Wednesday, October 31, 2012

So Long, Baseball

The sun set with the vibrancy of northern lights. The crispness in the air gave way to drizzle and a bone chilling cold set in at the last baseball game of the year on Sunday night in Detroit.

On that late October night, baseball for 2012 came to an end for me and for the Detroit Tigers.

There's something invigorating about sitting outside in the fresh air, within the confines of a ballpark, and getting to concentrate for a few hours on baseball.

It's like the little vacation that a woodworker or a quilter or a knitter or a gardener must feel when they embark on an afternoon in the shop or garden or studio. Nothing matters for that short time. Just baseball.

So, it is so long for this year, baseball. The night skies ushered out the season with a spectacular display of color that faded into the disappointment of this Tiger fan.

As my Phillies loving sister reminded me, it's only four months until spring training.

Copyright 2012
Wanda Hayes Eichler

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Nasty Sandy

The waves have covered the dry bottom of White Rock Shoal this morning. Trees are bending to their roots in the high winds of the storm that began as Hurricane Sandy and has now covered half a continent.

I'm minus power at Cedar Bluff this morning. I charged my laptop off the Chevy Volt, just to get a few minutes of power to do this blog post. Schools are closed today and there are power outages on the eastern side of Michigan.

A cup of hot coffee would be pretty good right now, but my needs are minor compared to the people who are suffering in this storm.

Stay well and warm and pray for those who are in the path of this mess.

Copyright 2012
Wanda Hayes Eichler

Monday, October 29, 2012

At The Wharton

After Spartan Spectacular on Saturday night, grandson Max took this wonderfully ebullient photo of me with Peter, Ed and Lee. It was late. We were thrilled to be a part of the MSU Music Department's premier fall event, the 41st Spartan Spectacular. Presented in the Great Hall of the Wharton Center, Spartan Spec showcases MSU music faculty and students.

Saturday's performance was a sell out. Dr. Jon Weber, percussion professor, was the superb marimba soloist. Jazz Octet I, MSU Symphony Band, SMB Drumline, SMB Colorguard, SMB Twirlers and the Spartan Marching Band all proved again by their stellar performances what a world class program the Music Department brings to the campus at MSU.

Now, a word about handing a camera to a kid. Sure, the photo might not be as clear or as framed or as focused as an adult might do. Notice I said might, since lots of adults are not great at handling a small camera. What I love about photos by kids is the perspective from their eye level. Max's photo shows a very happy and proud group of people after a very warming night of live performance music. He captured the moment perfectly.

Copyright 2012
Wanda Hayes Eichler

Sunday, October 28, 2012

At Leo's

We took over a corner of Leo's Coney Island out near the Tanger Mall west of Howell yesterday. Leo's has an eclectic menu -- some breakfast, some coneys, some salads -- and we were all hungry.

Will surprised all of us, especially Wendy and the girls, when he drove in from his job in Chicago for the weekend. Wendy was visiting her family near Howell, so Will and Wendy and Miss Vallanee joined all of us for lunch. It was quite a crew -- three squirmy kids and six hungry adults. Hannah took a pass on lunch to enjoy time with her cousin, Action Jackson, and Grandma Linda.

Here's Uncle John, surrounded by the cousins and overrun by the younger generation. Miss Vallee got lots of attention!

The friendly server at Leo's had a Rule-of-Thumb-For-Those-Who-Cannot-Decide-What-To-Order: "You get one minute and then I put in an order for a Coney." Love it!

Copyright 2012
Wanda Hayes Eichler

Saturday, October 27, 2012

Halloween Fun With Val

Peter doesn't look too sure about this Halloween photo op, but his grandmother is certainly into the moment. This photo was taken at Claerhout's Greenhouse in Sebewaing during a visit that Stan and Val Hayes made to Michigan in 1996 or 1997.

Val is the witch and Peter is Frankenstein, thanks to the plywood cutouts on display at the Halloween exhibit.

