Change Is Hard

…but change is certain.

Now where was I…


Yep, I’ve been gone again. Just a few days in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula which, of course, created a couple hundred images for me to sort through. It’s so beautiful up there that it would be impossible not to take a few hundred images. A day.


The light was beautiful. Hard NOT to take a few pictures.

A friend and I drove north on Wednesday, our goal to make it to our hotel in Sault Ste. Marie by late afternoon. Since it’s only about a five hour drive to the bridge (that’s the Mackinaw Bridge for those of you not quite up to speed on Michigan geography) and then less than an hour to the Soo (short for Sault Ste Marie) we had lots of time to meander on our way.

We meandered here during our driving break.

Which is, you have to admit, the best way to travel.

So we stopped at one of my favorite parks, about 3 hours into our trip. Hartwick Pines is a place Katie and I have camped many times.

The logging museum reflects how things were back in the day.

Visiting without her by my side was hard, but it was fun to show it to someone who hadn’t been there before. We ate our lunch under tall white pines and then walked the path back to the logging museum.

A perfect place for lunch.

Along the way we stopped at the chapel. I remember Katie and I doing that walk early one morning only a couple of years ago.

Everywhere I looked I could see her.

A peaceful place to remember my girl.

After our walk we headed north again until we came to the tip of Michigan’s lower peninsula where we stopped to spend some time admiring the Mackinaw Bridge from the shore.

The clouds added a nice touch to the beautiful span.

There’s a lovely little park that allows you to walk right under the bridge. You have to do that, I think it’s some kind of unwritten rule that everyone needs to see the underside of the bridge at least once.

Good to see everything looks ship shape.

I’ve seen it more times than I can count, starting when I was a kid and my folks took us exploring. I think of them every time I stand under that bridge.

I remember my dad taking us out on the water in his homemade canoe, telling us that we were paddling all the way from Lake Huron to Lake Michigan which turned out to be a short paddle under the bridge that bisects the two Great Lakes.

A ship much bigger than our canoe heads from Lake Huron to Lake Michigan.

I still grin over that, all these decades later.

Then it was time to get going, up and over the bridge (where I don’t have images for you because I was driving) and into the Soo. We figured we’d buzz up to the Sault Locks where huge ships traveling the Great Lakes are raised or lowered depending on which direction they’re going.

It was so fun to watch these ‘little’ boats in the lock!

We were just going to find out the visiting hours, we didn’t intend to stay, but we were pleased to see a giant ore boat in the biggest lock. We hurried up to the visitor gallery and saw that the lock closest to us was filled with a tugboat, a tour boat and a sailboat.

Off to get some work done on a Wednesday afternoon.

So we stayed and watched both locks lower their boats. We figured that was that, but then we were surprised to see another huge ship maneuver into the lock closest to us just after it was emptied of the original three smaller boats!

Well, where did YOU come from? We hadn’t seen this ship hiding over near the shore!

So, because the larger ship was just beginning to move out, we were able to watch both locks working at the same time.

The white tall ‘building’ in the second lock is the back of the larger ore boat pulling out.

The one closest to us was now raising the red ship in preparation of it moving west…and the huge lock behind it was filled with a huge ship being lowered so that it could continue on to the east.

I thought this was kind of like walking a dog…only a really BIG dog…

It was fascinating! We couldn’t have timed it better. I’ve been to the locks a couple of times and never saw a big ship in the lock closest to the viewing area.

“The food is pretty good!”

There was a guy on the close ship who was talking to people near us up in the viewing stand. They were asking questions about how the food was, what his hours were, how his family felt about him being gone for weeks at a time. He answered, with a wonderful accent, maybe Australian, with good humor and honest facts. I couldn’t hear much because it was so windy that day, but the bits I heard were interesting.

So it turns out that one of our main objectives for the trip, visiting the locks, was accomplished before we even had dinner on our first day!

Riding high on her way west.

We ate, that evening, at a restaurant called Antlers in the Soo…which is an interesting place filled with…well….antlers. I had a really good burger and decent onion rings and then, stuffed, tired and happy we headed back to the hotel to dream of our next adventure.

