Photographer Ron Strong shares his memories from a trip to the Porcupine Mountains. All photos are by him. This article was featured in the October 2009 issue of Traverse, Northern Michigan’s Magazine. Get your copy for more travel ideas!
Back in 2007 I had the honor of being selected to photograph the Porcupine Mountains Wilderness State Park as part of the inaugural Artist in Residence program there, sponsored by The Friends of the Porkies. The program is in memory of Dan Urbanski, a wonderful photographer who loved and captured thousands of beautiful images of the Porkies.
My two-week residency started in late September and went through the first week of October. Peak color! Fall is one of the most beautiful times of the year in Michigan, especially in the Porkies.
I could see why Dan fell in love with these mountains. The hills themselves and all the other pieces of this landscape are magical. Lake Superior, the Presque Isle River, Big Carp and Little Carp Rivers, Lake of the Clouds, the escarpment, old growth hemlock, I could go on and on. There is so much beauty to discover, there was just not enough time to photograph it all.
Fortunately for me, my adventure with the Porkies continued. The Friends of the Porkies—my friends, whom I met and came to admire during my first residency—invited me back for the fall residency in 2008. They told me they loved the way I captured the Porkies and thought I brought passion to the creation of my images.
And so, there I was again in the fall of 2008, tossing and turning in the bunk of my wilderness rustic cabin, looking at the clock and waiting for 3 a.m. I had to get an early start to capture the best light, and I was just plain excited. The Porkies can do that to you. Thinking about the new images, new trails, new friends, my mind just kept spinning.
Sometime in the future, you have to visit the Porkies and discover the same feeling I experienced. Drop by the Artist In Residence cabin, Dan’s Cabin. It’s in the Union Springs camp area. You will feel his spirit and his energy when you are there. You’ll lose your heart to the Porkies just as I did. It is such a special place you just have to go there to see for yourself! I hope these images will inspire you to visit.
Heading to the Upper Peninsula? Here are some ideas!
- Video: Tahquamenon Falls
- Video: Lake Superior Beach
- Four Unique Long Weekends in Pictured Rocks
- Road Find: The Anchor in Naubinway
- In the Wolf’s Jaw on Lake Superior
- The Birders of Whitefish Point
- Iron Mountain Italian
- Seduced by the U.P.’s Sylvania
- Kayaking Lake Superior’s Shoreline
- Cruise the Straits
- Grand Island’s Big Beauty