Tuesday, June 30, 2020

6/30 Camping in Duluth, MN

Yes, I really mean camping IN Duluth.  I am staying three nights in Lakehead Boat Basin.  But to get here, you have to drive over the famous lift bridge that enables the big lake freighters to enter the Duluth Harbor.  Here is is from about half a mile away. 

Looks pretty narrow.  Will my rig fit???  At least my GPS seems to think so, and it evaluates routes based on how tall, wide, long, and heavy my rig is.  It usually keeps me out of trouble.

Lots of shops and restaurants to explore tomorrow.  

Here goes!!!!!  OK, I know I should not be taking photos while driving through a narrow bridge, but I was just pointing the camera and clicking, while hoping for the best.

This is the boat basin.  It consists of a couple of long, paved areas where boats are sometimes stored.

During the winter, the boats are stored indoors or on pavement at the boat basin.  During the summer, the boats go in the water, and the parking spots are rented as RV campsites.  Each one has a separate water and electrical connection, and a few have a sewer hookup.  For the rest, there is a dump station near the entrance.  

Great views of the city of Duluth and the harbor!!  

Sites are not very large, but everyone fits in.  Most campers have come this week to watch the city fireworks in the harbor.  I was told that sites for the 4th are rented several years in advance. 

I am guessing this ship is taking on grain??  Or cement?  Will need to check. 

Interesting.  This is the Federal Biscay, a bulk carrier built in 2015 and flagged out of the Marshall Islands!  Is picking up a cargo of wheat, and probably transporting it to Europe.  If you want to find a ship, try this website:  https://www.vesselfinder.com/?imo=9697856

View of the bridge from the campsites. 

Tomorrow, I am going to walk over the bridge and explore some of the shops and restaurants on both sides. 

6/29 Fort Wilkins State Park, Copper Harbor, MI

Copper Harbor is at the far end of the Keweenaw Peninsula.  It was a source of copper for Native Americans for many centuries and a heavily mined area in the late 1800s and early 1900s. 

Fort Wilkins was only occupied for a few years in the 1850s, but most of the buildings have survived and are original.  There was no one around, but on weekends, there are reenactors here.

A sampling of the buildings and exhibits in them. 

The blacksmith shop. 

 The cans on the right say "Essence of Coffee" which I assume means they are instant coffee???  Yje ones on the left are jelly. 

I guess they had a lot of one-pot meals!!  

The hospital ward. 

The local wildlife. 

Copper Harbor is a very small town, and not very fancy.   Anyway, someone has a sense of humor.  I suspect that added the bottom sign during the depths of a very cold winter.

6/28 Pictured Rocks, Munising, MI & McLain SP

I was originally going to take the tour boat to these colorful cliffs along Lake Superior, but I decided it was too expensive and I had been around too many people lately anyway.  So, I drove to the national park and took a few photos.

Look at how clear the water of Lake Superior is!  

I only stayed one night here because there was absolutely no cell service, which I use to get internet service.  No internet--not able to do things for my online class I teach, so left the next morning. 

The State of Michigan REALLY needs to update this campground!!  Sites are dirt and uneven, plus the electrical boxes are all shared, which means that two RVs must plug into one box.  If the second RV does not have a long enough electrical cord, they are out of luck.

It is hard to see, but there is a beach down there, but a narrow one since the Great Lakes water levels are very high.  And you can see that storms in the past caused damage to this part of the shore, hence the protective rocks. 

Lake Superior is super clean, but also super cold!  

Saturday, June 27, 2020

6/25 Mackinac Island Marina Area and Back Streets

I decided to break this very long post into two parts.  One of the things that many tourists miss on the Mackinac are the many beautiful Victorian buildings.  Some of these have been converted into B&Bs and some are still private homes.

When you turn down one of the side roads in the village area, this is what you find.  I love the Victorian feel.

You can tell that the two building on the right were part of the fort structures. 

Love this porch and widow's walk!! 

More fort buildings.  The one on the right is the famous infirmary where Dr. William Beaumont treated the soldier who was shot in the stomach in 1822 and discovered how the human gastric system worked.  http://www.mackinacisland.net/american-fur-company-store-dr-beaumont-museum/

This sign marks the beginning of the only state road in the country where cars are not allowed.  You may ride your bike the eight-mile length or rent a horse-drawn carriage, or even walk it if you choose, but no cars or trucks. 

Highway 185 completely circles the island and is a terrific bike ride. The vast majority of the middle of the island is state park. 

The marina where the Chicago to Mackinac and the Port Huron to Mackinac sailboat races end.  Usually it is packed with boaters, but it is still early in the season.

Watch out for porters carrying full loads of luggage to the hotels!!

Clearly a private home overlooking the marina.  Nice.

Not sure if this is private or not, but it is next to the Island House Hotel.

Flowers in front of the Island House.

This one was getting a new coat of paint.

St. Mary's Catholic church.

One of the late lilacs.  Most have already bloomed and are done.

Pretty entrance to a home just on the west edge of the village.

Beautiful home on west side of village.

Love the detail and paint colors.

Beautiful day, but time to head home.  I did a lot of walking, had a nice lunch, and enjoyed looking through all the shops.