Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Palm Book State Park

Tuesday we booked another night at Indian Lake State Park so that we could go out exploring. We discovered that there are campgrounds on both sides of the lake. The west unit is totally different from the side we're on. The camp sites are within a woods. We drove over to the nearby state park called Palm Book. There isn't any camping there. It's attraction is the largest spring in Michigan. The spring is 200 feet across and 40 feet deep. It is extremely cool and worth a drive to see! This picture gives you some idea of the clarity of the water and its aqua green color. It doesn't do justice to how amazing it is.

The point at which the river and spring met was amazing. The river floor was a rich brown and at the spring it dropped away to aqua green. Full screen the picture by clicking on it for more detail.

There is a cool leafy vegetation growing on the sides of the springs bowl. The sand puff you see in the center of the picture is where water beneath the hard rock surface of the springs crust is squirting in. Over 1600 gallons a minute is said to be flowing into the spring! The flow continues throughout the year at a constant temperature of 45 degrees Fahrenheit.

Wherever there are circular pockets in the floor of the spring, there are fissures in the limestone leaking water in. You can see a couple sand swirls showing the water action.

Here is a mama duck and her baby that blessed us with their company. They were picking things off the side of the viewing raft.

This is the very cool raft that you get to steer across the spring along a cable.

Here is the Master and Commander at the helm! We had the raft all to ourselves.

The center of the raft is open for viewing the spring. The bottom of the spring looked like the surface of the moon.

Here is some information about the spring. If you full size the picture, you should be able to read it.

Full size this picture to read how the ground water and rock surfaces work together to form the spring.

Here is the main street of Manistique. It seems to have everything you could want in a small town. It is on the shore of Lake Michigan. It reminds me very much of seaport towns in Maine.