October 2013

Page 2

32 articles in October 2013
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The halo is caused by a reflection of light on the ice crystals from very high cirrus clouds. It is said that “a ring around the moon means rain soon.” We’ll see. This is also the night of the Hunter’s moon, which means the full moon rises earlier than normal, meaning more light to hunt by. A ring around the Hunter’s moon? Stormy hunting? Good sign? Bad sign? Depends on who’s the prey, I guess.

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It rained a cold, heavy rain today. It is supposed to rain for many more days and there are few places to camp this far north. I trekked another 40 minutes north in Sacajewea to see if I could find a couple neat places to visit before heading south for the hills. By the time I had found the mine my feet and shoulders were soaked. These are excuses for why I did not travel further, as I hear the north shore of the UP of the UP is gorgeous. That being said, I’m sure it is less gorgeous when it’s pouring rain. In any case, if you’re visiting the UP, definitely try to get up as …

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The drive from Munising to Barraga was not a fun one. There were a great many hills accompanied by most unpleasant traffic, and of course my gas mileage was awful. Lola and I can only do about 45 uphill, and only 40 up a big hill. So though I passed a great many interesting sites that I’m sure were wonderful, I did not stop because I was excited to get off the road. By the time I arrived in Barraga it was cloudy and threatening rain, but I could see how beautiful it must be on a sunny day. Even the curve of the road as you enter the Keweenaw bay area is lovely. Barraga is named …

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Down a long and beautiful country road on the Garden peninsula of the U.P. is the tiny ghost town of Fayette. It was once a huge iron ore refinery with docks, blast furnaces, a limestone quarry, stores and even an opera house. It was home to almost 500 people in the late 1800’s, and was run by the Jackson Iron Company. Soon after the company closed its doors, the town followed suit, and has been abandoned since the early 1900’s. The State Park is in charge of keeping things tidy in the old ghost town, and in my opinion it’s altogether too tidy. The grass is nicely trimmed, the buildings have new roofs and new siding…for some …

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Right now, Reader, it is 8 o’clock at night and I am sitting in a parking lot. And I am pleasantly surprised. Okay, so it’s not the Hilton, and it’s a little noisy, but it’s reasonably safe, and I’ve got power for this lovely computer. Lola and I are in a casino parking lot, just off the main road outside Munising, MI. There are about 6 spots labeled “RV parking” and they have access boxes with 50 and 30 watt power hook-ups. It’s Friday, so the casino is pretty busy, and people are coming and going. An engine starts every once in a while, and I’m glad that I have curtains. But having been on many road …

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Down a pretty lonely road surrounding Indian Lake outside of Manistique, MI, there is a state park called Palms Brook. It contains what the signs refer to as “Kitch-i-ti-kipi” or “Big Spring.” It is, in fact, the largest spring in Michigan, and, I will venture to say, the most beautiful. The park is small. The only trail leads straight to the spring, because, hey, what else would you want to look at? The color is a deep turquoise. This is from the minerals which bubble up from the bottom. Huge fish (“Maybe carp?” ventures one of the tourists) swim below the surface, which is clear as glass. A small ferry with a viewing cutout in the middle …

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Upon crossing the Mackinac Bridge, the observant tourist realizes that the U.P. specializes in four things: 1. Fudge 2. Smoked Fish 3. “Party” Stores 4. Pasties Okay, so fudge and smoked fish are pretty obvious, but I had no idea what the last two even were. Oh, man. Okay, so a “party” store is pretty much a quickie mart. They usually have a gas pump and copious amounts of booze and ice (which I supposed in the U.P. constitutes “party” supplies). Some of these stores might be qualified as “general” stores, as they have bait and tackle as well as groceries and various necessities. One I came upon had an old fashioned gas pump out front, as …

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