This Musical Journey Through Michigan’s Upper Peninsula Will Leave You Mesmerized, Guaranteed!

Do you have five minutes? Trust us. You’ll be blown away by this new music video produced by Marquette, Michigan based visual artist Shawn Malone. 

“As the World Falls Away” is set to the new music of North American Ambient Electronic recording artist David Helpling, and features captivating scenes of Michigan landscape and night sky, interwoven with NASA ISS flyover scenes, courtesy the Earth Science and Remote Sensing Unit, NASA Johnson Space Center.

This wonderful juxtaposition of spectacular scenes from Earth and Space take the viewer on an immersive audio and visual journey from the edge of the Earth to the depths of the sea and leaving the viewer completely mesmerized.

Check out the video filmed entirely in Michigan. Then, see where it all took place with Shawn’s notes on the video and scene-by-scene breakdown below!

As The World Falls Away – David Helpling from LakeSuperiorPhoto on Vimeo.

Notes on video from visual artist Shawn Malone:

Living on the south shore of Lake Superior, summer is very special as both sunrise and sunset occur right over the lake. With this past harsh winter, the cold water of the lake produced surreal opportunities with fog, one of those scenes with the massive fog bank completely blotting out the sunset made the cut.

Upper Michigan has amazing dark skies, and is a high enough latitude to catch the aurora every now and then. Simply living here provides endless inspiration for the the subject matter of my art, beautiful country. As a matter of fact, about 15 years ago, with no jobs lined up we made the move from a very urban metropolitan area and chose to live in the Upper Peninsula, in awe of the beauty and solitude of the Lake Superior region.

My video approach actually starts with the music, something that is inspiring and will fit with whatever content I am producing. I then work to tie similar visual elements found in completely different scenes together through sequence order and sometimes the use of color while creating a visual flow that reflects what is happening in the music at the time, with a final result having emotion and impact. I first learned of David Helpling’s music when working on “North Country Dreamland,” another time-lapse video that exclusively features the night sky of Upper Michigan. I had approached the team of David Helpling and Jon Jenkins and asked if they would agree to let me use a gorgeous track from their trilogy, and they agreed. That video went on to win a Smithsonian video award in 2013 and now has over 250k views on Vimeo.

Scene Sequence:

- Morning dew on beach grass, Lake Superior, Marquette
- Lake Superior summer sunsets from the south shore of Lake Superior, Marquette
- Crescent moon rises through pastel colored sky and smoky waves from western forest fires
- Multicolored storm cloud sequences(one pink, one with golden mammatus clouds from the same storm)
- Sunsets from the south shore of Lake Superior
- Marquette
- Grand Island blue ice curtains, filmed under a bright moon while frozen Lake Superior creaked and rumbled under foot

Photo courtesy of Lake Superior Photo

Photo courtesy of Lake Superior Photo

International Space Station fly over scenes:
- Milky Way and red aurora
- Full moon setting behind earth
- A large bright comet rising
- From North to South America in 15 seconds
- Intense isolated lightning storm over Lake Superior Marquette
- Aurora Borealis over Lake Superior Marquette
- Aurora substorm reflecting in Tobin Harbor, Isle Royale, late September 2014
- Winter aurora over frozen Lake Superior with green, red, purple curtains, bright moon illuminating the snow
- ISS fly over of auroras with similar colors as seen from space
- Grand Island shipwreck of 1870, the Bermuda- rays of light shining down on the wreck

- The great auroras from Oct 2011, photographed in Marquette, this scene constructed from a few random stills in the sequence they were photographed, sequence showing light of the aurora forming what look to be angels descending and ascending
- One of those rare sunsets after an intense thunderstorm, lighting still going off behind me, rainbows to my right, and this massively epic sunset to the left. Pink cloud scene immediately following is from same storm
- Subtle auroras over ice mounds of Lake Superior showing how versatile in color the aurora can be, this time magenta and yellowish green hues
- Grand Island East Channel Lighthouse with it’s lantern room pointing directly to Polaris the north star, as the constellations rotate around it- lighthouse illuminated from the light of Munising (it was a very dark moonless night)
- The Milky Way sweeping over the foundation of the company store, Fayette ghost town
- Milky Way reflecting off an inland lake in the central Upper Peninsula
- Very strong fog bank sweeping in off Lake Superior completely blocking out the sunset as it passed
- All sky view of the most colorful aurora I’ve ever seen, as viewed from the south shore of Lake Superior,  with a red arc ending the video straight through the center of the frame

What did you think of the video? 

David Helpling is on the Spotted Peccary label and his music is available on CD and available for download. Follow David Helpling on Facebook.

Shawn Malone is a visual artist based in Marquette, Michigan a and runs a photography gallery at 211 S. Front St. in downtown Marquette of her landscape photography work. Her art is available for purchase and can be contacted there also for time-lapse/video projects. Follow LakeSuperiorPhoto on Facebook. 

Six Stunning Marquette County Beaches

Marquette County is home to dozens of beautiful beaches. Today, guest blogger Jesse Land highlights a few of his favorites.

Black Rocks Beach at Presque Isle Park

Black Rocks Beach

Located within Presque Isle Park, this rock beach is a unique find treasured by rock collectors for it’s huge and vast collection of smooth Lake Superior stones. Nestled between two cliffs, Black Rocks Beach is a scenic spot all on it’s own. However, if you happen to visit on a warm summer day you’re likely to see the young (and young at heart) cliff diving off the Black Rocks rock formation right in front of the beach!

