Went out today to my favorite spot at the bend where the Grand Staircase Falls on the Slate River turns. I shot entirely with in-camera black & white. I’ve been wanting to work on my BW photos for quite some time, so I thought this would be a good way to get a jump on it. After being there for quite a while enjoying it, I took off to see what roads might be open/plowed. I mostly ran into dead ends, but it was still nice being out in the woods a bit. At the end of one of the roads was a driveway to a hunting camp with a sign that read “Camp Left Nut”, I thought it was pretty funny so I took a photo of it. After that I headed home but first a car wash.
Yesterday I went for my first real drive in the new Subaru. I headed up for the Keweenaw. The weather was quite gloomy, but that really didn’t matter, I was mainly giving myself time to get use to how a Subaru drives, and I have to say, very very well. I drove on pavement, sloppy snow, ice and then some climbing in snow and ice. This car is very impressive. I went to the end of US41 in Copper Harbor and say that the road out had been traveled, but I just wasn’t ready to give that a try yet, so I headed on down the shoreline. When I passed the road that heads up to Brockway I noticed tracks heading up, but I still wasn’t ready. Finally after stopping for photos along the shoreline, I came to the back entrance to Brockway, I passed it at first, then said fuckit, I’m going for it, so I turned around and headed up. Following the few tracks heading up, a couple spots I did hesitate, but continued. There was not one single spot this Subie had any problem, it just goes and goes. At the top of Brockway was really cloudy and kind of surreal without anyone else around and during winter. Now it was time to drive back down, so I first put the Subie into Sport Mode (the gear shift can move to the left from drive, that puts it into Spot Mode and allows for tighter gearing), though that was still letting me roll to fast for the snow and ice, so I put it into Manual Mode (from Sport Mode, you can down shift and up shift which places the Subie into Manual Mode). This did the trick going down the steeper parts of the drive down. After getting back to the main road, it was time to head home.
All in all, I think I’m going to be very happy with this Subaru, and even with working it quite a bit I averaged 28 miles per gallon.
I do realize that thick mud and very rocky areas will be out of the question with the Subie, but I’ve been thinking, do I really need to go into the mud? No I don’t, besides, it’s a pain in the ass to clean off.
I need to figure out a name for the Subaru.
Headed out this morning to an area I thought would be about the easiest to get to, the Slate River. It was nice out there, nice and peaceful with not a soul around. I went down river to start with until I got to where there are a couple hunting camps, then back up across the road and followed the east side of the river. I rarely go up this side because you can’t get as far without really bushwhacking. I spent about 3 hours taking photos and just enjoying the river.
I learned something else today… I need a fucking vehicle. First I barely made it up the first hill of Arvon Rd. Then as I drove down the road to the river I needed to turn around because there was no room to park without going into the few inches of snow. While turning around, I got stuck, stuck on flat fucking ground with only hard packed snow. So I got un-stuck and drove all the way back out to Arvon Rd and parked there. I guess it’s time to start hunting for a vehicle. I can’t live without being able to get out and about, it’s part of my life, and without it, I might as well cut my throat.
Yesterday I spent the day out and about with an old friend showing him a few waterfalls in the area. I haven’t seen him since living in Alaska when we had a small gathering at the house. He got in touch with me the other day say he was in Munising hitting some waterfalls in the area.
Anyway, he picked me up around 9:00 AM and we headed out to Big Falls. I didn’t know if we would be about to make it there due to the high water level and having to ford part of the Huron River, but it was fine. We spent a couple hours there taking photos then headed back to explore some of the Slate River. Of course I’ve been to all these falls many times, he hadn’t and was trying to mark off some he hasn’t been to.
After spending another few hours at the Slate River, it was time to head back and get something to eat. We had planned to get to a couple more falls, but ran out of time.
We stopped at The Finns to eat, and I must say it’s quite a nice place. I’ve always wanted to stop in there, but just seem to drive by. The pizza was really quite good and probably the best I’ve had in the area so far. I’ll be getting more for take-out another day.
Went out again today to look at a couple more houses that I had appointments to see, but no dice, again. Everyone I’ve talked with isn’t willing to work a land contract and I can’t get a fucking loan. I need a year or so to get my credit back up and in order. There’s no fucking rentals around due to people displaced from the flooding and many students are staying here because they are afraid they wont be let back in the country due to the Asshole in Chief, the person that stays part-time in the White House.
So after striking out again on housing, I went for a drive out past Copper Harbor to Horseshoe Harbor and went for a little hike and took some photos. I then went down the road further and made a loop back to Copper Harbor, along the shore and back home. Damn, the tourons are out in force today, driving fucking 40mph in 55mph zones, and they fucking wont pull over to let people pass.
Anyway, a bit about the rocks around Horseshoe Harbor…
The rocks at Horseshoe Harbor are 20-30, some areas closer to 40, feet high.
