Hello Again Everyone,
As I'm writing this missive I'm, sucking on a... Wait a minute... Where's that... Ok. I found it. As I was saying. I'm writing to you all whilst sucking on an ice cold Corona, sitting beneath these huge trees around a roaring... Oooops! Let me light it. There! ...around a roaring campfire (white gas is great stuff) with dinner a cookin' on the stove (Chicken a la Tahquamenon) at the Tahquamenon Falls State Campground in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan (heavy sigh). I arrived about 8:00, I don't know what time it is now, and I don't care. Time is of no importance right now. I'm just kickin'. As the name suggests, there is an waterfall here (hence the park's name) which I intend to check out tomorrow before heading out.
Yesterday (Saturday) was kind of long - 8:00 to 9:00, but a pretty nice one. I sadly bid farewell to Tim and Janell and headed off for a scenic route through the Finger Lakes region of NY. It was a very pleasant drive as I drove from little valley to little valley, passing through all sorts of pretty and quaint little towns, occasionally catching glimpses of several of the Finger Lakes. The countryside there is very pretty and I wish I could have lingered, but I had a long drive ahead of me so I had to turn up towards Interstate 90 to head west towards Niagara Falls.
Got to Niagara and followed the directions to the parking lot - the farthest one there I believe - and gathered my camera gear and headed towards the falls. Did you know that the river drops 50 feet in a quarter mile before it plunges over the falls? Neither did I! Well, it does and the rapids there are pretty impressive in their own right. There are huge tree trunks jammed here and there bending and shaking frenetically as the river tries to unseat them and send them on towards their rightful destination over the falls. I wonder who eventually wins?
The falls are indeed impressive. The roar they make is ever present and mighty. Horseshoe Falls on the Canadian side was totally blanketed in a heavy, white mist thrown up from below. You are able to get quite close to the falls - the smaller, middle one, Bridal Veil, is literally feet away from you. You could easily step over the waist high rail and jump in where you would so very quickly be swept over to the bottom. Needless to say I refrained. There's one little touristy thing one can do there that I also refrained from. You can don a yellow slicker, take an elevator down and literally walk right up to Bridal Veil at the bottom where you are just totally drenched in the spray and splashes. It was very popular let me tell you!
Oh, oh. Dinner's ready.....
Ummm. That was gooood! Anyways, I spent a couple of hours at Niagara walking around (I swear I hiked at least 4 miles), looking and taking pictures. Then it was time to hit the road again so I headed into Canada over Rainbow Bridge, converted $100 to Canadian ($144 and change), got a map of Ontario and some helpful brochures and directions then took off for the Bruce Peninsula, which juts into Lake Huron, my destination for the night. It was a little adjustment driving in Canada. They are of course totally on the metric system so the speed limits are in kmh. I got to legally go 100, but of course in mph that's only about 60. Fortunately, Canadians like to go in excess of the limit and whilst on the freeway at least I was able to make good time doing about 125 (you figure it out). That only lasted for a while though as I had to get off the freeway and take Provincial Highway (PH) 6 for the last 180 miles. It started out pretty boring, but after awhile it got to be nice rolling topography passing through these cute little towns. I finally arrived in Tobermory, at the tip of the Bruce Peninsula, about 9 PM - my final destination. My plan was to camp for the night so I headed towards Lands End Campground, but there were no campsites left. There were two cabins available and as I was tired of driving and didn't want to go to another campground to hear the same thing - full up - and since it was a mere $33 C I took it. I ate a quick dinner, looked at maps and stuff for awhile, read my book (thanks Mark) and crashed.
The next morning I woke up, cleaned up and headed for the ferry at about 10:00. Yeah, a ferry! I haven't been on a ferry since I was a little kid. In fact it's possible that the last one I was on was in Canada when I was with my family on a trip that included Price Edward Island in the east. The ferry takes you from Tobermory to South Baymouth on Manitoulin Island (the largest lake island in the world), a distance of 26 miles in about 1 1/2 hours. It left Tobermory at 11:20 and it was cool! The view back toward the harbor was grand as we headed out, skirting various small islands before we hit the deep blue waters of the main channel. The wind kicked up to 26 knots during the crossing; enough to impart a noticeable list to starboard. Coming around the side to the front was an exercise in stability and balance as you had to coordinate leaning the right way into the wind and the counterbalancing the roll of the ship. What fun!
I got off the ferry and headed toward the mainland, then got onto the Trans-Canadian Hwy (PH 17) which basically skirted the northern shore of the North Channel of Lake Huron. All in all a pleasant and fairly scenic drive. I particularly liked the rose and pink-colored rocks exposed along the way in the early part of this leg. I swear to God that I saw a train getting a ticket. No lie! I was driving by and noticed this train stopped on the tracks by the road and there were 2 guys in uniforms standing in front looking up at the numbers on the top and one of them was writing on what looked like a ticket book. I swear! I couldn't believe it! I wonder what that bad boy train did? Hummm... I crossed back into the good ole US of A at Sault Ste. Marie where I took some quick glances and camera out the window pictures of the massive locks between Lake Superior and Lake Huron. Pretty impressive; I think... I then stopped briefly to figure out where I was gonna end up for the evening... and here I am; 4000+ miles from the start!
Well, I'm sure you’re at least as tired of reading this as I am of writing. More to follow when I get a chance. I may send multiple at one time as I can only get connected sporadically. They should be numbered though if you want to follow in the order created. Hope everyone is doing great!
Take care all,