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Adventure 11 : Amongst the Yoopers

October 8, 2012

Last Friday night,  my husband and I had dinner and went to a movie — the usual routine. We watched Taken 2, a film set in the lovely city of Istanbul, a lovely city I have never visited. It a was a good movie, but I left feeling a little bummed. It had been months since our last travel adventure, and our trip to Scotland isn’t until next summer. There’s always the trip home for the holidays, but let me tell ya, central Illinois isn’t the adventure it’s cracked up to be.

We drove home from the movie and pulled into a parking space outside our apartment. Before going inside, my husband took out his watch, set the timer for five minutes and said: “You have five minutes to pack for a trip. Go!”
[insert immediate  chaos] I have to go to the bathroom! Grab the camera! Clothes! Jogging shoes! Tent! Food! Run! Five minutes later, we were driving north, as far north as it gets in Michigan — the UP (for non-Michiganders, that’s the Upper Peninsula).

Fast forward six hours and it’s 3:00 A.M.. We just crossed the Mackinac Bridge and pulled into a rest stop on the other side. We were a tad tired to hunt down a campground, so we put the seats down in the ol’ Prius (named Dr. John H. Watson, M.D.) and camped out for the night. Thankfully, we fogged up the windows over night, so anyone creeping around the vehicle wouldn’t sneak a peek of my butt after the sleeping bag fell open.

The town we were in, we discovered the next morning, was St. Ignace, MI (or “sahn-IG-nuss” as our waitress explained). It was a beautiful, quaint little town, where a dime buys 48 minutes at the parking meter and everyone was gearing up for the Pumpkin Rolling scheduled for the afternoon. Apparently, pasties are the thing to eat in the UP, so we sat the counter of a small cafe and split one. Very tasty. Of course, anything with that much gravy is tasty. But time was of the essence. One day was all we had for this adventure (curse work and it’s interference with everything fun). We drove another hour north to the Tahquamenon Falls for some site seeing and hiking.

Growing up in central Illinois, the colors of the leaves in fall aren’t anything new. We had gorgeous oranges, yellows, and reds every autumn, but there is something about northern Michigan (upstate New York as well, I’ve heard) that makes the leaves deeper, richer colors. The drive alone was one of the most beautiful things I’ve ever seen. I had Johnny Cash’s “Ring of Fire” stuck in my the whole time. It really was like driving through a tunnel of flame. Gorgeous.

The Tahquamenon Falls are lovely. John rowed us across a small like to hike around the Lower Falls. If only I’d brought my parasol…oh, well…being a lady was never my forte. We hike and took pictures around the Lower and Upper Falls for most of the day. By the time we saw it all, there was only time for a quick drive up to Whitefish Point, a sack of salt water taffy, and a piece of fudge. On our way home, we stopped to dip our fingers in Lake Superior, Lake Huron, and Lake Michigan.

It wasn’t life threatening, or dangerous, or mysterious, or even particularly distant. But sometimes, the simple act of being spontaneous feels like an adventure. Life for us average folks can be very routine. You have to take advantage of the little things, the quick get-aways, the things that make life interesting. Take a spontaneous trip. Enjoy the majesty of autumn before it fades away!

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One Comment leave one →
  1. October 20, 2012 12:33 am

    Stunning pictures, would have loved to have been there!

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