Copyright 2012
Wanda Hayes Eichler

Friday, October 26, 2012

Marching Band Kid

Peter, whose birthday is today, will love being reminded of how proud his family has always been of his talent for the performance arts. Here he is, smiling with his Grandma Val and Grandpa Stan, on some long ago Friday night at the Laker High School football field. Mellophone in hand and decked out in Laker green and white, Pete is the epitome of a marching band kid.

Years later (and we won't count) Peter is on staff with the Spartan Marching Band at Michigan State University and with State of Art, MSU's award winning winterguard unit. All of this ensemble experience -- bands, winterguards, colorguards, drum corps -- gives him skills that he takes into his day job. He knows organization. He helps people pull together and perform well.

Happy, happy birthday, Peter. Here's hoping for lots of smiles today.

Copyright 2012
Wanda Hayes Eichler

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Autumn Rain

Rains have hit the Thumb quite hard this last week. The leaves on this ash tree (left photo) were brilliant last Wednesday. The same tree, photographed six days later, has been stripped of its leaves as has the woods behind it.

I emptied 1.75 inches out of the rain gauge at the lake. Ed reports almost five inches at the farm where the drive back to the barn is muddy and the garden is soggy.

The autumn rain is quite a contrast to the drought that gripped this area in mid-summer.

Copyright 2012
Wanda Hayes Eichler

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Spooky Stickers

I found this artwork with spooky stickers in one of my book bags. Max's name is on the back of the black construction paper. There is a web behind the spider and the orange guy has "BOO" written just above his up turned hand.

The little characters look like a cross between aliens and skeletons. Pretty spooky!

Copyright 2012
Wanda Hayes Eichler

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Maple Panorama

Here's another reason to get familiar with the settings on point and shoot cameras. Ed took this photo using the panorama setting on the Sony Cybershot that I carry.

On the Sony panorama function, you can set for left, right, up or down long shots. The up function is perfect for images like this one of me leaning on a really big sugar maple tree in our woods.

Notice that the top of the tree isn't even in the photo. We didn't preview our shots -- just played with the versatility of camera software that produces an image like this.

Copyright 2012
Wanda Hayes Eichler

Monday, October 22, 2012

Try This With Your Kindle

A walk in the woods produced a handful of leaves. I like to sketch leaves and then paint them with watercolors. So I stick them in books to flatten them before I use them in my artwork.

Here's a collection of leaves from Cedar Bluff, arranged on paper towels, since the leaves were quite wet when I picked them up.

I looked around for the heaviest books that I could find. Helping me with my pressing issues are Mr. Cronkite, Mrs. Thatcher and Mr. Brinkley. (Apologies to especially to Mr. Brinkley, whose books I enjoy immensely, and whose immense books assist me in my drawing endeavors.)

Try this with a Kindle or an IPad!

Copyright 2012
Wanda Hayes Eichler

Sunday, October 21, 2012

A Barn In Autumn

Questions For A Barn in Autumn

How do maples display such elegance
along a commonplace highway?

Weathered wood, so gray, 
how can such dullness push bright orange, melon, yellow to leaping brightness?

A boat, a trailer, camper, tractor, summer table -- 
why fit so perfectly beneath the majestic canopy of maples?

The back bluff, like a stiff spine,
how does it lift and hold and steady?

Autumn -- how does it stamp away the emptiness from my heart?

Copyright 2012
Wanda Hayes Eichler

Saturday, October 20, 2012


Baby Val ate a bit of supper. Her Mom and her Grandpa spooned good stuff into her little mouth, now enhanced with two teeth and one more on the way. She sat in the high chair and fussed a bit. She had had her milk, her food, her entertainment.

"I'll take her," Grandpa Ed said. Soon Val's eyelids drifted shut. Then, eyes wide open, she would look at Hannah or Mom, almost as if startled. Finally, she gave in to sleepiness.

Cradled in Grandpa's arms, Val took one of those naps that most adults envy. Ed held her close and watched her sleep.

Copyright 2012
Wanda Hayes Eichler

Friday, October 19, 2012

Proud of Detroit and Michigan and Our Tigers!

