DEB AND DAVE'S RV ADVENTURE
"Life Rocks When Your House Rolls"
The northwest end of Michigan is called the Upper Peninsula. Near Lk. Superior lay 2 towns called Houghton and Hancock. The bridge spans the Portage River. Houghton is famous for
From Hancock we traveled north up the Keeweena Peninsula to a quaint fishing and mining town called Copper Harbor.
It was an early morning birdwatching expedition. The water was calm, the sunrise a copper color and the biting black flies were voraciously hungry!
On the way back down the peninsula we discovered one of Michigan's many famous lighthouses at Eagle River.
bugs, bugs, flies, and more flies. They even
bite through your clothes!!
"Copper" sunrise at Copper Harbor
Those who live on the Upper Peninsula are nicknamed "Yoopers"!
(UPers). Those who live beneath the UP are "trolls" since they live "under" or south of the Mackinaw Bridge that separates the 2 parts of Michigan.
At Tahquamenon Falls State Park we hiked to the upper and lower falls. Impressively, they are the largest falls in Michigan.
The brown colors are from the tannic acids in the soil from the vast forests around.
This lighthouse was at Whitefish Point, near where many ships have sunk into Lk. Superior. One of the most famous was The Edmund Fitzgerald made well known
by Gordon Lightfoot's song. It went down in 1975 with 29 men.
Next stop was Sault Ste. Marie (pronounced Soo). It sits on the St Mary River that divides Canada and the US. Our site faced the water looking across to Canada so we saw many ships passing by headed to or from the locks.
We took a tour boat that took us through the locks on the US side and then the Canadian side.
The gates closing behind us.
This is a 1/4 mi. long building that houses another hydroelectric plant built around 1906. Note the columns between the windows that look like lighthouses. Inside are very modern turbines.
The reason that all this infrastructure was built was for the steel industry in the area. Many cities, especially on Lk Superior, supply elements for the steel factories. Of course this was in high demand during the World Wars. Note the rolls of steel weighing
several tons each.
One 1,000 ft. "Laker" has a capacity of 60,000 tons. That is equal to six 100 car trains OR 2308 semi trucks. These freighters can be up to 105 ft across barely fitting through the largest lock at 112 feet.
It takes 6 days to travel the 1600 miles to the Atlantic Ocean.
This is a picture of a picture of the 4 US locks overhead from the west. On the right is a hydroelectric plant that supplies power to the lock system and more. At the top is the same International Bridge.
The gates fully closed.
The lock filled up 21 ft. and we exited at the higher Lk Superior level. Note a section of the 2.8 mile International Bridge behind.
Sault Ste Marie view of waterfront and locks from the Tower of History.
Our next stop in the Upper Peninsula was St. Ignace. We had a wonderful waterfront site with a view of the Mackinac Bridge. This 5 mile long bridge is the longest suspension bridge in the Western Hemisphere. It joins the Upper Peninsula with the Lower "Mitten" of Michigan.
Highly sought-after "thimbleberries" at our site.
This is an example of 1 of the many old Victorian homes that we have seen in Michigan.
From St Ignace we took a ferry over to the famous Mackinaw Is. Here there are no cars, only bikes and horse-drawn vehicles. The homes were exquisite. We rode around the perimeter of the
island on our bikes.
Excitedly we rendezvoused with some friends further south in Traverse City. We met Andrea and Mike in Panama City, Florida last year. Our first outing together was to Sleeping Bear Dunes National Park on Lake Michigan.
On the Mission Peninsula in Traverse Bay we did some wine tasting and visited the Old Mission Lighthouse.
Further south in the Detroit area we met with cousins that David had not seen since he was a child. We had a fun evening catching up on about 50 years of family history! Sadly, a poor picture.
Colorful fruits, vegetables and flowers were found at the Traverse City Farmer's Market on Saturday.
In Detroit we shopped at the Eastern Market which had 4 long buildings of fresh food!
As we traveled through downtown Detroit we came across a lot of graffiti. Some of it was very beautiful and quite artistic. We also saw the headquarters of the "Big 3", GM, Chrysler and Ford.
The Henry Ford Museum in Detroit is a fabulous place to visit. Surprisingly it has so much more than cars.
The actual car Kennedy was assassinated in, though a roof was added.
The dunes at Sleeping Bear Dunes.
The first "wiener-mobile".
Sad to part ways with our dear friends as we left Michigan.
One of the first and largest steam engines with a 24 ft. flywheel.
David wants to trade in our bus for this classic!