Posts Tagged ‘Lake Superior’

PresqueIsleStateParkSo on my lunch break I decided to muse about since I forgot a book and my DS (I’m currently addicted to Plants vs. Zombies). I started looking up things to do in northern Michigan/the Upper Peninsula, and I always wondered about Marquette, MI. Last summer, my husband and I drove through the entire state of Michigan, stopping at Traverse City, St. Ignace, Sault Ste. Marie, Tahquamenon Falls, and Munising, I believe. We had to go to the other side of the U.P. to get through Wisconsin, though, and so we didn’t have enough time to explore the western side of the U.P.

I stumbled upon reviews from tripadvisor.com and saw everyone clamoring about Presque Island State Park north of Marquette. After reading so many positive reviews, I decided to Google it for images.

Um, yeah. I’m totally going there next time. Do you SEE all that gorgeous water? I adore Lake Superior and want to be super close to it, so I think this is a must-see place!

What do you think? Also, if you have any other suggestions about where my husband and I should go in Michigan, both the U.P. and the Lower Peninsula, I will be happy to take suggestions, even for places we’ve already visited! 🙂


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On my way to work the other day, I decided to put in one of my favorite discs, Greetings From Michigan, The Great Lakes State! by Sufjan Stevens. It’s one of those discs that when played, especially in nice weather, it takes me back to that wonderful place in time in which my husband and I visited the beautiful state of Michigan. One song particularly took me back to two of my favorite locations in Michigan – “Sleeping Bear, Sault Ste. Marie.”

I really feel as if Sufjan does a fantastic job capturing these two fantastic locations, places that I can never forget for many reasons. Since listening to the song, I long to stand on the warm, soft sands of Sleeping Bear, west of Traverse City. I desire to stand on one of those beautiful sand dunes to see the glorious Lake Michigan below me. I’d give about anything to slip silently into the lake once more and allow it to gently jostle and move me around in its undulating waves.

I’m sad that I didn’t get to spend as much time as I wanted to in either location. I would’ve scoured the western beaches of Michigan and stolen a few hours away to swim and lounge by the lake. I would’ve dug a bit deeper into the very old history of Sault Ste. Marie, and I definitely would have gotten my passport and traveled for some time into Canada, visiting the “other” Sault Ste. Marie. I would have taken more time to take in all of the smells, the hues of the sky and the lakes, and the feel of the wind blowing my hair in the breezy, mild July weather. I would give anything to go back.

But until I do get the opportunity to journey northward, I must allow myself to bask in the happy memories that I shared with my husband. I will look at the bottles of Lake Superior sand on my desk with great fondness. I will gaze longingly at the photos I took of the beautiful state. And I will listen to this disc again and again and again, especially to this song.

Take a listen to this tune and see what you think!

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Empire, MichiganExcuse me while I daydream about the Great Lakes State for a bit!

Sometimes when I’m driving to or from work (which is an hour-long commute one way), I pretend like I’m taking the back roads and Interstates of Michigan on the way to something more fun, somewhere like Traverse City, St. Ignace, Sault Ste. Marie, or somewhere by one of the beautiful Great Lakes. *sigh* One day I’ll go back. 🙂

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Shep and John in Lake SuperiorI know I’m late with this, but after seeing it reemerge on social media again, I figured I’d do my part and share this, too.

Wisconsinite John Unger has been taking his 19-year-old dog, Shep, into the waters of Lake Superior for a while to help lull him to asleep and ease the pain of arthritis that torments him daily. The buoyancy of the waters of Lake Superior sends Shep into a calm, peaceful sleep each night and soothes his arthritic bones.

I found this photo and this story to be very touching. I also find it to be eerily true. Lake Superior is truly calming and mystical in its own sense. I found that out when I dipped my legs and feet in its magnificent shoreline in the Upper Peninsula last summer. If I lived closer to that lake and my dog had pain like Shep, I think I would do the same for her.

Check out the full article here and the video featuring John and Shep here!

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Isle RoyaleThere are a lot of places I honestly would love to see. I’d like to travel around the entire United States to see it all. I’d like to check out Tierra del Fuego in Argentina or maybe even Antarctica or France. But only 7 places top my “must-see” list.

Here are my top 7 must-see places that I have to visit before I exit this life and enter the next!

Isle Royale and Mackinac Island – As you probably know by now, I’ve been to most of Michigan as of last summer when my husband and I went on an epic road trip throughout the state, both LP and UP. I still want to see many other locations in Michigan for sure, including the Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore, but I definitely want to set sail and check out the famous Mackinac Island and the hidden gem that is Isle Royal. Who could resist the fudge and fantastic history of Mackinac Island? I also want to wander through Isle Royale in beautiful Lake Superior; I would do pretty much anything to see a wolf, and I would also love to see foxes and moose as well! Maybe one day I’ll convince my husband to take me up there!

