Last summer, we visited the Upper Peninsula of Michigan and spent a couple days in the Porcupine Mountains. This rustic forested area is located on the shores of Lake Superior and offers many scenic hikes and vista overlooks.
No matter where we are, one of our favorite things to do when we travel is get ourselves out of bed before dawn and arrive at our desired trail head early. This is a great time of day to see wildlife, beat the crowds and if we’re lucky, reach an overlook or summit in time to watch the sunrise.
The Lake of the Clouds overlook is a pretty easy hike (much of the trail is handicap accessible) and is one of the top destinations in the area because of the gorgeous views.
As soon as we reached our first glimpse of the lake, I instantly reached for my camera and took the feature photo you see on this post. At the time, I complained to Gail that I wished those people on the rocky bluff would move out of the way so I could get a clean shot.
I did not realize at the time the couple standing on the rocky bluff would actually be the element that made this picture interesting to look at.
A short walk later, Gail and I were standing on the same bluff I had just photographed. As we came upon it, I noticed the couple standing on the rocky bluff were elderly.
He walked stiff and deliberate but unsure. She was the stronger of the two and she helped to steady and guide him.
As I watched them head back down the trail. I wondered how many hikes they had been on together. How many summits had they reached in their lifetime? Was this place among the last beautiful overlooks they would share together?
At that moment, I envisioned a future when that couple could be Gail and I.
This feature photograph is among my favorite pictures I snapped in 2018. It not only reminds me of a beautiful sunrise on a mountaintop, but is also a motivator for me to seek new places and share new experiences with my wife and best friend.
Each time I look at this picture, I do not focus on the sunrise or the lake. My eyes go to the the rocky summit and the elderly couple who feebly tottered their way to the edge one day just to watch the sun rise.