Weekending: Pure Michigan
Sunday: Seney National Wildlife Refuge & Kitch-iti-kipi

Saturday: Tahquamenon Falls & Whitefish Point

It was a damp  & drippy on Saturday morning. We'd planned to visit Tahquamenon Falls, and figured that a waterfall would be pretty even in the rain... and, since it was raining, thought we might practically have the place to ourselves.

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Hahaha. Well, we got the first part right, though the rain let up and it was barely a mist by the time we arrived... to find a nearly full parking lot!! 

That's the Upper Falls -- one of the largest waterfalls east of the Mississippi. It is beautiful beyond words!

We drove up to the Lower Falls and took a quick look... while also incredibly beautiful, there was a bit of a hike to get a really good look... but mostly there were people! Instead, we decided to visit Whitefish Point; Rusty was intrigued after seeing a billboard!

But first, a quick little lunch at the park concession stand.

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My share of a dish of "Michigan Pothole" ice cream for dessert!

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A drippy drive.

The Great Lakes Shipwreck Museum and the Whitefish Point Light Station are located at Whitefish Point.

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a.k.a. Graveyard of the Great Lakes.

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The searchers all say they'd have made Whitefish Bay
If they'd put fifteen more miles behind her

I was in high school about 30 miles south of Lake Superior in 1975, and the wreck of Edmund Fitzgerald was huge news.

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While Rusty took a blustery hike around the Point...

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I worked on a new hat for Gin that I'd cast on over morning coffee.

We re-traced our steps through Tahquamenon on our return, and decided to check out one of the hiking paths. It was a short, squishy little hike and we didn't go very far, but I found so many mushrooms!

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I'd recently gone to a presentation about mushrooms at our local nature center, so it was really fun to spot some that we'd talked about! Nature is cool.

On the way back to our place, we drove by a derelict motel and were intrigued enough to make a u-turn in order to investigate more.

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This, one of many roadside motels that we passed by, reminded us of a storybook cottage/village. Unfortunately, most are in a similar state, though I'd argue that this one holds some treasures within. It was as if time stood still... someone turned that sign to "CLOSED" one day, and never looked back (though I think they might still live next door). Recession, astronomical gas prices, changes in the way people spend their vacation time... whatever the reason they closed in the first place (and not terribly long ago, as all of the little cottages had satellite dishes affixed), the weather is definitely taking it's toll now.

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We returned to our little cottage long enough to wipe a little of the mud off of ourselves and watch a bit of sunset before heading out for dinner. We went just a few miles up the road to Chamberlin's Ole Forest Inn -- where we didn't have a reservation because, I don't know... we seriously underestimated the goings-on of October in the U.P.! It was only a half-hour wait, and a gorgeous evening to sit on the porch with a cocktail. Rusty enjoyed stuffed whitefish and I had the most delectable pan-fried bluegill. It was cozy & charming!

Stay tuned for Day 2!

Comments

Bonny

Wow; what wondrous and beautiful scenery, foliage, and mushrooms! (And thanks for the Gordon Lightfoot that I'll be singing today!)

Robin F

Those orange mushrooms look like mandarin oranges! Fascinating sites to visit. I love the fall colors!

Annette

My hubbie and I vacationed in that area a couple summers ago and it was the most peaceful and languorous one we had. Marquette city in the UP also has a great summer farmer's market and the hiking/bike trails are so numerous.
Your visit and photographs are so colorful, they make me want to go again. And again.

Marcy

The beautiful pictures! I have never been in this area. Thanks for the tour!

Carole

Dale will be SO jealous of your visit to the Edmund Fitzgerald site! Sounds like a great day and all of those mushroom photos are fantastic!

Mary

I had no idea that the Edmund Fitzgerald wreck was so recent. Thank you for sharing a history and a biology lesson today! The two photos of the closed motel tell a sad story....

Barbara Post

Oh. Those. Fungi. Beautiful.

Kym

My entire family has wonderful memories of our UP vacation that included pretty much the same stops you write about (minus the creepy hotel. . . ). I think Whitefish Point is my favorite spot in all of Michigan. (Although after visiting the museum, I couldn't get the Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald song out of my head for weeks. . . ) Thanks for sharing your adventure!

margene

I am always intrigued by places that look just as they did the day the door before they closed. The Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald is the unofficial song of our SnB. For years (it seemed) it was on the radio at the coffee shop during our meetings. We always make note of it when we hear it in the wild. Thank you for bringing it alive (although I hope not to hear it anytime soon). I love seeing the places you go!

gale zucker/ she shoots sheep shots

Ear worm installed ...ummm..thanks? ;-)

That motel! That's the kind of place I'd spend the rest of the day thinking about what if? buying and turning into a...retreat of some sort. That one is a gem,I love the stone cottage main building.

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