After the full day we had the day before, Escanaba to Marquette to Munising with all those waterfalls, it's hard to believe we still had more to enjoy. After a good night's sleep at Sunset Motel on the Bay, I ate my breakfast in as usual but DH went to Sydney's. He thought it was only OK. The plan was to take the afternoon cruise and see the last waterfall before that and more of Munising. Well, it doesn't take TOO long to see all of Munising, but now that we kind of had our bearings I wanted to check out more.
We walked over to our last waterfall, Tannery Falls. It's about a five minute walk past the highway from the hotel. We remembered seeing something along the road that appeared to be the path up into the woods and the waterfall. We knew that technically that wooded area had two falls in it and if you knew the way could go from one to the other. The day before we had seen the further East one, Memorial Falls. We met a local who said that it's actually rather tricky to get from one to the other and he recommended approaching it from the highway.
As we hiked up, only a moderately hike through woods and an incline we were glad to have sun to fully appreciate the fall colors. Up until now we had some clouds, fog and drizzle. The area reminded me of the line "forest primeval", beautiful.
What WASN'T quite so beautiful was what we noticed as we were walking along the narrow path--one side rocky cliff, the other side ravine with a creek below. I didn't say anything to DH right away, but after about 5 minutes, and the next time I saw it, I had to ask.
"Hey, did you see those marks in the trail" "yeah" "Do you think those are what I think those are". "Yeah, they look like bear claw scratches, don't they?" Now folks, we're actually big city people originally and as exciting as this sounded, it wasn't what we REALLY wanted to meet up with. What we saw appeared to be long claw marks, as if it were a running bear, digging into the soft trail. This was at several points on the narrow trail. Hmm. There was only one thing to do, as we had no bear bells with us.
For those of you who were Girl Scouts, remember that old song, it's a repeat-after-me one. "The other day (the other day), I saw a bear (etc.) A great big bear (etc) a WAY up there"...yes, there we were, singing at the top of our lungs, hoping that no one or no bear would find us!! After all 7 verses, we were a bit out of breath, but there was no bear sighting so I guess it worked.
It could have been anti-climactic once we saw the falls, but it wasn't. They were really beautiful, very high falling into a large grotto. It was a big tricky/slippery getting down into the water area, but we managed. DH even walked behind the falls as I took video. It was a bit unnerving for me, as the area was very much like a large cave (also known as a bear den) but no-one was at home. I climbed past that area to where there was another path on the opposite side. I was curious as to where it led, but we had to turn around.
Now we were heading back to where we had been a bit nervous about "visitors" so what did we do now?? Time for "Sound of Music"! Yes, one verse of "The Lonely Goatherd" and one of "Climb Every Mountain". We did pause a bit when we heard voice in the distance. Ahem. In case you wondered, no neither of us were ever mistaken for professional singers.
As we came out of the woods and headed back to the hotel, we realized, again, we had taken the hard way up and that we missed the stairs and the level trail to get to the waterfall. Oh well, we would have missed all our fun. We got the car and went back for another look at Wagner Falls, I wanted to have one last looking, knowing there wouldn't be time later that day or the next. It was possibly my favorite of them all.