Saturday, September 25, 2010

The Mitten

I understand that the lower, bigger part of Michigan, the part bounded by Lake Michigan to the West and Lake Huron to the East, is called The Mitten. Yeah, I get it - it's shaped kind of like a mitten. Anyway, that's where I've been for the last four days.

I drove across the UP, enjoying the peak of fall color despite the persistent rain and gust winds. I crossed an impressive suspension bridge down onto "the mitten", signs warning trucks and RVs to drive slowly due to strong crosswinds:

I pulled into Hartwick Pines State Park in Grayling, Michigan. Its a large park with a good campground. They offer full hookups and those with electric only, which I chose because those were more private and less expensive. Just a few miles away in the town of Grayling is an Army Air Base, and the sound of artillery practice was audible, although thankfully not to the point of freaking out Toby.

The weather was not good, but between showers I got out for a walk with Toby to a nearby pair of small lakes. These lakes were formed when giant chunks of receding glacier broke off and melted in place. Only a few hundred yards across they were 37 and 47 feet deep - impressive for such small bodies of water. The fall color reflected nicely in their clear waters:

And I got out for another ride. They call these mountain biking trails, and I suppose they are in the sense that they allow bikes. The trail system was a 3 x 1 mile rectangle with two crossing trails dividing it into three equal parts - all straight paths wide enough to drive a car over. The only redemption was the attractive variety of connifers, birch and alder, and the pinkish tall grasses:

Another state park the next day, this time on the shores of Lake Huron, in Lakeport, Michigan, where I am poised to drive across a chunk of Ontario from Port Huron to Niagara Falls. Lakeport State Park is more like a private campground in the density of campsites, and as I was there for a weekend, it was packed. Not a lot to tell of my stay here. I went to an apple orchard and picked up some cider and doughnuts, and went to nearby Lexington and broused a little car show they had going on there. Other than that I spend a lot of time doing dog-management, and un-tangling myself from their leashes as they dart this way and that when we "walk". The weather has been cool and rainy, so not conducive to longer hikes or kayaking.

I'm getting itchy to get home - travelling alone with dogs is getting old fast. I will make a stop in the Adirondacks, and finally the Berkshires before I park the Whale in the driveway again, and expect Nancy to rejoin me in Massachusetts.

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