Saturday, January 2, 2016

Upper Peninsula 2015

The Upper Peninsula is a popular place visit year round for many reasons. One reason people travel in the Autumn is to view the beautiful colors of changing leaves.  Nathan wanted to get back to Fayette State Park this year before the winter. We planned a fall U.P trip with some hopes of seeing a color display. We soon realized the warm weather of October meant the leaves would change later in the season.  It wasn't the focus of our trip, so the disappointment was easily dismissed by us.
 The waitress at one of the restaurants said that people will book bus tours up to a year in advance specifically to see the colors,  they have to make a good guess at when they peak will be. Come to early like us and it is still green, come too late and the leaves will be gone.

First stop was in Mackinaw City.  A visit to Mcgulpin lighthouse, it had an informative video about shipwrecks on the great lakes and the many lives that have been lost to the treacherous winter storms. 
 In usage 1896-1906. The shore was a lot closer before and it eventually became obsolete.

 a bit windy that day. 

Cut River Bridge is one of only two cantilever bridges built in the USA. I didn't know what that meant before visiting. A cantilever is a structure that projects horizontally into space, supported on only one end.
It was special for us to visit because the Cut River Bridge was always the stopping point for Grandpa and Grandma Roman when they would visit the UP. Grandpa would run up and down the ravine, it was just something he did. In recent conversations he has mentioned he would like one more trip to the bridge but isn't sure he will get there.  

a troll that lives under the bridge. 

Where to stay? As the kids get bigger we have found the standard two double bed offerings at most hotels has become less comfortable.  The sleeping habits of children who never have to share bed, usually result in a knee to the back or stretching out to the grown up side. We have sometimes had the kids share a bed but that usually resulted in arguing and wasn't worth it to us. 

 We sometimes bring an air mattress or our thermarest pads.  It is always a luxury when a room offers  an extra pull out couch, or something else that will work as an extra bed. 
The Northshore Motor Inn was a nice motel and we found it up to date and comfortable.  It had a daybed set up in the corner, Jane immediately took to it and made it cozy. 

We eventually reached Fayette State Park

Fayette was once one of the Upper Peninsula's most productive iron-smelting operations. Fayette grew up around two blast furnaces, a large dock, and several charcoal kilns, following the post-Civil War need for iron. Nearly 500 residents—many immigrating from Canada, the British Isles, and northern Europe—lived in and near the town that existed to make pig iron. During 24 years of operation Fayette's blast furnaces produced a total of 229,288 tons of iron. It is now a living museum with reconstructed houses and buildings demonstrating life there in the early 19th century. 

Fayette had decorated for Halloween and we were missing a fall celebration by one day.  The kids did get some popcorn, a free showing of  Frakenweenie was happening in one of the buildings.  The funniest decoration was the out house that was automated and would open periodically. 

"It smells like something died in here. "

The weather was crisp but not too frigid and it was a relaxing time to visit and we did manage to get some nice photos. Three deer walked through the site shortly before dark a perfect way to end our visit. 



Anonymous said...

Happy New Year, Sweeneys!!! Great to see new photos. Kids have grown so tall!!!
Rgds, Hanna & co from Hong Kong

Sweeney Family said...

Happy New Year Majapuros.