Copper Harbor Lighthouse

Copper Harbor Lighthouse

Friday, May 25, 2012

Recent Saginaw Trip

I finally looked through all the photos we took on our recent trip to Saginaw.  I got a lot of "to" shots and "from" shots, but I didn't take any "during" shots!  Oh well, I'll tell you about the trip anyway.

We took Cocoa to the dog motel the night before we left Calumet, as we anticipated leaving quite early on the morning of Tuesday, May 8.  We did manage to get on the road before 7:00 a.m., and we began our day in foggy conditions.

Those conditions continued as we made our way south along Lake Superior's Keweenaw Bay.

The fog was lifting when we made our usual stop at The Pines. Gas is cheaper there, so we always stop to fill the tank.

We hopped back in the Traverse and traveled another 5 miles in the fog again to the Hilltop Restaurant in L'Anse.  The Hilltop is the "Home of the Famous Sweetroll."  These cinnamon rolls weigh in at over a pound each!  As long as we're making the trip downstate, we can't pass up the opportunity to get one for Steve's daughter.  We also admit to purchasing a cookie or two while we were there, but those never made it to Saginaw.

As we made our way south and then east to Marquette, we saw periods of blue sky, clouds and fog.

It was quite foggy when we made our next stop at the Huron Mountain Bakery in Marquette.  It's impossible to drive past this place, too.  They have great muffins and bread, and our stomachs were crying out for muffins to make it through the next phase of our trip.

We normally take Hwy. 28 out of Marquette and head east across the top/middle of the Upper Peninsula, but we headed south on Hwy. 41 out of Marquette instead.  This route takes us through some farm land and wooded areas before reaching Hwy. 2.

It was an uneventful trip across the lower section of the Upper Peninsula.  This is what we were seeing by the time we got past the Naubinway area.

BUGS!  They were out in full force.  That made the rest stop quite a bit shorter!  It wasn't long before we were passing by some of the St. Ignace tourist attractions.

Next, it was on to the Mackinac Bridge.

The toll is now up to $4.00 for a two-axle passenger vehicle, but the view alone is worth it.

The Mackinac Bridge was the last thing I photographed until we were on our way home 3 days later.  We had lots to do while in the Saginaw area.  As I wrote in a previous post, we shopped so much that we probably looked like Doomsday Preppers on the trip home.  We visited 3 Dollar General Stores.  Steve is very fond of their popcorn, so he stripped the shelves.  We also visited 3 Tim Horton's in search of their whole bean coffee to take back to the Keweenaw for a friend.  More of our money was left at the following establishments:  Menards, Kroger, Aldi's, Meijer's, Jack's and WalMart.  Steve went to the doctor and we both went to the dentist.  No cavities!  We had a tire rotation and oil change at Draper's, and we went to the Wednesday evening service at Community Baptist Church.  It was nice to spend some time visiting with old friends again.  There were 17 of us at Bob Evans for dinner on Thursday night. 

Steve had a haircut scheduled on Friday morning, and we had planned to hit the road immediately after.  We decided we wanted to spend more time with Steve's daughter and granddaughter, however, so we postponed our trip until Friday afternoon.  We really enjoyed the extra time we had with Carrie and Grace.  It was a beautiful day, so we spent some of it outdoors. 

We pulled out of Carrie's driveway in St. Charles about 4:40 p.m. and decided to take Hwy. 46 west to Hwy. 127 north.  We hadn't been down that stretch of Hwy. 46 for a long, long time and were stunned to see mile after mile of these.

We had heard about this project and had seen reports of it on the news, but seeing it in person for the first time was kind of shocking.  It's Michigan's largest wind farm in Gratiot County.  Gratiot County is comprised of mostly flat farm land, and these massive turbines are definite attention grabbers on the landscape.  I read that many landowners have welcomed the turbines with open arms, as they'll get $80/acre for leasing space for a turbine and a percentage of gross royalties.  The turbines will apparently generate enough electricity to power 54,000 homes annually. Still, I'm glad I don't have one of these in my backyard. 

We expected to hit lots of traffic on our trip north, but it wasn't bad at all.  We did hit lots of bugs, though.  This is the view out the windshield by the time we caught sight of the Mackinac Bridge.

As we began crossing the bridge, here was the sky out the driver's side window.

Here was the sky out the passenger side window at the same time.

A big lake freighter was crossing under the bridge.  Can you see it?

Neither of us ever remember having that experience before.  Here's a shot of the path that was left in the water to the east of the bridge.

Kind of cool, huh?  It's hard to get a good shot of The Grand Hotel on Mackinac Island from a moving vehicle while crossing the Mackinac Bridge, but here's what I caught with the camera fully zoomed in.

It looks much more impressive in this shot from the internet.

There wasn't really anything interesting to report on the remainder of our trip across the Upper Peninsula - except changes in the sky.

All viewing was done through our buggy windshield.

We hit some rain shortly after 12:30 a.m., and we reached the brick streets of Houghton a few minutes after 1:00 a.m.

We climbed out of Hancock and up Quincy Hill and pulled into our driveway in Calumet at 1:25 a.m.  We had really pushed it on the trip home and made excellent time:  8 hours and 45 minutes.  We unloaded the necessary things out of the Traverse, but we left the majority of items there until we got some necessary shut-eye.  We thanked the Lord for a safe and successful trip.

Steve fetched Cocoa from the dog motel early the next morning.  She ripped up her pillow the last time she was there.  We gave her an old comforter this time, and she ripped it to shreds.  She likes the people there, and they're very good to her, but it's not home.  We got your message, Cocoa!

All is well in the Keweenaw.

P.S.  Remember to click on any individual photo if you want to see a larger image.


  1. Gotta love the windmills! We have one in our backyard....did you know that? It's actually on the neighbors land, but my kids call it "my" windmill!
    I do enjoy watching it and knowing which direction the wind is blowing ! I think they are pretty to see on the horizon, but know alot of people disagree with that. Our township did not have alot of fuss about it like some other ones have.
    Great to see you and enjoyed dinner!

  2. Beauty is definitely in the eye of the beholder! Love ya, Barb!


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