Saturday, September 8, 2012


How could I be so lucky?  My traveling life is superb and I am very very happy.

We got on the road from Escanaba after the fog cleared this fine Sept. 4th morning , and we headed to Marquette, college town for Northern MI University... Gorgeous brick buildings, on the Lake Superior waterfront, and we had a "Sneeches Break" in a waterfront park to eat fabulous salads from The Waterfront Restaurant!  SO excellent.  After lunch, we moved on to Copper Harbor and skidded in just in time by 8:30 pm, closing time,to grab the last 2 bedroom camper cabin in Fort Wilkins Historical Park and bought two bundles of firewood and immediately decided to stay 2 days, since we could see the rainstorms coming in!  What a great place to hole up, right ON THE WATER of Lake Fanny Hooe.  Our cabin also came with a row boat and a big fire pit and grill!  True, we had to pee outside, but who's all nature!  We got to grill local steaks, eat outside and enjoy a covered porch in the rain...time to read and relax for two whole days.  Life is so good!

After two lazy days off, we drove to Eagle Harbor/Eagle River...oh my, don't make me ever leave!

Big Sand Bay Beach caused me to pull over and gape in awe...a windsurfer entertained us with his flips and antics and I was amazed at the sheer beauty of this Heavenly Place!  We drove a little further south to find an even More amazing beach with picnic tables sitting ON the beach at the water's one there on this fine Sept. 5th afternoon!  Somebody pinch me!

Hated to move away from this spot, but I made many notes of where I will stay when I return for a two week vacation to enjoy this place without moving on!

Next up was the beautiful drive down to Ontonagon, where we would choose the pet friendly SUNSHINE MOTEL, with it's beach access and it's proximity to The Porcupine Mountains, and we ended up staying two days, because owners Bruce and Kay were stupendous!  They built a fire pit for all the travelers and we had drinks and conversations until the rainstorm drove us all inside for the night!  There are such good people in the world!

Arose with ease the next morning and took off for a nice long day-trip through The Porcupine Mountains and got to stop at the gorgeous Lake of The Clouds to see this beautiful overlook.  We could see for miles and the colors are just starting to change up here, which adds to the beauty.  Then we went onward to Presque Isle to see the gorgeous waterfalls of that area of the park and then took a new way home, called " get to the closest gas station"!  Bingo's on Hwy. 28 was the place, and we returned to The Sunshine Motel to see Sneeches before taking off to town (Octonagon) for a great thin-crust pizza at Northwoods Cafe!  Home to sleep.

Today is Sept. 8th, 2012 already!  Where does the time go?

We decided to head back through The Porcupines to enjoy The Summit Peak, and I'm glad we did!  What a gorgeous climbing hike through the woods to a beautiful overlook and then on to the Tower to see the entire area below from this Eagles viewpoint at the top!  Its a must for travelers who are in this area!

Then off we go, storm clouds threatening us from the West.  We decided on Ironwood, but 20 miles out, George took the storm route and continued in the direction of Montana on Hwy. 2, brave soul, and I hightailed it on Hwy. 2 for higher ground East of there.  Hard to say goodbye to my traveling partner, "Wingman", but our separate lives call to us from separate directions!  I chose the sunny direction, by the way, and am safely tucked in here in Iron Mountain with Sneeches, the Wonder Kitten, at another Pet-Friendly establishment!

My next stop on my way home to Lakeview,  MI was Brevort, where Minerva Luella Sneetches, my 11 week old kitten and traveling companion, got to go walking on her leash on the beach.  You should have seen how big her eyes got when she saw all that sand!!!  We arrived in the beautiful town of St. Ignace, near the bridge, where Sneetches and I chose the pet-friendly Driftwood Motel, right across from the beach.  What a great place, with fabulous friendly people as their workers and their guests, and a really great sports bar to watch football!  I made new friends while there and will return next year to walk across the Mackinac Bridge again on Labor Day and see everyone again!  I'm getting quite brave riding a Harley Trike across the Mackinac Bridge for the 3rd time as I leave St. Ignace and head for home! I believe I conquered my fear of heights while WALKING OVER IT on Sept. 3rd, 2012!!!!

As I headed into the lower peninsula, I couldn't help shouting with glee as I headed immediately toward Lake Michigan and found the greatest little road (after all, it was only 1 lane wide) called Hwy. 119 which I followed for 20 miles through "The Tunnel of Trees"...I stopped several times because I encountered no other cars...just two other bikers, enjoying the same scenery.  I just had to get off and admire the view and to tell myself that this has to be one of the treasures of the state of MI!  Oh MY...I loved it and will definitely return to ride this one again!

