Change Is Hard

…but change is certain.


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Michigan sights

I’m sifting through images from our recent road trip around Lake Superior.
There are so many places I didn’t show you, that didn’t happen to fit into the particular story I was sharing on the blog.

How about I show you a few of the pretty things we saw on the first part of the trip, in the Upper Peninsula (UP) of Michigan – I’ll show you Wisconsin, Minnesota and Canada soon!

There’s a town in the UP called Christmas. When I lived in the UP in the early 80s there wasn’t much in Christmas except a post office that was busy during the end of year holiday season as people wanted their cards postmarked from Christmas, Michigan.

Santa stands under stormy skies hawking his casino.

In August when we drove through Christmas on our way to somewhere else we were amazed to see that apparently Santa has sold out.

We stopped in Munising for a night. You saw the waterfalls we saw there, but you didn’t get to see the sunset over Munising Bay. It started out kind of slow.

Lots of clouds but not much color action.

I got bored with the clouds and started messing with camera settings, not paying attention to the sky. But a quacking duck flew by and I glanced up. And gasped, as the sun was touching the top of the hills across the bay.

Those hills are on fire!

Eventually the sun died and the sky turned pink. We didn’t leave until the sky was black.

It turned into a colorful evening after all.

And on another evening we watched the sun set over Lake Superior. It didn’t turn out to be much, but it was fun to watch people playing in the waves.

A warm summer day at the beach comes to an end.

There’s a ‘covered road’ near where I used to live. I’d forgotten all about it, but while we were exploring I saw a sign pointing the way, so we turned right and I’m so glad we did. I remember this being stunning in the fall.

Miles of tree lined road with sun filtering down.

When we came out the other side of the covered road my husband caught, out of the corner of his eye, a huge metal dam. Well of course we had to stop and explore.

Lots of metal angles made for photography fun.

And speaking of exploring, when I lived in Hancock I often passed the Quincy Mine buildings, abandoned and falling apart. Now they’ve been restored and the site offers tours.

I always thought this building was beautiful.

Of course we went.

This huge hoist has been sitting inside the building for more than a century.

I’m so glad we did, it was fascinating and nostalgic, all at the same time.

So much history here.

We were driving across the UP one morning when I noticed a commotion up ahead in the ditch. Several large birds lifted off as we approached, and I caught the spread of a huge white tail. They were all bald eagles!

They were just amazing.

They flew up into the trees there, and we turned around to see what was happening. While I was changing to the long lens most of them flew away. The light was bad, my settings, in my haste, were wrong, but I got a few shots, mostly bad, from which I could crop a few images.

He was looking at me, I swear!

And just before we left Michigan we stopped at Lake of the Clouds in the western part of the UP.

You can see the scale by the size of the people in the upper left part of this image.

This lake never fails to delight, no matter the season.

You can click on any of the images to make them larger and to see more detail. Of course on those eagle crops the detail is already lost, but I couldn’t help but share that experience regardless of the quality of the pictures.

Soon I’ll show you a little of Ashland Wisconsin and Duluth Minnesota and Thunder Bay Canada. And maybe more!

More history awaits.


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Hotel carpet recap

A family friend travels often for work and began posting what she called her “ugly hotel carpet” pictures a few years ago. I caught the bug and have posted on Facebook my version of ugly hotel carpets during some of my travels. This past two weeks several people mentioned that the carpet images might make a great collage.

So let’s see what WordPress will produce if I provide the images.


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Be brave

In the past two days, since we moved north and west from Duluth Minnosota, we’ve explored Canadian waterfalls…

Kakabeka Falls

…and a fur trading fort set in 1816.

Fort William

Tonight as I sort through those images there are plenty I’d like to show you. But you’ve all seen waterfall images (though even I think the falls up here are pretty spectacular) and I’ve shared lots of forts in past travel posts.

If you like, once I get home, I’ll post some of my favorite shots from those experiences. But this post will focus on our adventures last night, when we drove to the top of the Sleeping Giant mountain to watch the sun set.

There’s potential for a spectacular sunset.

The road up was almost 6 miles of bumpy, rutted dirt. When we got near the top the road disappeared into pure rock. We were driving on the top of the mountain! There’s a viewing deck up there, but not exactly what I expected.

Not quite the nice wide deck I was expecting.

It’s a metal walkway extending out from the side of the mountain, 100 meters above the lake shore below. The floor is made of wooden slates…

Ummmm…don’t look down.

…that you can see between. It’s a very long way down and it took me a few moments to stop feeling light headed enough to slowly creep my way out toward the end.

It helps if you hang on to the railing and concentrate on the horizon.

But when I finally did, the view was astounding.

Picture perfect.

And to my right the lowering sun made the cliff glow.

The light on the cliff against the dark clouds was breathtaking.

I couldn’t keep from feeling a thrill to be out there…

It was amazing! photo credit to my husband.

…even though there really wasn’t much of a sunset.

Just before the rain came.

It was scary, being so high above Thunder Bay, but I’m glad we went. If you’re ever nearby I recommend you venture out too!

Just don’t look down.

Good night sun!


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Houses of different kinds

During the past couple of days we’ve visited a few houses over here in Wisconsin and Minnesota, each one different, but each housing families in the early 1900s.

Our first house tour was in Superior Wisconsin, where we visited Fairlawn, a mansion built in 1891…

Fairlawn mansion.