Don’t you wonder where we’re going next?

I remember Katie-girl sitting right between those two trees on a trip to this park years ago.

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.

27 thoughts on “Now where was I…

  1. I recognize several of those photos! Looks like you are having fun exploring. Keep being curious and full of wonder. Love the visit to the Soo locks. I remember visiting with our kids many years ago. Would be fun to go back as an adult on an adult trip!


    • Adult trips are lots of fun. Even when you take your adult kids with you. We had a lot of fun exploring for the 3 days we were up there. Hope your first day of school with the kids tomorrow is stellar!


  2. I do wonder! And what a perfect place to have a lunch. Those tall white pines are like a cathedral in the woods. Beautiful trip. Can’t wait to see more.


  3. The locks thing fascinates me, but I really like the under the bridge photo. The massiveness of it…!!


    • It’s a pretty amazing bridge. I used to drive over it regularly when I lived in the UP and my family was downstate. Never bothered me. Now I have to give it a bit of thought and focus. Older and wiser I guess.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. I remember that Bridge! My Dad used to HATE driving over it (we took my sister to Mackinaw Island to work one summer). I’d never heard about walking under it, but something tells me that wouldn’t feel much safer to me! Such fascinating info about the locks and boats. I’m glad Katie was with you in spirit — my eyes still leak when I think of her being gone.


    • My eyes leak all the time. My girl is with me all the time, but I want her WITH me…you know?

      Liked by 1 person

      • I Do know … and understand. Dallas will be with me always — he was my soul-dog. But I have to admit (somewhat grudgingly!) that getting another pup really yanks you out of all that miserable grieving (and something tells me Dallas wouldn’t want to see me crying all the time). Perhaps that’s what they mean when they say we can honor a beloved pet by getting another one and spreading the love around?


  5. I don’t know anything about this part of the country. I may have to go there someday! Your photos make it a tempting destination!


  6. That’s on my list of places to visit some year.


  7. I was getting confused… We have a Sault Ste. Marie in Ontario, also called the Soo – my mother lived there as a child for a few years. Of course I had to look at a map… well call me flabbergasted! I never realised we each had a half, so to speak! This is the coolest learning I’ve had today.

    Wonderful pictures, Dawn. 🙂


  8. Oh, Dawn, why do you do this to me? I want to explore the UP so bad! You drive me nuts! 🙂 Mostly I love the trees and other flora … well, ok, the boats too, and the water, and the history, and the people, and the birds. Someday I’ll get back over there from the west coast where I live … get back to Michigan country where my dad was born in 1898. Really appreciate all you do to take the photos, edit them, and share them with us. You’re a gem.


    • I love being your advance tour guide suggestor person. No trouble at all! I hope you DO make it over here, but it’s a long long drive. So much to see in the middle between there and here, you might take several years to get to the Great Lakes! Heads up though. If you ever plan on camping in the UP at the State Parks you need to get those reservations in early! You can start reserving 6 months before your visit and the parks fill up quickly! I just reserved 5 nights in 2 parks for next week, and got the only open site in both of them, probably created by someone canceling. It’s crazy.


  9. Awesome stuff! Lake Michigan is gorgeous. Sounds like many old memories can now be mixed with new ones.

    We have a bike path that takes you to some local locks on the Mohawk river. It was always a favorite for me when I was growing up. My best memory is a guy in a tug boat throwing me an apple turnover while his boat was lowering down.

    I just got back from a mini vacation myself. Came home to empty bird feeders, so I went out with a handful of seed and…… I had three landings of chickadees!!!! Thank you so much for giving me the tip to try it when the birds are hungry! It was thrilling.

    Liked by 1 person

    • That’s so exciting! I’m glad the little birds came down. Chickadees are brave little ones. They’ll be keeping an eye on your now, and might come from the trees whenever you’re out there, just checking to see if you have anything for them. They won’t if there’s other options for food, but they will if the feeders are empty regularly.


  10. This brings back memories of so long ago (when M and I took a camping trip around Lake Michigan; we stood under the bridge, too, and visited the locks, watching a large ship go through). Thank you for that. It looks like such a fun time. 🙂


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