Thursday, July 7, 2016

Upper Peninsula Adventure

I suppose I should change the title to say Northern Lower Michigan and Upper Peninsula Adventure because my adventures weren't limited to the U.P., although they did start and center around it. Our annual summer vacation was a trip to see my parents and to explore waterfalls and lighthouses in the Upper Peninsula.

After dropping our little girl (dog) Lucy, at my parents, we headed north to Grand Marais to start our adventure. We didn't get very far and spent the night in Munising the first night. We travelled all the way west to Ironwood before we started our trek back to my parents.

I was surprised at the number of people who were also visiting the waterfalls. Sometimes I felt like a fish swimming upstream with the school! Keeping up the pace walking to the falls on the trails and then when we got there, we had to look, snap a few pics and move aside so the next people could have their turn. It wasn't at all what I imagined, until we stopped at a couple of falls just over the Michigan/Wisconsin border.

We were the only visitors at Saxon Falls, so we had all the time in the world to look, wander and snap pics. Superior Falls was almost as nice, there were only a few people there at the same time, and they were leaving as we were arriving.

We visited the Stormy Kromer Factory and took the free tour. I was surprised at how many other things they produce, in addition to the Stormy Kromer items. We both bought hats which we're looking forward to wearing this winter.

The factory tours don't start until 1:30, so we had some time to kill the day we visited. I had seen a sign for a Ben Franklin store so we took off to wax nostalgic and visit an old time five and dime store. On the way, I saw an antique shop (Depot Antiques) and just had to stop.

The store was so cute! So many great displays, great prices and the worker on duty that day was super friendly! If it was closer, I'd visit on a regular basis. The fist thing I saw as I walked in the door was a new, old stock vintage tablecloth with the original label! The shop not only had antiques, it had new things as well, all seamlessly mixed in to make great displays...oh, and the gourmet chocolate was amazing!! I left with the tablecloth, some chocolate, a couple free vintage-style mini calendars and a lead on another antique shop that was next door to Ben Franklin called Dan's.

Dan's was AMAZING!!! I never dreamed it was as big as it was! I gave my phone a workout, taking picture after picture of all of the treasures on display. I found the matching partner to my lonely chartreuse Harlequin shaker-something I've been searching for for years! I almost did a happy dance!

After wandering around for a while, I headed to the check-out counter, ready to pay for my shaker when Mr. walked up and asked if I saw the basement! I had no idea there was a basement!! The cashier told him he was mean to not let me know there was a basement. He told her it would only be mean if he told me after we drove away.

While I was down there wandering around another shopper, asked me questions like he thought I was a worker. I think he figured it out when I was in line in front of him, paying for the shaker and the awesome vintage, daisy tablecloth that I found in one of the basement booths.

Ben Franklin ended up being a big let-down. I was expecting an old time five and dime, what it ended up being was more like a gift shop with a few dimestore-ish items. I took a quick spin through the shop, but nothing caught my eye, so it was back to the car. We also stopped at a St. Vincent De Paul and McDonald's before we killed enough time for the factory tour to start.

Our visit to Ironwood couldn't have gone any better. The hotel was great and the restaurant in front of it was really good as well. The funniest part of the trip was as we were driving in to town. Mr. was at the wheel. He'd only been driving for about 30 miles (the only time he drove other than the trip home), when we saw flashing red lights coming up behind us really fast.

He pulled over and got really anxious. He has a cpl and put his hands on the steering wheel and was yelling at me to put my phone down and put my hands on the dash. I guess that is what you are told to do when you get your carry permit. soon as the officer walked up, Mr, yelled, "Hello officer, I have a concealed weapon!" I started to chuckle a little at how loud he was and how stiffly and tightly he was holding the steering wheel. I was watching the officer's face and he was amused as well.

He asked if we knew how fast we were going and when we didn't, he said we were going 67-that's why he pulled us over. He asked for Mr's driver's license and our registration. I started to open the center console, to get my purse out with the registration in it and Mr slammed it down so fast, he almost got my fingers! He let out a nervous yell about not opening that because that was where his gun was. Looking at the officer, I could tell he was having a hard time not laughing, as much as I was.

