On the road

We pulled out of the driveway around 11:00 this morning, stopped in the Sault to do a few errands, and crossed the bridge into Michigan right at noon. Jack cheerfully explained to the border guard, who was staring in at the packed car, that we were going to Mexico and the only things we were leaving behind were a few small gifts — and a squash. I was sure it would turn out the squash was a banned item and we’d be subjected to a search, but he just waved us on. (Jenny, I hope you like squash. I rescued it from the root cellar this morning.)

1The drive across the lower shore of Michigan’s Upper Peninsula is not particularly scenic on a dreary December day, but the sky and clouds were interesting and we got some nice views of northern tip of Lake Michigan. Geographically challenged as I am, I need to look at a map

frequently to remind myself of the shape of the peninsula and its relationship to the Lakes.

This stretch of Highway 2–which we’ve never driven before–reminded me of Highway 17 north of the Sault: wooded; sparsely populated; small motels, closed for the season, separated from the lake by the highway; lots of dilapidated and abandoned structures–homes, gas stations, sheds of various descriptions. And interspersed among all this, cute holiday cottages, mostly log construction, with smoke coming out of some chimneys. Snuggling in for the holidays?

3

We stopped for lunch in the cross-roads town of Epoufette where the café overlooking the lake provided binoculars for patrons. With them, we could see the Mackinaw Bridge off in the distance. Here’s the view without the bridge.

 

 

Signs everywhere of the low water levels plaguing the upper lakes. Superior is way down; Huron too. It seems Michigan is as well. Conspiracy theorists insist water is being secretly

2stolen from Superior, but most people think it’s the natural result of warmer winters and drier summers. I will try to resist reference to climate change in every post.

 

 

And no, it’s not a f4unnel cloud. It’s a sign that we’re approach Escanaba, our destination for tonight. Given the number of trucks filled with logs we passed on the highway, there must be a wood products industry here, spewing out smoke.

If you ever happen to be in the little Michigan town of Escanaba, check out the Stonehouse Restaurant. Great food, lots of local fish. Tomorrow, to Wabasha, Minnesota.

 

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