Next up was a ride through Petoskey, Charlevoix, Traverse City, and then I ended the day with a stay in another sweet motel near Interlochen.  After touring this campus the next morning, I could see just how fortunate kids would be to be able to study music and the arts in this location.  No one was around, so I stood on the large performing arts stage and pretended the audience was in their seats, waiting to see me!  LOL~  Wouldn't THAT be nice?

Then I headed home and arrived safely from this fabulous journey on my Harley Trike, and I'm sure Minerva Luella Sneetches loved getting home too.  When a Harley goes by the house, I see her stop, stare and take a few steps in that direction...

How does it get better than this?

Tuesday, September 4, 2012


Sept. 3, 2012

Sneeches the Wonder Kitten, insisted that we bust it back on the trikes from Munising to St. Ignace to do the Mackinac Bridge walk, so we did.  This was an unscheduled event that we simply couldn't pass up, as we are RIGHT HERE AT THE RIGHT TIME, and I'm glad we said yes! was yet another opportunity, to confront my fear of heights...for a whole 5 miles and two hours!  How could I resist?

Off we sped on the trikes, arriving in St. Ignace close to sunset to the rip off rate of $300/night at The Voyager Motel, in order to grab the last room there and to be 1/2 mile away from the start of the walk!  Note to self:  plan ahead for next year.  However, not even knowing this walk was happening in the first place, I feel lucky to have done it at all!  And it was great fun!  We joined thousands of other walkers of all types and situations to cross this bridge in the sunshine with the glistening dark blue water hundreds of feet below us, boaters cheering us on and cars honking and waving at us from the opposite side of the bridge, as we enjoyed two lanes all to ourselves.  It went well, and I have now conquered my fear of heights (she says hopefully)!  Yay for me.  Sadly, no pets were allowed, so Sneeches had to hear about the walk vicariously.  

After the walk, we resumed our Harley ride to see the remainder of the U.P. by heading out on beautiful Hwy. 2, running along the beautiful sandy beaches outside of St. Ignace as we sped toward Escanaba.  We stopped for a local treat of pasties along the way and ate at a picnic overlook on Lake MI, and then continued the journey toward Escanaba.  

About 30 miles shy of Escanaba, we got hit by a thunderstorm so severe that we had to pull off under a rain shelter at a rest stop and wait out the worst of it!  Yikes, I hate lightening.  Sneeches the Wonder Kitten, didn't like it either, so we waited it out for about an hour, bikes covered and rain gear donned!  We met other area riders heading our way, and one woman joined us for the remaining 30 miles to Escanaba in the light rain.  We headed to the waterfront in Ludington for a look around and then attempted to find an unbooked hotel that allowed superior beings known as pets!  Finally found one called America's Best Inn  and got checked in before the second storm hit, and got tucked inside just in time.  We ordered pizza and stayed in to relax last night, listening to the rain beat down.  Riding in adverse conditions can be tiring, and a good night's sleep feels so good.

Next stop is Marquette and Copper Harbor, but heavy fog this morning is allowing me all the time I need to type up this blog and watch Sneeches nap with a smile on her face, while allowing the sun to do it's job!

Life is VERY VERY GOOD, and I am appreciating this gorgeous first peek at the Upper Peninsula of MI, as well as getting reacquainted with the lower peninsula, too.  I left my childhood farm in Eaton Rapids, MI at the age of 18 years old and headed to Chicago and after 5 years there, I have been living mostly on the West Coast for the past 40 years.  I came back to MI one year ago and bought a cabin on Townline Lake in Lakeview and am getting to know my old state quite well!  Let the big adventures continue!

UP... In The Upper Peninsula

This particular journey started out on a sunny morning in Lakeview MI as friend, George, packed up his army green Harley Trike and I packed up my flaming red Harley trike ( Ms. Scarlet Ruby O'Gould) to head out along the Lake MI coastline toward the Upper Peninsula of MI.  No reservations, wide open roads ahead, camping gear stashed everywhere and a very special passenger in my rear passenger seat...10 week old kitten, Miss Minerva Luella Sneeches, taking her first long trip on the Trike!  

I could tell that Sneeches was an adventurer when she showed up on my doorstep at 5 weeks old in a shoebox.  After admiring her three colored tiny calico body, and telling her that she was too tiny to be without her Mommy, I explained to her that I am an adventurer and already had some big trips planned on my Harley!  She didn't bat an eye!  So here she is with me today, flying down the blue highways, visiting towns throughout MI's Upper Peninsula, traveling along as if she's done this for lifetimes!

