Friday, June 22, 2018

Lake Superior Circle Tour-Day 6 , 7 & 8 to Munising, Michigan and Home

We had a nice hotel breakfast, packed up our luggage and left for the border.  Canada was nice, but I was looking forward to getting back in the United States.  In many parts of Canada we didn't have any cell service.  For most of my life, I wasn't connected all the time to family and friends, but now it feels really strange not to be able to contact someone.  Our cell phone costs for international calls are expensive.  Calls are $0.99 a minute, texts cost to send and receive plus you pay for each MB.  Fortunately  Verizon has a travel pass for $5 per day to use your own plan.  I also usually used the wifi in the motels so I only had to pay $10 extra and that was because I got a couple text messages coming in.   In case of an emergency, Canada did have wifi and pay phones available at some of the travel centers.

I hadn't seen a functioning pay phone for a long time.

We started out using our GPS to find our way to the border, but it did not follow the actual signs.  We decided to trust the signs instead.  We ended up going around the block a couple times before we figured out where to turn.  We could see where we needed to go but didn't figure out how to get there at first.

When we were finally going the right way, it was pretty easy although the American border patrol  was not nearly as friendly as the Canadians when we entered Canada from Minnesota.  They make you feel like you are smuggling and being dishonest when there is no reason to feel that way.

We entered the United States into Michigan.  We had seen the big ships go through the Soo locks a few times before so we continued on.  If you haven't seen it, it is pretty amazing.  We had arranged to meet my sister and her husband at Tahquamenon Falls.   We had been there before, but they had not.  We were there in the fall, and it was beautiful.  This time was nice but not nearly as pretty.  I highly recommend visiting in the fall.

The great part was seeing my sister and her husband.  We hadn't seen them for almost a year.  After leaving the falls we found a local restaurant for lunch.  Three of us ate the local faire, pasties.  Then we all headed to Munising, Michigan.  We were staying there for two nights to see the sights and have time to visit.  Dinner was at The Dogpatch Restaurant which had a Li'l Abner motif.

We headed for bed anticipating day 2 in Munising.

In the morning we went over to the docks.  We had purchased tickets to take the Pictured Rocks boat trip.  It is a two hour trip on Lake Superior to see the Pictured Rocks up close.

It was a cloudy day but at least it wasn't raining.   Pictured Rocks is a United States National Lakeshore on the Lake Superior shore.  It was the first National lakeshore.  It has fifteen miles of sandstone cliffs, rock formations, waterfalls, caves and some sandy beach areas that can mostly be seen from the water.  The different minerals in the stone gives it different colors.  The iron shows red, manganese is black, limonite is yellow, copper is green and others.  The pictures we have seen in books and online were brilliant like the pictures in this free book we received from the motel.

Though the formations were amazing, the colors weren't this bright.  Maybe if it were a very sunny warm day and if I would have used my good camera, I could have gotten a better result although cell phone cameras do a pretty good job now days.  It was still worth the trip, and I'm so glad we could see them.  I took so many photos that I couldn't include all of them.  This is just a sampling.

If you look carefully, you can see a small pile of snow in the cave. 

One of the interesting sights was a huge lone tree appearing to grow out of a rock spire.  At one time the spire was connected to the mainland and the tree root ran horizontally.  Through erosion the rock fell away leaving the root crossing the gap and giving the tree life.  If you look closely the root can be seen on the left side of the picture.

The sun came out for a short time so we could see the beautiful aqua colored water. 
The East Channel lighthouse built in 1868.
It was lunchtime by the time the cruise was finished.  We still hadn't had any freshly caught Lake Superior whitefish.  We found a food truck serving the fish and walked over for lunch.  It was very good.

The day went fast.  We had a little altercation with Big Foot, but we resolved our differences and moved on.  

We took a little sightseeing ride, visited some more and finished out the day.  In the morning, we said our goodbyes and headed for home.  Hopefully it won't be so long until we see my sister and brother in law again.

We still had one more Circle Tour stamp to pick up in Marquette, Michigan.  The travel center was in downtown Marquette so we found a parking space and walked to it.  We couldn't believe it.  It was CLOSED.  We were one stamp away from getting our certificate.  I took a picture of the sign and submitted it anyway.  In a short time, we got the certificate anyway.

We left on a Sunday and returned home on the next Sunday.  We put on over 1500 miles and saw so many interesting and beautiful sights.  I have wanted to make this trip for a long time and finally we were able.  Another thing to check off our bucket list.

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