Thursday, June 23, 2011

CPE Nationals Trip 2011: Porcupine Mountains

IMG_1030 The last leg of our summer Nationals trip took us from Minnesota back up the the Michigan UP for a stop in the Porcupine Mountains.  We arrived at our campsite, right on the shore of Lake Superior, by noon on Monday, had a quick lunch, and headed out for a hike at Lake of the Clouds, a picturesque lake tucked in the midst of pines as far as the eye can see.

P1030480 Michigan is a big state, and the Porcupines are almost as far up there as you can get, but they are well worth the drive.  From a short walk from the parking area, you are treated to an amazing view of rolling hills, old growth forest, and a serene lake.  We took in the view, then hiked down to the lake itself.  Eventually we climbed back up and hiked along the Escarpment trail, which offered many more spectacular views.

IMG_1064 Back at the campsite, we all hiked along the rocky Superior shore for a while, reminding me of days playing on rocks along the Lake Huron beaches as a kid.  Cadence played with the waves as they broke against the rocks. 


IMG_1037 At many points during these hikes in particular, we wondered what was going on in the minds of our canine friends.  Do they appreciate aesthetics?  Nature?  They certainly seemed to.  On the vistas of the Porcupines, they all would seem to gaze out over the cliffs.  Cadence would even put his feet up on the stone guard walls for a better view.  Later on, they perched on the rocks and gazed out across the water peacefully and calmly.  We couldn’t help but get the sense that they were as awestruck by this landscape as we were.

IMG_1091 We woke to a beautiful sunrise, and headed back across Michigan towards home.  We were very satisfied with our decision this year to vacation in our home state, which is filled with more natural beauty than I think most southeast-Michiganders realize.  Definitely a memorable trip, but as always there is no place like home, and we were happy at the end of the day to have the entire fur family back together again in our favorite place of all.

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