Being flexible? Thurs-Sat, 7/7-7/9

The last place on my wish list for this trip was Pictured Rocks Nat'l Lakeshore, on Lake Superior's coastline near Munising, Michigan.  Because our MO is to operate without definite plans most of the time, we didn't know when we might get to the area.  So, we didn't have a reservation at any campground  We hoped to get in Munising Tourist Park Campground, also on the the lake.  Alas, all they had was one night next to the road and nothing for Friday/Saturday.  Time to formulate Plan B.  A visit to the USFS sent us south a few miles to Island Lake c/g in Hiawatha Nat'l Forest.  Not easy to find and even harder to leave when the time comes (we got lost), but for nine bucks, we had a lovely, quiet site.

Weather went haywire on us the next day (Friday), as the day dawned overcast with strong winds ... not an ideal day for a boat tour on Lake Superior!  We decided to move on west and skip Pictured Rocks, saving it for a different time!  As the day progressed, besides clouds and winds, we encountered fog, rain, hail, and sun.  Early afternoon, we stopped at a nice Elks Lodge (with electric hookup) in Ishpeming, Michigan.

What's doing on Saturday in nearby Negaunee?  A Pioneer Days Parade, of course!  Can you believe another parade?

As I mentioned in a previous post, I've been to lots of parades, but this one offered the most candy throws I've ever seen (inc Baton Rouge Mardi Gras); hence, people came prepared with large bags or pails to carry home their haul.  Big crowd, too.  Jimmy and I were standing on the sidewalk and all the really good candy was thrown to kids on the street.  Phooey.  I didn't get a single piece. 

Pièce de résistance!

* * * * * * * * * *

I talked to my brother, Rus, before the parade.  He was released from the hospital yesterday and is at a rehab place in Boston, mainly to regain strength.  He's doing all right, although he'll have to take it easy from now on, not something our family is known for or good at.  I'm sure it can be done, however. 

After the big parade doings, Jimmy drove us into Marquette.  We wanted to walk around Presque Isle which juts into Lake Superior, but were held spellbound by the gianorous ore dock loading the Hon. James L. Oberstar (below).  

We had to be a quarter mile away, but as we watched, one chute after another opened and spilled a noisy amount of (I assume) iron ore into the ship's bays.  There are train tracks atop the ore dock, though you can't see them in the photo.  Engines pulled a long stream of ore cars away to the right. 

Workers don't need computers to do these tasks ... they've been doing it for such a long time that they know which chute to open and empty into which cargo hold, so all the ore didn't just dump, say, aft or forward.  At least that's our take on it.  Above you see three chutes dumping and one chute opening.  I hope the workers wore both ear plugs and face masks, as the noise was deafening and dust filled the air as the ore was spilled into the cargo holds.

We tore ourselves away from the loading and made our way to the breakwater and the Presque Isle Harbor Lighthouse.  Presque Isle is French for "almost an island."  We also saw the name when we were north of Alpena, MI. 

The wind off Lake Superior made the air feel quite chilly.

If people see rocks, they have to make cairns.

It was trying to hide from the camera, which didn't work.

323 acres makes for a wonderful park, but Jimmy only has eyes for the ship loading!  We spent Fri/Sat nights at the Elks and enjoyed our stay there very much.  While we were drifting off to sleep Saturday night, we heard the telltale booms of fireworks!  Again!  We heard 'em, but didn't see them, and that's okay!  

Like I said, if you travel willy-nilly like we do, it's better to be flexible, and we are.  All is good.

1 comment:

  1. So glad to hear you brother is doing well on the road of recovery. We've tried traveling without plans, but we both find it too stressful. So "planned" trips for us ... although we are not above wiggling them if need be.


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