Go confidently in the direction of your dreams. Live the life you have imagined.

Henry David Thoreau

A Benefit of Being Behind

Saturday June 28, 2014
Fort Wilkins State Park
Copper Harbor, Michigan



I’ve had a worried few days.



On Friday night before taking those beautiful sunset pictures in my last post, we brought the awning in and picked up the mats which we were assured would never blow up in the wind but which absolutely do. 

This was all because of a big storm predicted.  The sunset was nearing so we left the table cloth and pads to put away after we came back.  And when we returned we did.

The storm came.  Rains, heavy, all night long.  Great sleeping weather.

In the morning David went out and found that I’d carelessly left my camera on the picnic table when, in the near dark, we were taking off the cloth and pads.  I guess I set it down on the table and then just didn’t see it.  I was tired after such a long day and didn’t take my pictures off the camera so I didn’t realize I hadn’t brought it in.

To say I was sick about this is an understatement.  I have only had it for 3 months and really liked it.   I admit to having been too tired and anxious to go to bed and to being oh so very careless.

We brought the camera inside, used canned air and the vacuum cleaner to try to get all the water we could out of it and put it in a bag of rice where it has been sitting for 4 days.   I have never heard of anyone who has had a camera revive from water damage with rice.  Phones, yes.  We have experience with both.  David dropped two cameras in the water and we did this for them but neither revived.  The rice trick did work on his phone.  We’re a pair; he drops electronics in lakes and oceans, I leave them out in the rain.


So did it work?

Because this blog is 4 days behind, this morning I can report on the rice results rather than leave you hanging.  The camera has been in the bag of rice since Saturday morning. I took it out after 4 full days of rice treatment and turned it on. Nothing.

I did it again. click click click. It gave me lens failure notices. I’m not really surprised but Such disappointment. Again and again. more notices.

I put it down.  Later I came back, turned it on, the lens came out but failure notice repeated. Off and on again and this time the lens came out and the camera came on for an instant.

Again and I helped the lens out. What have I got to lose?   Off and on again and it stays out and I’m taking a picture.  The zoom is working.

It’s making some very strange noises but I am cautiously optimistic.  Like my friend Nancy says, we live a charmed life.  How can anyone be so happy about not losing a camera?  I am seriously overjoyed. 

On this day I am posting about however, all the pictures are compliments of David.  Today was my first of four cameraless days while we did some very local hikes.  I hope to combine some of these and get caught up.  But don’t hold your breath.


Today we’re going to do a couple of things in our own neighborhood.




Just about 2 blocks from the visitor center in Copper Harbor is Manganese Falls.   There is a short trail to the viewing platform but the growth of the trees has made it so you can’t see much of anything.  There is a strong warning not to even think about trying to go down that cliff and only a fool would ignore it.  But there is a clearly self made trail that goes on up the river. 














Finally we can actually see it and it is a beauty.  The results of such a severe winter and late spring have affected us in the increase in both mosquitoes and in the volume of the falls.  I’m really happy to see the latter.




We get different views as we get closer but they are from the side





The river is moving at a fast clip and there are other rapids up stream 







This is one of the prettiest falls we have seen outside of the Presque Isle in the Porkies.  If you love waterfalls and haven’t seen that post, you can find it HERE.   Seems we saved the best for last and it was so close to home.




Another spot close to home is Horseshoe Harbor.


Between Horseshoe Harbor and Copper Harbor is where the City of Bangor went down with all the Chryslers on board.

Horseshoe Harbor is not quite so easy to get to as Manganese Falls.  We take Route 41 to where it ends just beyond the State Park.

Actually, we are at the beginning of Route 41 which ends in Miami Florida.  At the point where the pavement ends and there is a turn around circle, an informative sign tells us this.  Some folks are parked here in vehicles that clearly could go down the dirt road.  I wonder where they have gone.  I seem to do a lot of wondering.





The dirt road actually goes 9 miles to High Rock Bay.  This is one of those days we really wish we had a jeep, no offense to Ruby.

The signs says 1.9 miles to Horseshoe Harbor.  But that turns out to be very deceiving.   We drive 1 mile and there is another sign telling us to turn left onto this smaller dirt road for Horseshoe which is another 1.1 mile away or keep going for another 6.7 for High Rock Bay. 





We get out, take a look at this road and think we’ll  just leave Ruby at the top and walk.  It will only be 2.2 miles round trip, no problem.

We walk a ways inspecting the road and think Ruby could do this so we go back and get her.  

She does fine until she comes to another one of those water problems.  We should have known.  So we turn her around and pull her off to the side and head on on foot.  Of course we are passed by 2 SUVs and 1 pickup truck.  They wave.








The road is lined literally with forests of daisies.   They are smiling up at us and waving in the breeze.  They lift my spirits.



We get to the Nature Conservancy sign which informs us we have another half mile to the parking area.  That seems an under estimate, my pedometer says we’ve gone about 3/4 a mile.




The road has water hazards big and small all the way but the flowers are beautiful.





Carpets of ferns and flowers all along the road. 






We come to the parking lot and find a sign for a trail.  We had thought that the road went all the way to Horseshoe Harbor but apparently not.  I’m not sure where it goes since there was no road or parking at the harbor and I see no sign of it on any map.

This sign says 1/2 mile round trip to the beach. 















When we arrive we find that some kayakers have come over from Copper Harbor in their 16.5 foot wilderness kayaks.  I have a 13.5 foot but the much bigger ones are what you need for Lake Superior even on a relative calm day.  

