On the morning we took the cruise on Lake Superior to see Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore, the weather was back and forth. Sometimes cool and cloudy with a few sprinkles of rain...then the sun would pop out for a few minutes.
Fortunately. our tour boat had a covered area with plenty of windows.
It was about a 15 minute ride to the area with the colorful cliffs.
The guide gave us lots of info about the layers of rock...colored by different minerals.
The evening cruises are more popular because the sun shines directly on the cliffs...enhancing the colors.
Look how different the lake looks when the sun comes out!
There are much nicer photos on their website if anyone is interested.
On the way back to the dock we passed this lighthouse. Built in 1868, now partly restored and protected by a seawall. We were told there are lots of shipwreck remains in the lake around this whole area, well preserved by the cold and unpolluted water.
Of course being outside on a cool, drizzly morning makes you hungry, so when our cruise was over, I wanted to try a "pastie" (rhymes with nasty). I had been seeing signs advertising them and it's fun to try regional foods, so we went to "Muldoon's Pasties", and ordered a beef one, with an extra cup of gravy, to share.
They are a lot like a pot pie and there are a lot of choices for the filling...savory or sweet.
This is "stick to your ribs" kind of food!
We then began our drive south, back toward Lake Michigan and I started seeing signs for another type of food that we don't have at home...smoked fish. Finally, I had to pull in at a little store to see what it was. They had a whole refrigerated case of it. Salmon, trout, whitefish and more.
The clerk told Lonnie that the fish is soaked in brine for 20 hours and then smoked for several hours (can't remember how many exactly).
I was hoping to just taste a free sample but they weren't allowed to do that. So, I bought this piece of smoked trout and put it in the cooler with the cheese.
That evening, we arrived in St. Ignace, on Lake Huron. Lonnie chose a hotel right on the lake, a room on the 3rd floor with a balcony. Sitting out there was almost like being on a cruise ship.
There was just a small patch of land in back of the hotel and I walked down to put my feet in Lake Huron. The 3rd of the Great Lakes on this trip.
Move over geese!
Ouch! Not a good beach - too rocky!
It was so pleasant sitting on the balcony that we didn't want to leave for dinner...so I put together a tray of smoked trout,along with some other snacks I'd packed for the trip... black olives, crackers and cheese.
The trout was good...very smoky. A little goes a long way. ( I did finish the rest for breakfast the next day).
We had planned to take the ferry to Mackinac Island the next morning, but the forecast said rain...all day long. Instead, we drove across Mackinac Island Bridge. This is the bridge that divides Lake Michigan and Lake Huron and connects Michigan's Upper Peninsula with the rest of the state.
We looked around Mackinaw City, then took a scenic drive south to Traverse City.
In Traverse City we took the most beautiful drive out "Old Mission Peninsula". It was miles of scenic lake views and the roads were lined with wineries and vineyards, fruit orchards, and more.
At the tip of the peninsula was this Old Mission Lighthouse, built in 1870.
That's all grapes growing in the foreground below, the lake in the distance.
It was our last night of the trip so we stopped for a nice meal at Harrington's by the Bay. I ordered a tenderloin salad. I was so surprised when it came out looking like this...
I always poke fun at restaurants where the food is stacked up like this, but this was a really delicious salad. Those are little pearls of caviar decorating the plate!
The next day was our drive home, with a couple of stops at fruit/produce stands. The best souvenirs are the ones you can eat!
We came home with yellow plums, a jar of cherry pie filling, a small overpriced bottle of cherry wine (from a winery on the peninsula drive), concentrated cherry juice. some huge fresh peaches, cheese from the Wisconsin dairy, tiny Dutch shoes bought at the windmill park, a piece of driftwood and a colorful rock from Lake Huron.
It was a great trip and we plan to go back again some time to see the things we missed.
Always good to be back home though!