Pictured Rocks – Lake Superior

With another somewhat rainy day ahead of us Kathy and I decided to pack up lunch and take the girls to Pictured Rocks National Park on the shore of Lake Superior.  While we were getting everything ready, Molly and Livia got to bake Nana’s famous scones!  Eileen bakes chocolate cake and scones for us each time we visit. She taught the girls how to make both this visit and they went on to make another chocolate cake and two more batches of scones!

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Pictured Rocks was a quick one hour drive north.  Lake Superior was the only Great Lake we had not touched!  We bought our boat in Lake Erie (technically the girls haven’t been to Lake Erie) and we were in all the other Great Lakes on the Great Loop.  I was super excited to see Lake Superior.  It has always been sort of elusive as far as boating.  It’s far away, it’s COLD and it’s known for being super rough.  Lake Michigan is bad enough for us usually.

We pulled into the park and decided to go to Miner’s Castle.  We could have spent days there but just had one afternoon so we picked a lookout, a hike and a beach!  The Miner’s Castle lookout was beautiful.  It was our first glimpse at Lake Superior.  It was flat calm and absolutely gorgeous.  The rock formations and colors within them were also beautiful.  We so badly wanted to be out on the water exploring and I was so sad Ben wasn’t with us to see.

We ate a quick lunch and then took the mile or mile and a half long hike all the way down to the beach.  My girls really enjoy hiking!  Maddy can tire out easily at times but having Claudia to hike with, she was way ahead of me.

We made it to the beach and it got even more beautiful.  The sand was amazing.  It felt like being on the Gulf.  The sand was fluffy and thick and our feet just sank into it.  We anxiously ran across the huge beach towards the water.  We were so excited to dip our toes into Lake Superior!  We walked along the water’s edge and marveled at the all of the colorful rocks.  They truly were amazing!  The girls collected a few.  They are completely different colors when they are in the water.  The water is crystal clear.  And very cold.  It lives up to its reputation.

We hiked down to the beach in our clothes and left all of our swim suits and towels in the car.  It rained on and off on our drive and wasn’t super warm while we were hiking.  But by the time we got to the beach it was hot and sunny and all the girls wanted to swim and play in the sand.  As we were walking down the beach I spotted a very nice, very new staircase a ways down.  I ran ahead and asked where it went.  Magically it went to a parking lot!  We passed the road to it on our way in but wanted to take the hike.  However, we decided Kathy would go get the car and move it to the parking lot.  The girls were kind of upset they didn’t get to hike back up but it would have been VERY vertical.  Kathy reported it was the right call and she had to stop a few times and catch her breath.  She arrived in the parking lot and came down to the beach with swimming suits and towels for the kids.

The little girls all played in the sand while Molly and Livia gathered their courage.  They got a running start and dove right in.  They are INSANE!  They ran out quite quickly and warmed up in the sun.

Next up we hit the dunes for a bit and then all of them got back in Lake Superior!  All five went all the way under the water, over and over!  What we figured would be a quick hike down and a toe dipped in the water turned into a long, wonderful afternoon at the beach.

Next time by boat!

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