Today we’re happy to announce the winner of the 2013 Share the Experience photo contest (this contest is where we get a lot of the photos you see on this account)! This year’s grand prize winner comes to us from a family outing and according to Courtney; it almost didn’t happen as she was not sure she would take her phone with her on the kayak trip for fear of dropping it in the choppy lake.

Lucky for Courtney, she decided to risk it and bring the phone to document the trip. Although she grew up in Michigan, this was Courtney’s first trip to Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore and she described it as being on her mom’s “bucket list.” Both Courtney and her mom are always up for adventure in the outdoors as Courtney describes it best by “Nature grounds you where you can get your perspective on life back. That’s what it does for me.” We could not agree more! Congratulations Courtney!

7

I know a place where no cars go.

This is the Pictures Rocks National Lakeshore on the south end of Lake Superior between Munising and Grand Marais, Michigan. These sandstone cliffs are up to 200 feet off the lake. Natural springs seep through the sandstone and stain the rocks different colors depending on which mineral layers they go through.

A three hour cruise provides the only good view of the cliffs. They are not accessible by car and only serious hikers attempt the trail that runs along the edge.

I was emotionally overwhelmed by all this today. The thing that struck me most of all was how little human presence was visible. Almost every remote place I’ve ever been has signs of human involvement, be it garbage or fire rings or outhouses or two-track roads or garbage cans or remnants of campsites and campfires. But this place is hard to get to easily. There is no graffiti. There is no garbage. There are no parking lots or pop cans. No conveniences. I was half expecting to see some velociraptors running atop the cliffs.

As an added treat a dense fog kept slowly moving in and out to add ethereal beauty and mystery.