Friday, July 29, 2011

Visiting Manistique MI for a few days, July 27-29, 2011

July 27, 2011 (Wed)

Bob and I had walked our exit route from our pull through site at Fayette SP and anticipated no problems, unlike we had on our arrival.  Since we had backed in, we just pulled out and drove the short loop opposite most traffic with me leading the coach, checking for low branches, a few leaves did bite the dust.

The drive of about 50 miles was made and in no time we arrived at the Indian Lake Travel Resort, just north of Thompson and west of Manistique.  Great deal for only $22/nite.

We were assigned one of the four snug pull-thru sites, got parked, hooked up the water and electric on the passenger side of the coach.   About to put out the drivers side slide,  when I noticed we were very close to the nearby fence and may not have enough room.


Sure enough, we needed at least two more inches.  So Bob unhooked the water and electric, started the coach, turned the wheels sharp and backed just a few inches, moving the coach away from the fence.  Now we have plenty of room for the slide.

Notice those trees, that means no TV or Motosat Internet, at least here the Verizon phones do work, so we are using our DroidX to provide us a Wifi hotspot.


On our drive into Manistique I saw a Farmers Market sign, so we stopped and found some goodies. Rhubarb, raspberries, wild blueberries and some grass fed ground beef.



July 28, 2011 (Thurs)

Breakfast, Uncle Sam’s cereal, yogurt and wild blueberries.  Delicious!!






Went for a walk from the Marina along a boardwalk out to a lighthouse.  Notice the trash can restrictions, remember, we are in the Yooper, they don’t mess around with fancy words.


The Manistique Lighthouse.  This steel plate constructed lighthouse stands 35’ tall, commissioned in 1915 and was automated in 1969.  It appears now it is powered by solar panels.007

We are in Yooperland!!


July 29, 2011 (Fri)

Off this morning to visit Kitch-iti-kipi, The Big Spring.


The park provides a covered self operated observation raft for visitors to see where the huge spring boils up.  Over 16,000 gallons a minute gush up through the underlying limestone.


Bob has some help at the wheel.


The boiling sand, I use the word boil, as in movement, but not in temperature, the flow maintains a constant 45 degrees. The water is so clear, hard to believe it is over 40’ down.


On our way home we stopped at the Jensen’s Fish Market.


Arlene, co owner of the market, let us taste some smoked trout, see the one pound bag we bought, proves it was delicious.

We also bought some salmon, trout, and whitefish. 


Tonight our dinner was the salmon with butter, garlic, herbs, and parsley.


Tomorrow we drive to Munising, all of about 50 miles.  Bob sure is enjoying these short drive days.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

A Drive to Nowhere, July 26, 2011

The maps had been checked and with a lunch packed, off we went, south of Fayette State Park, towards the end of the peninsula where Streets and Trips showed a ferry to a nearby island.  First visited a small town, with a marina for their fishermen.  Then back through a maze of gravel roads in an effort to find that ferry.



Early in our exploring we decided that no ferry was running as not many used this road.


Our GPS confirmed we were on ‘a road’ with a ferry at the end…hummm.


This is what we found at the end of the road.  Yes, we wondered how this trailer got here?  Don’t think it came over the same route we had just traveled.   There was also a nice garage and outhouse, perhaps it is a hunting ‘lodge’.

Next item was to drive into Garden and find the Post Office to mail our Granddaughter’s birthday present, her special day is next week.  We also needed to make some RV park reservations, after calling several places, were able to find open sites for the next 9 days at two different parks.  We will be certainly glad when the middle of August arrives and all the family vacations are done, it will be much easier then to find RV parks with open sites without making reservations.


On our way back to Fayette SP, Bob stopped at a cemetery and I saw this nest.  From we can tell they were Osprey.


The pole they had built their nest on was taller than the nearby electric pole. 










One more cemetery visit, this time within walking distance of our RV site.  In this cemetery, you knew who, but not where.  Each of the crosses had names, but were all piled together.  RIP


Exploring the town site of Fayette, July 25, 2011

Fayette was a booming company town from 1867-1891 producing  pig iron using charcoal.


First off, a free 20 minute town tour.


Then we were on our own to explore the buildings, most were open with wonderful displays.


Here Bob is lifting a hefty 100 pound pig.


This is a photo of how the pigs were cast, in sand.  The molten iron flowed from the furnace in a ditch into the rows of preformed pig forms, the molten iron is the lighter color in the photo.


The casting room today.


The two blast furnaces with the casting room on either side.


Since this blast furnace burnt charcoal, they produced charcoal right on site. The building you see on the right, is the casting room.  This reconstructed charcoal kiln would haven been loaded from the top, using the timber framework built around it.  It smoldered for about eight days before it was done, the person in charge of the kiln knew it was done by the color of the smoke coming out the top.  It was  then ready to be used in the furnace.  It took over 80 kilns in the area to feed these two hungry giants.



Here are the remains of an actual charcoal kiln.


One of the houses was left to show how they were built using the lathe and plaster.


This is ‘Then’ photo.


Here is the ‘Now’ version less a few buildings.   The third and fifth buildings plus the hotel, from above, are in the ‘now’ photo.


These well mended mittens were on display.  Times were tough and the folks had to make do.


While watching the sunset on slag beach, I found this canning Ball canning lid.  The word Ball was raised a little.


A piece of slag from the beach area.



We had a great day stepping back more than a century in time.

