Michigan’s Upper Peninsula, Part IV

I had three wishes for this trip.

The first wish was to see beautiful fall colors; ideally, the peak of the fall colors in Michigan. CHECK! Nearly everywhere we’ve gone, the leaves have been ablaze in glorious Technicolor. In the few instances when they were less-than-spectacular, it’s almost been a relief. After miles of near-constant head swiveling and photo snapping, my eyeballs, neck, and brain beg for a reprieve. I’m surprised my phone hasn’t exploded from all the pictures I’ve taken.

My second wish was to have an unobstructed view of the Milky Way and to maybe, just maybe, see the Northern Lights. Wah. Wah. The night sky at the first house we stayed at was completely blocked by the canopy of the pines that surrounded the house. There was no beach to walk out onto to get out from underneath the canopy of the trees, and when we did manage to get to a place where we had an open view, it was invariably cloudy. Still, we got some great night shots looking out over the lake with the light from the nearly full moon, but no Milky Way, no Northern Lights.

Moonlight over Lake Superior

By the time we got to the house in Saint Ignace, MI, where we are now, the moon was totally full and brighter than I’ve ever seen it. While there’s plenty of beach to walk out onto here to get out from underneath the trees, the blindly bright moonlight has obliterated the stars. The upside was that it made the most clearly defined moon shadows I’ve ever seen. The shadows in the picture below are made entirely by moonlight. There was no other light behind us.

The last two nights have been overcast, so we’ve had some beautiful sunsets, thanks to the clouds, but no Milky Way, no Northern Lights.

My third wish, after the last couple of crazy years selling real estate, was to get far enough up into the north woods of Michigan to not have a phone or internet connection. I’m here to tell you that the old adage, “Be careful what you wish for,” is true. As relaxing as it’s been to not have my phone ringing off the hook or to hear the constant beep of incoming emails and texts, it’s been a bit unnerving to look down at my phone and see “No Service.” I hadn’t thought through the inconvenience of not having a connection when we needed directions, a restaurant review, or info on where to find the nearest gas station. Thankfully, we’ve not been disconnected 100% of the time, but it’s been often enough that I’ll be careful what I wish for in the future. We did have a pretty solid internet connection at the first house because the hosts had Starlink–although not anywhere else up there–but that is not the case here at the house in Saint Ignace. The only connection we have is the personal hotspot connection from our phones and Tom’s iPad, and on a really good day with the wind blowing just right and all the planets aligned perfectly, we get two bars. Needless to say, the service is not terribly speedy. In an effort to not lose our minds and to be able to download all the pictures I’ve been taking, we’ve spent a couple of afternoons (like right now) in the public library of whatever town we happen to be in at the time. This afternoon, it’s the public library in Petoskey, MI. In our defense, we’re going to go out and explore this lovely bayside city in a bit and find something to eat for lunch; but clearly, we are too dependent on our technology.

We’ve done so many amazing things since getting up here. I’m going to spare the long narratives and just post a few photos with captions to give you a general idea of what we’ve been up to. I’ll sit back down later and share more of the details. In the meantime, enjoy.

The ferry from Saint Ignace over to Mackinac Island. The white building on the shoreline is the Grand Hotel, which we didn’t visit because we were dressed for biking, not high tea.
One of the views from M-185, which is the road that hugs the entire shoreline (8 miles) around Mackinac Island. The ride was so beautiful, we biked all the way around counter-clockwise, came into town to have lunch, and then got back on our bikes and rode it clockwise. Gorgeous! One of the best afternoons ever!

The Arch is one of the stops on the ride.

Tahquamenon Falls, the second largest waterfall east of the Rockies. Second in size only to Niagara Falls.

The Old Lighthouse near Painted Rocks State Park.
Views from the Pictured Rocks cruise we took on Tuesday. We lucked out and had a beautiful day to be out on Lake Superior.
The next day, they had rain and six foot waves.

That’s all for now. Thanks for stopping in!

One response to “Michigan’s Upper Peninsula, Part IV”

  1. Thanks for the update and beautiful pictures! Bummer about not being able to see the northern lights but so many other picturesque views!

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