Sunday, August 16, 2009

Summer Vaycay: Da UP

Just a few travel pix from our journey to Hessel/Cedarville, then the southwestern Upper Peninsula:

We flatlanders aren't used to mack-daddy rocks like this boulder gracing the Hessel Cemetery.

Our very favorite tourist trap, just north of St. Ignace, run by a friendly but curmudgeonly older man who likes to talk current events. We were talking about the flat tourist season, and he told us he blamed the weather: "No one wants to spend big bucks taking the family to Mackinac Island and smelling wet horse manure all weekend."

Pte. Seul Choix Lighthouse in Gulliver -- a couple of past lighthouse keepers are supposed to haunt the property, but we didn't experience any paranormal activity the day we visited; just warmth and sunshine and a friendly docent. One of the unintentionally interesting finds at this site was the large pile of zebra mussel shells on the shoreline; zebra mussels are a rogue European mollusk, introduced by ships emptying their ballasts in the Great Lakes, whose voracious eating habits are disrupting the Great Lakes ecosystem. My thought, on seeing the sun-bleached pile of tiny shells, was selling them as landscaping mulch for the waterfront cottage crowd, if they could be mass-harvested without wreaking even more havoc upon our native wildlife. Any entrepreneurs reading this?

The light at Manistique.

This is an artists' collective gallery in the tiny village of Garden, on the Garden Peninsula between Manistique and Rapid River. We were wowed not only by all the artwork and artisan items made by UP artists and craftspeople, but also by the reasonable prices; why buy a Yooper tourist tschotschke made in China when you can purchase the real deal here?

The peninsula seems to have a more moderate climate than the mainland, with many farms -- a winery, even. There's also a tiny fishing village, Fairport, at the very tip, and a state park preserving the ruins of the old iron-smelting boomtown of Fayette; it's very eerie to see the empty public buildings of this totally abandoned community and ponder the impermanence of life.


chartreuseova said...

Love the photos.

Like your idea for the zebra mussels...when I first found out about the invasive carp in the Southern part of the country, I wondered why they couldn't be harvested and used for fertilizer, pet food or something useful to diminish the population at least.

Processing Counselor said...

Great pics. Love the rock!

Anonymous said...

Hello LC,
Longtime reader here (I grew up Lutheran [Missouri Synod] in Ann Arbor), and one of the people who recommended Hessel/Cedarville a few years ago. I was up at the Boat Show this year. While the boats were excellent, the weather was horrible -- drenching rains and strong East winds, it was yucky. We did a brief walk-thru in full rain gear, ate some ice cream with Maple Syrup topping under a big tent, zipped our wool sweaters up tighter to keep from hypothermia, then climbed back into the boat to head out to the island.
Hessel seems to be doing well, all things considered. Glad to hear you made it Up North again this year.


Mary said...

Hi, Lutheran Chik,
I'm a regular reader of yours, a lesbian AND a lapsed Lutheran. I was surprised to read of the ELCA "approving" gay clergy. I was curious to read about your reaction, but I see that you're on vacation and obviously away from your computer.

I hope you will write about the ELCA's actions and look forward to reading your comments.
P.S. I didn't know how to email you other than through a blogposting comment.