Freedom! After spending about two months at home healing, I couldn’t wait to take a road trip, so I took two.
My ankle is still not completely healed, I am able to walk ~ slowly and was prescribed to ride a bike by my doctor, Dr. Kadakia (aka Dr Awesome!) My boyfriend and I decided to take two weekend trips and explore areas of Michigan that I have never been before.
Our first trip was an overnighter in Tawas which is on the shore of Lake Huron. I have spent a lot of time up north on the west side of the state, but never the east side. Tawas was a pleasant surprise. We were car camping at the Tawas State Park because of my inability to backpack, but there is nothing like sleeping outside! The weather was blustery with 50 mph winds and overcast sky, but we didn’t care.
The park has a beautiful beach with a lighthouse on it and lucky for us, they were giving night tours to the top of it that weekend. They only offer this once a year, it was pretty cool to see the lights from Port Huron, which is a good three hours away, from the top.
The next day we stopped at the local gear shop, Nordic Sports to poke around and met Gary, the owner who started a non-profit group to maintain winter X-country and snowshoe trails in the Huron Forest. He gave us some great maps full of hiking and winter trails and told us about a hidden treasure in that area that I am going to keep to myself (Sorry!) Regrettably, we didn’t have time to hike any of the trails, but plan on going back this winter, it was that enticing.
We spent the following weekend on Lake Michigan and Lake Superior. We spent a night on Mackinac Island, a place I have always wanted to go, but had never been. It was the last weekend they were open for the season. The island is beautiful and is famous for having the historic Grand Hotel and for being automobile free; bikes are the transportation of choice. We rented bikes on the island and spent the afternoon pedaling along the coast, which was magnificent. Seriously what the doctor ordered! We had perfect fall weather and both agreed the ride was the highlight of the trip.
After a night on the island we drove up to Tahquamenon Falls. Again we car camped, but luckily we were virtually the only people there, so it felt more like “real” camping than Tawas did. We spent the two days there light hiking to see the upper and lower falls. The falls have an orange tinge as they spill over the rocks; the color is a result of tannins leached from a cedar swamp that feeds into the river. During peak season there is a brewery at the upper falls, but they were closed for the season when we were there.
We also drove over to Whitefish Bay on Lake Superior for my first glimpse of Gitchi Gumi. Whitefish Bay is where the Edmund Fitzgerald was shipwrecked and they have a Shipwreck museum there, but we were too cheap to pay the $18 per person admission fee. The beach was gorgeous; white sand, a splattering of rocks and the deep blue of largest fresh water lake in the world = awesome.
It is trips like this that make me appreciate the state I live in. Seems a shame I am not more into water sports though. Oh well, so many outdoor interests, so little time!