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Honeymoon But With Kids: Pictured Rocks, Beers and Beaches

We stopped for lunch in Grand Marais at The Dunes Saloon Lake Superior Brewing.

That's the Michigan one. Not the one in Minnesota.

Love the old bar vibes.

We started with these massive bacon and cheese stuffed tater tots.

They were so good. 

The pizza was just as good. A much better brewery than Tahq Falls brewing.

Scott wasn't so sure about having lunch here, we had to keep up with our Beaches and Brews theme of the trip. 

Meadow has turned into such a teenager lately. She's so embarrassed to take photos with me now. 

Oh, I'm going to miss having little kids. The Lake Superior waters have been giving Theo all the curls. 

Next we headed over to Sable Falls. We planned to see the eastern part of Pictured Rocks today since we were staying to the west of the park.


 
I attempted to recreate a photo from 10 years ago. 

Back on the North Country Trail again. This trail runs 42 miles through Pictured Rocks along the coastline. I've now added it to my bucket list to thru-hike Pictured Rocks someday. 



Next we hiked to the Grand Sable Dunes.

This is probably my favorite hike in Pictured Rocks.



We were thinking this was also where the old log chute was, but we were confusing two places as one.



Still so pretty to see. Maybe someday we'll take the boat tours and see the bluffs and sand dunes from the water side. 

I was also certain there were these big sand pits by the log chute too. 

Theo wanted to stay and play but we said he could do that at the next place. 

Well, we should've played here. Turns out the log chute isn't much more than the old lumber slide.


Recreating another photo at the log slide. 

Hey, you aren't blinking this time.

Meadow was too scared to come to the edge. From far away it does look like it just drops off. Theo will go wherever I go. 

Taking pictures for gram, but then never posting them. I guess I'm not much better.

This other family came to look while we were there and the mom was just as nervous as Meadow.

She would not let her kids look over the deceiving precipice. It looks like it just falls straight off, but not quite.

 Afterwards we picked up Meadow's Junior Ranger booklet. We had forgotten that Meadow gets a free pass to all the National Parks for being in 4th grade. 

Whoops.

It was a hot day today and we were sweaty from hiking. We had to get a swim in before going to our campsite. 

Besides another couple we had the Lake Superior Overlook Beach to ourselves. 

We finally remembered to bring Theo's life jacket. It was so fun having him swim with us in the deep. 

The water was so calm and clear. It was a perfect swim. I'm starting to kind of wish we lived closer to this big lake. 

The kids became more interested in the creek leading into Lake Superior behind the beach.



They found a little froggy. Can you spot it?

We could stay all day but we had to get to our campsite. 

The only campsite available was at Bay Furnace. I kind of miss the first come, first serve days of 10 years back. Well, I guess that was just some of the campsites at Pictured Rocks.

We kept saying we needed to book our campsites and finally committed to it last June. We should have booked them in March. 

Theo continues to help me setup camp.

I brought some Ketchup flavored Doritos back with us from Canada.

These were actually pretty good. 


Day 11
We knew we'd want more than 24 hours to spend at Pictured Rocks so we planned to stay for 2 nights. We didn't get a chance to see Chapel Falls yet so we started our hike there. The description for this hike said it was rough terrain. It was mostly flat.

With lots of old growth maple trees.

We picked up this day pack with the water bladder before the trip. It's nice not having to pull a water bottle out to have a drink. 

This was a very strange waterfall that looked like a long stone slide. But it was very hard to capture.


Theo was doing pretty good hiking on his own. Occasionally he needed a break. 

I'm sure this hike is beautiful in the fall. 


I was thinking we would just go to the falls and turn around. Scott wanted to keep going to Chapel Beach and I'm glad we did. 

I just wanted to see Chapel Rock. Didn't know much about the beach.

The waves were much bigger today. Good thing we got our swim in yesterday.

Bonus there's another waterfall here. 

It was like a much shorter version of Chapel Falls.


We are getting better at being more prepared when we go on hikes now. We packed pb&j's and snacks for lunch. 


We played in the wave ponds for a really long time. Most other visitors were scared to walk over here.

I was hoping to capture a wave crashing into to Chapel Rock, but this was the best I could get.

The kids were in their element again. 

Meadow and I were just happy watching the waves. 

Another day, another little froggie. He was trying to hop back up the waterfall.

She's terrified of any bug but she'll pick up a toad. 

After some snacks and more waver watching we made our way back.

The trail loops back towards Mosquito Falls. If the kids were bigger or if it was just me and Scott we would have taken the bigger loop to Grand Portal Point. Maybe when we come back in 10 years. 

Right by Chapel Beach is one of the backcountry campgrounds. Now I really want to thru hike this park. 

While hiking Theo asked why we weren't doing any hike in camping. I didn't realize he liked those, we should have snuck at least one in on this trip. 

I think we looked into it, but there weren't any sites available in the park. We passed a bunch near Chapel Beach and were very jealous.

In hindsight when we booked all our campsites we should have added a night on Grand Island. I totally forgot until we got here that it was hike, bike or boat only. 

We debated for the next day about spending a day on the island and skipping our layover campsite between Pictured Rocks and the Keweenaw Peninsula.

Every so often I have to carry little bub.

Scott was so happy to see some old growth trees. 

It's true.


Our hike took us all the way around Chapel Lake, but it wasn't until near the end that we could spot a valley below the trail.

Near the lake was an old dumping ground. 

The end of the loop trail had one of the best old growth hardwood forests we've ever seen. Old growth fanatic over here.

The trail on this side was way less busy. I also prefer trails that are narrower vs wide. 

After our 6 mile hike it was time for some treats. While picking up dinner at Muldoons Pasties they had these Michi-Gummies. How could we say no. 

We originally were going to go to By George Brewing but they don't allow outside food. We headed to East Channel Brewing instead. 

Pasties and beer, mmhmm.
Of course Theo liked the sweet pastie the past. Muldoons pasties are highly recommended when you're in Munising.

Since we were leaving in the morning and it was still light out we checked out Miner's Castle. It was a bit windy up here.

The light was giving a super strange glow to the water.



I loved Miner's Beach and wanted to see that before it got dark. 

A few people were swimming when we arrived. 


Suddenly when there's water or a beach the kids have energy again. 

It's a really good beach.



This is one of my favorite beaches on Lake Superior. 

Pretty much all of the beaches at Pictured Rocks rule.

I guess we'll stay and watch the sun go down. 



Having the time of their lives and there's no screens involved.

She sure hates screens. Ha.

Once back at our campsite we continued to debate if we should stay one more night and stay on Grand Island. One of the hike in sites wasn't too far from the ferry landing and was available. Next time we do this trip we are for sure adding it. 

Day 12
Today would takes us to Marquette and and then a layover at Van Riper State Park.

Scott hates these but the oatmeal cups are great for a quick breakfast. And only spoons need to be washed. 

Wasteful, but indeed very easy.


Before leaving we showed the kids the actual Bay Furnace that the campground was named after. I searched the waters for the glass created by the pig irons.

At first they couldn't find any with the big waves.

We made a collection to show the kids then threw them back in the water for others to find. 



We drove back into Munising to stop at the Munising Falls Visitor Center. Meadow needed to get her next badge and we were hoping to pick up some stickers. The visitor center was closed for renovations so they just had a temporary trailer. 

Another badge for the books. 

She was crabby after we pointed out that she wouldn't talk to the ranger. How in the world did I get shy kids? And they're not really shy, just slow to warm up to people.

We got burritos and tacos at Border Grill. When Chipotle won't open up in your area I guess you need to make your own fast casual Mexican chain. It's OK. There are only 4 locations, you hipsters.

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