Michigan Upper Peninsula - 2009/08/15-2009/08/16


Amber and I had planned a trip to Northern Michigan a month ago in order to see Mackinac Island. We made it to Mackinaw City Saturday afternoon and got lunch at a restaurant called Nonna Lisa. While the interior decor was interesting (if you like dead animals), the service was slow, and the food was over-priced. We also had to listen to terrible acoustic versions of our favorite songs. After lunch we drove over the Mackinaw Bridge and into the upper peninsula. We parked in St. Ignace and hopped an Arnold Transit catamaran ferry to the island.

On Mackinac we took one of the standard horse carriage tours around the island which stopped at the usual touristy locations. We rode by all the town attractions including churches, blacksmiths, the governor's mansion, and the Grand Hotel. Then, we switched to a larger carriage which took us through the park area of the island where we saw Arch Rock, the rear of Fort Mackinac, and a lot of trees. Our tour guide was an older man named Dave, who was a spectacular tour guide (ask for him if you go there).

We spent the another hour walking around the frightening shops of Mackinac before taking the ferry back to St. Ignace and getting our room at the Colonial House Inn. We had the Island View Room, which was great, because St. Ignace has fireworks every Saturday in the summer, and our room looked right out on the bay where they were going off.

Leaving the St. Ignace shoreline.

Mackinaw Bridge in the distance.

The two of us sunning ourselves on the deck of the ferry.

The Grand Hotel from the ferry.


Some of the very expensive houses on the Mackinac shore.

A long shot of the Mackinac shoreline.

A permanent marker buoy.

The shore from the other angle. Notice the huge kites flying in the air. They are longer than many of the buildings on the island.


Getting closer.

Nice church.

The front of Fort Mackinac.

Little Stone Church is little and stony.


A close-up of the Grand Hotel.

A not-so-close-up of the Grand Hotel.

Since they don't allow cars, there is a lot of this stuff on the island.

The official Mackinac hearse!


The front gate of St. Ann's Cemetery.

The back gate of St. Ann's Cemetery. Not quite all enough for actually fitting the hearse.

Bat cave?

Arch rock.


Looking out on Lake Huron.

Bois Blanc Island can be seen in the distance.

Flying Spaghetti Monster for the win!

Ariel likes the water.


That boat is small!

The Nicolet Watch Tower plaque.

Looking down on the bikers from the arch.

Shallow limestone bedrock beach. Several words were written with loose rocks.


This looks like a nice easy trail.

Tranquil Bluff Trail is tranquil.

Is it a name or a command?

Repeat after me, "Quotes are not used for emphasis!". However, if you're buying people fluorescent pink hats, then they kind of are 'gifts'.


The docks on our way back to St. Ignace.

Disregard the clown fish in a Christmas display, and look at the backwardness of the Merry Christmas sign.

OH NO! A baby just burst forth from that old woman's chest cavity!




After getting up much earlier than either of us would have liked, Amber and I had breakfast and began our journey up to Tahquamenon Falls. We hit the lower falls first where we made our way across the brisk water. We enjoyed the thrill of the rushing current trying to upset our footing and dash us on the limestone river bed. Well, at least I enjoyed it, Amber seemed a little fearful of it, but that may have only been because she didn't want to lose her camera. After a couple crossings, and some great photo ops, we headed to the much bigger upper falls. August is the lowest flow rate, but the power of the falls are still awe inspiring.

It was getting late, so we ate lunch in Paradise, and then headed south for home. We had to make it back to Grand Blanc with enough time to get a good night sleep because we were heading to Cedar Point on Monday morning. We went with Kimberly and her boyfriend Robby, but sadly much of the day was rained out (just like much of this wet summer!). In the three day span, I drove almost 20 hours!

One of the many falls in the Lower Falls.

That water looks good enough to drink!

Preparing to cross the incredibly safe river.

Halfway across, looking down river.


We've conquered the Tahquamenon River!

Maybe we shouldn't cross here.

Amber playing it safe.

Standing dangerously close to the eight foot drop onto a shallow limestone bed.


Danger's my middle name.

An awesome display of water pressure and gravity.

Don't look behind you!

The Upper Falls from a distance.


A very large shot of the chasm that's been opened up from the falls.

A vertical shot of the same picture.

Info on the Tahquamenon River.

Quick Mr. Garter Snake, slither to the grass before you're stepped on!


I don't think we'll be playing in this one!

Amber at the falls.

This waterfall could do with a little Queen!

That's quite the chasm!


A bit of history on the falls.

The majestic falls.

Danger indeed!

Down stream from the Upper Falls.



Hey look, it's a waterfall.

You know what I need more of? Pictures of waterfalls!