Sunday, September 1, 2013

Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore

There are a few viewpoints and features you can drive or hike to in this National Park. One is Sable Falls, reached by a short hike involving lots of wooden steps.
But if you really want to see what this park is about, you will want to take a cruise.
There are several times to choose from, but I think our choice of the sunset cruise was a good one. The setting sun made the colors more vibrant as you will see in the succession of photos.
The sandstone cliffs tower 50 to 200 feet above the water. A mixture of hues, textures, and shapes combine to create the awesome beauty.
Streaks of color occur when groundwater oozes out of the cracks. The dripping water contains minerals such as iron, manganese, copper, and others, creating the different hues.
 This formation is called Miner's Castle. It is one of the few places that can be reached by road to an overlook. You can see the viewing platform.
Mosquito Beach is accessed along the hiking trail (North Country National Scenic Trail.
Bridal Veil Falls. Look for this view again on the way back when the sun was setting and see the color difference.
 Just ride along with us and enjoy...

The captain said this crack is getting larger, and that huge chunk will eventually fall.
 Gulls roosting on the fallen rocks.
Two kayakers paddling next to the cliffs. You need a sea kayak with a rudder to kayak these waters.
 Same two kayaks to show you the perspective of size.

 The green/white streaks are formed by copper.

 An area of arches and caves ahead.

 We were told there is a vertical fault line here.

 This kayak was ashore on a narrow strip of beach below the cliffs.
Looked like he was trying to light a camp stove. Not sure is he intended to spend the night here. I don't want to think what would happen if a storm came up overnight.
 Indian Head formation.
 Cormorants were roosting on the Indian Head.
 An arch partially caved-in.
The captain wanted us to imagine a row of sailing ships in port, their sterns showing here.
 He called this the broken flower pot...the trees being the flowers.

 This was our turn around point. He pulled the boat inside for an up close view, then backed out.
 The water is very clear and a beautiful blue.

Chapel Rock
 Some hikers out on the beach to enjoy the sunset.
 Chapel can see the footbridge of the hiking trail.
 Another view of Chapel Rock.

 The sun is low on the horizon, and the cliffs take on a reddish glow.

 Gulls roosting on the steep cliffs.

 Can you see the hiker standing on the top of the cliff taking pictures? He seems awfully close to the edge.
 A close-up of Bridal Veil Falls.
 Bridal Veil Falls at sunset.

 This wooden lighthouse was built in 1867 on the south side of Grand Island to guide ships into the channel. It was abandoned in 1913, 100 years ago. The handhewn timbers are still holding it up.
 Thanks to forum friend Sue for suggesting this trip.

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