Monday, September 25, 2017

Michigan's mythic mountains - rugged, remote, redoubtable

Here's what I hiked today.  Topography of considerable note.  It was a tough, long day but worth every ache and pain.

The cliff in the headline photo is an old Peregrine Falcon Hack site - where young birds were trained.  It has to be remote and centered in a vast wild country.  This it is.  I'll be climbing that mountain another day, and not many more days beyond I'll be in Porcupine Mountain Wilderness State Park--a wild yet popular backpacking mecca that seems to be Michigan's answer to New Hampshire's White Mountains.

This, along with Tahquamenon Falls, the pebble-strewn sandy beaches of Lake Superior, and Pictured Rocks, is the heartbeat of Upper Michigan's wild soul.  I'm falling in love with this place, and I'm going to hate to leave.

The morning began with a quick climb to the first view.  Hat 84 and my trusty walking stick posed with more racks of mist and cloud.

The mists were evidence of abundant recent rains, and the moist conditions continued to draw out some spectacular displays from the fungus world.

Here, too, the lichens and ferns are loving it.  This fern had a stark, showy coloration that I've not noticed before--rare or common, I do not know, but it's new to me.

Also new to me was this variety of lichen that seemed to be trying to 'bloom' baby ribbon pink and form little pitchers and flasks and trumpets.  Odd and odder.

The mountaintop viewpoints were many and varied.

The trail also took me along the base of a talus deposit beneath one of the cliffs.

Near the end of the day I was high above Victoria Reservoir.

Then the trail took me through one of the old copper works buildings associated with Victoria, a mine opened in the late 1800's.

This was one of the special days, and it turned out to be the first of several.  I'm looking forward to sharing more of my experiences in these special places.  Stay tuned.

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