Michigan Upper Peninsula: Day #2

Day two in the U.P. started out bright and early.  We took Highway 28 out of Marquette, MI, and headed east towards the town of Munising (pronounced:  moo-née-sing).  This highway was right along the shoreline of Lake Superior for quite a few miles.  It was a sunny, beautiful morning.  The temperature was perfect for exploring the coastline of Lake Superior and several waterfalls in the area.


We arrived at the town of Munising around 10:00 a.m. and made a quick stop at a gas station.  We talked to a nice man inside and asked a few questions about the area.  We took his advice and headed to Munising Falls first.  You walk a short trail with some bridges that cross the Munising Falls Creek several times.  There were several viewing areas and each provided a different angle from which to view the falls.


We left Munising Falls and drove about 30 minutes to Miners Falls.  The path to the falls was wide, fairly smooth, and very nice, but it was a little longer hike to get to the falls – like a half mile ONE WAY!  We couldn’t take Zoey (our dog) with us on this path ( didn’t understand why, but oh, well), so I hiked to the falls first while Jack and Zoey sat on a bench in the shade at the beginning of the trail.  He hiked to the falls while I RESTED with Zoey!  😆

The hike to Miners Falls was not too bad, and everyone I met who had been there and were going back to the parking lot said it was well worth the effort to get to the falls.  There were two platforms from which to view the falls.  Before I got there, I began to wonder if it was worth it, however, I think the pictures will prove how “worth it” it actually was!


Next, we drove about another 30 minutes to Miners Castle Overlook in Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore.  It is America’s first National Lakeshore, and it’s located between Munising and Grand Marais, MI.  This National Lakeshore extends for 42 miles along the shores of Lake Superior and covers 73,236 acres.  Needless to say, we only saw a very small portion of this beautiful national treasure on our short visit.

Pictured Rocks gets its name from the 15 miles of colorful sandstone cliffs which reach up to 200 feet above the lake.  Years of erosion and weather have naturally sculpted a variety of shallow caves, arches, and formations, some of which resemble castle turrets and human profiles.

I really wanted to take one of the 2 hour Pictured Rocks cruises that boarded at the marina in Munising, however, they did not allow small dogs on the boats.  😞  I do understand why, but our Zoey is SO well behaved, not to mention so darn cute!  Oh, well.  Therefore, our view of the sandstone formations was limited to what we could see from Miners Castle Overlook and the areas we could hike to along the trails there.  It was beautiful, and I can only imagine how spectacular the views from the boat would have been.  Oh, well …. maybe another time.


This is from the main overlook platform at Miners Castle.



There is one of the Pictured Rocks Cruise boats.


This is from a different platform.


Can you see the two kayaks?


The water is such a beautiful color of blue!



That is the main platform at Miners Castle; the first one we stood on.


Can you find that main platform in this picture? We were on that WAAAAAY up high on that cliff!


Next we stopped at two smaller falls that were basically right along the road side.  Algers Falls WAS literally by the side of the road.  Wagner Falls was a very short walk from the road.  Both were very enjoyable.


Algers Falls.


Algers Falls.


Wagner Falls.


Wagner Falls.


Wagner Falls.


Look how the roots to these trees have grown even though this area is nearly all rock.


Wagner Falls.


Wagner Falls. See…isn’t Zoey cute?

After all that hiking, we were tired and hungry.  We headed back to Munising and decided to look for a place to eat that had outside tables because Zoey was with us.  That’s when we saw this sign.


I was told by a friend who grew up in the Upper Peninsula, that we needed to try a pasty (pronounced:  pass-tee).  It’s a folded pastry crust with a savory filling, typically of seasoned meat and vegetables.  We tried the beef pasty which had beef, potatoes, onions, rutabagas, and various seasonings.  It kind of reminded me of a pot pie, only without the gravy.  They were delicious!



Look at how flaky that crust is!

Now we were full, somewhat rested, and ready to make the drive back to Marquette. However, before we left Munising, we “stumbled” upon this little gem near Muldoon’s.


On the way back to Marquette, we stopped at this very unusual sculpture park called Lakenenland.  It is FREE and open 24/7, but I would advise you to go during daylight hours.  You can either walk or drive your vehicle through this place.  There are HUNDREDS of very unique, interesting, patriotic, and sometimes quite strange sculptures!  Here are just a few.  If you are up in this area, you HAVE to stop by and see this place!  Jack and I were VERY impressed by the creative ideas of this sculptor.


Sign you see from the road.



This is right after you drive through the entrance.


See the legs of the lady who fell in the pond?



This guy is close to the entrance.


You can see him from the road also.

Later that evening while watching a little television in our motel room, I looked at my Apple Watch.  It said we had walked a little over 5.5 miles!  Just knowing that made me ready to go to bed! 😂

All in all, we had a wonderful day exploring that area of the Upper Peninsula.

