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Tahquamenon Falls, Flags and Crossbow

December 2, 2013

Michigan – Wednesday, November 13

I fueled up with a good breakfast at the Dogpatch since I wouldn’t be in much civilization for a lot of the day, then Tula and I took a mile and a half walk around the town of Munising on icy sidewalks – the ice and snow slow me down, but doesn’t stop me!

Then we began the ride through the wilderness of the central upper peninsula – through the Seney stretch and past national wildlife refuges and little towns that weren’t much more than a junction of two roads. I headed north through the town of Newberry – the moose capital of Michigan. Newberry was a little bigger than I expected, and we got out to stretch and walk a mile and a half.

I started out my Michigan week of donations ahead of the game – back in August 2012 before I actually left on my journey, I made 2 Michigan donations to kick off the whole expedition. I have the best neighbors anyone could want, and 2 families are looking after my house, yard, horse and mail, and they both have college-age students who are very involved in extra-curricular groups, and I wanted to support those organizations – it seemed to be an appropriate way to kick off the donations since their families were going to be helping me so much. So the first donation went to the flag team at Eastern Michigan University since  they were holding their annual Winter Guard Fundraiser a short time before I left, and the other donation went to Crossbow – a talented group of musicians at Grand Valley State University who specialize in Celtic music, and they are invited to perform at numerous events around the state, and my donation went toward gas money for them.  I liked being able to make my first donations in Michigan, and my last donations will also be in Michigan.


Then I continued north to Tahquamenon Falls, which I hadn’t seen for decades. I found the State Park, and Tula and I set off for a snowy walk to see the Upper Falls, which are the most scenic ones. The sun was shining so brightly in my eyes that it was hard to get a clear head-on picture of the falls. So I continued walking along the path to descend to the brink of the falls. But the stairs were open-grid metal and Tula was afraid to go down them, so I walked her back to the car, and returned. The steps took me down so close that I could feel the mist of the falls. The water was flowing fast and the falls absolutely thundered over the precipice. It’s very mesmerizing to just stare at them and lose myself in the cascading water -almost hypnotic! After I had soaked up as much of the falls as I wanted, I headed back to the car and drove over to the Lower Falls area. The road was closed down to those falls, so I got out and walked quite a ways to see them. In my opinion, they’re not nearly as spectacular as the Upper Falls, but it was still worth the walk to go see them. The sun was falling lower in the sky as I walked back to the car along the snowy lane, with lots of pine trees and pink sky looming overhead.

I drove to the little town of Paradise, which was pretty small and quiet this time of year. The light was fading and I was tempted to make the drive up to see the lighthouse at Whitefish Bay Point, but I thought it would be too dark. Then one of my daughters called and I began to lose cell phone service so I turned around to stay in Paradise while I was on the phone, and then I decided to make the drive up to Whitefish Point in the moonlight. My daughter had been telling me about their old dog, whose days are sadly coming to an end, and while I was talking with her, I got a text from my friends next door who had just put down one of their dogs earlier in the day, and it was very sad – thinking about my daughter’s dog, and hearing about my friends’ dog, and I decided the pretty stretch of road between Paradise and Whitefish Point would be a good memorial drive for all beloved dogs, and in particular for my friends’ dog Sugar. When I got up to Whitefish Point, the lighthouse and a couple outbuildings looked kind of ghostly in the moonlight, but the light was faithfully beaming out over the water, and it was very peaceful. There’s an old shipwreck museum there (that isn’t open in the winter) and that would be interesting to visit some day.


Then I retraced my steps back to Paradise, and continued around the bay to Sault Ste. Marie, where I stopped for the night.

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