A few touristy photos for your viewing pleasure:
Photo 1: The Pere Marquette Memorial in St. Ignace. Father Marquette was a 17th century missionary and explorer.
Photo 2: Wildflowers along a Lake Huron breakwall.
Photo 3: The Gerstacker beach sanctuary near Hessell, overlooking the Les Cheneaux island chain.
Photo 4: The Mackinac Bridge at twilight, seen from the UP side.
I'd love to post more photos, but my camera began malfunctioning yesterday. You'd see, among other things, the folkloric/historic village of Hessell, and a couple of amazing beach wildflowers that I can't identify and was hoping that any botany mavens reading this could help me ID. One of the flowers, growing among the dune grass, was like a cross between a buttercup and a spring beauty -- white flowers striped in pink, buttercup shaped, nodding from a stalk about a foot and a half tall. Another was a small lavender/fuschia colored tube-shaped flower in amongst the grass. Any experts on beach flora, feel free to take a stab.
And two restaurant recommendations for anyone considering a trip to the Upper Peninsula: Java Joe's is a funky little diner and coffee shop on the north side of St. Ignace -- it's hard to describe, but imagine "Alice's Restaurant" and a Grateful Dead riff crossed with "Margaritaville" and you'll get some sense of the establishment's flavor. And there really is a Java Joe, whom you're likely to meet when you visit. You pretty much can get anything you want, at least for breakfast, at Java Joe's. We had Swedish pancakes...a very light, yummy meal first thing in the morning. It's all about fresh Great Lakes fish up here, and the laid-back Hessell Bay Inn in the Les Cheneaux area has wonderfully tasty whitefish and perch...I've tasted panfried perch and a blackened whitefish sandwich there, and both were terrific.