Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Vacation Recap: The U. P.

We lit out from Ypsi about 6:30 AM on Wednesday, hitting the Bridge around noon after a couple rest area stops. We had lunch @ a scenic over-look & then hit The Mystery Spot. I hadn't been there since I was 10 or 11. It was fun & the kids realy dug it. There were a couple guys there (a 40ish man & his father), & they seemed to buy it all. Even Solstice & Aiden were looking @ them like "WTF???" It was pretty funny. Afterwards, we walked around St. Ignace a bit, saw some really ridiculous/ketchy/chimilicious/racist Native American imagery, & scored an ice-cream cone before visiting Stephanie's cousin whom we hadn't seen in years. That was a nice little visit.

The campground was beautiful. We could see the bridge from our site, & we jus had to walk across to the beach... which wasn't really a beach, but the kids waded around a bit, & I taught them how to skip stones. We cooked hot dogs & beans on the fire, got an uncampingly good sleep, & made pancakes & sausage before we hit the road to Tahquamenon Falls. We stopped @ a deer ranch to feed the deer... including a couple albinos. Isaiah love it & cracked up every time one would eat a cracker out of his hand. Afterwards, rather than the direct route, we followed US 2 along the coast for a while before turning North. Stephanie found Paquin Creek on the map & it was only a couple miles passed where we were to turn so we kept on cruising for a photo op. Paquin Creek Rd, although on the map, is a road in name only. After a few hundred feet, it became dirt. It quickly narrowed to only 1 car width across, became a 2-track, & then we hit the soft sand. Rolling in a full-size van down this little path was kind of scary, but we finally found a place to turn around & made it out to find the actual creek about a mile further up US 2. We took a pic & turned around. The drive along US 2 was absolutely beautiful, & then once we started heading up to the falls, the beauty continued for another 2 hours.

Our 1st stop was @ the Lower Falls where we walked about a mile along the path by the river before going to our site. Solstice & Aiden were such great help setting up & tearing down every day. We then found a beach about 20 minutes away (@ the mouth of the river). Since the river was coming in there, it was a lot warmer than every other Lake Superior beach @ which I've ever swam. We then hit the Upper Falls & The Tahquamenon Falls Brewery. I had the stout which was good, but not at all like it was advertised. They compared it to Guinness, but it was more like an American Stout w/ hints of chocolate & coffee. Stephanie had the cherry wheat which is light & smooth. Back @ the site, we cooked more hot dogs & I boiled a big pot of H2O on the fire to cook some corn.Sleep on the 2nd night wasn't as sound as on the 1st, but the drive back to St. Ignace was nice along US 123. Just north of the Bridge we hit our 3rd tourist tap in 2 days: Castle Rock. I was last there around the same time I was last @ The Mystery Spot. I climbed it w/ Aiden & Solstice, but Stephanie & Isaiah waited on the ground. Aiden didn't want to go across the bridge, but Solstice was fearless. I don't think I would have complained if she didn't want to go, but as it stood, I had to make the trek across to the top. It's a cheesy fucking place, but the view is amazing. we were back on the road just in time to miss the Brazil v Netherlands match, but I heard about the results later @ lunch. The UP had no 3G coverage & even the basic phone connections were hit-or-miss. We tried to up-load pics when we could, but even once we crossed the bridge, 3G coverage was spotty until yesterday afternoon when we hit Grand Rapids. why were we in Grand rapids? Tune in tomorrow for the 2nd part of the Vacation Recap & maybe you'll find out.
Aiden @ The Mystery Spot
The bridge from our site
The Upper Falls
Up on Castle Rock

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