Day 221 – Upper Peninsula Drive, Monday, July 25, 2011
Well, I thought I did a lot today, but looking back at my
pictures I don’t have much to show, at least in quantity. We started the morning visiting the Upper
Falls in Tahquamenon Falls State Park.
The Upper Falls are in a different area of the park from the campgrounds
as can be reach by a long trail or by a lift from VANilla. The roundtrip walk for Petey was a bit long,
so I steered VANilla to the Upper Falls parking lot where we took a more
reasonable walk to the falls along a paved pathway and down 94 grated, metal
stairs that Petey hates! He had his
choice, wait in VANilla or maneuver the stairs.
The Upper Falls is often called the little Niagara as 50,000
gallons of water per second rush over a sandstone ledge in copper-hued
arc. The volume of water that tumbles
over the falls is second to Niagara Falls in the eastern United States. While the falls were beautiful, I couldn’t
help but think what the falls, river, and surrounding trees would look like in
the autumn. In fact, I’ve entertained
that thought quite a bit while being on the north shore of Minnesota and
Michigan’s Upper Peninsula over the last week.
I may have to revisit this area in the future!
After visiting the falls, we turned north to Sault Ste.
Marie, Michigan’s oldest city, to see the Soo Locks where freighters squeeze
through one of the longest, busiest canal locks in the world. I watched a Canadian ship go through, but my
view was poor at best. Given I had an
excellent view of this procedure in New York last September, I didn’t snap any
photos as it would have just looked like a freighter in the water.
Instead of driving one more mile north to Canada, I turned
south and headed toward St. Ignace.
Intermittent showers gave VANilla a few washes while I took the
afternoon to rest and blog. I’m not sure
why I was so wiped out. Perhaps it was
due to a week’s worth of sleepless eighty degree nights. In St. Ignace, I stopped at The Gangplank for
dinner. I ordered fried cheese curds and
whitefish tacos at the counter window and sat at a picnic table on their deck
facing Lake Huron. Nick and Nikki, the
couple I met in Wisconsin, suggested I try fried cheese curds, and they didn’t
steer me wrong…they were great! As
always, I’m hesitant with every fish order, but the fish tacos topped with
vinegar coleslaw and pico de gallo were superb.
After dinner I stopped at the viewing area on the north side
of Mackinaw Bridge just as the sky behind me was filling with dark, storm
clouds. Some almost looked like roll
clouds. I snapped a handful of photos
from the north side of the bridge, paid the $3.50 toll, and raced across the
metal grated, middle lane to Mackinaw City in an effort to snap a few shots of
the bridge with the clouds to its west side.
By the time I got parked and walked to the shore of Lake Huron on the
east side of the bridge, the clouds had almost crossed Lake Michigan on the
west side of the bridge and reached shore.
the road to snap photos. Many pedestrians
seemed to be oblivious to the approaching weather and went about exploring the
lighthouse and Lake Huron’s shores in the city park. Once a few big rain drops landed on target, I
hopped in VANilla and headed for the Wal-Mart in Cheboygan for the night. I loved to say that word…Cheboygan. Perhaps I should have stuck around a bit
longer…the view from my side-view mirror of the peppermint colored clouds was fantastic! ETB