What’s That?

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We strayed from the highway to drive through the town of Marquette (Michigan).

We stopped by the harbor to puzzle over a large metal structure that stuck out into the water.

FLS_5642A kindly couple of Yoopers explained to us that the structure was a retired railroad tressle. The train would pull ore cars out over the water, where a cargo ship would dock beneath, to collect the ore.

“If you stay on this road for a few miles, you can see one that’s still in use.”

So we drove around the shoreline and came to another of the behemoths, just as a ship was pulling in to be loaded.FLS_5655

We parked and watched the process for awhile. We never did see the part where they lowered the chutes and dropped the ore into the hold of the ship.

We also saw a 28-ton hunk of copper (the largest glacial copper in the world) along the drive.

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Yoopers and Pasties

June 14
Miles: 189
Destination: Munising
Wildlife: Bald Eagle, Loons

Mackinac Bridge

Mackinac Bridge

When we crossed over the Mackinac Bridge into the Upper Peninsula, we were confronted by strange signs advertising “Pasties.”

They weren’t for topless lunch counters, but rather meat turnovers. We decided we should try them out.

After a beautiful drive along the coast of Lake Michigan, we turned north, crossed through a long stretch of woodlands and a few farms (and innumerable lakes), and reached the outskirts of Munising. There we saw a restaurant featuring home-made pasties.

It wasn’t our best decision. Service was slow, the pasties were chicken, not the traditional beef, and they were served lukewarm. It was kind of like a chicken pot pie calzone (no cheese). When Rebecca protested, they said they’d make her a new one.FLS_5551 We didn’t have another hour to kill, but inside of five minutes a hot pasty appeared on our table.

Better, but not great, but the left-over half-turnover was a nice addition to the next day’s breakfast.

We went to Munising to take the boat trip to Pictured Rocks, a strentch of national seashore on Lake Superior featuring steep, colorful cliffs rising a hundred feet or more from the water.

It turned out it was “Yooper Day” at the boat dock. Anyone from the U.P. got to ride free.

FLS_5390We were standing in line with a family from Fayetteville, N.C., and fog was rollling in.

The ride out to the cliffs was pretty foggy, and the first views of the rocks were partially obscured. It had the makings of a FLS_5499disappointing day.

But the boat hove close to the rocks, and on the return trip the fog lifted in several places and the sun actually shone. It turned out to be worth the trip.

Our camp site was in a city campground just around the bend from the boatdock. We got to camp right on the water, which provided a clear view out into Lake Superior even though there was a big fog bank just down the bay.

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Yoopers, incidentally, if you didn’t figure it out, are people from the U.P.  Oh, we saw a sign for a brewpub in Munising, but we forewent it.

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