So, for now ….. “On the Road Again!”


Michigan’s Upper Peninsula: Day #1

We left the RV on July 23 to spend a few days exploring the Upper Peninsula of Michigan.  We drove to Marquette, MI, which was about a three hour drive, where we had a motel room for a couple of nights.  Along the way, we made a couple of stops.

I have a teacher friend who grew up in the Upper Peninsula around the towns of  Ishpeming and Negaunee.  I heard him telling stories about his growing up in the U.P. on numerous occasions.  It piqued my interest in the area, and I knew when we started our RV adventures, I wanted to visit there.  Both those towns were on our way to Marquette.

Our first stop was Ishpeming.  The population of Ishpeming today is about 6,400.  At the end of the 1800s, many Swedes immigrated to Ishpeming when the copper mines in their hometown closed down.  The iron ore mines in Ishpeming employed many workers during the first three decades of the 1900s.  As a result Ishpeming’s population during that time was at its highest – about 13,000.

Here’s some interesting facts about Ishpeming:  1) The 1959 movie Anatomy of a Murder was filmed in Ishpeming and surrounding areas.  2) The Green Bay Packers played their first ever road game in Ishpeming on October 19, 1919.  The Packers won 33-0.  3) The National Ski Association, the forerunner of the present-day United States Ski and Snowboard Association, was founded in Ishpeming on February 21, 1905 by local banker and skier, Carl Tellefsen.  4). Ishpeming is the home of the National Ski Hall of Fame.

Ishpeming has a quaint historic downtown with beautiful hanging baskets of flowers and very friendly people.


Back in Michigan!


Ishpeming was the 2012, 2013, and 2015 Division 7 State Football champs!



I have NO idea what that structure is, but I thought it was interesting.


See the lovely hanging baskets on the street lights?



People up here paint murals on a lot of buildings. I LOVE it!



What interesting architecture!


Next stop was Negaunee which was just four miles from Ishpeming.  The population of Negaunee is approximately 4,500.  The city was built during the early 19th century after the discovery of a rich deposit of iron ore in Marquette County.  In fact both the towns of Ishpeming and Negaunee developed as a result of mining this deposit.

The Jackson Mine was established in Negaunee in 1845 to mine the ore for shipment to iron forges.  The first forge to operate in the Lake Superior basin was set up in Negaunee during this time also.  Unfortunately, we did not get to visit the mine during our short visit to the town.

As the mining operations expanded, many immigrants settled in the area, bringing with them rich traditions that remain today.  One of those traditions is the delicious pasty (pronounced:  pass-tee).  I was told I could not leave the U.P. without trying one, so one day while we were driving around, we stopped and had a beef pasty (main ingredients:  flakey pastry crust with ground beef, potatoes, onions, carrots and rutabaga plus some seasonings).  It was delicious!  I am already salivating thinking about eating another one.


Now … back to Negaunee.  The Michigan Iron Industry Museum is located on the outskirts of Negaunee near the Carp River.  Negaunee is home to Pioneer Days, a festival held every year the week following July 4th.  It is also the home of the only full-length natural-track luge course in the United States.  It is over 800 meters in length, features 29 curves along its 289 ft. vertical drop, and is maintained by the Upper Peninsula Luge Club.

Negaunee is a lovely town with beautiful historic buildings and the friendliest people.  It also had some of the loveliest old homes with beautifully manicured lawns (I only wish I would have taken some pictures of those homes! 😔 However, I didn’t want people to become suspicious of me. 😂). Here are a few of my pictures of Negaunee.



This is the sign in front of the building in the previous picture. That is probably the most unique architecture for a school district’s administration building ever!


It was getting quite late in the afternoon, so we headed to our motel in Marquette which was just a short drive of 11 miles.  We checked in and asked for directions to their historic downtown area.  We walked around the marina and a lovely park then headed up the main street.  We were tired and hungry.  Since we couldn’t find a place downtown with outside dining that would allow our dog, we headed back to the motel where there was a nice restaurant right next door with an outside porch that allowed dogs.  Here are some pictures of the downtown Marquette area and marina.



That large structure next to the boats is an old iron ore loading dock. Railroad cars loaded with ore would travel out on tracks along the top, then dump their loads of ore down the chutes onto the waiting barges below. I can only imagine how loud it was! This one is no longer in use.


Another view of the iron ore loading dock.


This is a view of the iron ore loading dock looking straight down the middle.



Marquette’s Fire Bell.



Lovely park right along the shore of the marina.



This is the WW II memorial from the information in the previous photo. It is in the park along the marina.


After supper, we went back to the room.  We watched a little TV, and went to bed early because we knew we would have a long day exploring the U.P. the next day.

So, for now ….. “On the Road Again!”


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