Tigers first baseman Prince Fielder puts the squeeze on a pop fly
and makes the final out in the fourth game of the ALCS

I worked in my quilting studio yesterday.

At 4 pm, almost first pitch time for the fourth (and last) game of the American League Championship Series, I tuned in the radio, picked up my knitting and downed a cup of coffee while listening to the first innings of the Tigers vs. Yankees game.

By 4:45pm, my long arm quilting machine and I were finishing the feather borders on a crib quilt for great-nephew Shawn who lives in Marquette, Michigan and the Tigers were into a screaming four-run inning with home runs by Miguel Cabrera and Jhonny Peralta. The television in the studio was blaring the TBS broadcast and I was stopping regularly to watch and to text with sister Heidi in Philly who was keeping tabs on the game, too.

The quilt came off the Gammill. I cleaned and oiled the machine, closed down studio, and headed home where Ed was exuberantly watching the last innings.

A happy Miguel Cabrera, after the Tigers cinch the American League pennant
With one presidential candidate who would not have supported economic help for the auto industry and, thus, vilifies Detroit and Michigan, it was sweet to see a baseball team lift the city and the state and the fans up into a joyous celebration. Nobody was beating down the losing team. Heavens, the Yankees have a full plate in front of them, what with scoring as many RBIs (six) as a team in the four game series as Delmon Young, a single Tiger player, scored by himself.
Mike Ilitch, owner of the Tigers, looking very frail, was surrounded by Dave Dombroski, Tigers general manager and Jim Leyland, the Tigers' manager. As the weighty championship trophy passed from Dave to Jim, it was obvious that Mr. Ilitch couldn't hold the trophy and that was okay.
Surrounded by the Tigers team and management and in a ball park with fans who set an attendance record of over three million this season, Mr. Ilitch had done his work of holding up the weight of the Tigers and of Detroit. There's no one in the entire state who does not admire and appreciate the dedication of Mike Ilitch to Detroit and, this week in particular, to baseball.
In my mind the little quilt that came off the quilting machine during the game will always be remembered as the quilt that I finished during the game when the Tigers finished their walk to the championship in the American League. Little Shawn won't know that, but I will.
My next date with the quilting machine? Wednesday, Oct.24 -- the first game of the World Series.
Copyright 2012
Wanda Hayes Eichler

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Pigeon River Album

October reflections on the Pigeon River in Winsor Township

Forest floor tapestry -- oak leaves, low sprawling vegetation

Trees near the river stay green longer in the fall

Copyright 2012
Wanda Hayes Eichler

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

The Case of the Disappearing Campaign Sign

Our Obama-Biden sign disappeared last Thursday. Displayed at the end of the farm driveway, across from our Terry Brown sign, it was just plain gone when the sun came up.

"Aha! I bet the garbage guys took it, or kids, driving around and looking for something to do." That's what my brain thought up. It was a windy day, however, and I also realized that it could be caught in one of the ditches along Geiger Road, either east or west of the farm.

I hunted for the sign. So did Ed. No sign of the sign.

"Better stop by Dem headquarters in Bad Axe and pick up a few more," Ed said, contemplating that if we lost one sign, then, surely, we would be bound to lose several more before the election.

One thing led to another and when I rolled past Dem headquarters on Monday it was too early for anyone to be staffing the office.

On Monday evening, the sign reappeared. Ed found it -- at his Rotary Club -- and he had to pay the usual Rotary fun-fine to get the sign back.

It seems that a certain Pigeon Rotarian (who resembles the superintendent of the Laker School District) was out walking and spotted the sign. Guessing who the Democrats in the neighborhood might be, this Rotarian nabbed the sign and hauled it into club meeting at noon on Monday. Both Rotarians were fined for their participation in the great sign swap.

Our driveway is once again Obama-ed and Brown-ed.

Let the campaign continue.