McCarty’s Cove

There’s a reason McCarty’s Cove is one of the most popular (and most photographed) beaches in the Upper Peninsula. With it’s rock islands, sand point, proximity to the Marquette bike path and view of the Marquette Harbor Lighthouse from anywhere on the beach, this beach is tough to beat.

Pebble Beach

Another popular spot for rock hounds, Pebble Beach is located a little north of McCarty’s Cove (just past Picnic Rocks). This beach is has quite a bit of sand but the sand gives way to smooth stones where Lake Superior meets the land. The pebbles continue into the water so if you plan on wading here, I’d recommend that you bring your water shoes.

South Beach on Marquette's southside

South Beach

This wide, flat beach is located on Marquette’s south side. It’s locally known to be one of the more “kid friendly” beaches, as the water near the beach is very shallow. Playground equipment dots the section of this beach near the lifeguard stand, while the section further south is wide open, dog friendly and not watched by a lifeguard.

Sunset Beach

One of the best beaches for sunset watching near Marquette, this five mile stretch of pristine Upper Peninsula beach is dog friendly and, because it’s a little out of town, often not very busy. A sandy bottom greets you as you wade into Lake Superior. And due to the expansiveness of this particular locale, this beach is blessed with a better than average view of Lake Superior and the surrounding area.

Teal Lake Beach

This small but pleasant beach is located in Negaunee, just a few miles away from Marquette. A shallow, sandy entry makes this a kid friendly beach and it’s distance from Marquette means it’s often less busy than some of the other beaches. Also, because Teal Lake is an inland Lake, its water is often a bit warmer than Lake Superior!

Teal Lake Beach

Details about all of these beaches, plus photos, and a map to twelve waterfalls and thirteen scenic views are all included on the Marquette County Waterfall Map. Get one for free by calling the Marquette Visitor’s Bureau at (906) 228-7749.

This post was written by Jesse Land on behalf of the Marquette County Convention Center and Visitor’s Bureau.

Sugarloaf Mountain: A Short Hike to an Amazing View

Michigan is home to hundreds of great hiking trails to explore – many of which offer spectacular views to enjoy along the way. Today, native “Yooper” Jesse Land takes us on a journey through Sugarloaf Mountain in Marquette, which he thinks rewards hikers with one of the best views in Michigan.

Marquette is full of excellent hikes and beautiful views. One shining example is Sugarloaf Mountain. The trailhead for Sugarloaf is just a few miles from downtown Marquette, the turnoff from county road 550 is well marked, and it’s a relatively quick hike to the top where you’re rewarded with one of the best views in the Upper Peninsula.

The Hike to the Top

On a recent hike, my first time to Sugarloaf Mountain, two friends and I took the “difficult” route and made it up in about fifteen minutes. There’s an optional “easy” route with a tamer grade that takes a little longer, but both paths up the mountain do require a extra care as rocks and roots stick out of the ground along much of the path.

Most people come to Sugarloaf for the view, but the forest canopy that envelops the trails is worth mentioning. With century old trees and ancient rock outcroppings, this trail reminds me of a few of the better hikes I’ve done in the rainforests of Australia. It really is a gorgeous area.

As we approached the top, the dirt trail switched to a series of wooden stairs that brought us up to the viewing area. At the top we were rewarded with a stunning view of Lake Superior, Marquette, Presque Isle Park and Little Presque Isle as well as Hogsback Mountain and the large swath of forest between Marquette and Big Bay.

Photo courtesy of Crag Grabhorn @ Chalet Press

The Stone Monument

Also at the summit is a stone obelisk erected long ago by Boy Scout Troop 1 to commemorate their assistant scoutmaster Bartlett King. King had helped to establish the local troop, which is one of the claimants of first Boy Scout Troop in the U.S. He later fought and died in World War I and his troop members wanted to construct a memorial that his mother could see from her home on Marquette’s arch street.

Three Observation Decks

As we stood there, about 1,000 feet above sea level, I was impressed with how much work has been put into this viewing area. Three viewing platforms situated atop Sugarloaf Mountain offer three slightly different vantage points. The first observation deck faces southward toward Marquette and offers a view of the Superior Dome, the Upper Ore Dock and Presque Isle Park. The second deck faces northward toward Wetmore Landing and Little Presque Isle island. And the third platform faces westward and offers a great view of Hogsback Mountain.

After the Hike

After our hike we opted for a late lunch in downtown Marquette, but deciding where to eat was no easy task as Marquette County is filled with excellent dining options, not to mention being home to four of the thirteen Upper Peninsula Breweries.

Getting There

Sugarloaf Mountain is located about six miles north of downtown Marquette on CR 550. Get there by taking Washington Street to Fourth Avenue. Turn north onto Fourth Ave., which becomes Presque Isle Ave and drive .4 miles to Hawley Street. At Hawley Street, turn west (left). Hawley becomes CR 550. Drive about 4.0 miles on Hawley Street/CR-550 to the parking area. A sign that reads “Sugarloaf Mountain” marks the parking area and is easily visible from CR 550.

Have you been to Sugarloaf Mountain? What did you think?

This blog post was written by Jesse Land on behalf of Travel Marquette Michigan. Marquette County is home to some of the best hiking, biking, motorcycling, beaches, breweries and restaurants in the Upper Peninsula. Learn more about beautiful Marquette County at www.travelmarquettemichigan.com.