Porcupine Mountains Wilderness State Park

photo op!

Friday was our last day of vacation and we spent it in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan at the Porcupine Mountains Wilderness State Park, otherwise known as…the Porkies.  It took us close to two hours to drive to the state park and it was raining for about half of it.  Once we arrived, the clouds parted and the sun was shining down on us.  We brought along picnic food and started with some lunch.

Enjoying lunch in Michigan.

Our first sight to see at the park was called, “Lake of the Clouds.”  It was only 300 feet from our picnic table.  ha!  We like to start out slow and work our way to the big hikes.  Once we climbed and conquered this hill, we found a glorious sight in front of us.

That’s Lake of the Clouds behind us.

Way above the tree tops!

Megan & Kelly check out the views.

Our next destination today was to hike a trail called Presque Isle, which was about 32 miles from Lake of the Clouds, so we needed to drive to this spot, which was basically across the entire state park.  I think this was Nate’s favorite part of the state park.  We were on a nicely paved two-lane road that twisted and turned quite a bit.  He was driving this road like we were in the X-box game, “Project Gotham.”  For those of you that don’t know this game, it is a racing game in which you go very fast.  Not my favorite thing to do in a car. I finally had to tell him to slow down, that’s when he knew he was having fun.  ha!   He and the girls decided they should contact the X-box makers and pitch this new race called, “Project Gotham – State Parks.”   They might be on to something.

Once we got to our destination…our luck ran out and it started to rain.  The first rainfall of our vacation.  We sat in the car for about 10 minutes hoping it would pass over, but we could see that it just wasn’t going to happen.  While we were in the car, something cool happened.  We witnessed a tree well over 100 feet tall, fall down right in front of us, just off to the right.  We heard what sounded like firecrackers, then saw the tree tumble to the ground.  Wow, was that something to see and hear.

The rain wasn’t going to let up, and lucky for us, we city-folk, came prepared for the great outdoors.  We had our raincoats and even umbrellas with us.  Okay, so we looked a bit silly out in the wilderness with umbrellas, but hey, we stayed much drier than the other people wandering around the trails and we were happy to have them.  ha!   We came all this way, so we needed to embrace the weather, no matter what.  After all the sunshine that we have been having, we actually enjoyed our walk in the rain.  It was really fun!

“I’m singing in the rain, just singing in the rain…”

We chose this hiking trail for two reasons.  The first reason was that it was only 1.5 miles and we didn’t have a lot of time and the second reason was that it has two scenic waterfalls.  We Solbergs love waterfalls, so off we went.  The first waterfall we came to was called, Manabezho and the second one was called, Manido.  Are you figuring out that all these names are Indian names?  Up in these parts, it’s all Indian names for everything and we couldn’t pronounce very many places we visited.  There were very few vowels.

Love the sound of the falls.

On our hike we had lots of stairs and bridges to cross.  We like the going down part, but not so much fun heading back up those stairs.

Aren’t we cute hikers!

Well, we saw our two waterfalls and the rain just wouldn’t stop, so we cut our hike short and headed back to the car.  The puddles were getting bigger and bigger and our shoes were getting soggy.  We all agreed though, that it was worth it.  What a fun day and nice change of scenery from the island life we’d been living the last two days.  Now the girls can also mark off Michigan as another state that they’ve been to.  They’re hoping to see all 50 states.  Oh my!

Wrapping up our vacation, we stopped at a local restaurant back in Ashland called, “Buddies.”  We were all in the mood for a nice, juicy hamburger after our day in the woods.  This was a 1950’s-style establishment, that played 50’s music and reminded Nate and I of Al’s from Happy Days.  We walked in and thought, “This is neat.”  Then the guy working there comes up to us and says, “I only have hamburgers and onion rings left.”  This was strange, I thought, but we decided to order anyway.  It gets stranger…this guy ended up being our cashier, our waiter, our busboy, and the cook!  He was the only one working!   ha~    The burgers weren’t anything fancy, but they satisfied our appetites.  Next the girls went up to order some ice cream.  On the menu board, it says, “Ice Cream Toppings”, so Megan asks, “What kind of topping do you have for the ice cream?”  He looks at her and says, “We don’t have toppings for ice cream.”  She thought he was kidding and then she glanced at the board, the guy then turns around to look at the board and says, “We have malts.”  So weird!   The girls just asked, “What kind of ice cream do you have?”  He only had four choices out of eight tubs, the others were empty. No surprise there.   What a strange dinner that was.  We were laughing all night long and felt as though we walked into a Twilight Zone episode.  As we walked out the door, Megan says, “Well that was the strangest restaurant I’ve ever eaten in.”   Well said Megan.  Of course, since it was called Buddies, we kept making references to Buddy the Elf.  ha!   “Bye Buddy, hope you find your dad”

Back to the 50’s night~

That was it for our adventure up North.  The girls finished their trip with a nighttime swim and Nate and I sat in the lobby reading and blogging.  I was happy to have my internet back.

We are now safely back home and as always, it feels wonderful and spacious after living out of suitcase for four days.



  1. What a fabulous view from your picnic spot way above all those trees ,great photo op.Glad you enjoyed the hike with your brollies ,the waterfall were very pretty well worth it.

  2. What a fantastic vacation you had… I can’t believe how many tracks you made in just four days! Welcome home!

  3. Wow, what a great trip!
    Your sunset was beautiful……photos were really fun!

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