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Category Archives: Sandstone

This past weekend my wife and I had planned a trip up to the U.P. of Michigan but they had a big snowstorm and we wouldn’t have been able to stay until it ended. We decided to stick around home. On Saturday we drove out to the 12 mile marker on the Red Cedar Trail and hiked back toward Downsville. We ended up hiking from the trail intersection on County Y to the Dunnville Sandstone Quarry.

The trail was a combination of gravel, snow and ice. It is a multiuse section of the trail that is used for skiing, snowshoeing and hiking. There was evidence that many different critters were using the trail. We found tracks on the trail from, people, horses, deer, turkeys, Raccoons, mice and rabbits. It looked like a flock of Wild Turkeys had walked down the trail when the ground was soft.

Normally there are some nice ice falls along the trail but this year things were a little sparse. On the on the other hand with no snow cover it was much easier to walk back into the ice falls. Most of the ice along the trail was milky white. One ice fall was particularly interesting because it consisted mainly of black ice.

There were also opportunities to photograph leaves that had melted into the snow. This is a leaf that happened to be sitting on top of a rare patch of ice in the ditch along the trail.

I like to hike this section of the trail on a sunny winter day when the late afternoon sun hits the Dunnville sandstone it really brings out the color. It also creates some interesting shadow patterns on the sandstone walls.

 

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Last weekend we drove from Menomonie, Wisconsin through Northern Wisconsin to Copper Harbor, Michigan.

Chippewa River

The trip took us through Cornell where I took this photo of the Chippewa River from a small park at the edge of town.

Lac du Flambeau

We then drove up through Phillips, Park Falls, Lac Du Flambeau and on to Hurley. The leaves were spotty through Phillips. The leaf report said they were at peak in Phillips and north of Phillips but I think it will be later this week when they reach peak. This shot was taken outside of Woodruff.

Gile Flowage

They were near their peak around Hurley with some nice shots at the Gile Flowage. In some places the leaves were down from the strong winds.

O Kun de Kun Falls

We then drove from Ironwood to Bruce Crossing the trees were spotty with one hill at peak and the next hill green. We stopped to hike into O-Kun-de-Kun-Falls on  the Baltimore River north of Bruce Crossing. We have driven past this waterfall many times but have never stopped. As it turned out it probably wasn’t the day to stop. It was bright sunshine with the sun directly in back of the falls. In addition, a large group of students from Michigan Tech were camping at the waterfall. Late in the day we drove on Houghton highway 26. The trees were outstanding and at peak.

Sandstone Patterns

On the second day of the trip we drove around the Keweenaw the leaves were ok but will likely peak next weekend. Leaves on the Brockway Mountain drive will probably peak a week later. We typically drive the eastern shore of the Keweenaw on the way up. This photo was taken on a small pullout northeast of Gay. The sandstone rocks in this area are outstanding.

Lac La Belle

When we reached the small town of Lac La Belle we drove over to the public docks where this photo was taken. As you can see it will be at least next weekend before the leaves are at peak.

The drive along highway 41 into Copper Harbor was nice but I think it will be next weekend before the leaves are at their peak. We returned along highway 26 on the west coast. This area doesn’t have many trees that change color.

Sunburst

Returning to Houghton we then headed south on highway 26 where the color was excellent. The only issue was that some of the tops of the trees were bear because of the high winds earlier in the week. On the way up I noted that the trees in the Twin Lakes Campground look promising so we stopped on the way back. I wanted to take the traditional photo looking up through the trees but the space between the trees didn’t work so I took this shot of the sunburst through one of the trees.

The then headed over toward Ontonagon on highway 38 then on to the Porcupine Mountains on 64. It looked like the trees in this area wouldn’t peak for another week. When we reached the park we took south boundary road through the park. There was some good color but the peak will likely be closer to next weekend. We didn’t stop much because we wanted to make it to Copper Peak before the chairlift closed.

Copper Peak View

We made it with a little time to spare. The leaves were good but not as good as last year. The strong winds from last Thursday and Friday took down quite a few leaves. You can see that some of the trees have lost their leaves. The shadow in the photo is the ski jump. The good news from Copper Peak is that the international agency that governs ski flying has examined the jump. They noted the changes that need to be made to bring the jump up to international standards and work is progressing. Hopefully in the next few years they will have ski flying again at Copper Peak.

I know it is a bummer but we expect 40 mph winds later in the week. I’m not sure what this will due to the leaves.