You may not find this terribly rewarding unless you're included here, so this is a
good time for casual and random browsers to turn back before they get too caught up in the sweep and majesty of the proceedings and can't let go.
Summer's over -- now for the long road home
Due east across northern Wisconsin, we're headed across the Michigan Upper Peninsula and the Mackinac Bridge. This is the small city of Norway, Michigan (obviously) in the Iron Mountain region, about 40 miles west of Escanaba.
We're soon back in the lakeside town of Manistique, probably well known for its bold flag statement.
The mouth of the Manistique River as we hurtle past. This is a five-hour+ leg of our journey; no time for tourist frivolities today.
That's Manistique's lakeside walking trail, along which we galloped last May, very nice.
There's the Quality Inn on Manistique's east end, which was quite well appointed and very suitable. Now we're staying on US Rte 2, more or less lakeside, another 85 miles to St Ignace at the north end of the Mackinac Bridge.
Specifically, the inexpensive BayView Motel on the bay (obviously), or more accurately, on Lake Huron. There are other bays along the western lake shore, but we find no name for the one here.
Most of the Bayview's accommodations open directly onto the carpark, which we don't much like, but at least . . .
. . . we're in one of the 'king rooms' upstairs. (Prospective visitors should note that the lower left stair railing is unreliable and should be avoided.)
The small beach and the fire pit are part of the Bayview's ensemble.
Looking south towards Mackinac Island (presumably), about 4 miles off, and Bois Blanc Island on the horizon.
We're setting off for a scenic walk along the shoreline in front of the 'Baymont by Wyndham' (not the BayView by Anybody), with its amusing flock of geese in residence.
Which quickly turned out to be a terrible idea, given all those busy beasts with normal goose digestive tracts. We carefully retreat to our carpark.
Comfortable, not too showoffy -- in fact, for an ice machine we were referred by our management to the Baymont next door.
About a mile and a half to the south, into the main part of town closer to the bridge, we're here to check out The Galley Restaurant.
We're wandering along the main street (N. State Street) of this small town of 2,300 inhabitants, founded in 1671 by members of a Jesuit mission to the Native Americans, named for the founder of the Jesuit order, St Ignatius Loyola.
It has all the usual, probably required attributes of a tourist town, including boutiques with fanciful names. This one, though, is more fanciful than most -- in naming their gift shop with a bit of borrowed German and a German-style 'Black Letter' script, what they ended up with translates as 'The House of Poison'.
And now, time to Chow Down.
Quite satisfactory (and not too crowded)
There's the Indian Village, 'A classic of picturesque tourism. Neon and wooden teepees plus the huge souvenir warehouse', in a 1977 building replacing a '1927 landmark'. It's even got a 'Free Museum' and a speciality of moccasins.
And across the street, a Museum of Ojibwa Culture, located on the grounds of the original Jesuit mission of 1671 and burial place of Fr Jacques Marquette; though apparently sponsored by the city, this is apparently an authentic and valuable operation.
The ferry dock #3
Bored cats. We forgot to tell them when we'd be back from dinner.
The next morning, Choupette is anxious to find out what's going on outside.
The little beach and fire pit, where there was a bit of a party going on last night, nothing too bothersome.
A last look across the Mackinac Straits, then up the ramp onto I-75S and . . .
. . . across the bridge.
Five miles long it is.
Another long day down the length of Michigan (past Frankenmuth without pausing), around Toledo and to the Drury Inn and Suites in Findlay, Ohio. (Very nice, but expensive, and 'pet friendly' to the tune of $50 added for our little friends.)
Too much traveling and stress has made Choupette wary, perhaps -- she's reluctant to come out.
That said, she has always been an appallingly bad or a not quite so bad traveler, but on this entire trip she has been very nearly perfect -- like Melvin, settling down and sleeping through 5 or 6 hours.
The next day, across Ohio around Columbus, on I-70 around Wheeling, WV, and a bit of Pennsylvania, and south to Morgantown, WV. We're not great fans of Morgantown, but the Cranberry is just a few miles east of the downtown on I-68 and we've stopped here several times, once with a few days for some local hiking in the Coopers Rock State Forest.
[One of our party used to travel back and forth along the route of I-70 before there was an I-70, just the old US Rte 40 ('known as the Main Street of America') between New Jersey and Kansas. Through all the little towns with red traffic lights.]
-- We're going out to dinner now, guys, don't be anxious; we'll be back soon. That's a promise.
-- Well, you'd better be.
Our fourth day on the road, down to Winchester, Virginia, where many gun owners might be lining up to vote for 'Wiley'. Across Winchester, there is the Virginia Dental Implant Institute, where tomorrow morning early one of our party will be fitted up with a very expensive fake tooth and we'll be on our way for a 1½ hour south back to Staunton.
An aesthetically interesting design, but useless for those of us who've lost the ability to read analogue timepieces.
Packing up the next morning, careful . . .
. . . not to leave anybody behind
On our way
This gave us a fright on I-81, with all the right-wing talk about UFO and alien cover-ups, etc., but we've realized that it's only those Christians again.