Canada – I’ve been relatively close to Canada a few times, but I’ve never been able to cross over into the country since I didn’t have a passport (that needs to be rectified soon). It was so cool to see Sault Ste. Marie, Canada practically a football field away (or so it seems) from where I was standing in Sault Ste. Marie, Michigan. I want to check out Toronto, Vancouver, and all the fun, off-the-beaten-path places up north. I bet they’re beautiful!

Northern Lights in AlaskaAlaska – Many people I know keep saying, “OMG, I wanna go to Hawaii! Hawaii’s the bomb! YEAH!” I say forget Hawaii; take me to Alaska instead! Let me see the glaciers and the wolves and moose. Allow me to bask in the beauty of the Northern Lights that gleam and dazzle at night. And send me to the very tip-top of Alaska to a little place called Barrow so that I may say that I’ve pretty much been to the top of the world.

Yellowstone – When I visited the wolves in Missouri in December, the other couple that was on the tour with my husband and me told us over and over again that we had to go to Yellowstone to see the Druid Pack run wild throughout the land. Since that encounter, I’ve been giving that more thought and have established that yes, indeed, we need to go there sometime soon. I’d love to see the geysers, walk the trails, check out the mountains and springs, and of course, view the wolves in a wild.

Japan – I had lived in Okinawa for three years when I was a toddler. My dad was in the Marine Corps, so we were stationed at Kinser for three years. I don’t remember too much of Okinawa, Japan. Most of my memories come from photos and videos of the place, but I do remember walking to preschool every day with my dad, playing games on the computer with my big brother, and sleeping in the bottom bunk in my sister’s room. I would love to go back to see if I could remember anything of Okinawa, and I definitely want to visit the mainland, from Hokkaido all the way down to, well, Okinawa. I’d have to bring an extra suitcase with me, though, because I love anime and manga and pretty much all things Japanese. 😉

Ireland – Who doesn’t want to see Ireland? It’s a land of such rich hues of green that doesn’t even exist here in the United States. My sister had visited Ireland once and took lots of pictures; it’s probably one of the most gorgeous places I’ve ever seen, and I want to see it for my own eyes. That and well, I’m half-Irish, so I kinda have to go, right? RIGHT?!

Comerica ParkA Tigers Game Somewhere – All right, this is technically not a place, but I’d love to go SOMEWHERE to see a Tigers baseball game. The only time I’ve been to a baseball game was when I had to go with my high school chorus to sing in the 7th inning stretch, and honestly, I was focused way too much on the heights to notice anything. That, and well, I really, really, REALLY don’t like the Cardinals. I’m pretty positive, though, that my husband is going to take us to a Tigers baseball game in Kansas City this summer, either in July or September. Trust me, it’s lots closer to us than Detroit, though I’d really love to go there to see a Tigers game, too. *sigh* 🙂

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Happy Birthday, Michigan!So today is Michigan’s 176th birthday! Dang, Michigan, you’re old!

As many of you probably already know, my husband and I visited this beautiful state for the first time this past July, and it really turned out to be an even more beautiful state than I had imagined. So in honor of Michigan’s birthday today, I want to quickly recount 5 of my favorite Michigan experiences!

1. Climbing the Sleeping Bear Sand Dunes Near Traverse City – This was probably the biggest event in my life thus far that really tested my physical (and mental) fortitude. My goal was to climb the giant sand dune, thinking that we’d see Lake Michigan right on the other side. Noooooope. Not even close. I dragged my poor husband up and down 3 more gigantic sand dunes, and I went on down and then up one more mountain-like sand dune by myself to see if the lake would be right there. It wasn’t, unfortunately, but I could see it. I think I was maybe half of a mile away from the shoreline. Instead of pushing onward against the setting sun, I stood still and took in my surroundings, letting the serene silence soak in everything around me. All that could be heard was the gentle breeze tangling through the grass and tree limbs and maybe an occasional buzz of a lazy insect.

Getting back, however, was so much harder. It was a breeze to clumsily trot down the sand dune, but the climb up was perhaps one of the most tiring thing I’ve ever done, especially since all I had in my stomach that day was half of a cheeseburger from McDonald’s and sparse amount of water, and of course, I brought nothing with me. My limbs were so weak and shaky as I crawled up the insanely steep dune, and I wondered for a short while if I would die. Luckily, I was able to make it back to my worried husband, and we trudged our way back to the car in the dying light.

