Vacation UpdateAugust 21st, 2014 at 2:02 am by Bill Steffen under Bill's Blog, Weather
Here we (Daughter #2 and I) at Wagner Falls. We’ve managed to see Wagner Falls, Alger Falls, Munising Falls, Miners Falls and Horseshoe Falls (on private property, $7 admission for adults, which I thought was a fair price. Some trees are labeled, there is a pond with fish to see and there is a continuous gnome convention going on there. Postcards were cheap – 5 for a dollar, if I remember right). Wednesday morning, we headed into Munising to mail post cards and look around. Quite a few people had vegetable and flower gardens that were quite productive and well-kept. Most of the vegetable gardens were well-fenced. A low overcast sat on the hilltops and eventually thickened over the water to the point that Grand Island was not visible from shore. We stopped at a lookout and the site of an old iron furnace and then headed west to the little town of Christmas. Outside of the casino, there wasn’t much there. There is a two-story wooden Santa Claus by a shop. The shopkeeper recognized me and said that they have relatives in both Grand Rapids, Michigan and Grand Rapids, Minnesota and that Christmas was about halfway in between. At Au Train we headed south to M-28. We had occasional drizzle during the day and the temperatures were only in the low-mid 60s (excellent forecast from Karl Bohnak on WLUC the night before, BTW). We stopped to play miniature golf. A high school girl behind the counter said she opened at 11 am and now at 2:30 pm, we were the first car that had stopped. The course was for sale and had been (she thought) for a couple years. Along the route toward Newberry, we passed many for sale signs. In Seney, a motel, a restaurant and one of the town’s two gas stations were closed. In McMillan, the old school was for sale. The gray skies and drizzle contributed to the feeling that the area had seen better days. We stopped at the Seney Wildlife Refuge and took the 7-mile one-lane gravel road through the lakes and marshes. The air and the water were calm and it was quiet enough to hear loons far across the lake. We saw trumpeter swans, ducks, some turtles sitting on logs (seemingly waiting for the sun), a variety of birds, what sure looked to me like an eagle’s nest in the distance, a muskrat and several kinds of butterflies. The motel in Newberry was full – glad I booked early. We drove a mile and a half to a local trail through a dense forest, where we walked for about 25 minutes. The woods was surprising dark and quiet at 7 pm on a dreary, misty evening. Outside of a few insects, we saw no wildlife on our walk. The rainy summer has brought out an abundance of wildflowers and the hills show a variety of green. We walked to a local restaurant. At 8 pm three tables out of 20+ were occupied. I had spaghetti, a salad and blueberry pie. Thursday, we’re going up to Tahquamenon Falls and plan to do some hiking. I never tire of watching the sky – a canvas displaying an ever-changing painting of shapes and colors – one moment gentle and calm – in another moment brash and threatening. The adventure continues tomorrow.