…the family only lived in the house a few years when Mr.Pattison died unexpectedly. His wife moved the family to California and the house became a children’s home for several decades.

Lots of drapery and carved wood.

Inside the first floor has been restored to look as it did when the family lived there, while the top floors describe what life was like when it housed dozens of children.

We also toured Glensheen, a mansion in Duluth Minnesota.

The grand front of Glensheen.

This one was completed in 1908, and was lived in by an original family member until 1977 when the last daughter died.

The dining room.

With 20,000 square feet, fifteen fireplaces, numerous bathrooms and bedrooms, it’s huge and beautiful.

Lots of carved wood in this house too.

Each of the seven children had their own bedrooms, often with their own bathrooms too.

One of the girl’s rooms.

Most of the rooms had lovely views of Lake Superior. Still, the house was a lot darker inside than what we’re used to today.

Drying linens in the laundry room.

The grounds were beautifully landscaped, complete with a huge vegetable garden, tennis courts and lawn bowling.

The back of the house was more stunning than the front.

Next we headed north, tunneling our way through a couple rocky outcroppings.

Tunneling our way north.

We stopped in Two Harbors Minnesota where we walked the breakwater enjoying a beautiful later summer afternoon.

Such a beautiful day to be near the water.

In the same park was a lighthouse that has become a Bed & Breakfast. It looked wonderful, though it’s privately owned and we couldn’t go inside.

Seems like a perfect spot to relax on the shores of Lake Superior.

Guess we’ll have to make a reservation and stay overnight to see what it’s like to sleep in a lighthouse!

Then we moved on to something that’s been on my bucket list for a long time — Split Rock lighthouse.

We took the tour and learned a whole lot about what life was like when this lighthouse employed three keepers. Then we started to explore.

Stairs ascending the tower.

Up in the relatively short tower there is a truly beautiful lens.

The lens rotates and sending out a bright white light every 10 seconds.

This lighthouse sits high on a cliff; I’ve seen pictures that made me want to see it for myself.

I couldn’t keep myself from giggling with joy when I rounded the corner and saw this jewel of a lighthouse shining in the sunlight.

But nothing could have prepared me for just how beautiful it really is, as seen from the stony beach far below it’s base. I couldn’t stop smiling. It’s just stunning, definitely my smile of the week, and a perfect way to end our exploration of the Duluth area.

We’ll be moving even further north, into Canada, tomorrow. I don’t know when I’ll be able to post again…but you can be sure I’ll have more images and adventures to share when I do!

Me and the lighthouse.


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Mesmerizing water and clouds

What is it about bodies of water and cloudy skies that makes me grab my camera? I don’t know, maybe you’re the same way. I don’t necessarily have to have both of them in the same shot to get excited…

Taken from a rest stop on our first day heading north.

…but when I do I just about swoon.

Along Lake Superior’s coast, day 2 of our trip.

And when the water is moving, well, that’s hard to resist too.

Wagner Falls near Munising, where I first figured out how to get that smooth water look.

Waterfalls are some of our favorite things, and there are several in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan. Some take a little walking to find…

The trail to Chapel Falls.

…but sometimes that’s a good thing.

About the best I could do was this obscured view.

Because sometimes the walk turns out to be more photogenic than the actual falls themselves.

Couldn’t walk past these ferns without grabbing a shot.

Some waterfalls are easy to find, and very full of tourists on a holiday weekend.

This is the image everyone gets from the boardwalk.

But if you wander a bit upstream you can find more interesting angles.

My favorite image of those I captured at Bond Falls on Sunday.

So many beautiful spots up here and I’m very behind sharing with you. There’s the Quincy Mine tour we did, and the sunset on the beach, and the one over Munising Bay, and the night we attempted to capture northern lights, and the town of Ashland in Wisconsin with amazing art, and now, tonight we’re in Duluth.

Utterly amazing.

I don’t know how I’m going to get caught up. Guess you’ll have to wait and see.

Oh, and there’s Santa selling out to the casinos too.


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Nancy’s photo challenge: Texture

My right hand is still in a splint making it difficult to type. So, even though I have lots of pretty water and sky photos to show you, I’ll wait until I can tell you more about where we are.

Queen Anne’s lace almost ready to bloom.

Meanwhile, on today’s adventures we ran across these examples of texture.

Tansy were blooming everywhere.

Hopefully I’ll have those clouds and sky shots ready for you soon. Or later. Depends on our travels and my hand. Today is 1 week since I fell, one more week to go until I see the doctor.

It could have been worse; I keep reminding myself of that.

More texture from today’s walk, the underside of a metal dam built in 1901.


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Junk can make you smile.

If you ever need a smile this is the place to go.

Called Lakenenland , we ran across it today while traveling on M28 from Munising to Marquette in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan.

It’s an artist’s personal sculpture garden, and reminds me a lot of the art compound we explored down in Georgia in the spring of 2018.

Here’s a slide show of a lot of the art you’ll see here. Some of it has his political opinions, some is whimsical, and some is just pretty.

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It’s about a half mile loop, you can walk or drive (or snowmobile in the winter!). We drove it and then parked and walked to take pictures.

There’s also a picnic area and a small stage where they have live music some evenings.

It’s all free, though you can leave donations.

The artist has definitely had some issues with the local zoning commission as evidenced by some signs.

But if you can deal with a couple of political points of view that might be different from your own you’ll probably enjoy this sculpture park as much as we did.

If you’re ever up this way, be sure to stop and check it out!