He said it was ok to open it, and told Mr he didn't need to slam it. I piped up and said, "Yeah, you almost got my fingers!" I dug around for a bit but couldn't find the current registration-only one that expired 7 years ago and one that expired two years ago. Meanwhile, Mr,, who has very shaky hands in normal circumstances, was trying to pull his license out of his wallet to hand to the officer. The shaky hands made it seem like he was even more nervous...he didn't share my humor in the whole situation. The officer did though, throughout the whole traffic stop, I could tell he would have a funny story to tell the guys back at the office later.

He went back to his car, ran our information, even though we couldn't find a current registration and came back to tell us the car checked out as ours, and to just slow down. Of course it wasn't stolen, who would steal a ten year old Buick Rendezvous?!? LOL! I still keep chuckling about it, Mr. still doesn't see the humor in it.

We made another stop in Iron Mountain and had dinner at the Holiday Restaurant. WOW!! Mr had made from scratch meatloaf and mashed potatoes, and I had a turkey wrap with fries. We both ordered the half portion and it was still HUGE!! Everything was delish!

The next morning, we toured Big John's Iron Mine. It was pretty cool. We did a copper mine tour a few years ago in Calumet, so it was fun to see the iron mine too. A fellow tourist offered to take our picture a couple of times, so we have proof of our visit.

We ended up back at my parents where we spent a week, just hanging out and enjoying them and their lake. Mom and I took a couple of day trips to visit Petoskey and Pellston and do some driveway shopping in Cheboygan. Mr and I spent Sunday morning wandering around Mackinac City, then enjoying lunch at my favorite place-Scalawags.

We went kayaking, fishing and floating around on their pontoon boat, and grilled dinner out twice on the boat. We also saw a huge fireworks display on the lake, as well as numerous golf cart rides and a couple of four wheeler rides. We even got to watch the annual 4th of July parade for the lake houses-golf carts, four wheelers, bikes and tractors-all decorated up to celebrate the 4th.

We got home yesterday, and have been busy catching up on laundry and getting back into the swing of things. I don't have to be back to work until Monday, so I'm enjoying my down time...if you can call it that...I don't know where today went! Groceries, laundry and errands took the whole day!

Here are some pics of our adventure:

Pickle Barrel House Museum

Christmas, Michigan

Roadside flea/junk shop in Christmas

The farther we walked in the shop, the darker we got, the darker and creepier it got!

Wagener's German Restaurant in Au Train, Michigan

Eagle in a tree on Brevort Lake-Moran, Mi

Was soo bummed to find out that horseshoe falls is privately owned and required a $6 per person fee to view the falls...we skipped it and saw tons of free falls.

We followed this road for 5 got narrower and had signs calling it a "primitive" road. I could see fresh tire tracks, so I was expecting at least one other car at the end. I wasn't expecting to see a federal ranger's truck. He explained to us that the falls we were trying to reach were only visible from the water.

He was seriously armed, with extra ammo. Mr asked him why he was so loaded with ammo. He told us that they are having problems with the Mexican drug cartel in the remote forest areas of the U.P. and they were just being cautious. WOW~never expected to hear that! I mentioned that to a friend of my parents and she said it makes sense to her now because she had seen the border patrol in the deep woods a few weeks back, and was wondering why.

Norway Spring in Norway, Mi. Fresh flowing spring water. People were bringing all kinds of containers from water bottles to 5 gallon jugs to fill up.

Lake Superior, rock hunting

 Yooper (person who lives in the Upper Peninsula -U.P.) tourist stop

 Ironwood, Michigan, Stormy Kromer Hat

We both signed the banner wall in the SK factory!

Parking lot view of Depot Antiques in Ironwood, Mi

This is what I saw as soon as I walked in the door!

LOOK at this quilt!!!!

Dan's Antiques in downtown Ironwood, Mi

See it?

Iron Mountain, Michigan, Big John's Iron Mine tour

We sat on the first bench behind the tractor. It pulled us into the mine backwards. As I was snapping this pic, I was feeling butterflies in my stomach and wondering why someone who is claustrophobic was even considering going underground.

