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My wife and I had the chance to sneak away for a quick 2-day trip to Munising. We wanted to spend a little time checking out some of the different waterfalls but also take the time to kayak with Paddling Michigan and try to see the sunset as we were coming back. What we didn’t expect was the awesome adventure that awaited us.

Most people like to work through a plan or schedule of events and would rather not live for the adventure. But then where is the fun in that?

The Plan

Our plan was to arrive in Munising later in the evening, spend the next day according to our schedule and then head home the following day. What we didn’t know was that while we had planned out our events, the weather made different plans for us.

The morning after our arrival started out pleasant enough. There was a little sun and some clouds were passing through. It looked like an excellent day for kayaking but that wasn’t set to launch till about 3pm. So we were able to sneak a couple of quick little trips. In Munising there are many to choose from. The Twin Falls are one of those semi-secret locations. While they are not as well know as some of the other waterfalls around Munising they are some of the coolest. There is a short hike to get back to the 50’+ drops. When the water is flowing strong they are pretty incredible to see. The paths are well marked but as you walk along these cliff type edges you truly get the feeling that you’re walking back to a secret cove. Once you get into the cove you can totally immerse yourself in the waterfall which you would swear is really some far off tropical getaway. It’s amazing these are literally in our back yard and yet the location feels so secluded.

Our next stop was sand point. One of the most fascinating things you will find is the maroon sand. This maroon sand is called Jacobson Sand. It is only found along the shores of Lake Superior. The tale of Jacobson Sand is in itself nothing short of a mystery. Much like the Black beaches of some exotic far off place, the maroon sand holds its color and creates a feeling of wonder in finding something that you will not find anywhere else. Don’t miss it.

Finally Onto Kayaking

It is now finally time for our Kayaking trip. We knew immediately that this was the adventure that we had been waiting for. There was a massive storm system that was moving in and it had the chance to run either north or just a little south of use. The great thing about the storm is that it was being pushed by a southern wind. South winds make the water along the shoreline of Lake Superior calm and almost tropical. We were delayed until we knew it was safe to venture out on the water. The sun started to peek through in a couple of spots with made the combination of the calm water and the stained rocks breathtaking. These are some of the things that photos and words just cannot describe. The minerals from inside the sandstone leak out with the water and literally paint the sides of Pictured Rocks. This national park is one of best kept secrets of all the US parks. The chance to kayak up close to these 2000 ft cliffs is something you won’t soon forget.

As we got close to Lover’s Leap (the most well known arch along the Pictured Rocks) we received a call from the weather service, issuing a warning to get off the water. We were 4 miles away from our launch point on Miner’s Beach. Our only choice was to land on Mosquito Beach and hike back the 4 miles to Miner’s Beach. We had a few minutes to explore Mosquito River and had to sit in awe of the storm front that was moving across Lake Superior.

The hike back was part of the adventure we hadn’t planned on but in my humble opinion it is what makes memories. We all have choices that we face every day in our lives. We often plan our paths and activities but how often do those plans or activities turn out exactly as we had thought they would.  It is at these points that we make a decision. The decision that will truly touch your soul and allow you see what lies below our normal everyday way of life.

When it Rains, It Pours

About 10 minutes into our hike back to Miner’s beach it started to pour. A steady rain that you know is here for a while. They type that slowly drenches everything around you. It is at this point in our adventure that I can truly say “I absolutely love living in Northern Michigan.” The ability to get out where there is no cell phone coverage. Where there are no other people and it is just your group of friends and nature. A chance to look into your soul and discover what it means to be alive. Our 2 hour hike was one of the best hikes my wife and I have ever taken. It was a special experience that allowed us to say that we alone shared.

Living in Northern Michigan is a chosen lifestyle that we don’t regret. The experiences we can share along with the rest of our family are things that bring us closer and allow us to laugh and really know who we are instead of the fake profile accounts that so often permeate our lives.

All I can say is as you live your life – Enjoy the sunshine and Embrace the rain. You can’t avoid both and only you can decide what your memories will be.

For more outdoor activities around Michigan, make sure to bring something warm like our Beer Koozie Hoodie so you can stay warm while keeping your beverage cold.