As we continued our tour of the eastern Upper Peninsula, we found waterfalls in abundance. Water trickles from the western porcupine Mountains to the cliffs of sandstone to the overlooks and sand dunes of the lakeshore.
Our first visit was to the Lower Tahquamenon Falls. The bubbling brook was beside the boardwalk. As we approached the drop off, the notes of the moving water changed from high to low notes.
The lower falls are seen as steps curving to Lake Superior. They drop from 6 to 12 feet with the last one falling less than two feet. The total of 5 different waterfalls in a close space gives the listener a variety of musical notes .The runoff from the cedars give the lower falls the nickname ,”The rootbeer falls” for the brown foaming water.
The upper Falls is four miles upstream from the lower Falls. Unlike the lower falls situated in a cedar bog, the upper Falls cut through a forest of hardwoods. Trees are festooned with reds, yellows and orange leaves. The tannin from the tamarack trees color the water with a light golden color.
The Tahquamenon Falls is almost fifty feet in height and 200 feet across. The natural beauty of the site has been preserved as a state park.
In the winter, the falls can be accessed by snowmobiles or snowshoeing.
The setting of the Munising Falls is found in the heart of the city of the same name. The falls is accessed by a easy paved 400 foot sidewalk. The falls is located in a deep ravine.
There used to be a path to walk behind the falls, but a rock slide made it too dangerous.
The sound of this water fall is accented by echos of the water off the ravine sides. The falls gives one the feeling of hearing distant thunder.
We met a couple of women from Milwaukee at the Munising Falls, As my husband went to check out the rock slide, one of the women asked, “What do you see?”
“Nothing,” I replied.
“O that is sad,”
I smiled remarking, “I hear the musical notes of the flowing and falling water and my memory can fill in the rest.
Munising was displaying peak color of fall leaves. An occasional purple oak competed with the butter yellow of the birch and the orange and red of the maples forming a tapestry of colors.
The falling water beats on rocks like drums.
Bubbling waters sound like horns as they pop bubbles.
Dripping adds the high notes of a flute.
The music is magnified by the ravines sounding board.
Living water is wild with life.