Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore is America’s first National Lakeshore, authorized on October 15, 1966. I took the Pictured Rocks Cruise about 6 years ago on an RV tour while a solo RVer, but Don had never been on it. So we booked our tickets online and stopped by the docks on Wed. to pick them up and learn more about the trip. On Thursday, we arrived just before 5:30 for the 6:15 pm sunset cruise. There was already a queue formed, and only the first 25 or so got chairs.
Don used the waiting time to check out a few of the nice vessels in the harbor.
And we chatted with other folks waiting in line.
Finally, we were invited to board the cruise boat.
Two boats were commandeered to go on the cruise, as the sunset cruise is so popular. The first one filled quickly, especially the choice seats on the top deck.
We sat on the top deck of our boat, too. I noticed the GPS was made by Garmin, a familiar name to RVers as Garmin also makes an RV-specific GPS (that I’m lusting after).
This area is cloudy 70% of the time, and a thunderstorm had passed through on Wed. night, so we were very lucky to have clear weather with very little wind. We cruised by some primitive summer cabins on Grand Island, including a lighthouse that’s no longer in operation.
I took over 300 pictures on the trip, so I’ll just share a few! This lookout is one of the few places you can drive close to. Notice the people on the wooden platform.
Bridalveil Falls normally flows in the spring and early summer. But we had some recent rain, so it was flowing again.
Another cruise boat on the way back.
Sandstone cliffs rise up to 200 feet above the lake. Rocks crumble off due to normal shifting of the earth.
Mineral stains cause the different colors in the rocks. Red and orange are from iron, black is manganese, white is limonite, and green is copper. In this picture, copper deposits cause a blue/turquoise coloration.
Little Portal Point has been renamed Lover’s Leap. But so far the guides haven’t developed a story to accompany the new name.
Nature has created caves and arches in many of the cliffs.
I’m not sure what caused the bluish-purple colors. Maybe it was just the lighting as the sun went down in the west as we looked eastward to the rocks.
Called Indian Head, although it’s no longer P.C.
We were amazed to see trees growing out of the rocks, with little or no soil to hold their roots.
Chapel Rock has a tree growing on top that’s only attached to soil with one tenacious root.
It was awesome to float into a small cove and be almost surrounded by the cliffs.
Later, we saw the other cruise boat go into this cove, and it didn’t look so small.
As we turned back for the return trip, it was nice to take a second look at the cliffs and watch the sun go down.