Those dunes showed me that I am much more capable of doing pretty much anything I set my mind to, and I am forever grateful for that, especially since at that time I was suffering from a significant lack of confidence. I will forever love those dunes. 🙂

2. Crossing the Mighty Mac – Did I ever mention how afraid of heights I am? Well, if not, know this – I am TERRIFIED of heights. Even if it’s just a few feet off the ground, I feel really uncomfortable. When I learned that the Mighty Mac was 5 miles long and 199 feet above the straits, I got a bit apprehensive. What if the wind is really bad? What if there’s a traffic jam on the bridge and we’re stuck on it? I get so anxious when I have to sit on bridges over bodies of water, especially if it’s raining and I’m surrounded by semis.

When I first saw the bridge in the distance, I was in awe and fear at the same time. I was hoping maybe to stop in Mackinaw City to get myself ready to tackle the scary bridge, but before I knew it, we were traveling to the U.P. on the bridge, leaving the ground and hovering above the Great Lakes. The special radio station that talked about the bridge played tinkling, easy-listening piano music as the narrator softly talked about the features and history of the bridge. I got the courage to look around me, and what I saw was breath-takingly beautiful that it brought tears to my eyes. The bridge was a little scary, but I’m much, much less afraid than what I used to be and would be happy to cross it again if the opportunity ever arrives. 🙂

3. Staying the Night Right Beside Lake Huron – After crossing the Mighty Mac, we stopped in our next destination – St. Ignace – a place that was named after my patron saint (St. Ignatius of Loyola). Our hotel was located RIGHT on the shore of Lake Huron. Though it was near the end of the day and was a drizzly icky day, the view was gorgeous. The laps against the shoreline made it seem as if we were right next to the ocean. For hours, we were able to keep a window open as we watched the Tigers game and ate Yooper pizza, listening to the gentle Lake Huron lap a stone’s throw away.

4. Checking Out the Soo Locks in Sault Ste. Marie (and Waving Hello to Canada!) – I’ll admit it. I was kinda unconvinced at the time about the Soo Locks. I thought it would be kinda lame to see them. I’ll have to say, though, that it was super cool to see tour boat and a huge ship come through the locks and travel into Lake Superior. My husband said that he really enjoyed seeing how the locks worked and was happy we stopped. It was also really cool to see Canada so close to us. I have never been to Canada before, and I hope to do so sometime! We also watched all of the cars packed on the International Bridge coming in and out of the countries. Before leaving the Soo, we stopped in a store across the street and grabbed a bunch of states magnets, grabbing all the ones we visited. Reluctantly, we left westward through the remaining peninsula, waving hello and then good-bye to neighboring Canada and vowing to be back someday to visit.

5. Finding Out the Detroit Isn’t Nearly as Terrifying as I Thought –Okay… I know I’m very inexperienced about cities, especially Detroit, so please don’t be mad at what I’m about to say. I think Detroit gets such a bad rap. Sure, some things are kind of sketchy there, and yeah, there’s a decent amount of crime, but I believe there are still many good things that happen in that city. When we were getting ready to visit Detroit on our 2nd day of being in the state, I was so apprehensive. I had never been there and didn’t know what to expect, worried that we’d be accosted by someone. Once we got there, though, we went to Comerica Park to just walk around and check out the store, even though it was the park itself was closed that day. It was great to see the giant tiger statue and all the cool baseball stuff. Though we didn’t stay very long in Detroit (let’s face it – we only went to Comerica, drove around downtown for a bit, and that was about it before we almost accidentally went into Canada), I would give it another shot. The city was quiet and clean in the parts we were in, and the people we talked to seemed really pleasant. It seemed a lot like St. Louis, a city that I’m pretty used to, and I would definitely come back. 🙂

Oh, and I definitely want to see a Tigers game in the Motor City.

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The Great Lakes in WinterI had a dream the other night that I had somehow found my way back up north to Michigan, more specifically, the northwestern part of Lake Michigan. It looked cold but beautiful; the sky was a stunning cobalt while the lake radiated with segments of teal and deep, rich blue hues, just like it did when I swam in it the first time last summer.

In my dream, my husband was standing besides me and said, “Man, that looks freezing – I can’t believe the colors, though!” I stood in awe on its shoreline and slowly began to wade out into the lake, jeans and all. Cold waves lapped and pooled around my thighs and kneecaps as I shivered and gazed at the wintery beauty around me.

I turned to my husband with the biggest smile on my face and said, “We should totally go to Lake Superior now! I LOVE that lake!”

Then I think my dream shifted to rescuing trapped sharks from a crazed madman or something (I guess I should specify that my dreams are pretty crazy and don’t make much sense most times.).

After finding this picture last week, I ached to go back north to those beautiful lakes. Why did I have to live so far away from them? I realize I couldn’t swim in them yet since it’s so darn cold, but just to see them again. I’d give just about anything.

I swear, whenever I retire in, like, a bazillion years, I’m requesting that we live up north closer to those lakes, preferably right on the shore of Lake Michigan or Superior. Hey, I can dream, right? 😉

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