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Saturday, December 28, 2013

Chapel Beach to Grand Portal Point at Pictured Rocks

Pictured Rocks, view along hike from Chapel Beach to Grand Portal Point

September 14, 2013

From Chapel Beach, M and I continued hiking to Grand Portal Point, the midpoint between Chapel and Mosquito Beach. We traversed the sandy shady North Country Trail, passing by scenic overlooks from 200 ft tall cliffs. Beneath these cliffs, turquoise waves ebbed and flowed into underground caves. We listened to the thunderous echoes of the crashing waves and stood in awe of the vastness of Lake Superior. The lake glistened as far as our eyes could see, and for the first time, I realized we were staring at the bent horizon of a not flat earth. In vain, M and I also tried to spot Canada but couldn't see anything that would resemble land. After watching a tour boat drive by, we resumed hiking.

The rest of the trail was a little overgrown and littered with tiny tree stumps. This part of the hike was a bit harrowing because I kept tripping over the stumps. Moreover, it wasn't comforting to know that we were hiking next to exposed cliffs. It was a long way to the bottom and I didn't want to get up-close and personal with the boulders and sandstone pillars in the water. We quickly reached a sign for Grand Portal and from the path, it didn't seem to fit its name. All we could see was a tan cliff-like peninsula jutting into the lake. However, upon walking further, we saw that Grand Portal was an immense, exposed sandstone shelf, cleared of growth on both sides. This "shelf" looked over Lake Superior and nothing more. I walked over to the peninsula where a boulder sat perfectly for photo ops. Inching my way past the crack in the ground and making sure the ground wouldn't give way while I was on top, I peered over the edge and didn't see anything but the bluest waves. I didn't linger too long and with the ravaging winds whipping up more sand, we left the area and headed towards Mosquito Beach.

Our hike is highlighted in red on map in upper left. Map courtesy of Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore (NPS)

Leaving Chapel Beach and heading towards Mosquito Beach

North Country Trail to Grand Portal Point

North Country Trail to Grand Portal Point

View along North Country Trail to Grand Portal Point

North Country Trail to Grand Portal Point

Tour boat passing below us

A sliver of Chapel Beach can be seen in the upper right along North Country Trail to Grand Portal Point

North Country Trail to Grand Portal Point

North Country Trail to Grand Portal Point

North Country Trail to Grand Portal Point

Long way down. North Country Trail to Grand Portal Point

North Country Trail to Grand Portal Point

Overgrown and right at the edge of the cliff. North Country Trail to Grand Portal Point

Grand Portal Point

Grand Portal Point. The peninsula with the boulder

The sandstone shelf that is Grand Portal Point

Strong winds and exposed! Grand Portal Point

Heading back to North Country Trail from Grand Portal Point

Friday, December 27, 2013

Easy, Cheap Baseboard Trim for Basement

After we painted the basement, M and I needed to put down baseboard trim. Most the of trim was going for $3 per linear foot, which was more than we wanted to pay seeing that we needed about 100 linear feet. While perusing Home Depot's lumber aisle, we came across 1"x4"x8' planks selling for $1.80 a piece (about $0.23 per foot). We bought a few planks, primed, painted, and nailed them in place. After nailing them in place, M caulked the gaps thus finishing the basement, for the most part.

Priming the planks

Nailing the trim in place

Floor and walls are done in the basement!

Saturday, December 7, 2013

Quick DIY End Tables

Items needed to make 2 end tables:

-4 wooden boxes
-2 pairs of hinges
-2 latches

We used vintage boxes. M drilled holes for the hinges.

Hinges in place

Hinges in place

Hinges and latches in place to hold the two boxes together

Latch to keep the boxes together

End table for the basement

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Mid Century Furniture Finds

Some treasures we found while thrifting: Kent Coffey nightstand and Curtis Jere style "Birds Over the Sunburst Sun" brass wall hanging. Though the nightstand will need some elbow grease, it is a sturdy piece that will be a great addition to our home. The wall hanging will hopefully go in the dining room with a little cleaning.

Kent Coffey the tableau nightstand

Kent Coffey the tableau nightstand

Kent Coffey the tableau nightstand

Kent Coffey the tableau nightstand

Curtis Jere style "Birds Over the Sun Sunburst"

Curtis Jere style "Birds Over the Sun Sunburst"

Friday, November 15, 2013

Chapel Falls, Rock, and Beach at Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore

Chapel Rock, Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore

September 14, 2013

From our campground, we drove 25 miles to Chapel Parking Lot where we planned to hike an 11 mile loop to Chapel Rock, Grand Portal Point, Mosquito Beach, and Mosquito Falls. We started around 7 am with the temperature hovering around 30 deg F and arrived to the parking lot around 8. After a quick swig of coffee at the trailhead and a fast hiking pace on the rising terrain, we were well warmed up.

The trail was wide and easily accommodated both of us. Though it was dry for the latter half of the summer, there were still areas that were wet and muddy. Besides the muddy spots on the trail, we also ran into areas that were washed out and eroded. Other than that, the trail was well maintained and had us hiking on some cool landscape such as steps formed by tree roots. The woods on either side of us went on for as far as our eyes could see and, the further we hiked, the closer to the Lake Superior shoreline we got.

Within half an hour, Chapel Falls came into view. After snapping a couple of pictures, we hiked around to the other side of the falls where the trail turned north, leading us to the shoreline. The trail that paralleled the east side of Chapel Lake and 45 minutes after Chapel Falls, we arrived at Chapel Rock.

Chapel Rock was unassuming, with the trail leading us to a small clearing on top of a cliff. Looking left, we saw a lone tree sitting on top of a sandstone pillar. This was Chapel Rock. Impressive and awe inspiring, Chapel Rock used to be connected to the mainland by a sandstone arch until it collapsed in the 40's. After pausing to take in the view, we continued hiking to Chapel Beach.

We were now hiking on the North Country Trail which snaked along the shores of Lake Superior. There were beach campsites on one side and log steps that led down to the beach on the other. Being 3 miles away from the parking lot and accessible only by hiking, these sites were secluded, quiet, and pristine. We then continued hiking towards Grand Portal Point.

To Chapel Falls

At the trailhead, Chapel Parking Lot

Nice wide trails

Eroded trail

Chapel Falls trail

Chapel Falls viewing platform

Blurry pic of M going down to the viewing platform

Chapel Falls

Chapel Falls source of water

Hiking to get to the 2nd viewing platform

Trail for Chapel Falls

Viewing platform

Another view of Chapel Falls

To Chapel Rock

Trail from Chapel Falls to Chapel Rock

Chapel Rock Trail

Wet forest

Trail to Chapel Rock

Tall trees to Chapel Rock

Avoiding muddy trails

Undulating terrain on the hike to Chapel Rock

Tree root stairs

Chapel Rock up head through the clearing

Chapel Rock with Chapel Beach in background

Cliffside next to Chapel Rock

Chapel Rock

Chapel Rock's base, eroded sandstone

Chapel Rock

To Chapel Beach

Continued onto the trail left of Chapel Rock to get to Chapel Beach

Lake Superior shoreline

On the North Country Trail, crossing over Chapel Creek

Chapel Creek washing into Lake Superior

North Country Trail to Chapel Beach

View of Chapel Beach and sandstone cliffs of Pictured Rocks

Information about camping

Log steps down to Chapel Beach

M enjoying the view of Chapel Beach

Sandy North Country Trail

Sandy North Country Trail

Chapel Beach