Day #121 – Beautiful Pictured Rocks

LOCATION:  Munising, Michigan – in north central Upper Peninsula
CAMPGROUND:  Munising Tourist Park
WEATHER:  Sunny and cool.  Super nice – 68 high

We had a busy day planned, so got started early.  First we went on a hike that had been recommended by the Visitors’ Center.  It was a 2-mile loop in the Hiawatha National Forest.  The short drive to get there was very nice, too – first by the lake, and then through the woods.  We passed a lot of kayak rental places for the river there. 

The trail was very woodsy, full of beautiful ferns.  The trail itself was mostly soft, with pine needles cushioning our feet.

The trail was called Songbird Trail, and the NFS had placed about 20 signs along the trail pointing out different birds – describing their colors and songs.  Truthfully, we could not discern any specific song; they all sounded alike.  The woods were so thick that we couldn’t see many birds, but their songs were beautiful and plentiful.

We saw these interesting wood ears.

For awhile, we followed a bubbling stream.

We had the trail to ourselves, except for one jogger who whizzed by us (twice).  I don’t know he kept himself from tripping on the roots and rocks.

After the hike, George just had to try his luck once again with fishing.  Same story…not even a bite.  He says he is on a roll. 

Then, in to Munising to catch the ferry, along with about 300 other people!  As we waited to board, George spotted this mother duck with her 2 ducklings.

The Pictured Rocks Cruise was beautiful.  We had done the cruise many years ago, but my recollection is that it wasn’t as nice a day as it was today.  Just perfect.  Hardly any wind, so it was not bumpy.

We passed the area where the part of the cliff face had caved in, just a week ago. Some kayakers took a video of it, and it went viral on Facebook. 

Big boats take the kayakers out to the pretty section of the lake where they paddle, then return to the boat to return back.,  Good system.

The colors and formations are so interesting.  The cruise was 2.5 hours – just right.

This is what our boat looked like – one we passed on our way back.

The National Forest Service owns Grand Island, near Munising.  They have preserved it for hiking and tent camping.  We passed it as we returned, with its picturesque old lighthouse.

Back to shore, and guess where we went!!!  The second of the 2 breweries in town.  This one is named “By George” so we absolutely had to go. 

The beer was good and the people were friendly.  It was so nice that we joined everyone else out on the patio.  George bought a hoodie and a glass with the ByGeorge logo on them.

Back at the campground, George built another fire.  It is perfect weather for campfires.  A primo sight, right on the water in front of us, remains vacant even though the campground is sold out.  They must be no-shows.  Lucky for us, as we still have that perfect view.

DINNER:  This recipe is one I had clipped from a ladies’ magazine – one of those “easy skillet dinners”.  Indeed, I used our iron skillet for the dish.  First I had George brown 2 boneless chicken thighs in the skillet over the fire.  (He grilled the 2 extra thighs directly over the fire and I froze them for a future meal.)  He brought in the skillet and I added:  green beans, butter beans, cherry tomatoes, salt, and pepper.  I baked the dish for 15 minutes.  To serve, I brushed the thighs with pesto and sprinkled on green onions and Parmesan.  Side was white asparagus.  Easy-peasy dinner! 

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