Copyright 2012
Wanda Hayes Eichler

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Farm Maples

"The maples on the west side of the driveway are blazing this morning," Ed said as he loaded his car for a day of work. I was outside, unplugging my Chevy Volt and savoring the cold, crisp autumn air. He was right. The maples are wonderful.

The black walnut tree that guards the driveway to the farm has lost its leaves. There have been very few fat green nuts this year and most of them are on the grass under the tree. The next maple tree is suffering from the drought. It looked peaked all summer and might not make the winter.

Two of the maples, however, are an orangey wonderful fall color. This is the second week of marvelous fall color here in the Thumb. What a gorgeous autumn we are having!

Copyright 2012
Wanda Hayes Eichler

Monday, October 15, 2012

Purple Harmony

On a rainy fall day the back porch pumpkins and mums join fallen leaves for a composition that is very mid-October. Orange, purple and green (known as secondary colors) join to bring the leaves, flowers and pumpkins into harmony.

Copyright 2012
Wanda Hayes Eichler

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Spartan Sentinel

At the start of a game, just before the Big Ten Flags lead the Spartan Marching Band into the stadium, one member of the Big Ten Flags stands guard at the top of the tunnel. It's the person bearing the MSU flag, the flag of Michigan's premier land grant university, who takes this position of honor.

Alone, yes, but behind the sentinel are more than 300 band members -- trained, rehearsed, chosen, ready. I know it is just a football game and that this is band tradition and that there are countless other traditions like this in music and athletic and lots of other programs at the university.

This stuff, this tradition of doing something unique and important, is what builds leadership and connection. It is as integral a part of the college experience as being in a classroom or taking a test.

The football team lost the game with the Iowa Hawkeyes in overtime.

But lots of Spartan students in the Marching Band and, yes on the football team, gained another day of leadership and character and endurance. Those are the wins that count.

Copyright 2012
Wanda Hayes Eichler

Saturday, October 13, 2012

Sweet Potato Fries

Take one larget sweet potato. Peel it and cut it into strips. Toss with a tablespoon of olive oil and some dried rosemary and garlic. Add a fresh grind of black pepper.

Spread the strips on a sheet of aluminum foil and bake in a 400 degree oven for 15-25 minutes. Sprinkle with a touch of sea salt. Serve.

Mmm, these are so good. Our friends Dave and Jill Harmon grow a variety of red sweet potatoes in their mid Michigan garden. Dave harvests sweet potatoes by the bushel. I asked Jill to bring me a few this fall so I could try this recipe.

I left this batch in the oven a tad bit too long. If you try the recipe, watch the last ten minutes and pull them out of the oven when done.

The sweet potato fries make a perfect appetizer. Who wouldn't like veggies like this that taste so good?!

Copyright 2012
Wanda Hayes Eichler

Friday, October 12, 2012

Barn Buttress

Today marks the end of the second week that a crew has been working on the barn restoration at Graywood Farm. The plywood forms came off one of the concrete piers that will support the south wall of the barn. These piers will act like flying buttresses as they keep the barn's walls from moving any further.

The barn restoration this fall will include replacing the entire north wall of the barn. Already the wood timber frame structure has been reinforced with cribbing and additional posts.

The weather has been windy and cold this week. This is not easy work for the guys on the crew, working outside at a very specialized task in the fall of the year.

Copyright 2012
Wanda Hayes Eichler

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Friend Window

It's that time of the year when I transplant the Christmas cactuses. Kim's Kactus is in a new pot and now occupies a window ledge with north filtered light. I added some other goodies from friends to that spot in my studio.

Jenny Wheeler Parker stitched the little quilt; Jill Harmon carved the figurine. The ceramic sheep tucked in the pot came from Mark and Sally Rummel, many years ago. The sheep was tied on to a wreath the Rummels sent on the day that my quilt shop opened in November of 1992. The wreath is long gone and so is the quilt shop. But the sheep lives on.

I give Kim's Kactus a bit of cold coffee now and then. Usually I put water on the cactus, but I've discovered that a bit of caffeine doesn't hurt the plant at all.

