
Today, some urban legends claim the Western Reserve still appears as a ghostly apparition near Deer Park. It’s said that during good weather, especially on calm nights, the voices and laughter of those aboard the ship linger from the lake’s water.
This massive ship has an unusual profile as a vessel, measuring 245 feet long and 40 feet wide, many seamen at the time would recognize her from afar. During her service, she became a familiar sight on the Great Lakes while hauling grain for the Montreal Transportation Company. However, on the night of November 21, 1902, while carrying a load of wheat on her war to Soo Lock from Port Arthur she disappeared without a trace.
Its disappearance is considered one of the biggest mysteries of sea vessels lost at sea on Lake Superior. All 21 people vanished along with her and no bodies were ever recovered. Aside from a life preserver, no other items were seen from the Bannockburn.
Before her disappearance, the Bannockburn had 2 major incidents. In April 1897, she ran aground near Snake Island. The following October, she struck Welland Canal and was submerged in 9 feet of water. During these two incidents, no one was hurt and no major damage was reported.
On the same day of her disappearance, she ran aground again after leaving Fort William and turned back to port. After assessing that the Bannockburn didn’t suffer any damage, she set sail on her final voyage, never to return.
However, the Bannockburn still apparently continues to sail Lake Superior to this day. One particular story can attest to the urban legend – the crew of the freighter Walter A. Hutchison claimed they saw the Bannockburn a few hundred yards away from them. The captain tried to avoid the Bannockburn and headed northeast. They all saw the Bannockburn sail past them only to run aground before disappearing again. If the Walter A. Hutchison’s captain had not changed its course, the rocks would have destroyed the ship.
Enjoy spooky things like this? These ships offer some great fodder for ghost stories when camping around the Great Lakes. Head out there with some friends and a have few cold ones that stay cold with a Michigan D Koozie.
Beaches are teeming with rocks and collecting them can be fun. As a matter of fact, kids enjoy scouting the shores for rocks to bring home as a souvenir. It is also a nice way to keep them busy on the beach while having a great Michigan vacation. Children notice these tiny stones and appreciate their shapes and colors.
In each tide that comes in, the shores are renewed with pebbles, stone, and sand. Every moment in the beach offers different things to enjoy and collect.
Beach rocks are usually clean, fresh out of the sea and from their grinding in the shore. This makes beach rocks harder like igneous and metamorphic. Because waves carry rocks from shoreline to another, it is not always easy to tell where a beach rock came from. It can originate from cliffs or mountains along the beach. It may come from fragments of corals or some fossilized creature submerge somewhere in the middle of the sea. Some may have come from a far-away river or to a distant land in which the waves carried to the shore.
With all this in mind, here is a list of beach rocks and fossilized creatures you can find around the Great Lakes:
Even in beaches, man-made concrete exist. Concrete rocks have been eroded and washed into shores from nearby islands. Grinding waves polished this type of rocks and often confused with the conglomerate rocks. Conglomerate rocks are sedimentary rocks composed of rounded gravel. It often consists of gravel combined with iron oxide, silica or hardened clay.
Million years ago, crinoids belong to graceful creatures of the phylum Echinodermata like starfish, sand dollars, and sea urchins. Crinoids bear similarities of underwater flowers. Crinoids used its long stalk to anchor to the sea floor. Today, you can find the disc like stones on the beach that may look like small donuts.
Granite is the best-known igneous rock on earth. It is a light colored rock with grain accents just enough to be distinguished with the naked eye. It came from below earth’s surface from slow crystallization of magma. Some volcanic eruptions might expel this type of rocks and wash ashore. Granite usually comes in colors of red, pink, gray or white with dark grain specks. Some of the best places to hunt for this rock are in the Upper Michigan Peninsula, Ontario, and Wisconsin.
Honeycomb coral is a type of extinct favosite coral. Known for its honeycomb patterning, it is a preserved sedimentary claystone. Coral polyps used to live in its hollow surface millions of years ago. And like most corals, this type of rocks thrived in warm and shallow parts of the sea where sunlight can penetrate the waters. Honeycomb corals predominate the Silurian and Devonian era, in which they can be found where you can find Petoskey Stones and Charlevoix Stones.
Jasper, an opaque impure type of silica is an aggregate micro angular quart. Usually, it comes in colors of red, brown, green or yellow, in rare occasion blue. Iron deposits make Jasper predominantly red in color. When fully polished, Jasper is treated as gemstones and used in seals, vases, and as ornaments.
Petoskey Stones are the most sought after beach rock along the shores of Lake Michigan. It is believed to flourish around 350 million years ago during the Devonian age. The biggest influx of Petoskey Stones is found in Little Traverse Bay, in where else, in Petoskey town. Each year, melted ice and wind push new supplies of Petoskey Stone along the shore during spring time. The best time to hunt for this type of rock start in summer of after a wind storm. However, finding it is more of a challenge since many visitors and beachcombers also search for this precious fossil rock.
Slags are glass-like shiny by-product separated from its raw ore. It composes of a mixture of metal oxides and silicon dioxide. In some cases, it may contain metal sulfides and elemental metals. Slags are often times produced from smelting iron and from burning coal on ships. Since steam engine boats commonly roam the Great Lakes, it may come from there.
