Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Took the freeway today

Tuesday, October 16th, 2007
Two Rivers, Wisconsin to Portage, Indiana

221.3 miles
Rainy, windy, gray

Nasty day to be on the road. I’m sitting here trying to remind myself that I choose to say something good each day. I think the best I can say today is that I was able to stick to the freeway and avoid bad weather on narrow two lane roads.

Actually it wasn’t all that bad – I put the beast into cruise control, and rarely touched it. Most of the roads were either in repair or needed to be, but traffic was relatively light.

Made it thru Milwaukee without any problems. It is a city of steeples – there were so many near the highway that I’d like to have been able to shoot – probably best that weather was so bad – kept me from running off the unfamiliar road while trying to take pictures. There sure were some beautiful old buildings!

Chicago is BIG – not my favorite driving. Unbelievably confusing set of roads – thank heavens for GPS guidance!!

Crossing into Indiana, you are greeted by the Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore - Dunes rise 180 feet above Lake Michigan's southern shore with beaches, bogs, marshes, swamps, and prairie remnants and other natural features.

Crossed the Calumet River, which made me wonder about Calumet Baking Powder – so I looked it up. So, if you’re bored and interested in the history of baking powder, check
whatscookingamerica.net/History/BakingPowderHistory.htm They really aren’t as closely related as I hoped.

Gary, Indiana – as you enter the city limits, you pass by a HUGE water treatment plant, which a big sign saying “Gary Welcomes You!” Nice.

Yogi Bear's Jellystone Park
5300 Old Portage Road
Portage,  IN 46368

Cold and colorful!

Friday, October 12th, 2007
Marquette, Michigan to Two Rivers, Wisconsin

220.7 miles
Rainy, Drizzly, Cold

I use a memory foam back cushion in my driver’s seat – this morning it was so cold, the foam cushion was hard as a rock! Softened up just fine as my tush warmed it up!

The autumn colors near Lake Michigan are prime! Too bad it’s so rainy – not picture taking weather! Entire hillsides are in color – really special!

Yea! The sun peeked out at 11:30 – not for long mind you, but I did get a short shot of enthusiasm!!

I’ve now progressed to the Lake Michigan Circle Tour. Stopped for gas and couldn’t resist the homemade fried chicken that smelled so good – haven’t had greasy fried chicken in a long time and it tasted as good as it smelled!! Interesting place – they also sold big bags of deer feed, colorful corn cobs, beets, carrots and apples.

Passed thru Gladstone, famous for some of the best wall-eye fishing around, and a lot of railroad history. Plus they have a golf course offering a buck a hole, as many as you want to play, and a buck a bucket for balls!

Further south, Escanaba – back in city life – lovely fancy homes on the lakefront, including “Chateau de Smith”. “No-See-Um Creek” – don’t’ think I’d want to live near there! Big sign on one driveway saying “No Bears Allowed!”

Crossed the Menominee River separating Michigan and Wisconsin, and the roads took a definite down turn at the state line. Too bad.

Green Bay is a city of major industry, with large farms in the surrounding countryside, and dairy cows – the first sign of cheese to come! Many fields of green winter crops coming up – winter wheat and winter rye.

I'm NOT ready for winter!

Thursday, October 11th, 2007
St. Ignace to Marquette, Michigan

195.1 miles
Partly sunny to heavy overcast and COLD

It’s winter here already! Too damned cold for this gal spoiled by years of sunshine and ocean and desert breezes!

It was really windy this morning, but I took off anyway, trusting that the wind would die down when I drove inland a bit, thinking it was mainly whipping down the lakes. WRONG! But I have to get out of here – holy s* - the morning weather just said they’ve seen snow flakes already in THE Peninsula!

(Friday’s morning weather – I was so cold last night, I couldn’t bring myself to write nice things! I’m more of a morning person, so it’s easier to write, even when the fingers are cold.)

And now I’ve just heard that Al Gore just won the Nobel Peace prize, and Jimmy Carter is saying he should get back into politics and run for President. Oh dear.

Back to Michigan – the drive today took me thru some pretty harsh country. That said, again, as a spoiled pampered sun lover. In its own way, it’s wild and beautiful too! There are certainly no Halloween decorations to be seen up here. As the owner of the RV park I stayed in at the end of the day said, THIS is the last frontier – not Alaska! Not so many tourists!

Stores sell deer feed and bear bait. Saw a sign for “Bear Hounds – 4 sale cheap!” And the “Bear Butt Bar & Grill”

Most of the trees have gone naked already, although I did see small protected areas of some great color.

White caps in Whitefish Bay! And a “Loafer’s Paradise” address sign on one home.

Passing thru Newberry, a small bank sign said 12:30 and 44 degrees. Pretty green golf course there, with golfers playing. I could barely keep my coach on the road in this wind, and people are playing golf? They’re tougher than I am!

The skies went from partly sunny to heavy overcast again at about 1:30, as I passed from the Lake Huron Circle Tour to the Lake Superior Circle Tour. And there are actual waves breaking on the shoreline of Lake Superior. Looks cold!

Again, as I mentioned a few days ago, I’m reminded of looking out at an ocean – this isn’t a big lake, it’s a small ocean! Signs brag of the wild storms and ship wreck sites!

Pictured Rocks is a visitor site near Munising. “The crystal clear blue-green waters of Lake Superior have created masterpieces of colors and rock formations found no where else in the world.”

They offer boat cruises to see these wonders, and needless to say, I chose to pass! And this picture is obviously not mine – I copied it from the official website!

Arrived at this rustic RV park, almost deserted at this time of year. The owner is a true character – drove up to meet me, in a heavy parka and one of those furry caps with fold down ear covers. Obviously hadn’t spoken to anyone recently – couldn’t shut him up! If I wasn’t such a wimp and it wasn’t so cold, I’d like this park a lot more – it’s a beautiful layout, right across the road from Lake Superior, so I could hear the surf crashing all night!

Gitche Gumee RV Park & Campground
2048 M-28 east
Marquette, Michigan  49855

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