10:30 AM EDT -- Today's post will be in two parts. Right now (10:30 am) Ed and I are having breakfast at Bay View Inn which is located on a high bluff along the northern shore of Lake Michigan. We crossed the Big Mac around 9:30 and are now about 40 miles west of the Bridge on US-2. It is a Pure Michigan Day -- clear blue skies and you can see forever across the Straits of Mackinac. Right now I can see the three lighthouses -- Waugoshance, Gray's Reef, and White Shoal -- that are located in Lake Michigan just west of the Straits. Ice lines the shipping lanes under the Bridge and is plentiful on Lake Huron and Lake Michigan.
6:15 pm EDT -- We arrived at the farm about an hour ago and are ready to have supper with Dad and the family. Heidi is here from Pennsylvania; Martha and Chloe from Tennessee; Ed and WJ (that's me) from Michigan; and Patrick and MB from Wisconsin. MB made a delicious supper of chili mac, bean salad and local ice cream for dessert. The conversation is animated and stimulating.
Earlier today we stopped at the Sugar Shack on US 2 in the Upper Peninsula to watch the cisterns fill up with sap from their 40 acres of maple trees. The trees are tapped and linked to the main sugar house via plastic tubing. The sap has been running about two weeks, we were told. We stocked up on UP maple syrup as gifts for my Dad and MB.
Later, in the afternoon, we pulled over along M-35 south of Escanaba to see the huge piles of ice along Green Bay. There were large ice floes in Lake Michigan at the top of the lake, but the biggest piles were along the western shores down toward Menomonie and Marinette.
We've made the drive through the Upper Peninsula lots of times. Today's scenery was spectacular. Ice floes, mirror smooth water, sunny skies -- truly a wonderful early spring day in northern Michigan.