Go See Do Photography

A Lot of Travel, A Little Bit of History, and a Whole Bunch of Photos

Tag: kayak

Kayaking to Turnip Rock

Turnip Rock from the Water

After our three weeks out west, we took the month of July off travel, but the first weekend in August, we headed out again! Five years ago, we took a trip to Michigan’s “thumb” with the hope to kayak to Turnip Rock. Well, the weather had other ideas for us, as it thunderstormed the entire weekend. Our camping set up at the time was inadequate, especially for that weather and overall, it was a miserable weekend.

Well, years passed and I still wanted to experience Turnip Rock, so I booked a weekend camping at Sleeper State Park. Our last time in the area, we stayed at Port Crescent, so this was a new campground for us. Sleeper is a big campground with a beautiful beach on the other side of the road. The campground is like most in the Michigan State Park system, with decent-sized, fairly wooded sites, but Sleeper is definitely missing that waterfront charm that Port Crescent has. If you are planning on camping in the area, I would recommend Port Crescent over Sleeper.

Kayak at Turnip RockWell, we woke up early on Saturday morning and headed to Bird Creek Park and inflated the kayak. It is a three-and-a-half-mile paddle along the shores of Lake Huron to get to Turnip Rock. The wind was at our back and we made great time getting to the rock formation. The way back was much more difficult. We were paddling into the wind and I swear the waves were bigger. The funny thing is when paddling on calmer bodies of water, my arms get tired and I need to take breaks. My adrenaline kept me going and I didn’t even feel tired until we got back to the car. I am very glad we didn’t try this five years ago because it was not an easy paddle and we didn’t have the experience back then that we have now.

The rock itself was smaller than I imagined it to be. It was very cool to see it, I’m glad we made the trek out there, but it looks so much bigger in pictures. As you can see below, there were already quite a few people when we got there. I can only imagine how busy it must get later in the day.

Turnip Rock

Something to note, Turnip Rock is located on Private Property. The only way to see it is by water. You are allowed to beach your boat and get out as long as you stay below the high water line. It is illegal to climb the rocks and the Point Aux Barques community that owns the land does prosecute for trespassing.

Turnip Rock is a very unique spot in Michigan and everyone should check it out, if you are able. If you are interested in Kayaking Turnip Rock, you can rent from Port Austin Kayak. It is a good idea to follow them on Twitter because they share the daily weather conditions. Even if you have your own kayak it is good to check with them because if PAK is not renting, it’s probably not safe to make the trek.

Thanks for stopping by! To read about some of our previous trips, visit my Trips Page. If you like my photos be sure to “like” my Facebook Page and follow me on Instagram! You can purchase prints on Fine Art America. To see inside my camera bag, check out my updated Gear Page.

Glacier National Park: Kayaking Lake McDonald

Lake McDonald

I have wanted to visit Glacier National Park since I saw a picture of Lake McDonald in textbook for my college geography class (yes, this is the same textbook that made me want to see the Grand Prismatic Spring in Yellowstone, too). I have been dreaming about getting one of those iconic shots of the lake where you can see the rocks through the crystal clear water and the mountains in the distance ever since then. But, when we stopped at the first overlook the water was covered with this yellow pollen (you can kind of see it in the bottom right cover of this photo) that prevented me from seeing through the water as I had hoped.

The next morning, we headed back to the park early. We headed to the watercraft inspection station to have our kayak inspected so we could head out on this beautiful body of water. To prevent “aquatic hitchhikers” all watercraft must be inspected before you are able to launch in any of the lakes in the park. From everything we read, this should not be a difficult process as long as your boat is dry. That was not our experience at all. The ranger inspecting our kayak wanted it to be completely dry and devoid of all dirt and sand. This probably wouldn’t be a probably with many hard-sided kayaks, especially not the sit-on-top kind, but our Sea Eagle inflatable is not easy to completely dry and near impossible to rid of all sand. Luckily, the rangers provided us with a handheld wet/dry vac and some towels. After that process, the ranger gave us a tag that was good for that day and that body of water only. If we were planning on returning the next day, we would’ve had to do it again.

Kayak on Lake McDonaldAfter that process, we inflated the kayak and hit the water. It was a beautiful paddle, and even though there are kayaks for rent in Apgar Village, we were the only ones on the water. We paddled about half of the lake’s ten miles, before heading back to the shore for lunch. If you enjoy kayaking or paddleboarding, I highly recommend getting out on the water at Glacier National Park and Lake McDonald is probably the most iconic lake in the park for a paddle!

Thanks for stopping by! To read more about this trip, check out the Epic National Park Road Trip. To read about some of our previous trips, visit my Trips Page. If you like my photos be sure to “like” my Facebook Page and follow me on Instagram! You can purchase prints on Etsy and Fine Art America. To see inside my camera bag, check out my updated Gear Page.

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Camping at Cheboygan State Park

The bay from our campsite

Before our tour of Michigan State Parks last summer, I was watching a lot of Trekker’s Michigan State Parks videos on Youtube. When they did their drive through Cheboygan State Park, I knew I needed to check it out for myself! The park is located in Northern Michigan on the shores of Lake Huron. Its location, only half an hour from Mackinaw City, making it a good home base for exploring the straits area. The campground is small, only 75 sites, and with only 20 amp service, some might call it outdated, but it is perfect for the kind of camping we do.

Camper under canopyI decided to head to Cheboygan for Memorial Day weekend and I was pleasantly surprised that I was able to get a waterfront site without much fuss about six months out. For some reason, this campground isn’t as popular as others in the area. Our site (site 27) was wooded on three sides with a path to the lake. Most of the other sites in the park are just as private. This is very unusual for a Michigan State Park campground. Most of them are big open fields. The bathhouse at the campground was small, but with most people relying on the bathrooms in their rigs, there was never a wait for the showers.

Path through the woods

The path to the bay from site 27

It was really nice to be able to put our kayak right in the water at our site and be able to paddle around the bay when the water was calm. We went a little way out and floated over two shipwrecks, the Leviathan and the Genesee Chief (unfortunately, forgot my action camera when we went out the first day and when we went back it was too cloudy to see them so I don’t have any photos). When we got back to camp, I looked these wrecks up and was interested to learn that they were both intentionally sunk in the bay. I did feel better when we returned to the site knowing there were no casualties, but it’s always sad to realize that in the 19th century, the Great Lakes were thought of as garbage dumps.

Besides the Mackinac area, Cheboygan is not a far drive away from the only named waterfall in the lower peninsula, Ocqueoc Falls, The waterfall will be the topic for next week on the blog, so be sure to come back! Thanks for stopping by! To read about some of our previous trips, visit my Trips Page. If you like my photos be sure to “like” my Facebook Page and follow me on Instagram! You can purchase prints on Etsy and Fine Art America. To see inside my camera bag, check out my updated Gear Page.

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