Monday, September 30, 2013

Ashland WI to Grand Forks ND

Here is a main thing I learned about Michiganers: Upper Peninsula residents are called Yuppers. The rest are called Trolls because they live below the bridge.

This gigantic bridge is not in Michigan but in Duluth MN. It is the famous Aerial Lift Bridge, where one may see many great barges, many tourists, the bridge lit at night, a festival celebrating the bridge, and a museum dedicated to the great and crazy Army Corps of Engineers.

I am qualified to call those and all engineers crazy, when the need arises, because my father was one, and he could not be argued with regarding things that engineering could solve, ie: all things. I love him anyway. Happy Birthday, Dad!

It was the Corps that straightened the Mississippi River, thereby ensuring floods every spring.

 Today, Monday, Ed and I began to see that the tantruming ideologs seriously intended to shut down the US government. We decided, over the phone, to keep moving forward, 
hoping reason would somehow prevail. 

The plan had always been that I would drive west to the Rockies and Yellowstone NP, a magical place neither of us had ever been brought to see as children nor reached during our own mid-Continental adventures during the '60s, 70s and 80s. I left Syracuse on Friday, September 27 and planned to have enough time to look at a few things along the way in Ontario, Michigan, Wisconsin, Minnesota, North Dakota and Montana.

 Ed would fly out to Jackson Hole WY via Chicago and Denver on the following Saturday, October 5. We would be right next to the park, rather parks, for Grand Teton NP is right there too, and would go in, ready to be amazed, the following day. 

 The Frank Lloyd Wright Gas Station in Colquit near Duluth, the only gas station Wright designed. It was originally called the R. W. Lindholm Service Station. 

  Big Fish in Bena MN

 Paul Bunyan and Babe the Blue OX in Bemidgi MN
Buffalo on the Campus of Bemidgi State University

I like Bemidgi very much. I met several very kind and interesting people there. Also, like Oswego NY, only people who love the cold north live there for long. My kind of place. 

Sunday, September 29, 2013

North of Huron, then South of Superior

 The sculpture above is directly across from the Mohawk Motel in Massey ON. 

The next five sculptures are on the grounds of the Mohawk Motel 
and all are extraordinarily beautiful. Alas, the motel was full.

Northern Ontario Logging Memorial next to Timber Village Museum in Blind River ON.

 Northern forests and bogs.

 Lake Superior in time to provide a late lunch for this solitary and brave fellow.

Saturday, September 28, 2013

Bruce Peninsula

Tobermory is land's end; the Bruce Peninsula is at the brink of a great sea. In the park and walking out toward Georgian Bay with anticipation, then reaching it as the sun came up, christened my long drive. It refocused me on this great continental land mass, and reignited my relationship with geology and the natural world. 
Lucky I am.

I caught myself searching for the large sea mammals we have seen at Tadoussac, Gaspesie, Maine, Cape Cod, Long Island, Florida, Iceland. Remember then: this is an inland lake! 

Farther down are pictures of the ferry M. S. Chi-Cheemaun to Manitoulin Island where I resume my drive, next to Sault Ste. Marie. The front of the boat rises up to permit cars and full size trucks aboard. The sequence shows that door pivoting back into place as we get underway. It's a huge boat that runs April to October. The winter storms up here are horrific. 

for scale: note the full-sized flag

Friday, September 27, 2013

Farmhouse North of Guelph Ontario

This finely crafted farmhouse spotted along Route 6 north of Guelph Ontario on the drive to Tobermory on the first day of my drive to Yellowstone.
On this first of six driving days, my goal is Tobermory at the upper end of the Bruce Peninsula, northwest of Toronto and the farthest extension of the Niagara Escarpment. That escarpment is seen most prominently where Niagara Falls tumbles between Lake Erie and Lake Ontario.
The Bruce Peninsula juts between Lake Huron and Huron's Georgian Bay. The winters there are raw.
Two national parks, Bruce Peninsula NP and Fathom Five National Marine Park are at Tobermory. The cliffs are spectacularly beautiful. Lake Huron is clear and blue.
The next day I will walk at Bruce Peninsula NP. In the afternoon I'll take the ferry to South Baymouth on the north shore.