Airstream Time

Exploring North America in an Airstream

Archive for ‘October 12th, 2018’

Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore

Sunday, October 7, 2018

It was 48 degrees with a 12mph breeze, but we bundled up and went on the Pictured Rocks Cruise. It is usually a 2 1/2 hour cruise, but they said if it gets rough, they would turn around. I had been on this cruise maybe 10 years ago on an absolutely perfect fall day. This time it was cloudy, breezy and chilly sitting on the top, open deck so I could get pictures. I was surprised to see Martha come up top and more surprised that she stayed there the whole time. 

John, a retired National Parks ranger, who now works the cruise, sat down to look at my new Nikon 200-500 lens. He grew up in Wisconsin, but traveled all over with the parks, living in Harrisonburg while working for the Shenandoah National Park. He had visited Charlottesville many times. 

The captain come on the speakers suggesting if you get seasick, you might want to get off. I get seasick, but I was guessing it wouldn’t get too bad. He introduced Grand Island on our left that helped protect Munising from the weather. The small town is at the top of Munising Bay, named by the Indians meaning near the Island. Grand Island is 49 square miles, larger than Manhattan, population 47. 

As we cruised out with two Cummings diesel engines at 15mph, the captain told us about the park, which is 40 miles long. Water seeping through the rock cliffs makes different colors and designs on the cliffs. Iron, copper, manganese and limestone play their part. Water, ice and time carve cliffs to look like an Indian chief, a battleship or a castle. The fall colors were gorgeous, even though the sun wasn’t lighting them up. As we rounded a corner, the waves got bigger and the captain said we were heading back. We went along Grand Island on the way back. Some executives bought the island years ago and stocked it with game as their hunting preserve. There was just one problem. When winter came, the whole bay froze, and the deer, caribou and moose walked off the island. As we entered the harbor, the captain invited us to come to live in Munising. We should like snow sports as they get 272 inches of snow a year, and the bay freezes over. However there are hundreds of miles of snowmobile and cross-country ski trails. He said the bay is filled with ice fishing shacks in winter.

After warming up in the Airstream and some lunch, we went to see several of the 11 nearby waterfalls. We stopped in Open Wings Art and Fine Crafts for a look. It’s a very nice store featuring arts and crafts by local artisans. Wooden bowls and vases, knitted gloves, paintings of wildlife and Pictured Rocks, ceramics, photography and many other things were neatly arranged. We walked out with a bag full of things. Then back home for some split pea soup Martha made in the slow cooker – perfect for a chilly day. 

Tunnel of Trees

Friday, October 5, 2018

We spent the morning driving the Tunnel of Trees that runs between Cross Village to Harbor Springs, just north of Petoskey along M119. It follows a bluff over Lake Michigan. Cabins, cottages and houses dot both sides of the road, and add to the scenery. We stopped in the shops of Good Hart. There are so many cabins and cottages in this land of lakes, it is fun to go in some of the cabin stores. Michigan is bordered by four of the Great Lakes and there are lots of interior lakes, all of which are dotted with cabins.

It was lunch time when we got to Harbor Springs, a darling little town on Little Traverse Bay. Seeing several local ladies going into Colin’s Cafe, we parked and went in. It is a cute, little shop that makes great sandwiches, scones and cakes, coffees and teas. 

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We walked the downtown shops a bit and bought a few little things, including scones and pastries, before heading out. Now I can’t decide where I want to live – Petoskey or Harbor Springs. We drove back to camp and took a short hike around a lake in Wilderness State Park, then made a fire, having a steak meat pie for dinner from the farmer’s market in Holland. I was surprised by a phone call from Traverse City. It was Joe from Nature & Me RV, wanting to know if everything was working all right. Are you kidding me?! “Do you call everyone?” I asked. “Yes we just want to know if you are having any trouble”. Geez!