It was a tight fit. Very chilly and very damp underground. I think they said it stays between 38 and 43 degrees year-round.

Saw some super fun and funny garage sale signs and followed them with high expectations...the sale literally had at least 5,000 music cds and a ton of clothes with maybe a handful of household items. I was so bummed, but we got a good chuckle out of the signs as we followed each one!

Restaurant in Munising we ate here our first night on the road. I can't warn you enough to not go here! I wish I would have had cell service so I could have looked at the reviews BEFORE we went there! We had the absolute worst food to date in our lives there, and the place was sticky, stinky and dirty. The service was bad too...all around bad experience-never going back!

Their menu, while being original, and cute, after a while it got really tiring trying to figure out what the entrees were.

The next couple of restaurants got it right! I would go back to each of these in a heartbeat!

This is the furthest west, Michigan McDonald's-very near the Michigan/Wisconsin border.

Kitch-iti-kitipi-Big Springs, located near Manistique,Mi. Freshwater springs so clear you can see down 40 feet. I've been visiting this site since I was a kid and I still love it!

If you look closely, you can see the spring bubbling up

Great little shop in Gladstone, Mi. It is located in the front yard of the owner's home.

She was super nice and very friendly. She is closing out her "shop" so she can focus on selling online. We talked about her shop on Ruby Land and I suggested she try Etsy.

Escanaba light

Small, upscale antique shop in Manistique

LOVE this rocker!!

H.A. Crinoline


Manistique Light

Real pelicans in Lake Michigan!!

 Lake Superior near Two Hearted River Campground

She LOVES digging!

Very remote, Crisp Point Lighthouse-worth the drive!

Summer fun at my parent's

Annual 4th of July Yooper Parade

Mom and I went on a few adventures-just short trips from her house. Although, being in the U.P. getting anywhere is a minimum of about 20 minutes to 2 hours!

We looked at campers in parents just sold their camper and are looking to get a different layout.

Hodge Podge Lodge in Petoskey! LOVE this place! Everything is clean, and neatly displayed, and you'll find a little of everything!!

No treasure hunting trip is complete without a stop at Pellston Antiques!!! I LOVE this place!!! 6 levels of treasure hunting!!!

This year, we noticed a couple of other shops in Pellston...while nice in their own way, they can't compete with or replace Pellston Antiques.
Do you see what I see in the middle left side of this pic?
I would LOVE this car for summer treasure hunting!!!

This shop was more upscale, but very nicely displayed and an inviting atmosphere

This was in another shop down the street

We went to Cheboygan to hit some garage sales and to see what we could see...

Farmer's Market! Mom got some beautiful flowers for her flowerbed. Not much in the way of produce yet.

This sale!!! I SCORED a very good shape, red Pyrex 402. I've been searching for what seems like forever for this bowl in good shape and a decent price...less than $10 and in excellent shape-Happy dance!!!

Mr and I had a great lunch on the patio at Scalawags-know for their white fish and white fish chowder...I want everyone to know they make THE BEST chicken strips-EVER!!!

All good and great things must come to an end...goodbye Mighty Mac, U.P. and Mom and Dad-I'll miss you!!! are the treasures that came home with me...

These quilts came from the same garage sale. The very first one we stopped at, on the way to Cheboygan. The seller had at least a dozen more and it was the last day of her sale!!! I got a super crazy price on two quilts and two tablecloths!

The past few years, I have been collecting the squished pennies from touristy places that we've visited. Who knew there was a book/passport created just for squished pennies!?!?

The next two tablecloths are from the same sale that I got the quilts at.

Bunch of old forks for windchime making!

Tablecloth with the tag from Depot Antiques in Ironwood, Free calendars from the same shop and the daisy cloth from Dan's in Ironwood.

FREE picture from a sale in Cheboygan

My Stormy Kromer hat

My whole haul minus the first quilt

Mr's Stormy Kromer hat

That's it! It was a super fun and busy time. I'm kind of glad to be home, but kind of miss the go, go, go business of the trip. Work starts again on Monday, so maybe I'll go on a local adventure tomorrow...anyone up for an adventure??

Hope your summer is going great! I'm off to catch up on what I've been missing the past couple of weeks in blogland!

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