Monday, June 3, 2013

Memorial Weekend Pictured Rocks Paddle
Authors, pasties, waterfalls, oh yes- and paddling.

This paddle was an excellent reminder that sometimes paddles aren't just about the paddling. From the moment the group of six started to congregate at the Bayview Inn in Epoufette the weekend promised to be what U.P weekends are supposed to be- a mish mash of the good life.

As with most ECP trips, food played a large role. If you happen to be in Epoufette, just west of Cut River Bridge, stop in for a piece of homemade pie. This little diner has amazing views of Lake Michigan (even from the bathroom!), the appropriate Upper memorabilia, as well as bird books and binoculars scattered at each of the window side tables.

Forming a caravan, the group of four headed to Grand Marais for lunch. The West Bay Diner, built from an old dining car with multiple additions tacked on, looks as eclectic as the menu. The waitress/ owner, Ellen Airgood, is the author of the popular (at least in the U.P) book, 'South of Superior.' The food was good, the view was great.

Using the recently paved road from Grand Marais to Munising gave ample opportunities to enjoy wildflowers, dune overlooks, and short hikes. Our hotel, the Sunset Motel, was old fashioned but perhaps the cleanest place we have ever stayed. Our two bedroom suite came with a fully equipped kitchen, grill, living and dining area, and  Lake Superior right outside our door.

Saturday morning started cold, so the group, which had now grown to six people, decided to take a hike to view the waterfalls across from the motel.  Then off to the launch site at Miner's Beach.  Since it was the first paddle of the season and there was still some snow on the beach, thoughts of safety helped make the decision to paddle south towards Miner's Castle.  The water was calm and the cliffs were spectacular.  It wasn't a long paddle in distance, but gave everyone to see the famous rock formations that form the lake shore.


Saturday evening was an unexpected treat.  Clif Edwards, friend of Nick and Julia Meieir as well as park ranger, invited the group to a camp fire at the ranger's residence.  Clif and his friend Terry are proof that you always meet the most interesting people around a fire. Terry was training for a triatholon and Clif is the author of the book Paths Crossed: Villains-Victims-Victors.  His book is about what he learned during his 27 year career in law enforcement.  If Clif can write as well as he can tell a story, this book is a must read!

The Bermuda
Sunday morning was another beautiful day to get out on the water.  Launching from the ferry dock west of town the group set off for Murray Bay and the shipwreck Bermuda (46 27.89’N 086 38.81’W); located in just 12 feet of water. Spending time bobbing in the bay, snapping underwater photos of the 130 foot long wooden schooner made us hungry, so we headed for the Grand Island Day use area for lunch, passing a few eagles along the way. Again, the paddle wasn't long, but full of wonderful sights seen only by boat.


The trip ended the way it started...with food.  This time it was pasties from Muldoons and smoked fish.  What's not to love about upper Michigan?

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New to Kayaking?

Don't know how to get started? Which boat to buy? How to learn without embarrassment? What if it tips over? Do I have to roll the kayak?

We were all beginners once and we'd be happy to help you with the basics. Before you even buy a boat, why not stop in at our monthly meeting (see the Paddlers Calendar) for some friendly advice from experienced paddlers. Whether you're interested in calm afternoons on one of Michigan's beautiful lakes and rivers or two weeks in the wilderness, we can help - we've been there.

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