A troll heads home!
6/2/10 - 6/3/10
Although I would have loved to stay in South Dakota longer (I really enjoyed it there) I was being sent to New Jersey. I decided to go through the UP, across the bridge and to Traverse City to see my dentist and doctor. I checked out of the local office and drove until 3am stopping to sleep for a few hours in the parking lot of a Michigan Welcome Center in Menominee. I could have gotten a hotel room, but then I would have gotten back on the road much later than I wanted. I don't drive when I am too tired, honest!
Those who live under the bridge are trolls, and most Michiganders are trolls since the UP (upper peninsula) doesn't have a large population relatively speaking. People who live north of the bridge in MI are Yoopers. :-) There is also a band using the name that is regionally popular: http://www.dayoopers.com/travshw.html
It was nice to see my first decent view of the Mackinac Bridge (which connects the UP and the LP) in quite a long time.
I stopped at a couple of lookouts and there was a monument to the men who died building the bridge, which opened in 1957 and at the time was the world's longest suspension bridge.
I don't like heights and don't particularly like driving across the bridge. I always stay in the inner lane, remembering the woman who went over the side of the bridge in her car in 1989. The winds in the straits of Mackinac can be fierce and if anyone is too afraid to drive across, there are actually people who will drive your car across for you.
I also stopped to see a memorial to Father Marquette which is just west of the bridge on the northern end. http://www.nps.gov/fama/
After wards, I paid my $3.50 and went across. I stopped in Harbor Springs http://www.harborspringschamber.com/visitor/ to visit a very special old friend who also happens to be my go to guy when I need jewelry repaired and then I was on my way to Traverse City. http://www.jvlipscombjeweler.freeservers.com/
I checked into my hotel The Sugar Beach http://www.tcresorts.com/ and relaxed for a few minutes. The water always has a very soothing effect on me and I had a great view from my room.
I worked for many years at the TC Convention and Visitors Bureau and always liked to deal with the people at the Sugar Beach as well as the Grand Beach. They are both attractive, well run properties. They aren't the only ones I can say that about of course, but they certainly made doing my job easier on many occasions.
I went to Potter's Bakery http://pottersbakery.com/ to pick up some cookies and a couple of cupcakes. When I lived in Greenville SC, I never could understand why so many baked goods were so expensive. I was told that you get what you pay for, but the favorite bakery in Greenville is just OK compared to Potter's!
Then it was on to The Taco House to get a red meat wet burrito. It is to die for. Yum! http://tinyurl.com/37mc8gx I wish I could get one right now actually. I just realized I haven't eaten hardly anything today.
Thursday I went to the dentist in the morning and then tooled around the Old Mission Peninsula a bit. I lived out there for about ten years and loved it. I drove by a centennial farm where we rented a small house for a couple of years prior to building and was shocked to see a peacock in the driveway of the house next door! How does a peacock handle a northern Michigan winter I wonder?
Then I went out to the lighthouse, which was a place my kids always liked to go. It is a township park and although the lighthouse was decommissioned many years ago, there was usually a caretaker who lived there. The father of my daughters best friend lived there for a time. Now they have opened it as a museum which was cool as I had never been inside before. Here is a link to the lighthouse keeper program http://www.peninsulatownship.com/parks/lkpa.php
I went into town, had lunch with my former boss at the bureau Sarah, and it was really nice to catch up with her. I also saw another friend, Kelly and wish I'd had more time to visit many others. Next time I will make sure I can spend more time and see more people. After my doctors appt. I drove out again to the peninsula to take a couple of pictures near Chateau Grand Traverse. You can see West Grand Traverse Bay in the distance in one of the pictures.
The peninsula used to have the greatest density of cherry trees anywhere in the country. I wonder if that is true now that so many orchards have been replaced by vineyards. http://www.wineriesofoldmission.com/
The Cherry Festival is coming up pretty soon and that is always a lot of fun. http://visit.cherryfestival.org/
Now it's time to be on my way to see my parents, brother, and sister-in-law in the Detroit area.