The Artwork of

William Lathrop

Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore
Artist in Residence - 2005
Entry Date: 10/01/2005 - Saturday

This morning dawned bright and sunny. I made do with bottled water for both tooth brushing and making coffee, then headed out to Miners Beach for the scene I had planned yesterday. On the way, I stopped at headquarters, then Munising Falls where I told a staff member about my water problem. That gentleman, at Munising Falls, turned out to be one of the park engineers - and thought he knew my problem was related to a new filter system. He must have known his stuff as tonight the water was back on.

Miners Beach was perfect - a beautiful morning with the light I wanted. I painted the west bluff overlooking the Miner River. Though I lost my sun highlights on the rock face sooner than I had hoped, I caught enough of them before they were gone. This painting took almost 4 hours - I worked carefully - starting with a violet and orange under-painting.

While I painted a pair of otters snuck up behind me to watch. I've never seen otters before - but they seemed playful - just like on television. They went about their business, teasing me just a little I thought.

Also while a painted, a couple from British Columbia wandered by. I asked them to take a picture of me painting. We talked some about their travels. They were from the mountains of British Columbia, on a transcontinental trip to the Canadian east coast and now on their way back.

I finished painting at 1:00 and took a rest on the beach. I considered painting a different view at the east end of Miners Beach, but was unhappy with all views onto the receding cliffs, which I wanted to catch. I hiked the unmarked trail out to the point and climbed around on the sandstone there until my way was blocked. Again, I didn't see any great compositions.

Being reasonably early yet and still a beautiful day, I decided to hike the Mosquito Trail Loop - which turned out to be an excellent decision. These trails follow a western route toward Portal Point in the Chapel area. The trip includes a diversion to Mosquito Falls - which I took. En route, I came upon a bird that appeared and behaved much like a chicken hen - a grouse perhaps? Further on I spooked a small snake - the day was filled with wildlife. Squirrels and chipmunks also seemed to pay me little mind as I passed.

Mosquito Falls is a beautiful series of steps in a dells-like area. I found this to be one of the most scenic areas of the park - though I know park staff prefer the more dramatic falls like Chapel and Miner. From this falls, the trail led through a beautiful stretch of Goldilocks-type forest, full of big, old trees and abundant moss. The trail eventually lead to a beautiful section of the lakeshore. No sand beach, rather sandstone outcroppings all around - especially interesting in the late afternoon light.

I explored this area for a bit. I had to delete some pictures from my camera - some of the bad ones - in order to take a few more of this nice area. I then headed back on a more direct route to the trailhead. Shortly after leaving the shore I caught a whiff of the pungent smell of marijuana. No one around until I caught up with a pair of young guys who looked a little like Phish-heads. They let me pass and I motored on - getting tired but feeling good my old bones could move me with greater ease than the young guys who called me "sir".

On the return drive toward Munising, I noted a number of areas with some nice color. I think I'll hit this section tomorrow - perhaps I'll go all the way out to Kingston Lake to finish the sunny morning painting I started there last week. If I start early, maybe I can get 3 done tomorrow, the weather forecast to be nice.

Dinner of tacos filled me, but not entirely agreeably.


All Materials Copyright © William Lathrop, 2007
Last Modified on June 05, 2007