A quick trip to the yoop.
Submitted by murph on 24 June 2008 - 9:42pm. michigan | trips
This weekend, we took a quick jaunt to the UP; the motivating factor was that the newly-Dr. Cohn is about to leave town for a post-doc, and had never been across the bridge in his 6 years in Michigan. (We then found out that Miss Margaret was also a blushing virgin of a troll, despite a Michigan childhood, and made her come along too.)
Some scattered thoughts on the trip:
Lakes Michigan and Huron are 14 inches below their historical averages - and I can see why lakefront property owners are unhappy with the DNR for not letting them "groom" the beaches. It was most prominent at Wilderness State Park, where the lovely white sand beach is separated from the water by a 50-foot-wide expanse of weedy, marshy, smelly muck. We found a nice former sandbar to call a "beach".
My parents don't like Straits State Park - right at the north end of the bridge - because of the road noise from the bridge. I find it to be comforting white noise - too much city living. I recommend the no-electric-hookup sites on the lakefront.
I hadn't before realized that there's a trail between the upper and lower falls at Tahquamenon. It's 4 miles, pleasant, and generally lightly trafficked. Bring bug spray. And snacks. Because high mosquito levels + low blood sugar levels are the leading cause of intra-hiking party homicide. Upper Taco Falls is a lot more built-up than I remember it - I think I was last there about four years ago, while up for my brother's graduation from Lake State. Also, they've now got a shuttle service running between the upper and lower falls, if you decide that 4 miles with no snacks is enough for you, and don't feel like doing it in reverse to get back to the car.
We believe we discovered the best restaurants in the bridge towns. In St. Ignace, Bentley's BNL Cafe provided us with pasties, homemade english muffins, and sundry other tastinesses. In Mackinac City, we cruised the awful tourist strip in order to see what it was we were avoiding, then went to the Bridgeview Diner, which has no view of the bridge, unless you count the I-75 underpass next to it. The place is a pink and teal former tiny little motel turned greasy spoon with a '50s theme and a proprietor named Chief, who harasses the regulars while pulling out chairs for the guests and calling them "ma'am" and "sir." Drinks are served in mason jars - Michael asked for, "Water with no ice, please". Chief said, "Good, we don't have any," and, indeed, there's a sign reading, "No ice, lemon, decaf, or wheat toast."
The sign out front of the Bridgeview stating, "Best whitefish in town," is Absolutely No Joke. It may be in fact be among the best whitefish in the State, showing what one can do with good ingredients and minimal fussing. Cara had the grilled whitefish sandwich, with chili cheese fries. Margaret and I had the fish and chips, which we got several minutes after Cara's sandwich. After delivering the sandwich, Chief had to pull a few more whitefish out of the bucket and clean them before he could make our food, complete with commentary on their energeticness. It's definitely worth making a stop for on any trip over the bridge.
I wanted to take Margaret and Michael to Mackinac Island, to get the full, "I'm a five-year-old child on vacation in Michigan," experience. (Because, really, who doesn't love re-enactors with cannon?) Then we noted the ferry prices. $25 each? Yeah, same to you, Mackinac Island.