“Ain’t no telling where the wind might blow, Free and easy down the road I go, Living life like a Sunday stroll, Free and easy down the road I go” – Deirks Bently
Miles traveled: 358.6
After a quick and continental breakfast (I still have no idea why they call it that – I guess ‘free’ sounds too cheap?), we headed down to the little downtown area of Marquette to check out the shoreline of Lake Superior. After a brief stop, we made our way about 50 miles east to Munising, MI. It’s a fantastic drive mostly along Lake Superior, and in fact we stopped at one of the beaches for some photos. I of course felt it imperative to dip my toes in the lake. It. Was. Freezing. But once my legs from the knees down were numb from the cold, it was quite peasant. The water of Lake Superior is crystal clear with a soft sandy bottom. What amazed me, is that other people were actually swimming in it – I don’t know how they survived other than they must be used to the temperature!
Our next unplanned stop was the not so bustling town of Christmas, MI. I’m going to give the town a bit of a break, after all it is the off season. We poked around the Christmas Mall and then – I mean how could we not – stopped into Santa’s Workshop. Christmas, MI was quite a wonderful addition to the day, and we saw Santa! To top it off, there was an old Silver Bullet (Airstream) at the Christmas Mall. Purely due to the aesthetics, the Airstream is my personal favorite recreational vehicle. I just find them awesome. Oddly enough, these silver beauties are everywhere in Yooper territory. Just like Wisconsin knows marketing and cheese, Michigan knows Airstreams.
After Christmas (the town, not the season) we pulled into Munising, MI and grabbed some lunch at a nifty little local spot called Shooters. Shooters was serving wood fired pizza and playing a pretty rad playlist from the electronic jukebox. Our next stop was to go check out the Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore (after seeing about 50 billboards for it yesterday, it seemed like fate). We made a few stops in the park and saw Sandy Point and Miner’s Castle – both beautiful spots on the shoreline of Lake Superior – yah, you betcha.
After a brief and irritating disagreement with the GPS, we got on our way to Bay City, MI which was the last stop of the day. Now the GPS has particular settings for navigation – one such setting is “avoid tolls”, which had been turned on. “Fastest time” was also turned on. So here’s the scenario: route A was a 4 hour trek, but included a $4 toll; route B was a 12 hour trek, with no tolls. LOGIC tells me that route A is still the best choice and the most cost effective given it would have taken 2 tanks of gas at $50 a pop just to avoid the $4 toll. Thank you technology for being completely useless at times and defying all logic! Anyways, I deactivated the “avoid tolls” option and we were finally on our way. Good lord.
On the way to Bay City, we stopped at the ‘South of the Border’ of the Upper Penninsula of Michigan – The Mystery Stop. It was odd, and i’m still not quite certain what it was. I suppose however that was the point! Just after that, we hopped on to 75 South and crossed the bridge over the Straits of Mackinac and into the mitten of Michigan, dontcha know. Once in Bay City, we grabbed a quick and unusual German dinner in the little downtown area, leaving just seconds before the local crowd started to get wild and crazy (no, I’m serious – you betcha) and headed back to the hotel.
Awesome day in Michigan with quite a few great stops in the U.P. Such a beautiful place! It’s a super early morning tomorrow as we head to Ohio for some Hall of Fame level action.
Until next time…