Copyright 2012
Wanda Hayes Eichler

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Pin Oaks

The yellow leaves have been brilliant this fall. Here is a photo of oak leaves from two years ago. When you see the translucence of leaves close up it is easy to understand how the colors can be so striking from a distance.
Copyright 2012
Wanda Hayes Eichler

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Halloween Stickies

Grandson Finny gave me a set of window stickies from the dollar store. He got to spend some of his allowance money on Halloween goodies.

"Grandma, do you want to take these?" was the question he asked me when we visited him in September. He had sorted through the window stickies collection and found a duplicate set.

"Sure, Finny. I can use those at the lakehouse," I replied. So the glowing, gummy stickies came to my house and are decorating the sunroom door.

Thanks, Finny!

Copyright 2012
Wanda Hayes Eichler

Monday, October 8, 2012

October Baseball

Ed and Wanda at entrance to Comerica Park
After 162 regular games that span April through September, you wouldn't think that baseball fans could still get excited about our team. Our Detroit Tigers kind of let us down -- well, really let us down -- in the first half of the season.

By August, I was getting my hopes up again and by September, well, suffice it to say that when I watched a baseball game on television, I couldn't even get any knitting done. I was too engrossed in the games.

The first games of the American League Division Series were played in Detroit Saturday and Sunday. We had tickets for yesterday's game and were thrilled to be three rows back of the Oakland A's dugout, right within sight of the pitching and batting. Great

Detroit's Miguel Cabrera, the first Triple Crown winner since 1967, did not disappoint the crowd at all. Miggy had three hits in the game. It felt like history in the making to watch Cabrera stride to the plate, square up to the batter's box and hit away.

Miguel Cabrera's first hit of the game

Cabrera, a native of Venezuela, has won the admiration of baseball with his winning smile and incredible prowess on the playing field. He is a wonder to watch. He swings with power and plays the game with panache. Plus, he always looks like he is having a good time.

An Oakland A's player tossed a game ball up to the guy sitting next to me so I got an up close and personal look at the official 2012 postseason ball. Yes, that is Bud Selig's signature, stamped on the ball. Selig is baseball's commisioner and, as such is like the mayor of baseball -- he gets his name on the baseballs just like a big city mayor gets his name on signs throughout a city.

Tiger managers and staff bear-hug Don Kelly after Kelly's game winning hit in the ninth inning
A ninth inning sacrifice out by Don Kelly brought in the winning run. Tigers won their second game of the five game series, beating the Oakland A's by a 5-4 score, with Kelly's hit. Kelly was swept up in hugs and accolades from Tiger players and managers at the end of this game.
A fine rain fell from the sixth inning on. The air was cold. The game started to get long. But it was October baseball and the Tigers won. Very cool.
Copyright 2012
Wanda Hayes Eichler

Sunday, October 7, 2012

Back Roads Autumn

Wetzel Road in Sanilac County, just west of Maple Grove Road

There was some concern about the trees turning color this fall. With the summer drought being so severe in part of Michigan, that talk was about how dull fall color would be.

Put all of those sights aside and go for a back roads autumn drive. Go now. The colors are incredible. The trees are biting yellow, brilliant scarlet, and rusty orange. The skies are a piercing blue; clouds, almost iridescent, even at midday.

Ruth Road wheat field in autumn

Velvet green winter wheat coats the fields. Turbines stand like marble monoliths. Soybean fields spread out in layers of soft, leathery tan.

Mother Nature is saying, "Don't stay inside. Not yet. I'm not done!"

Copyright 2012
Wanda Hayes Eichler

Saturday, October 6, 2012

2002 Trip: Straits of Mackinac to Wisconsin Farm

Saturday, October 5, 2002 dawned cloudy and cool. We were camped at Straits State Park in St. Ignace and had a long drive ahead of us that day. It was time to go home and the drive ahead would be across US 2, one of the most scenic highways in the state, if not in the country. The highway parallels the Straits and Lake Michigan for miles. Some of the roadway is level with the lake; some runs along bluffs and beaches. It's a beautiful drive.

