When we moved to Michigan back in January, everyone said that this winter was very mild. It didn't feel mild. It felt bleak and very cold: minus 14 celsius on some days! About a month ago everything suddenly changed, and now we are graced with sunny 25 degree days, with the odd thunderstorm or two. In the UK we think that our weather is very changeable. Not true when compared to Michigan!
This weekend was Memorial Day weekend, unofficially the start of the summer vacation season in the US. We drove to Michigan's Upper Peninsula, camped in Grand Marais, and hiked around Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore. We were lucky with the conditions: the forecast said wet and cloudy but we had two days of near constant sunshine, and it wasn't too cold overnight to camp.
The Upper Peninsula feels like a different world to the rest of Michigan. For context, it's about half the size of Iceland, and with about the same population (~320,000). The towns are very small, and sparse. Grand Marais has a population of 350 people, year-round. The driving was a pleasure compared Metro Detroit: gone were the arrow-straight roads of the grid system, instead we were treated to sweeping curves through the forest, with barely another car sharing the road the entire time.
The Pictured Rocks shoreline is beautiful, but the other highlight was Lake Superior itself. The vastness of the lake is incredible. It is the largest freshwater lake in the world, and the water is extremely still and clear. We had a great ~12 mile hike around Pictured Rocks and Lake Superior, and saw some stunning views!