Thursday, October 3, 2013

Plan for the best...Prepare for the worst

Around the first weekend in October is when fall color peaks in Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore and some of the other picturesque areas in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula. So as in prior years I planned my trip to visit some sites I know and several other places that I have yet to see. I included Bond Falls and a couple of other waterfalls near Paulding, a few locations around Marquette, two long hikes in Pictured Rocks along with some of the lakes in Hiawatha National Forest followed with a last stop in Fayette State Park. If all went well, I was even considering a morning boat tour along the shore of Lake Superior. Well, those were the plans…then the government shut down the National Parks and with that went (legal) access to Pictured Rocks trails. But there is plenty to see in the Upper Peninsula so the plan became a wish list.

I still followed through with what I had planned for the first day but cancelled the hotel room for the second night (you have to cancel one day in advance – remember always to read the fine print). If the government reopened the National Parks, I was going to go east to Munising for the next couple of days. If this didn't happen, then I was going to go west to Silver City and the Porcupine Mountains.

Well, the force of nature is mightier than the government. The forecast was not very promising when I left yesterday but I was hopeful that it would change. And it did, but not for the better. Last night the forecast for Marquette called for a partially cloudy morning with a 30% chance of rain. The view out the window of my hotel room confirms that the forecast was wrong: it is completely overcast and already raining. The rest of the day, in fact the rest of the week, is not any better. So it may be time to cut this trip short, head home an plan a trip someplace else later in the month…