Friday, July 25, 2008

Moving Across the UP

Wednesday we continued our travels across the Upper Peninsula of Michigan following the Lake Michigan coastline on Route 2.  The Lake Michigan water is a beautiful shade of blue reminding us of the blue Caribbean Sea.  We came to an area known as the Sand Dunes of Hiawatha Forest that we pulled off on the side of the road,  had lunch in the motorhome and took a short stroll along the beach. 

There were quite a few bathers enjoying the sandy beach.  We felt it was a little cool for swimming- the air temp was in the mid 70's and the water cold.  Following Route 2 we went to St. Ignace and hit Route I-75 and went north about 30 miles to Kinross.  Kinross is between Sault Ste. Marie and St. Ignace, two areas we planned to visit, and has a campground that has good rates with full hook-ups.  Kinross East Campground is a public campground that at one time was the location of an Air Force Base.  After selecting a campsite, registration is done by filling out an envelope and depositing the necessary money in the envelope and then dropping the envelope in a receptacle.  The town of Kinross does not have much to offer in the way of restaurants.

Thursday morning Tom and I set out for St. Ignace to get a boat ride to Mackinac Island.  We went out on a Shepler's boat at the cost of $50.00 for 2 round trip tickets.  The boat ride took about 16 minutes to the island.  Once on Mackinac Island, we rented bicycles and rode around the island. Mackinac Island does not have motorized traffic- only bicycles and horse drawn carriages. About halfway around the 8 mile loop there is a concession stand and restrooms which we stopped at.  It took Tom about 20 minutes to buy 1  soft pretzel.  It was a pretty day and comfortable for bicycling.  We stopped at times to take pictures and just enjoy the views.  After turning our bikes in we ate lunch at the Pink Pony Grill and the walked around to the shops.  Of course we had to get a small piece of fudge- fudge is sold in almost every store on the island. 

Friday morning we set out for Sault Ste. Marie and the Soo Locks.  There is a nice area for watching  the water traffic going through the locks.  When we first got there we watched a tour boat go through the locks and then a short time later a barge went through.  Even though we have been here before and had even gone through the locks on a tour boat we enjoyed watching the operation of these locks.  It started to rain so we went into several shops as we worked our way back to the car.  Later in the evening we had a thunderstorm at the campground with a heavy downpour of rain.

I have to say that the weather in this part of the country ( from the northern part of Wisconsin and through the UP) is really wonderful at this time of the year.  The temperatures have been in the 70's to low 80's during the day and then down to the upper 50's to lower 60's at night.  We have only used air conditioning when we are away for the day and Travis is left in the motorhome.