Things that made me smile this week:
While I am ‘up north’ today I visited the lighthouse at the very tip of the Leelanau Peninsula. I was walking out among the scrub at the edge of Lake Michigan, looking back at the lighthouse when I realized there were two of them.
It’s always fun when you accidentally run across something that fits a challenge. Thanks Cee!
I know you’ve all been waiting with bated breath for the last installment of vacation photos. Those of you on Facebook have already seen where we were on Monday, our last day of vacation, but to keep my blog complete I’ll show you again!
Monday we were still in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan, so we stopped by Tahquamenon Falls State Park. We were only going to take a quick look, but it was so beautiful we couldn’t keep our visit brief.
Early in the morning there was still a mist over the water down by the lower falls.
Of course we had to stop and enjoy that view…then we wandered down the boardwalk to get up close and personal with the river. If any of you have been here in the summer you know that people row boats over to the island in the middle of the river and play on the big flat rocks. Last Monday the roar of the water made even the thought of playing in the river impossible.
Like every waterfall we saw last week the water flow was much more than normal for this time of year. We stood there mesmerized for a long time.
Eventually we headed over to the upper falls, where you can stand on a platform right at the edge and watch the water rush by your feet.
Isn’t it beautiful? You can also go down 116 steps to the river…
…and get another stunning view.
Now we were really behind schedule, but we wanted to see one more lighthouse in the UP…and it wasn’t that far away, so after we climbed back up the stairs we popped over to the Point Iroquis lighthouse. Meet the man lucky enough to live in this one…
…and his cat Ziggy.
It’s a beautiful lighthouse sitting right on the shore of Lake Superior, built in 1870. Part of it is a private residence, and part of it is a museum.
You can go up in the tower for free; here’s one of the many beautiful views:
Then, reluctantly, we headed south for home. That included a foggy trip across the Mackinac Bridge, always a thrill regardless of the weather….
…and a stop in Mackinaw City which has the Old Mackinac Point Lighthouse…
…and believe it or not, just two miles up the road the McGullpin lighthouse, built in 1868 and privately owned from 1913 to 2008.
It’s a beautiful little lighthouse with a view from the tower of the bridge. Don’t miss this one if you’re ever up in the tip of Michigan’s lower peninsula! I didn’t know it was there, and it’s only been open for a few years. They take donations, but you can go up in the tower for free.
By now it was late in the day and we still had hours of drive ahead of us to get home. No more dawdling, I had to be at work in the morning. So we headed for the freeway and hurried home. We’ve been home all week and I’m still missing ‘up north.’
Till the next trip I’ll just have to enjoy the memories.
I know you just can’t get enough lighthouses and waterfalls are always a favorite, so here’s how we spent Sunday in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan, along Lake Superior’s shore. Sit down…this might take a bit of time.
On our way out of the Copper Country we stopped in Marquette, one of the largest towns in the UP. There we saw the Marquette lighthouse.
It was built in 1866 and is the oldest building in Marquette. There’s a tour available, but we had so much to see that day we decided not to wait. We’ll be through Marquette again, and it’s now on our list of things to do on the next trip.
The museum there has a few retired Coast Guard boats out front, and I’m putting this photo in just for friend Michelle who is retired from the Coast Guard.
These guys have seen better days, but still, they’re being recognized for their work keeping the waterways safe, so it’s all good.
Then as we were passing through Munising we stopped for a quick visit to Miners Falls.
We and about 30 of our closest friends walked the short walkway back to the falls and shot the obligatory picture. Then husband and I climbed stairs and shot one that was more interesting. There is a lot of water falling over the cliff, unusual for this time of year, which made it especially pretty.
Onward we went, heading east across the top of the UP to the Au Sable Light Station, located way out on an isolated point of land near Grand Marais. This is, perhaps, my favorite lighthouse, both because it’s beautiful and because it’s so isolated. As early as 1622 this bit of land was called the most dangerous place for ships during storms because of reefs just offshore. To get to the lighthouse, after you drive miles through beautiful countryside, you walk down a 1.5 mile path along the shore of Lake Superior.
We had a beautiful day and enjoyed listening to the quiet little waves roll against the shore just feet from our path and the golden light streaming in through the fall colors. But still, the 1.5 miles seemed like more. And then finally, finally you could just catch a glimpse. Do you see it?
It’s a window and a bit of the tower. And as you move closer, and then explore the grounds you see what a wonderful building it is.
And inside the rooms were huge, painted as they would have been in 1910, with wonderful views of the lake outside the many windows.
We stayed there a long time, and not just because we were resting up from the 1.5 mile hike in and the 94 stairs up to the top of the tower (where you could see views like this!)…or the thought of the 1.5 mile hike back to the car.
Really. It was just that it was so beautiful there.
We eventually had to move on…we wanted to get to Whitefish Point for sunset…many miles to the east. But first we stopped at Sable Falls, a waterfall quite close to the lighthouse. The information we had said the walk to the falls was only 500 yards from the parking lot. We knew we could do that, though we were stiffening up on the drive over there.
It is an absolutely beautiful waterfall!
They apparently didn’t think it was important to mention the 166 steps you needed to climb down in order to see this wonderful waterfall. Or the 166 steps you had to drag yourself back up after.
But we made it, and lived to laugh all 500 yards back to the car.
Now we had to really hurry to get out to Whitefish Point, along the eastern edge of the UP, up at the top, it’s near where the freighter SS Edmund Fitzgerald sank in a November storm in 1975.
We arrived as the sun was sinking, the evening was warm, the light was pink.
Sunday night the lake was deceptively calm and as we waited for the sunset we watched another freighter pass silently by.
We walked maybe a half a mile or more down the beach, clambering over logs tossed to shore during past storms and slipping on smooth Superior polished stones as we chased the sun. We must have taken hundreds of pictures of the sky filled with peach and pink and then orange light. I’ll share just one. You can imagine the rest.
After the sun went down and the freighter slipped over the horizon we picked our way through the growing darkness to the car.
And we smiled.