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Published: June 26th 2017
Geo: 47.1219, -88.57
So happy to leave this hotel in Sault Ste. Marie, we headed out at 8:15 AM and 63 degrees and pointed the car west. We chose the scenic drive on the UP (Upper Peninsula) along the southern side of Lake Superior, and charming it was. We passed through many towns where you could shop at Mel's Fireworks, eat at Pickles Bar and Grill or Wilcox Fish House Restaurant, and gamble your fortunes away at Bay Mills Casino. The drive took us through the countryside along Whitefish Bay. Our first stop was at Lighthouse Point Iroquois where we met Doug, the caretaker. The lighthouse is no longer operational, but it is still open for visitors in the museum and gift shop and, if you are game, a climb to the top of the lighthouse to see the view. With Beamer, we chose to pass on that. Doug was a wealth of information and more than happy to please. We learned all about the history of the lighthouse and we asked questions about the lake and the ships in the lake. He told us that the freighters carry coal, iron ore, stone and occasionally, grain. The one we saw today was
headed to the crossing into Lake Huron and likely was going to take the St. Lawrence Seaway all the way to the Atlantic Ocean and beyond. As we said good-bye to Doug, I took photos of him and told him they would appear in my blog. He gave me his card and asked me to send him the link to the blog so that he could travel with us through my writings. Doug was a very amiable guy.
On down the road, which alternated between forested areas, small towns, and residential areas, we saw houses on the shoreline, most very modest, some camps and some year-round houses. We decided that shore property on Lake Superior had to be affordable. We even saw schools and other public buildings and parking lots on shorefront property. Something you would never see in Maine or Florida.
We then headed for Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore. Our expectations exceeded our access, unfortunately. To see the cliffs, it would be necessary to do some serious hiking into the woods, so after visiting Sand Point Beach, we continued on west. Munising is a one-light town just west of the park, which we found quaint and friendly. We drove into Hiawatha
National Forrest, which was not just wooded areas, but often small towns. On our radar was Houghton, MI which is in a large peninsula that pokes up into Lake Superior and is the home of Michigan Tech University. We plan to drive around tomorrow to see more of this town, which looks to be very interesting. I saw frat houses and sorority houses and I want to discover more about those. All I can say at this point is that they have a Delta Zeta house, which is a sorority we had at UMO.
Having now driven the UP on both the northern shore of Lake Michigan and the southern shore of Lake Superior, I have to say I enjoyed today's drive the best. The south side of the UP has very long areas of nothing but forest with few towns. On the other hand, the northern side gave us much to amuse the eye…the incredible vistas of the lake and the little villages along the way were a constant entertainment. Tomorrow, we head to Duluth.
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