This is some of the oldest exposed bedrock on Earth.
These are the structures formed through sequences of volcanic activity separated by weathering and erosion. Initially, about a billion years ago, lava poured onto the Earth’s surface from openings created by a Mid-continent rift. The lava filled the valley created by the rift, and cooled rather quickly forming the basalt and rhyolite found here. During a time of little or no volcanic activity, weathering and erosion from the edge of the volcanic rift along with ancient mountains led to deposition of sediments in the rift valley. These two processes alternated over time. The immense weight caused the entire area to sink, and become cemented together. Finally, a collision of continental plates caused the entire rock formation to be tilted and revealed the structures that you see here today at Horseshoe Harbor. They are formed mainly of igneous rock, with a high percentage of densely formed basalt and rhyolite. Cementing the conglomerate structure is a small percentage of sedimentary rock such as shale and sandstone which are generally not as strong and durable as igneous formations.
Went out today to Big Falls along the East Branch Huron River. I’ve been here many times, but each time is a little different. One time there was even a tree lying the middle of the left fall. Somewhere between 20 – 25 years ago I found this waterfall completely by accident out two-tracking, then quite a few years later I went hunting for it without success. A few more years passed and bingo, found it again. Now that I live UP here, I frequent these falls at least once a year, if not more. After taking photos down in the usual spot, I decided to hike up river a ways. Wow, it’s beautiful just above the falls, but very difficult to get down to the rivers edge, which I didn’t, or couldn’t, do today. The bank down is steeper and maybe longer than the normal photo area. I did make it to the bank a little further up river, but it’s not as nice, not as rugged. Ah well, maybe next time.
After spending some time at the falls, I headed back to Black Creek Rd. and turned south knowing that eventually I would come out on Ravine River Rd. Well, that didn’t work out so well…I got lost. I made a turn that made a loop around and back to Black Creek Rd. Well in taking that loop, it bypassed the turn on Black Creek Rd. that needed to be taken, and that’s where I got lost, either finding a dead end or trails that looked mighty muddy and I wasn’t into getting covered in mud again, not this time. So, I ended up back-tracking and that’s when I saw the turn I missed by taking the detour loop.
Made it back to town, got a Jeep wash and went to Shopko for some curtains and a couple hanging plants, then home.
Update – 05.09.18 – Added a video of Upper Letherby Falls.
Headed out today to check out Letherby Falls with the spring runoff going on. I didn’t want to go too far and burn up too much gas, so I thought this a good idea, and it was. Once on Ravine River Rd., the road became a little rough but not big deal and the main reason for the roughness was all the logging going on in the area. Anyway, as I was about to pass over Ravine River I stopped to check out Ravine River Falls. These falls are generally small with just a trickle falling, but this time I made my first stop here. Was really quite nice. Next time I might venture further up the river as it looked quite pretty. So after taking a few photos there, I headed toward Letherby Falls. Well, the road changed big time right after crossing Ravine River. It got rutted and muddy. When I say muddy, I mean it. After a couple good mud holes I reached the parking spot for Letherby Falls. Parked the Jeep, changed into my Muck Boots and headed down to the falls. Slowly I crossed the river (good thing I brought my hiking poles for stability) to a little tiny island and sit up to take photos. Took a number of photos, enjoyed the view for awhile, and went back to the Jeep.
This is where the real muddy fun began. I’ve been on this road a number of times, but never this early in the season, and never with so much muddy, sloppy, gooey, make you get stuck mud. I traveled for a few miles, but there were a couple spots I wasn’t sure if I was going to make it through, the mud was that deep and thick. So, knowing that it would be quite a ways before I would get to the other side of Mt. Avron, and the road wasn’t getting any better, I decided to turn around. When by myself, I don’t like getting into to much extreme with the Jeep, and not having a wench. This time through those same muddy spots, I put the Jeep into 4low and locked in the real differential. Wow, did that ever make a difference. The Jeep (Hank) went through that sticky gooey stuff like it was a drive through the park.
Well, I got back to L’Anse and went for a car wash. Ha, that didn’t do a damn thing to get the mud off, well, maybe some. Then went home.
P.S. I’ll be adding more photos to this post in the coming days.
Was a nice day for a hike in one of my favorite areas, the Slate River near Quartzite Falls and a number of other falls up stream, including one of my favorite spots of all, Grand Staircase Falls.
I drove up Arvon Rd. to All Wood Rd, crossed the bridge and parked. I started off checking out Quartzite Falls, but it was still mostly frozen over still, so I hiked back up to the road and started heading up stream, this was my original plan anyway.
I followed a deer path knowing it would be packed down. Every time I happen to step off that path, I sank in the snow past my knee. Then as I rounded a bend in the river, there it was, my spot, Grand Staircase Falls. Took off my gear, took some photos and just relaxed.