Monday, September 22, 2014

Our Yooper Vacation: Day 1, Soo Locks

The Soo Locks are the locks at Sault (pronounced Soo) Saint Marie that let the boats travel between Lake Superior and Lake Huron in the St Mary's river. We intended to take the boat tour the afternoon of our first day but reached the docks 20 minutes too late. (Too much fun at the lighthouse I guess.) So we wandered over the the state park where there is an observation tower and happened upon a freighter traveling west using the Poe Lock. In the first photo if you look closely to the right of center you can barely see the words Canada Steamship Lines.
As it's about to pass through in the second photo the words are clearly visible. The lock raised the ship 21 feet to the level of Lake Superior, kind of cool, huh?
After that excitement we went to a restaurant nearby called Antlers for dinner. We had whitefish, a popular fish from the Great Lakes that, oddly enough, is about impossible to get fresh where we live. Here is a bit of the decor. Dinner was excellent.
 These photos I snapped while sitting at our table.
Then we headed to our motel, the Skyline, a 1950's era motel near the airport. It may have been old but it was clean, comfortable, had all the amenities required as well as free wifi for only $55! A steal.

And thus ends day 1 of our UP adventure, a very good day.

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Happy Birthday, Hal!

Just got back from dinner at Rosa's with his parents. They wanted to take him out and I got to tag along. Dinner was great, 3 of us had their "hot rok" special, Hal had an Angus filet and shrimp, I had the filet and lobster tail and his dad had just shrimp. We got to cook them as well done or as rare as we wanted. His mom had the seafood bake which is a bunch of seafood baked in a sauce under phyllo dough. We shared an appetizer of mussels and then there was chocolate cake for dessert and apple crisp and the birthday cannoli. I swapped the cannoli for my cake because he really wanted the cake. (and the cake this time was better than the cannoli.)

The rest of the day I think Hal enjoyed, he got to laze about the house, had some coffee liqueur in the afternoon, and even cleaned out some clothes from his closet. I made him chocolate chip cookies yesterday and there are still plenty left. He says he had a pretty good day.

Friday, September 12, 2014

Our Yooper Vacation: Day 1, Point Iroquois

After Castle Rock we moseyed on up to Point Iroquois Lighthouse on St Mary's river just off Lake Superior. We took more photos of course. First the lighthouse from the front.
The lighthouse from the beach.
This is a 4th order Fresnel lens, not the original apparently but one taken from another light that was decommissioned. The Fresnel lenses apparently were very, very bright and could be seen farther than any other kinds. Numerous docents at the lights we visited said the formula for making the glass had been lost. Nowadays the lights are being replaced by LEDs.
Below is the Canadian Gros Cap Reef automated light that replaced the Iroquois light. This shot was taken with telephoto from Iroquois. Those are some pretty big wind turbines up on that hill.
And here is a photo of Hal and I in the tower, only 72 steps up. Aren't we the happy couple!
The stairs in the tower. That's a piece of Hal on his way back down.

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Happy 9th Birthday, Luna

My girl is nice today. Quite spry and peppy since she had her bad teeth out, too. We went on several swamp walks today. And I know she did a little digging. Now she is snoozing on the big bed by the fireplace. Hope she had a great day.

Here a couple photos I took at the end of July at Jewell Lake.

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Our Yooper Vacation: Day 1, Castle Rock

Last week Hal and I took a road trip into the upper peninsula (UP) of Michigan. He had taken me on a day trip many years ago that I barely remember. This time the plan was 5 days and 4 nights seeing all the things I'd never seen and a few Hal had never seen as well.

We left at 10 am last Tuesday September 2nd (the day after Labor Day) after dropping the pups off at Mr J's and arranging for the chickens to be taken care of. For the most part we stayed off the freeways choosing to travel the secondary roads for the scenery. In a couple of hours we made it to the 5 mile long Mackinac Bridge and Hal took photos while I drove over.

First stop was Castle Rock an outcropping of "limestone breccia according to Wikipedia just outside of St Ignace. It's a little tourist trap but was fun, only charging a couple bucks to climb to climb all those steps to the top which is nearly 200 feet above Lake Huron. However many it was I discovered that all that dog walking did not get me into very good shape. We had to pause more than once to make it to the top. My thigh muscles were not happy.

Paul Bunyan and Babe
At the top I took several photos and we got someone else to take a photo of us. However as that was taken using Hal's camera you will have to settle for the photo I took of him with mine. Just imagine me behind the camera.
Looking back at the Mackinac Bridge
Hal, not his real name, but at last, his real face
As for the tourist trap part, all I bought was a tee shirt.