Val with Sam the Buck
We stopped at Deer Ranch, just west of St. Ignace. The owners are authorized by the state to keep and display white tail deer. Mom especially enjoyed seeing the animals. Ed and I are less enamored with deer, since we have had multiple car-deer episodes in our Huron County/Eastern Michigan travels.

Birch trees shine in the autumn sun at Cut River in Michigan's UP

We pulled off at Cut River to savor the scenery. The Cut River bridge is high above the lake and the river. There is a staircase that leads to the lakeshore and then a hiking trail that follows the river and circles around to the parking lot. Ed and I often take the trail, a half hour hike, but with Mom and Dad, we enjoyed the sights and pressed on to Wisconsin.

Home looked good to Mom and Dad that night. Ed and I stayed the night. The next morning we took off for Michigan. We had rented the motorhome from a place in Houghton Lake, Michigan, and needed to return the vehicle and pick up our car.

Rainstorm cross the Straits -- View from parking lot at foot of Bridge
St. Ignace side -- October 6, 2002
The weather did not stay in our favor. By the time we crossed the Big Mac Bridge late that day, a rainstorm was sweeping across the Straits. I really don't want to cross the Bridge in that kind of weather in a high riding RV again. As a matter of fact, the Bridge Authority usually closes the Bridge when the weather is bad. We never found out if there was a closure that night, as we were headed for Houghton and the RV place.

So, after ten years, it has been good to look back. Travel gives us memories and experiences that we carry forward into our lives. It brings people together and makes one realize the preciousness of time and life. And travel makes home look better.

I'm glad that we went.

Copyright 2012
Wanda Hayes Eichler

Friday, October 5, 2012

2002 Trip: The Straits and Mackinac Island

Scrabble scores -- looks like Ed won this game
Friday, October 4, 2002 took us to Mackinac Island. We took the ferry from St. Ignace and spent the day on the island. The weather had turned cool and rainy, so in the morning we holed up in the motorhome, avoiding the rain and playing Scrabble.

By late morning we were on the ferry, bound for Mackinac Island which is situated in the Straits of Mackinac, east of the Big Mac Bridge.

We rode the carriages behind teams of horses and enjoyed the car-free ambiance of the island. Mackinac gets visitors for the fall color season, but by late October the Great Lakes can be a cold and treacherous place to be. The ferries run limited schedules. Many businesses on the island close after fall color.

The north shore of the Straits with Mackinac Island in the distance

Stan and Val had not been back to island since John and Liesl's wedding in 1998, so we had a good time having lunch at Mission Point Resort, the site of their wedding.  Ed and I have been to the island many times. My first visit there was on our honeymoon in 1968. Ed, being a native Michiganian (I refuse to call us "Michiganders"), had visited Mackinac numerous times as a kid.

Val (left) and Wanda with the Mission Point Moose --
I look like I have had one too many days of camping!
The views of the Straits and of the Bridge from the state park in St. Ignace are stunning. Just seeing the Big Mac Bridge is always an uplifting experience for me.

The Mackinac Bridge, from the St. Ignace shore -- October 2002
The Bridge somehow marks Michigan as a place where people work together to get big stuff done, like building a roadway across five miles of water. Michigan, with its Upper Peninsula and Yoopers (think UP-ers, but pronounce it YOU-purrs) and Lower Peninsula (the trolls live below the bridge), became even more of a Great Lakes State when the two peninsulas were united by the Bridge. Even us trolls in the Lower Peninsula defend the Upper Peninsula with vehemence.

We are one state with lots of geography. Period. End of lecture. . .and end of today's blog post.

Tomorrow's post: Straits to Wisconsin Farm

A side note: I planned five blog posts for this week -- one for each day of the work week -- and then discovered that I had taken photographs on the sixth day of the trip, a Saturday. So there will be a final post tomorrow. The posts have not appeared first thing in the morning this week. It has taken me much longer to write and edit than I anticipated. There have been a few tears. And there has been an email/computer/wireless issue. Ah, one perseveres.

