Featured image: “Bear! Bear!” shouted our guide above the din of our ancient trolley train that took us to the boat on the Tahquamenon Falls journey. The bear disappeared as we got close.
Cogitation 37 Saturday 15 September 2018 “Embrace our vastness” could be a slogan for the State of Michigan. The state touches Lakes Michigan, Superior, Huron and Erie.
The state’s Upper Peninsula borders Lakes Michigan, Superior and Huron.
Michigan’s location provides for an abundance of natural resources, including trails. The state has and continues to make strides in developing and maintaining more than 12,500 miles of state-designated trails.
“It’s an interconnected trails system that provides plentiful recreation opportunities for bicyclists, hikers, ORV riders, snowmobilers, equestrians, cross-country skiers and other outdoor enthusiasts,” I read in The Newberrry News (September 5).
Trails make a difference. Hip hip hooray for Michigan!
The DNR and Travel Michigan have recently launched a Pure Michigan Trail and Trail Town program to showcase the state’s array of trails, including water trails and trail-centered communities. Motorized and non-motorized trails serve a vast number of people. Let other states and communities take note.
We’ve spent a week in the Upper Peninsula, commonly called the U.P. This was the destination for a week-long vacation for Marty’s family when they had to get here by ferry. We’ve migrated back over the years, staying in or close to Curtis. The crossing is now by the five-mile-long Mackinac Bridge.
Join us for a glimpse of the U.P.
Cross on over on the Mackinac Bridge
Highway 2, a scenic drive
We are spending the week near Curtis, on Big Manistique Lake. From here we have ventured to Seney National Wildlife Refuge, the village of Grand Marais on Lake Superior, the Tahquamenon Falls Riverboat Tour and Toonerville Trolley, and, if it’s confession time, a stop at the tourist-enticing Mystery Spot near St Ignace.
One of the highlights was the 6 1/2 hour train and boat tour to Tahquamenon Falls, combining a jolting ride on open-sided trolley cars through the wilderness on 24 gauge track with a totally tranquil boat ride on the Tahquamenon River.
Here’s a glimpse of our visit to Tahquamenon Falls
Open sky and water in a not too disconcerting spotty cell phone coverage area
Grand Marais, a favorite destination on Lake Superior
Birthday dinner, with cake and a candle
Wild flowers, white birch, Christmas tree farm. trumpeter swans
Mystery spots, fact or fiction?
I’m skeptical about the scientific claims of the 40-some mystery spots around the US. They thrive on a shifty view of science that appears to defy the laws of physics. At best they offer you a visual illusion. Still, as someone has said, when was the last time you enjoyed a vacation accompanied by a skeptic?
The UP has oodles of natural and human-made wonders to gratify your noodle. I learned a few more facts, among them the problems humans, forest fires, and beetles have sprung on the U.P. Boat Captain Stewart freely shared his wisdom on the good and the bad, with considerable emotion, gleaned from 37 years of piloting the Hiawatha. Thanks, Captain.
In addition to a few facts, I take away the sound of the loon, the sight of golden rod and white birch, the start of changing color of leaves, water lapping on Lakes Michigan and Superior shores, good meals in and out, cinnamon rolls from Family Heirlooms Bakery, Helmer, done with gooey goodness.
Also a bonfire, some walks, visit to a local potter where a chicken led us into the studio, a cascade of stars in the night sky, memories from long ago resurrected with laughter and groans, card games, sitting on the porch, embracing moments of wonder, conversations and doings we’ll recall in the future.