August 01, 2021

Chuck's trip to the U.P.

I just noticed that my last post was #666! 
July 8 was mine & the Spouse's 15th anniversary. <insert 100 heart emojis here>
We've gone to Canada for our honeymoon, 5th & 10th anniversaries - but the borders aren't open yet - so we weren't able to keep up with our unspoken tradition. 
So we went close - to the Upper Peninsula!
This is a rest stop overlook near Mullett Lake.  It's overlooks I-75 and as we were leaving, a couple of ladies pulled in and commented about Chuck - they had seen him here from the highway!
We all had a good laugh. 
Crossing the Mackinac Bridge!
Relaxing for a minute on the hotel balcony. 
The view from our balcony - we could watch the sunset over South Bay in Lake Superior. 
We explored Munising. 
This was outside a bank!
This was at the Dogpatch Restaurant. 
eh! Burger
I had a bison burger and a side of tater tots here - it was pretty awesome.  
Highly recommend. 
Watching the sun set from Miners Beach.
Ever this close to the shore and being in the sun all day, the water in Lake Superior was still insanely cold!
A cool tree on Miners Beach.
The next day we went on a glass bottom boat shipwreck tour! 
It was really cool. 
The shipwreck Bermuda
East Channel Lighthouse
After the shipwreck tour, we had pasties at Muldoon's!
Christmas, Michigan isn't far from Munising.
This is about it.  
A giant Santa in front of a casino.
Lame, IMO. 
I'm sure this used to be a gift shop of sorts. 
But the building is empty now. 

The last day we were in Munising, we had the whole day to kill before our sunset cruise along the Pictured Rocks.  So we went to look at some falls.  And a cemetery, of course.  
The 3 we went to were all really easy access, so there were lots of other people there. 
We heard the park ranger telling some other tourists that because there's been a drought, the falls were less spectacular than they usually are.  Bummer!
Then evening finally rolled around!
On the boat for the sunset cruise!
We were inside the boat so there's a little bit of glare. 
Chapel Rock - the natural rock bridge fell in the 1940s and that approximately 250 year old pine tree has roots strung across to the mainland for survival. 
This is the section that just fell back in June.  
The guide told us that sections of the Pictured Rocks fall every year, but it's usually in early spring due to temperature changes & water freezing & melting.  It just so happened this time when those guys were *right there* in their boat when it decided to fall. 
The boat.

We left the Munising area the next morning and crossed back over the bridge like the Trolls that we are (Michigan joke - people who live north of the Mackinac Bridge are Yoopers and those south or "below" the bridge are Trolls.)  We stopped by to visit some friends who have a summer place on a lake before heading to Mackinaw City for the next leg of our adventure. 
Sunrise over Lake Huron
Buoys? or art you can play on?
Mackinaw has a year round haunted house???  
Too bad the Spouse doesn't like them. 
This sounds like it would have been pretty tame!
Welcome to Mackinac Island!
The Spouse had never been there and I haven't been since I was probably 7.  
There were just way too many people.  
Of course we had to go on a carriage ride. 
If we ever go back, the carriage driver was telling us that you can rent your own horse & carriage!  
I would totally drive. 
I wish I remember the outside horse's names.  The big middle one was Lumpy. 

This is the exact moment where I realized Chuck needed his own Instagram account.
(@chuck.d.bones - in case you want to check it out)  
The driver, who was wearing a headset so everyone could hear him, saw me taking this pic and asked what the story was behind the skeleton?  Everyone else on the carriage got real quiet and stared - LOL!
Chuck is hard to explain, so the Cliffnotes version of his story that I tell is that he's like a Flat Stanley, he travels with me and I take pics of him doing fun things.   So now he's got his own place for all his pics!

Arch Rock
Outside Fort Mackinaw. 
Mackinac Island has a haunted theater, too?????
There are no motorized vehicles (except emergency and some maintenance vehicles) on the island.  Even a policeman cruised by on a bike.  They use horsedrawn wagons to deliver boxes to stores and everything.  Tons of hills, tho!  We looked at a map and thought it would be cool to walk what looked to be less than a mile, from the waterfront to the area where there were 3 cemeteries.  
Less than a mile in distance, but not in elevation! 
Post Cemetery is one of 4 (or 5, depending on the source - either way, hard to find info!) national cemeteries that always has a flag at half mast, due to the number of unknowns from the War of 1812.  Arlington, Gettysburg and Punchbowl in Hawaii (and possibly the one in Normandy, France) are the others.  

After we got back to the hotel after going to the Island, we napped for a bit.  Then we drove the short distance to here!
a Dark Sky Park!  

This is only 1 of 2 internationally designated dark sky preserves in the state and it's only a couple miles outside of Mackinaw City! 
Of course you can't get any good sky pictures with an iPhone!  
We sat out on the shoreline of  Lake Michigan for close to 2 hours and just enjoyed looking up. 

We started for home the next day.  We planned it so we left home on Sunday (going against the "coming home from up north" traffic) and returned on Friday (again going against the "going up north" traffic).

We stopped in Harrison so we could check out one of the 32 real Maple Grove Cemeteries and also stopped at another cemetery to pay a visit to my grandmother.  
Then we stopped in Clare at Cops & Donuts!  

OMG, what a fun place!  It was originally called the City Bakery or something and it wasn't doing well, so instead of letting it close, 9 local police officers bought it!  How absolutely perfect is that??
The Spouse came home with this shirt.  
I got one that says DWI (donuts were involved).
OMG - this was called the Squealer.  That's maple frosting under those full strips of bacon!
They also had one called the Cousin Vinny, which was a cinnamon roll with the maple frosting & bacon.  The lady behind the counter said if you put it in the microwave for like 20 seconds, it was amazing.  I bet!

Needless to say, it was nice to get home, but not nice to go back to work!.