A Trip to the Porkies - Jim Sincock

Mirror Lake - Porcupine Wilderness Area

Last week my wife and I headed to the "Porkies" last week for a bit of backpacking, hiking, canoeing, and of course photography. The Porkies, officially known as Porcupine Mountains Wilderness State Park, is located in Michigan's Upper Peninsula, aka "da' U.P." 

We were hoping for peak fall colors, but the colors just weren't happening and were maybe at 15% at best. Some leaves were just turning brown and falling off. We chatted with a park ranger and he said that while it should have been peak color, the unusual weather over the summer had interfered with it. A cool and very wet summer was apparently causing leaves to stay green, or just turn brown and fall off. Along with the odd weather, the trails were far muddier than they normally should be at the end of September.

During out backpacking trip the weather was mixed, some great sunny days, some cool rainy afternoon's and evenings. Since the forecast was calling for rain every day we where there, we decided to rent a backcountry cabin instead of tenting it in the rain for a week. Of course Murphy's Law worked, and by renting the cabin we didn't get rain every day.

So instead of the big backpacking loops we had planned, we used the cabin as a base camp and did various day hikes each day. The cabin was on Mirror lake and came with a canoe, so we had the pleasure of canoeing several times as well.

With my photography I usually do best on solo trips where I can take as much time as I want to set up photos, wait for the light, and all that. This trip offered me a mix of some solo hikes for photography, and photographing while hiking with Jessica (and trying to not drive her crazy by stopping too frequently.)

It was great to be in the wilderness, especially with no phone or internet service! We did have a few louder campers nearby the first couple nights, but overall the trip offered some quiet time. The hiking was good, yet very muddy in spots. The paddling was great, especially at sunrise when no one else was up yet. As for the photography, I'm still editing images but it looks like I have some good ones which I will be adding to my print store.

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