Exploring the UP, Part II


There’s a storm coming. We knew we were going to get rain tomorrow and had been planning activities accordingly, but we were surprised when we pulled up Weather.com this morning and found a “Gale Warning” banner across the top of the screen. That’s new for us. Living in the Midwest, we’re accustomed to all kinds of weather warnings, but a “Gale Warning” is not one of them. Digging into the details, we discovered that a “Gale Warning” essentially means “Everyone get off the lake (Lake Superior) entirely or get your vessel into a safe harbor!” And they mean everybody…even the huge ocean-going ships. Hmmm. Sounds serious. Well, it is. Potentially. The National Weather Service in Marquette, MI, is predicting 20 to 30 knot (23-34.6 mph) winds with gusts up to 40 knots (46.1 mph) and 8- to 13-foot waves. We’re on the leeward side of the peninsula, so we’ve been told it won’t be as crazy on this side as on the west side of the peninsula, but still, we stowed all the deck furniture in the shed and loaded in groceries to hold us until Friday.

We also ran out this morning to take, what we fear, may be the last good pictures of the fall colors. With winds at the speeds they’re predicting, it’s not out of the question that all the trees will be naked when we wake up Friday morning. Time will tell, but we had a lot of fun driving around, snapping photos of some Michigan fall scenery. Here are a couple for your viewing pleasure:

If you’re a leaf-peeper, we can’t recommend Highway 41 between the turn-off to Gay-Lac LaBelle Road and Copper Harbor highly enough. Not only are the colors incredible, but the trees form a canopy over the road for nearly 10 miles. You feel like you’re wrapped in a fall quilt. Better yet, swing by the Wood’n Spoon in Mohawk and grab some of their delicious homemade cookies to nosh on (we can highly recommend the Snickerdoodles and the peanut butter cookies) while you’re driving and gawking. While you’re there, you might as well grab a jar of homemade Wild Thimbleberry Jam, another UP favorite, to have for breakfast tomorrow while you watch the storm over the lake from the safety of your living room…or something like that. It’s not a bad life. Both the pictures above are from that stretch of road.

The trees lining the road (see below) between Gay, MI, and Mohawk, MI, are no less spectacular. They just don’t form a colorful cathedral to drive through the same way the trees on Highway 41 do. Still, they are more than worth the effort to go see.

And yes! I stood right in the middle of the road to take this picture because There. Is. No. One. Else. Up. Here!

Oh, and we kicked the whole leaf-peeping tour with a stop at the small but lovely roadside park right by the house that has a sand beach. Sand beaches aren’t rare in the UP; they’re just the exception rather than the rule. At least in this part of the state. It was fun to be able to walk out close to the water without having to balance on slick boulders. Not that we’ve let the boulders stop us completely. We aren’t that old and wimpy! Tom even found a few flat rocks to skip into the waves. He’s still got it! I would tell you how many times he got the rock to skip, but he’s a humble man.

Come back tomorrow, and I’ll give you an update on the storm! Thanks for reading!


3 responses to “Exploring the UP, Part II”

  1. Beautiful pics! Glad you’re inside and safe from the gale winds and not in a house boat! Take care friends.

  2. So pretty! Let us know how you fare in the wind, but sounds like you have good snacks and plenty to read! Love you!

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