At our first lunch stop, Pentwater, we stopped by a nice waterfront park near the yacht club, as I was sure shed like to have her kitten food lunch in style.  We got burgers to go, and she got out of her travel cage and got to run around on her leash!  She met small children to love up on her and barely had time to squeeze in eating!  We ordered burgers to go from Teddy Bear's on the main drag and they were fabulous!

Then off we roared to Frankfort, MI!  Great stop there at Little Betsie River Campground where she was quickly noticed by neighbors, Pam and Chris, who became fast friends.  We shared adult beverages together the first night, moved tents to their larger quieter site the next morning, and enjoyed a great meal with them the next night.  Sneeches got all the loving she could handle!

While at Frankfort, we climbed the Sleeping Bear Dunes, saw the Betsie River Lighthouse, explored the area and enjoyed 2 great days!  Gorgeous sunsets over the harbor were the highlight.  There are such good people everywhere!

The next morning, we set out for the base of the Mackinac Bridge, to a waterfront campground called Mackinac's Mill Creek Campground and got set up for the evening.  The highlight was the campfire late into the night, Bose portable iPhone stereo playing the best music, and two sweet kids in a tent next to us who were enamored with Sneeches and " babysat" her for hours!  Such good people in the world!

The next morning, both Sneeches and I had a pep talk with each other to gear up for the very windy ride across the 5 mile long Mackinac Bridge to the Upper Peninsula side of MI.  Now heights are not my favorite thing, but I manned up because Sneeches said it would be a piece of cake.  I stayed off the "grates" and it was.  We crossed without incident, and we're taking a lunch break in St. Ignace before we knew it...celebrating that the 20 mph winds couldn't budge our fully loaded trikes even a little bit!  

After lunch, we struck out for Detour and Drummond Island!  Perfect timing put us on the small car ferry to cross from Detour to the island immediately and we exited onto the island for the 12 mile ride to the yacht club for a break.  What a sweet little island, set back in time, when life was simp,Eric,  and so easy to enjoy...

After ferrying back to Detour, we set out at light speed for a late arrival into Sault Ste. Marie!  On an off chance that I knew somebody well who just might be up there, I texted Roger LeLievre, Publisher of Know Your Ships (I am the Advertising Director of his publication) and he WAS there!  We agreed to meet for lunch and a boat ride the next day, following our Soo Locks Boat Tour of the American and Canadian Locks!  So we checked into the Ojibway Ramada who agreed to a very late check-out the next day, and Sneeches enjoyed a huge room with me while George got some peace and quiet next door!  We romped and played, did laundry, and enjoyed a great meal and cocktails for the evening at our hotel.

What fun this adventure is!  The Soo Locks are fabulous, raising our tour boat up 21' and lowering it again!  And getting to see this working shipping waterfront!  Wow.  Brave people to handle this critically important aspect of our lives.  When we returned to our hotel, Roger met up with us and treated us to a great lunch at The Lockview!  As he told us, it's been there forever!  Then we headed out of town along the St. Mary's River, a wide deep shipping lane, and got to see his waterfront sweet cabin, and go for a ride on the river, meeting up with The Algoma Spirit, a massive ship, heading to port to pick up her load of slag to take to points along the shore to build roads.  We waved at the Captain, a friend of Rogers's, and then made our way back to his cabin.  

Next stop, Curley's Motel in Paradise.  How fun to say you live in Paradise.  It's now Aug. 31st, and a Blue Moon is shining brightly overhead.  We grabbed a quick dinner and watched a little of the MSU vs. Boise State game before settling in rocking chairs outside of our rooms to listen to music and see the Moon.  Sneeches made more friends and the motel owner asked if she could babysit her the next day while we visited Whitefish Point to see The Great Shipwrecks Museum, and we said yes!   What a great Museum and what a sad history of the sailors who have lost their lives.  Over 400 ships, so far, didn't make it around the gales and the shoals of Whitefish Point, and most are still at the bottom of this Great Lake Superior.

We snatched Sneeches and headed out to Tahquemenon Falls with her to see the Upper and Lower Falls.  She trotted alongside us as if she'd been leash trained forever.  Such an amazing little, am I ever grateful for her resilience, adaptability and spunk!  Beautiful stop along the way on this trip...

Next stop, Munising!  Here, we grabbed a Super 8 motel for the night, just outside of town.  The town was sold-out for this Labor Day holiday weekend, but we managed to smuggle Sneeches into this NO PETS ALLOWED last room open, and she promised to be REAL QUIET!  She was, and we escaped the next morning without being jailed!

We boarded the 10 am Pictured Rocks Cruise, after leaving Sneeches in. Pet holding area to converse with the dogs and to set them straight about cats, and we took off for a sunny beautiful cruise along the gorgeous shoreline of Lake Superior!  Couldn't have been a better day for it!