Stromatoporoids are organisms known for their fossilized record. Based on its structure, some considered this organism to be related to marine sponges. In fact, stromatoporoids are reef builders which are extinct stony sponges dominant in the Silurian Period 430 million years ago. Soon after they died out and went into complete extinction in the Mesozoic era.
Another extinct coral type known as syringoporoids can be found in some areas of the beach. They are described as organ pipe coral, cup coral, and crinoid columnals mostly found in upper Paleozoic rocks. Their characteristics helped distinguish formation of limestone in the Devonian era.
Termed after their stripes pattern on the outer shells, zebra mussels are native to southern Russia and Ukraine. However, zebra mussels were accidentally introduced to many countries in the world and were considered as invasive species. In the US, it invaded the Great Lakes and Hudson River in the 1980s. Today, scientists try to control their population but some may wash ashore in beaches.
While you’re out and about on the hunt for these intriguing rocks around Michigan, show off your state pride with a cool Michigan t-shirt that also showcases your love of hanging out outdoors
from LIVNFRESH http://blog.livnfresh.com/rocks-found-around-great-lakes/
A rip current or rip is a kind of water current which occurs in shore or near beaches with breaking waves. It is described as a strong and narrow current of water which is hard to see due to an absence of breaking waves.
It moves directly away from the shore and can be recognized only by a ripple on the surface of the water. Experts define it as a ‘river’ flowing out to the sea which has the strongest current near the surface. Some people often confusef rip currents with rip tides, which is a different type of current. A rip tide is a rapid movement of tidal water across the entryway of estuaries, inlets, and harbors.
Mostly seen in the Gulf, East, and West Coasts as well as in shores of the Great Lakes, rip currents are so powerful they can reach top speeds of eight feet per second. They can even move faster than the strongest Olympic swimmers.
Rip currents are dangerous to people trapped in their grasp. People often who get caught in its deadly embrace instinctively attempt to swim straight back to shore. However, that’s a wasted effort and puts people at risk of drowning from exhaustion while fighting against the water’s movement. Panic and exhaustion are the leading cause of death for people trapped in rip currents.
Every year lifeguards rescue hundreds of thousands of beach goers from rip currents in the US alone. According to the US Lifesaving Association (USLA), an estimated 100 people die at the hands of rip currents worldwide, with almost half of all those being recorded in the US.
Based on USLA data, almost half of all lifeguard rescues are related to rip currents. Meanwhile, sharks only kill about 6 people annually around the world.
Behind Lake Michigan, serene beauty and picturesque beaches hide a deadly secret. Local authorities in Michigan claim that rip currents are the most dangerous occurrence when swimming the lake’s waters. Today, officials urge beach goers to enter the water with caution.
When rip currents occur, they form a narrow, strong tide that flows away from the shores. Nonetheless, there are different types of rip currents that form in a variety ways. They occur in places where there are breaks in a sandbar where water is funneled out to the sea. However, the strongest rip currents form in tight spots like jetties, piers, and groins.
Factors that help form rip currents include the tide, weather, how the waves break from the shore, and the shape of the beach. Most rip currents form in certain beaches while others almost never see these dangerous currents.
The unpredictability of rip currents can carry unwary swimmers out to sea without warning. These strong currents usually move one to two feet per second with stronger rip currents reaching 8 feet per second. At that rate, even the fastest swimmer’s (Michael Phelps) stroke is about 6.6 feet/second and can’t contend with this natural phenomena.
Local authorities keep reminding swimmers to enter the water cautiously. Avoidance is the key to prevent any accidents in the beach. It is important for swimmers to test the water before heading to deeper areas. Looking up weather updates and talking to lifeguards about the water conditions can further help prevent accidents.
Scientists have been observing and studying rip currents for over a century. Today, modern technology helps track rip current movement and speed. Still, even with the advancement of technology, no one can predict when rip currents will appear.
Rip currents often hide in deep sandbars that may look like calm spaces in the water. Turbulent breaking waves often appear along the sides of this calmer water. According to USLA look for the following signs for rip currents in the lake:
If you ever find yourself in an unfortunate event and you get caught in a rip current remember not to fight with the waves. Instead swim parallel to the shore and, once out of the water’s pull, swim back to land at an angle. Do not panic and if you can’t escape the current try to float or tread water until help can get to you.
If you’re heading to the beach, make sure to stay alert. And look great doing so while carrying your beach gear with this Great Lakes Girl sling bag.
Lake Superior is the largest of the five Great Lakes in North America. Two countries share its borders: Canada and the United States. The province of Ontario sits on the northern part of the lake and the state of Minnesota is on its western area and the Upper Peninsula of Michigan and Wisconsin can be found to the south.
Key cities around the lake include Minnesota, Superior, Wisconsin, Thunder Bay, Ontario, Michigan, Marquette, the two ports of Duluth and the two cities of Sault Ste. Marie.
Still, there is more to Lake Superior than meets the eye;
When visiting Michigan, make sure Lake Superior is on your list of things to see. And after you’ve fallen in love with our great state, show everyone how great it is in Michigan with some of our fun clothes.
from LIVNFRESH http://blog.livnfresh.com/history-information-lake-superior/