"It is in the wild places, where the edge of the earth meets the corners of the sky, the human spirit is fed." Art Wolf

Friday, August 30, 2013

And then there is Lake Superior

It appears that I will need to head back to Ohio and leave the western side of Michigan for a later trip.  I was going to rush off and trip to glimpse the Sleeping Bear Dunes but the more I read the more I want to spend several days exploring the area not to mention the eastern shores of Lake Michigan south of the area.   All for another expedition.

As we approached Sault Saint Marie the folks I am traveling with found cheap parking with electric at the Kewadin Casino.   If you go in and register with the Casino you get free parking and a $10 credit to spend in the Casino.  Several of us took the casino's money and left with more in our pocket.  It was all a matter of knowing when to walk away from the machines.   We were good!

Sarah parked her rig down in the handicapped parking area and you can just see the tops of Liz's and my rig up the small rise in the above lot.  Leslie and Carol's rigs were not far away.

We drove into the "big" city to watch the locks and have a nice lunch of fresh fish.

I liked the vision of the crew gently holding the tether to the huge freighter and casually walking down the length of the lock as she entered the lock.  If you didn't know better it resembled someone "leading" their horse along a walkway......"come-a-long little pony..."

From Sault Saint Marie we drive up to Grand Maris, MI just to the east of Pictured Rocks National Shoreline.   The campground is right along the coast and dogs were allowed on the beach much to Stuart's delight.

Because of the signs warning of Ripe Tides, Stuart stayed on his 25 ft Lead the entire swim.  He still managed to have fun.

The Pickel Barrel Museum is only open from 1-4 pm.  We have found that many of the gift shops, museums and store are only open from 1-4 pm.  These people do know how to enjoy their summers. The Barrel was actually a summer cottage with living quarters down and the sleeping loft above with the kitchen located off in the small side barrel.   

This old stone is available for sale. Right in town and with a full view of the small bay.  Anyone interested?

Liz and I hiked down to see the nearby falls.

We then hiked back up stairs....and more stairs....and more stairs. Two days later and the calves of my legs still remind me.    Sarah and Carol both said that enjoying our pictures would be enough falls for them.

Our biggest adventure here has been our "Sunset Cruise" to see the Pictured Rocks.  This is an old light house that has been decommissioned  100 years ago.

And then there were the rocks. Lots of rocks in all sorts of colors.  The mineral content leaching out of the rocks determines the colors that you see.  The evening sun reflecting off the rocks made the later trip back to the RVs and the campground worth it.

Kayakers along the face of the wall.

Can you still see them here?   As we toured past the beaches and rocks, we could see a few of the kayakers planning to camp the night away along the shoreline and the hikers making their way along the 40 something miles of trails that wind along the shoreline.  I appreciated the view from the boat.  My legs reminded me what long hikes up and down hills could do......  I will leave the big hikes and wilderness camping to my daughter and her husband.

This was the last outcropping we saw before turning around. Notice the single tree on the top. Atone time it had a stone arch on the left connecting the tree to the land mass.

Now only these roots on the left connect the tree to the nutrients and back to the land......

Cormorants waiting to launch out for a late supper....

Carol and Photographer Liz.....

Another reason they call it a sunset cruise......

Thursday, August 29, 2013

More Michigan

I have gotten so far behind in posting pictures but will try to catch up some today.  I am traveling with a group of 4 women and we have been exploring parts of Michigan.   

Liz and I were able to get our kayaks wet again near Alpena , MI, which is on Thunder Bay.  We stuck to the river and the boat channels with calm water.  You do get to see everyone's back yard and their boats this way.

The boys are sure you will quickly recognize the reason they are smiling and sitting up on the bed.  Even Remi has his limits to babysitting at this age.  Though Audrey has figured out how to hop up the steps into the rig she has not quite managed the hops up to the bed.  That will probably come next week!

There was the usually sitting around in the evening.

Alpena has some  beautiful old houses. I loved the garden around this one.

Remi on duty as puppy monitor.

Carol, Liz and I took the Ship Wreck Tour out into Thunder Bay in a glass bottomed boat. Liz got a few shots of the wrecks.   Some have been down there a long long time and the narrative of their lost was interesting.

The campground was quiet and peaceful.

The neighbors provided  a private concert.

When we headed farther north towards Mackinaw City several of us stopped at the same way side park.  We don't caravan down the road together but apparently we are drawn to similar lake front views.   Carol on the other hand is always drawn to the old fashion water pumps. I don't think she can walk past on without testing it.  We all have our weaknesses.....

Prue Michigan......I watched those advertisements.....

We did take in a lumberjack show which had two young lumberjacks competing in those lumberjack activities.  According to the announcer they both had competed at the world championships this year.  Thsi is how they make their summer cash apparently.

Our friend Sarah on the other hand was attracted to the lumberjack announcer.  Remember I travel with wild women.

Stuart and I took a walking tour of Mackinaw City. We watched the para-sailing over the harbor.   I was not tempted to purchase a ticket for this event.

When waking Stuart around touristy towns, he is very good at keeping me out of most of the shops and has saved me money I am sure. Unfortunately he does not keep me out of Arts and Crafts Fairs.

I was able to walk up the steps of the nearby lighthouse.

And we drove around and saw different views of the bridge to the UP.

I also drove through the Headlands area west of the city and known as a National Dark Sky Park.  I did not work up the interest to drive back over t night and test the darkness of the sky for viewing but took the signs word for it.   It was a beautiful shoreline.   

We have moved farther north to visit Sault Saint Marie, the Locks and areas of the UP to the west. More pictures as the get edited and loaded.....