Close Encounter, July 24, 2011

With a 90 miles drive today to Fayette State Park, knowing we didn’t want to get there too early, we left Clementz Northcountry Campground, Newberry, just before their check out time of noon.  

When we arrived at the state park turn, a prior sign had said the campground was three miles further, so we did not turn, we continued down the road, seeing no more campground signs,  we had to find a way to turn all of US around.  Solution, turn off on a side road, unhook, back the coach up onto the main road and head back to the state park sign. 


Check-in went smoothly, then drive back to the campground with good directions. 

Our reserved site was a long pull through site, I drove the Explorer in front of Bob, pulled through the site, thinking there are a lot of trees close to the pull-through drive, this site will take some wiggling to get in.  So I parked at the end of the long site, got out to help Bob maneuver the coach in and I heard that fateful sound, of tree crunching.  One of the close trees angled towards the site and caught the bedroom slide topper cover.  Bob was able to back out, drive around and back into the site from the other end.  Just too many close trees.  One of our neighbors told us yesterday a fifth wheel took over an hour to get out of the site, even had the rangers helping him.  I have a good suggestion, cut down at least two trees would help.


See the angled tree, that is the one we had a close encounter with, notice the lighter color about 12’ up. [Sorry Roger, it was not of the Third Kind.]


The point of contact, glad it all still works though.


After we got parked Bob asked an excellent question, are we in the right site (as the sites are not numbered so you can see the number from the road), I said I think so, so he dashes out to make the confirmation.  By the way the site number is #30.

With a 1/2 mile hike from the campground, we are at the historical town site of Fayette.  All the buildings are open with displays, we looked around some, but will be back tomorrow for a town tour and more exploring.


Remember all those trees, well that means no internet or TV, but that’s okay, time to go through all the tourist literature we have picked up along the way.


IMG_9195Black Fly (Buffalo Gnat) bites aka red spot update:  bitten 7/21, this is day three, still swollen and itchy. Had to get up in the night and apply some Anti-Itch cream.  Here I am using alcohol to clean off the Anti-Itch cream to apply some cortisone cream.

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Catching up Quickly, Part 2, July 15-23, 2011

July 15-20, 2011

We drove north about 50 miles to Sault Ste Marie, Aune-Osborn CG.  This park is along the St Mary’s River, so we saw many freighters traveling upbound and downbound.  Our stay ended up being six nights, although we had to change sites for the last three nights.


One of Bob’s blog readers suggested we take the short drive (abt 20 minutes) to Spectacle Lake, you can also see Lake Huron and then Canada in the distance.


Near this overlook is an Indian Cemetery. 


We often times will see a chair or bench sitting near the grave, not sure if it is for the deceased or the living to come and sit and visit?


Sailors from the Myron and their story.




A little further up the road is the Point Iroquois Light House, it was in the process of being repainted so we were unable to climb to the top.






The night before we changed sites, it RAINED, so Bob had some challenges hooking up our utilities.  By the way the flooded site is #63, it took two days for the water to recede.


This photo was taken from the top of the Tower of History of the Valley Camp, which we toured next.



The laundry room on the ship was shared with some machinery.




This is one of the lifeboats from the Edmond Fitzgerald “The Fitz”.  The Fitz sank on November 10, 1975.



Lifeboat #1 from the Edmond Fitzgerald was located by the Arthur M Anderson at 8 am on Tuesday, November 11.  It was seen floating nine miles east of the wreckage.  The missing part of the lifeboat has never been found.


This is the entrance to the gift shop, located off the ship, at the Valley Camp, well the purpose of this photo is to show the names on the bricks, mostly from Nelsonville, one or two from Hocking and Athens.  I was born and raised just a few miles from the brick factory that made these brick.  These are the same block we used in May for my parents and sisters graves.



We finally did take the Soo Locks Boat tour, we had plans to take the tour on several days, but rain or heat changed those plans.


Here we are entering the American Poe Lock.  I had hoped we would be sharing the lock space with a freighter, but not this trip.


Our trip back brought up back through the Canadian Lock, much smaller and reminded us so much of the canals we boated through on the Canal du Midi in France.  The level change was 21’.


July 21-23, 2011 – Moved  about 70 miles to Newberry, MI, staying at the Clemetz Northcountry CG. (by the way, no Verizon coverage)

About 50 minutes from the camp ground is Whitefish Point, home of the Shipwreck Museum and Lighthouse.


The museum complex from high on the tower. 







What’s for lunch, our first pasty!  I had fixed a lunch, but the pasty won out.

Even though the admission was $13 each to the museum plus $4 each for the lighthouse, we felt we got our monies worth.

The Museum


The Bell from “The Fitz”.


The Lighthouse










The current light was not projected from a Fresnel lens, but was powered with a 1000 watt small bulb.


Our next stopping place was the Lower and  Upper Tahquamenon Falls.  I was impressed our GPS pronounced the name perfectly.  Tanic acid creates the unique color.


The Upper Falls


Climbing up the last section of 99 steps from seeing the Upper Falls.  Worth it…don’t ask!



We have been attached by the locals.  The bites are from some sort of gnat.  Didn’t feel a thing when it was happening, just noticed gnats being caught up on my hair, then noticed red spots the next day.  This photo was taken 24 hours after the bites.  Needless to say no fires since two nights ago, I hate to apply insect repellant.  I have probably ten bites and Bob has a few also. 


Moving on Sunday to Fayette State Park, may not have internet coverage.

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