Copyright 2012
Wanda Hayes Eichler

Thursday, October 4, 2012

2002 Trip: Canada to The Straits of Mackinac

Frosty fog over Rabbit Blanket Lake, Lake Superior Provincial Park

Ten years ago on Thursday, October 3, 2002, we started our day at Rabbit Blanket Lake Campground in Lake Superior Provincial Park and ended the day at Straits State Park at St. Ignace, Michigan. We travelled 205 miles that day.

Thermometer on picnic table outside the motorhome
The air turned cold overnight and our morning hot oatmeal tasted really good. I went out before sunrise and took photos of the frost and fog hovering over Rabbit Blanket Lake. We drove further north, as far as Old Woman Bay, almost out of the Provincial Park, about 40 miles south of Wawa, Ontario.

Wanda and Val, out on the boulders along the Sand River
Coming back south, we stopped to explore the cascades along the Sand River. Val got into the act and ventured out on the big boulders along the rapids of the wild river. 

Driving south on the Trans Canada Highway 17 took us back throught the twin cities of Sault Ste. Marie, Canada and Sault Ste. Marie, Michigan. On the Michigan side we watched freighters on the St. Mary's River and got to see ships locking through the Soo Locks.

German cruise ship Columbus, headed to Chicago, at the Soo Locks

We watched the German cruise ship Columbus as it was locking downbound while a freighter was upbound for Lake Superior. We saw the Columbus, the Ogelbay Norton, the Roger Blough, and the Reserve -- all in one visit to the Soo.

Roger Blough, 858 feet long, upbound for Lake Superior
on the St. Mary's River, just east of the Soo Locks
Our arrival at a wooded campsite at Straits State Park was later in the evening. This was the night that we saw the Northern Lights about 9 pm. The sky wasn't colorful, but the plumes of light waved and wandered in the night sky.

Tomorrow's Post: Mackinac Island and Home to the Farm

Copyright 2012
Wanda Hayes Eichler

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

2002 Trip: Tahquamenon to Rabbit Blanket Lake in Ontario

Stan and Val in Canada 2002 -- Agawa Bay
On Wednesday, October 2, 2002 we traveled from the United States into Canada, rounding the east end of Lake Superior, one of the wonders of our planet. We saw the Point Iroquois Lighthouse near Brimley, Michigan, watched a few tour boats at the Soo, and continued up across the International Bridge at The Soo, through customs, and into Canada.

Our drive took us up the Trans Canada Highway 17 into Lake Superior Provincial Park, a wild and wondrous place in the north woods.

Da Bear!
Ed and I have camped at Agawa Bay several times so we knew our way in and around some of the side roads. On the way down to Sinclair Cove where we have canoed, we saw a bear. It is the tiny speck in the road in the photo. Mom refused to get out of the RV all the while we were on that road. She did not like that bear, even though it was probably more afraid of us than we were of it.
When you canoe in Sinclair Cove there are boulders the size of locomotives that line the bottom of the clear, cold waters of Superior. It is an awe inspiring paddle.
Val on the shore of Katherine Cove, Lake Superior Provincial Park, Ontario
We walked the beach at Katharine Cove. Mom enjoyed the sand and the sights. Canada geese greeted us. The leaves were changing color. Tree branches that fall into Lake Superior stay for years because the water is so cold. Since it is also clear, all of that fallen vegetation is easily seen. You gain a new appreciation for the power of cold temperatures when you wander the shores of Superior.
Scrabble time
Once we were settled at the campground at Rabbit Blanket Lake, Stan built a fire and read the newspaper outside while Wanda and Val fixed a chili supper. Then we hauled the camp chairs inside the motorhome and played Scrabble. The temperature got down to 25 degrees Fahrenheit by morning and we used the furnace for the first time.
We had driven 205 miles, crossed an international border, and were camped along the shore of the largest freshwater lake in the world. You can't do that in Vegas!
Tomorrow's post: Rabbit Blanket Lake to Straits State Park
Copyright 2012
Wanda Hayes Eichler