Pictured Rocks Perfection

19 November, 2023 4 comments Leave a comment

Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore, photo by Karen Richardson

This past summer and fall, my husband and I enjoyed a 5-month camping adventure in our Airstream trailer. We began our trip by travelling to the west coast through the USA and back through Canada. I shared highlights of the western portion of our explorations in these posts:

My Summer Travels in the High Desert

Pacific Northwest: Forests and Freshwater

Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore, photo by Karen Richardson

We spent the final two months of our journey discovering the wonders of the American states surrounding Lake Michigan. This exploration began with with a tour of the Upper Peninsula, which lies between Lake Superior and Lake Michigan.

Although there was much to see and do in the 'UP' as the locals call it, the most exciting highlight of our time here was taking a scenic afternoon cruise out of Munising, Michigan to see Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore.

Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore, photo by Karen Richardson

This 42-mile stretch of protected lakeshore includes 15 miles of towering multi-coloured sandstone cliffs, as well as beaches, sand dunes, waterfalls, inland lakes, and forests. Pictured Rocks was established in 1966 and is managed by the National Park Service.

The cliffs reach a height of 200 feet and are made entirely of sandstone. The sedimentary rock layers erode at varying rates due to different densities. This produces the sea caves, arches, pillars, and other fantastic sandstone formations we see today.

Colourful vertical streaks are caused by groundwater seeping through the sandstone and depositing dissolved minerals on the cliff face. The orange-red streaks are iron, blue-green are copper, brown-black are manganese, and white are limonite. When afternoon or evening sunshine lights up these cliffs, the glow of rock contrasted with clear turquoise water is breathtaking.

I put together a short video from our scenic cruise, to give you a glimpse of the unique majesty of these natural formations. Click on the image below to enjoy two minutes of relaxing sights and sounds.

Our boating excursion was hosted by Pictured Rocks Cruises and I highly recommend their services.

I expect a few of these remarkable rock formations will find their way into a painting or two of mine down the road. I hope I can do justice to these natural wonders. Stay tuned!

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  1. Gay Liddell November 20, 2023

    That was a lovely view of the cliffs in your video. Thanks Karen. Sending love and friendship and best wishes for the holiday season. Gay. 😘💕

  2. Maureen November 20, 2023

    Thanks for posting the pictures and video. Stunning rock formations and contrast to the blue water. The kayaks really help define the height of the cliffs. Inspiration for many new works of art.

  3. Olivia November 20, 2023

    I will be awaiting anxiously those future Pictured Rocks paintings!

  4. Marnie Nelles November 20, 2023

    As usual, a beautiful video. I am excited to see some of your renditions. of those pictures.