Monday, March 19, 2012

A Manganese Journey

It's my spring break right now.  Yippee!  I don't bartend more than one day a week, and I get the whole month of April off.  That leaves me more time to go on adventures and write about them for you (though I have been slacking on the latter)!  While I have been out on adventures the last few days, I've been thinking, man, if I never had to work, I could just travel all over the Keweenaw Peninsula and make videos and take pictures and write about it.  Maybe some day I will get paid to do that!

Thursday's adventure took me first along the John Lincoln Green Trail beside Lake Fanny Hooe.  I wanted to cross the lake, but she looked pretty mushy.  Plus I asked advice from the locals and was told not to try it.  Darn advice!

My goal of this trip was to check out all the Manganeses: the falls, the road, the lake and the creek.   No snowshoes were worn on this trip, since most of the grass was showing when I went out behind my house.

My first stop was the bridge over the falls on the JLG Trail.  Not bad for the ides of March!

The bottom of Manganese Falls from the bridge

I climbed up the cliffs alongside the falls.  Oh, it was beautiful and fresh!  I got two videos for you in different spots, but their quality was so bad, that I'd rather not embarrass myself by broadcasting them. The cave walls were dripping, and the top of the falls was spraying mist.  I wish you could have been there with me!

Manganese Fall from the top lookout.

Before I got up to the Manganese Road/Snowmobile Trail 134, I found another little "falls" area that I had never seen before!  It was a little miniature -- so green, lush, mossy and wet.  I reveled in it for a few minutes.

The minifalls.

From there I walked up Manganese Road, which doubles as the snowmobile trail in the winter.  This is what it looked like that day.

Trail 134... still rideable that day!

Then up to Lake Manganese.  I was surprised to see how much ice was still on it.  Possibly could have traversed it, but the shore was really mushy.

Lake Manganese on March 15th

And here is how much water was pouring under the bridge.  Not as much as I would have thought, but I can't really have expectations for Mother Nature.  I've seen it rushing over the bridge before.

Mr. Butters on the Lake Manganese Bridge

Then we went down Manganese Creek.  There is a bike trail that meanders close by, called Mango, but I tried to stay right along the edge of the creek whenever possible.  Here is a good example of what it looked like most of the way.

Manganese Creek on March 15th

Walking on the trail, the snow was knee deep for the most part.  Walking along the shores, however, was a different story.  I would have to cross fallen trees to make it out of really we areas.  At some points in this part of the journey, I really could have used my snowshoes.

Thigh high snow along Manganese Creek

Then, the most unusual thing I saw along the way were some woodpecker holes.  Now, I've seen holes before, but not rectangular ones!  This guy was making woodpecker art!

Rectangular holes pecked out in the cedar

When I got back to the road, I was so glad.  No more walking in thigh deep snow!  And today, I can't even imagine there is any snow on that road.  It surely feels like summer in da Keweenaw.


  1. those holes are from a Pileated Woodpecker. they make a squarish type hole.

  2. You know, I figured it was from a pileated, but I have never seen them with such pronounced corners. I think the bark striations of the cedar may have helped with that.

  3. I love your adventures. I live vicariously through you:)

  4. Thanks! That's why I keep writing them!