Boring Michigan – Day 116

Boring Michigan

Day 116 – July 25, 2003 – Friday

Today was one of the most boring days we’ve had. We were both tired today. I’m sure we could have made the day more enjoyable if we had worked harder at it. The fatigue factor is certainly having an impact at this point.

When we left the beautiful Comfort Inn in Iron Wood, Michigan, it was 79 degrees, blue skies, and scattered white clouds. This was the best hotel buy for the money. It was a very nice room in the $40 range. It was, of course, very much appreciated because we were afraid we would have to sleep in the car last night.

We met two really nice folks at the Visitor Information Center in Iron Mountain — Lea and Curtis. They were extremely helpful, and we enjoyed speaking with them. They recommended B’s Country Cafe, and we had excellent breakfasts there followed by a good piece of Apple Pie. Wonderful home-baked bread, too. B’s is the epitome of the type of local cafe that we planned to visit throughout the trip. Diane was our waitress.

In Iron Mountain, we saw the Roosevelt Ski Jump. It’s a big, rickety-looking wooden ski jump. Skiers apparently climb up it some way carrying their skis. Scary idea. This 90-meter jump hosts annual international competitions in February, and is the site of the current U.S. distance record. Very scary idea.

We also saw the building that houses the World’s Largest Steam-Driven Pump at the Cornish Pump and Mining Museum, but the folks inside wanted $1 to see it and would not allow photographs. Billboards claim it is 55-feet tall and weighs over 700 tons, but the building seemed to be no more than 40-feet at the peak. We saved our dollar.

We saw the Piers Gorge. We had read that the raging whitewater of the Menominee River scraped out this fascinating, 70-foot-deep gorge on the border between Michigan and Wisconsin, but it appeared to be no big deal — just a little ripple in the water.

It was nice to be in Norway…Michigan.

We looked for Herman, but we were unable to find him in Hermansville.

We had to stop every quarter of a tank of gas in North Dakota, Montana, Minnesota, Wisconsin, and Michigan to clean the bugs off the windshield.

We saw a 17-foot tall, 28-foot long, 30 ton bear on the side of the road in the town of Vulcan. Artist John Radlovic of Cedar Lake, Indiana did the sculpture.

In Hermansville, we saw a sign that we thought was promoting Woodstock. A closer look, and it was for the Woodtick Music Festival.

There are a lot of lighthouses along the Great Lakes, and we saw a few today. We saw a Paul Bunyan-like sculpture, and we saw some great moose sculptures — each one dressed differently. I took a photo of a moose wearing a tuxedo at a Comfort Inn in Manistique River, Michigan.

We got our first look at the Mackinac Bridge (Big Mac) — the World’s Largest Suspension Bridge (not counting one larger in Japan). And we saw both Lake Michigan and Lake Huron. Unlike most lakes, the Great Lakes have shorelines and waves that look like calm ocean shorelines.

Joanne took care of us at the motel. We also met Sarah. We gave them beads, and they gave us free ferry tickets for Mackinac Island tomorrow. Nice trade!

We went to The Galley for dinner. It wasn’t bad — just not particularly good. We did meet two cute kids — Lizzie and Jimmy, and their dad, Gary. Lizzie came right up to me and told me how pretty she thought my beads were.

This area is known for fudge, so we visited Murdick’s Fudge for dessert. They’ve been in business since 1887. We were disappointed. The fudge seemed stale.

Just not a very good day. And tomorrow may be no better. The forecast is for thunderstorms. We have really looked forward to our day at Mackinac Island, but a ferry ride over to an island where the sole means of transportation are foot or bicycle may be out tomorrow. We will either spend the day in a motel room here, or head on down the road and visit Mackinac Island another time.

Today resulted in the fewest photos of any of our days on the road. Just not much to see, and highway construction caused it to be slow going. Boring Michigan.

The Daily Journal of Round America:

Each day, we collect our thoughts on a web page just like this. We drop in some of the photos from the day. Our goal with the Daily Journal is to write about the towns we visit, the sights we see, the people we meet, and the pie we eat. We write about where we are, where we’ve been, and where we are going, but we also make observations about what we’ve seen and done as well as about life in general.

You can follow our travels from the Daily Journal section of this web site. Other pages of interest include the running report of “vital statistics” on the Trip Scorecard, our nominations for the Best & Worst of the trip, as well as a rating of the pie we eat. If you’d like to see information for a specific state or town, click here, and then click on the state of interest and the full itinerary is shown.


More Information on the Sights Visited Today:
Iron Mountain Michigan — Roosevelt Ski Jump — World’s Largest Steam-Driven Pump — Piers Gorge — Vulcan Bear — Mackinac Bridge — Murdick’s Fudge