Tuesday, September 4, 2012

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 traveler...wow, 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!

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