Pictured Rocks is a U.S. National Lakeshore on the shore of Lake Superior in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan. It is a beautiful place up north, just google and you won’t disagree. Kayaking in the sea? Wouldn’t it be amazing? We set to find out.
Plan: On the September long weekend (Labor day holiday) start from Milwaukee on Saturday, explore Mackinac Island, Pictured Rocks sea kayaking on Sunday, and sightseeing and returning on Monday.
Bad start: Designated person delayed booking accommodation and in the end I chose Manistique to stay so that it’s in-between Pictured Rocks and Mackinac island. Since we had to do nothing but just spend the night, Budget Host Inn served the purpose, no thrills - no frills. And it was the cheapest!
Mackinac Island - The drive to St. Ignace was around 6+ hours and there were a lot of pit stops. We played on the beach, passed Bombay Motel, splashed water on each other. It was fun. We dropped our bags in the motel on our way and when we reached St. Ignace it was mid afternoon. We took a ferry that takes people to the island. It’s a nice place on an island with a road which runs around the island.
We rented bicycles which had back peddling as brakes! Irksome at first but was okay after getting used. We rode around the island, stopped at many places, took pictures, and before we knew it was already time to catch the last ferry back. I had so much fun riding the bike without holding the handlebars and flapping hands like a bird flying; brought back memories! We also noticed someone’s wedding there; you can wed there too, but it might be really costly. This is a lovely place overall.
Back to Manistique Motel - Nothing much there. After weighing out dinner option we went to Big Boy restaurant. It had a good buffet. Best option around. They had a currency collection from around the world; the employees there said their boss is very interested, so my friend donated a Indian Currency (a 20 rupee note I think). I’d love it if they actually added it to the collection.
Pictured Rocks sea kayaking - yay! We were excited, got up ready and reached the Munising on time, but the mother nature had other plans. The kayaking was canceled due to high waves. Nearly 15 feet high wave! It was the main reason we planned the trip and to see it wash away in the high waves was very disappointing.
Country Road H-58 - After talking to the tourist information center, we decided to go around sight-see. The main hiking trails were closed anyway. We hit H-58. It was unexpected but the drive blew me away. Tall trees along side the narrow road, no median, totally curvy stretch. A beautiful drive during that time of the year.
Don’t miss H-58 - Don’t miss it because of the places it takes you. Just look at the map here. We stopped at most of the places. Woodland park, Sable falls, Log slide, Chapel beach, Grand Portal point, Miners castle. One can easily spend a day on this beautiful stretch. Don’t miss the sand dunes and the breath taking view.
Log Slide - Don’t miss this one. Just go down the slide and come up. Go with friends. I met two 6 year old boys down on the beach and we competed against each other on climbing up. No need to mention, I came last.
High Tide and Low tide - I can’t finish this post without mentioning this. I don’t remember the beach name, but it was like a long stretch and at the one end, back water was connected to the lake (like a foot high water level) and then a small area of sand at the end. We just walked carelessly and within no time the water level started rising, within a split second it rose up to our waist, we managed to get back and thankfully the water level went down. It was a little scary considering the high tides that day.
Christmas came a little early - Not really, we visited a village called Christmas in Michigan!
Back to the motel and to Milwaukee - We reached motel at dark, having nothing to do we went straight to bed. We set out to Milwaukee the next day, or did we?
Lambeau Field, Green bay - We had a lot of time on hand, we stopped and played in most of the beaches on our way and decided to visit, lo and behold, The Lambeau Field.
What did we miss? - Of course, the sea kayaking. We also learned that there was an annual walk on the Mackinac Bridge on the Labor day, but the group was not much interested. Right time, right place, wrong group!
Even though the planned event went haywire, the unplanned events such as the drive and places around H-58 and the visit to Lambeau Field made the trip worth and memorable. I’m posting this nearly 4 months after the trip and I remember it like yesterday. I’d definitely go up north again to kayak in the sea. Definitely.
PS: How does Pictured Rocks look in winter? Find out here.