Change Is Hard

…but change is certain.

Both ends of the road


While camping midway on M-77 in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula last week I decided to explore both ends of that road.

The colors are changing on M-77 north of M-28 in the UP!

I’d been up at the northern end, which terminates at Grand Marais along the coast of Lake Superior, in June, but it’s such a pretty spot I thought I’d go see what the lake was up to again.

I always love the color of the water against the purple grey clouds during a fall storm on this lake.

As seems to be usual when I visit, it was a stormy day on Lake Superior. Heavy dark clouds made the sky facinating, but made me dash to the car several times as bands of cold rain swept in.

Good thing I brought my raincoat.

That didn’t deter the rock pickers and there were even a few beach walkers out there even during the worst of it.

This guy was riding the waves and wind, while a flock of sandhill cranes in the distance fly against the wind.

But amazingly, the sun won the weather battle and the sky began to brighten. More people instantly appeared to revel in the beauty that is a beach walk in Grand Marais.

Nothing like a brisk walk along the beach once the rain lets up.

I always enjoy my time on the shores of Lake Superior, and this time I didn’t pick up one single rock! Though that might have been due to the weather and not my willpower.

The next morning I headed south on M-77 down to where it ends at M-2, then a bit west to Manistique. My goal was to visit a spring my husband and a friend had both told me I had to see. But first there was this pretty lighthouse off the shore of Lake Michigan.

Reminds me of us, decades ago.

Who can resist, right? It was still windy and cold, but this family out there on the rocks was having lots of fun. Four little kids, they reminded me of my family when we were all that young.

But I was really there to see Kitch-iti-kipi.

This deep, photogenic spring resides within a state park.

What is that, you ask? And how do you pronounce it? Well, maybe I better let you read about it first.

It’s a deep, beautiful spring that maintains a 45 F temperature all year around, even in the cold upper Michigan winters. There’s a barge like flotation that runs on a cable out over the top of the spring.

The colors really are this intense. Especially when the sun shines.

The barge is moved by turning a wheel near the back. Anyone on the barge can turn the wheel and be captain for awhile.

Pull hard to the starboard side!

The center of the barge was open so you could see straight down into the water.

Some big fish down there!

The water was so beautiful, it was mesmerizing. Everywhere I looked people were smiling and happy and chatting and exclaiming over how beautiful it all was.

Such amazing colors!

So, that’s what there is to see at the north and south ends of M-77 in the UP. Since you can’t all get there this fall, I figured you wouldn’t mind if I shared.

Hope you’re smiling now too!

Note: You really should look at these images on something bigger than a phone. You’ll smile wider I promise.

Author: dawnkinster

I'm a long time banker having worked in banks since the age of 17. I took a break when I turned 50 and went back to school. I graduated right when the economy took a turn for the worst and after a year of library work found myself unemployed. I was lucky that my previous bank employer wanted me back. So here I am again, a long time banker. Change is hard.

28 thoughts on “Both ends of the road

  1. There is so much beauty to be seen in this country, with each state having its own style. The beauty found in your state of Michigan is some of my favorite kind – huge ponds of water with the attendant lighthouses. And the fields with the attendant barns. And trees. And THE bridge! And skies. And how fortunate I am to get to share them because of your wanderlust and camera.


  2. Nice, hopefully next year you’ll let us Canadians back in. I’m planning to go west through Ontario with my youngest sister and her husband next summer. We would go through Canada but it would be great to come back through the States.


    • Not sure you’ll want to be here, we’re so divided and angry with each other. On the other hand, the campgrounds are still pretty neutral places. I hope you can come through the US next year too!


  3. Thanks for sharing your U.P. getaway with us, Dawn. Oddly, in all the time I’ve spent north of the Bridge, I’ve never gone to that little lake, but whenever I see pictures of it I remember the postcard some Traverse City neighbor kids sent us 50 years ago. Looks lovely —


    • My husband visited the spring as a kid with his folks. I’d never heard of it, which is odd given how much our family traveled. But I guess we didn’t go up to the UP very often…maybe never! Bruce says it’s pretty much the same, except there wasn’t a big wheel to turn to move the barge, you just pulled along on a line by hand. He remembers his dad doing that.


  4. I’m adding the UP to my bucket list again. I missed all that the last time I was there.


  5. Dawn, thank you so much for sharing your trip and photos. I thoroughly enjoy armchair traveling with you. So much beauty! I loved the shot of the swan’s hiney – talk about being in the right place at the right time! The fluorescent colors of the spring are almost otherworldly. Did you see any fish? How wonderful that you were provided a (set up!) borrowed tent – your trip would have been so different without it. That random act of kindness made my heart smile. Katie will be so happy to have her mama home! Please give the sweet Princess a pat from me.


  6. Wow! That spring is gorgeous!


  7. I’m enjoying this trip with you! Love the lighthouse but that spring is amazing! Beautiful colors!


  8. Love that you shared. What a spectacular place filled with beauty.


  9. It’s been years since I’ve been there – it is such a beautiful place to visit. You captured gorgeous shots (as always!). Thanks for the smiles today!!


  10. Sooo many gorgeous things to see in your part of the world — thank you for sharing them, Dawn I’d love to see that green water … and the big fishies!


  11. Kitch-Iti-Kipi and the water and the barge are fascinating, I looked them up online too. I need to get back over to Michigan soon! But also I love your description of the rain and wind, and the photo of the water on your windshield. Really cool. 🙂


  12. Oh how fun! We have never been to Kitch-Iti-Kipi but have heard grand stories about how cool it is. (And have never been to Grand Marais, either, although our son did a week of an internship there years ago.)


    • You should go over to Grand Marais sometime, have lunch, wander the beach. And separately go down to Manistique for a quick visit to the spring. It doesn’t take long, especially now, when tourist traffic is less…there’s probably other things to do in Manistique too.

      Liked by 1 person

  13. Hey Mikey and CeeCee live in Manistique…I would like to visit them ! Your photos are lovely~!

    Liked by 1 person

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