She tells me they have come up from Houghton about an hour away and that they come here often.  They also especially like High Rock Bay.   He tells David that they like to come up in the winter.  Obviously the roads are being plowed regularly now unlike when the Chryslers needed to get back to Detroit.   They came this past winter he says and the ice on the lake was three feet thick so they snowshoed over to the light house.  That actually sounds like fun.








Horseshoe harbor is a really lovely spot.  Another woman and her husband and two boys are there.  She says they come from Columbus Ohio up here every summer and this is the biggest number of people she’s ever seen here.   Total including us is now 8.





We walk around to the left side of the Harbor where the big rock jets out into the lake.  David wants to see hat’s on the other side.  I’m not up to the climb just now.











The coming down, as usual, turns out to be harder than the going up.   I took a second picture of some of his fancy coming down maneuvers but because his camera doesn’t have an eye piece and I just cannot see in those LCD screens, I cut off his legs at the shins.  HA! 







We spend some time enjoying the rocks on the beach.  These are smaller than other spots we’ve been to.




Eventually we have to head back since it turns out that it is more like a 1.9 mile hike in to horseshoe considering the road and the trail.  It’s hot, we are again overdressed and the hike is mostly in the sun and up hill.   Time to get a move on it.  Right now we are really wishing we were the ones in the kayaks.


  1. What a shame about your new camera. Hope it continues to work for you.
    I had our small Nikon in my bike bag last week and didn't realize it was getting full of dust on the trail. I've used compressed air to blow it clean several times but the zoom isn't working properly now. It's only money!

  2. We're pulling for a full recovery for your camera, it sounds like it may happen. Good luck!

  3. Remember my MEllinicom internet box that took a swim in my coffee cup. After two days drying, it would turn on and off but the dis play would n't work. After two long weeks it turned on like nothing was ever wrong. Give it plenty of time,maybe just maybe it will work.

  4. Fingers crossed your camera fully recovers from this drenching. I know you are just kicking yourself for leaving it out...we are human though and accidents sure do happen!

    Another lovely hike even if it was a challenge to get to! I too wish we had a Jeep, that's the only reason I wouldn't mind having a motorhome. With a 5th wheel we have to drive the big truck around, thankfully it has 4wd and can go many places we couldn't in a regular car.

  5. I can see you pacing back and forth trying to be positive about the recovery of your buddy. Good thing you've brought David along as back-up! What a treat to find a lovely waterfall so close to home :-). That David is quite the rock scrambler - they look pretty rough!!
    I'm glad we have the Jeep but have to remember not to miss the flowers on the path. I love daisies :-).

  6. Fingers crossed for your camera. I hate when I do things like that! I loved this hike, but that was a pretty scary climb David did. The water looks so inviting. Is it too cold to swim in?

  7. Maybe there is something in the way the stars are aligned that is causing camera problems. I have two cameras and both are giving me error messages. I keep switching them off and on and sometimes it works and I can take photos. It's driving me crazy and I sure don't want to buy a new camera right now. I don't use a DSLR but I absolutely have to have an optical view finder. Hope yours gets back to normal.

  8. What amazing luck! I can't believe you got your camera to work after being left in the rain. That is great news and lots of savings$$$$!

    Another gorgeous hike with lots of water:) David did a great job doing the butt slide!

  9. Oh, I'm so sorry about your camera! Our memories sure aren't what they used to be either, and I can see us doing something like that. Fingers crossed that it makes a complete recovery!

  10. Hopefully the camera will be OK. We had a near miss with Catherine's new mac ( which has all our pictures) and my camel pack. The bite valve got pushed open while we drove and Catherine's Mac was sitting in a puddle on the dinette seat, when we parked. We managed to get it dried out and everything works. Good thing we were at Zion with 5% humidity.

  11. I see lots more places to develop soggy camera syndrome:)

  12. Sure hope your camera came out OK. I did something kinda like that and got mine soaked. It ruined the battery and thankfully I had removed it before drying just about the same way you did. You might watch for leaks in the battery for a while. It is highly corrosive and when enough leaks the battery quits and swells up. I saw mine leak and left it out of the camera and bought a new battery. I still use the camera a lot, It is a Nikon Cool Pix and I carry it in my pocket. Good luck.

  13. Oh Sherry, we're so sorry to hear about your camera and are hoping that it makes a full recovery. I know how much you've been enjoying it, and we're certainly enjoying your gorgeous photos. I'm glad you got out in nature and allowed the beauty and peace to lift your spirits.

  14. Oh no Sherry! I know you're sick about your camera, but it looks like maybe you dodge a bullet. You'll never be able to give David a hard time about his goofs, will you? I almost did the same thing with my phone the other day. Fortunately, I noticed it was missing, and sure enough, I had left it outside.

    How cool is that seeing where US 41 starts. I know you've been to where it ends like we have.

  15. I sure hope to hear that your camera pulls through. What another lovely hike, despite the water hazards! Cool little wildflowers..

  16. Hope all continues to work on the camera; it sounds hopeful. You two are a pair, but sounds like yours may have survived :) Lovely falls and flowers! Nice rocks too on the shore!

  17. Just getting caught up on blog reading;o) Happy, Happy, Joy, Joy about the "Rice Camera!!" Sure hope it continues to make a complete recovery:o))

    David's photos are wonderful also... You are so lucky to have a backup!! Many of the photos near the water and boulders reminded me of Acadia...beautiful!!

  18. OMG, not the new camera. I'm doing a mantra that it will dry out completely and work like before. What is it with the mileage signs on roads and trails being so deceiving. The flowers along the roadside are wonderful.


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