Tuesday, October 2, 2012

2002 Trip: J.W. Wells State Park to Tahquamenon

Sunrise over Green Bay -- Tuesday, October 1, 2002

Our Tuesday travel on October 1, 2002, took us from J.W. Wells State Park along the shore of Lake Michigan all the way up into Michigan's Upper Peninsula. We drove 273 miles that day. The fall colors were streaky; you could drive 40 miles without seeing any bright leaves and in next mile the color would be show stopping.

Cable driven raft on Big Spring

One of our highlights was seeing the Big Spring at Kitchi-ti-Kipi in the Palms Book State Park near Thompson, Michigan, just west of Manistique. The spring is the size of a large pond and is viewed by looking through the bottom of a raft that is controlled by a handwheel and cables.

Ed, Stan and Val on the raft

The brilliant emerald green of Big Spring is a wonderful surprise that you experience while floating on the raft. Ed ran the handwheel and we all marvelled at the verdant green water and the towering pines on the edge of the spring pond.

Sea mist on the harbor at Grand Marais -- Grand Marais is on the east end
of Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore
We ate lunch in the RV at the Manistique Harbor. The day was overcast so the views of the red lighthouse were not photographic. Then we drove up MI-77 to Grand Marais which is a little town on Lake Superior. This was our first view of Lake Superior and we enjoyed watching loons in the harbor at Grand Marais. The colors were vibrant in some spots along MI-77.

Upper Falls of the Tahquamenon River -- Tuesday, October 1, 2002
By late afternoon we were in Tahquamenon country. This is the country where Ernest Hemingway came to fly fish. The Big Two Hearted River and The Tahquamenon River run through swamps and forests of cedars and hemlocks and pines. There are two falls on the Tahquamenon. The Upper Falls is always spectacular. The river runs a coppery color here due to the tannins in the cedar forests that the river runs through.

We ate dinner at the restaurant at the Falls. Dad enjoyed a pastie, an Upper Peninsula speciality. Pasties are meat, potato and vegetables wrapped in pastry. The Cornish miners who worked the mines in the UP brought pasties to the this country. Val liked the wild rice soup and we all savored the Fruits of the Forest (strawberries, rhubarb, apples, blueberries) pie.

By evening, we were camping at the Tahquamenon Rivermouth Campground in Paradise, Michigan. We were tired. It had been a full day of travel and visiting the natural wonders of the north woods.

Tomorrow's Blog Post: Tahquamenon to Lake Superior Provincial Park, Ontario, Canada

Several more photos from Tuesday, October 1, 2002 travel

Val looking at the spring through the bottom of the raft
A friendly motorcyclist asked if we would like to have our photo taken. "Yes," we said!
Ed, Wanda, Val (Mom), Stan (Dad)
Copyright 2012
Wanda Hayes Eichler
(who is finding it takes much longer to write a travel blog post than a regular Willow blog post)

1 comment:

  1. But the time is worth it, Wanda. This is making me want to visit Michigan. Richard and I HAVE to work on that.

    Love your commentary and photos.