20130921-174217.jpgLAKE SUPERIOR

We camped at Saxon Harbor on Lake Superior last night. By morning the wind was howling and the waves were crashing against the sea (lake) wall. It brought to mind Gordon Lightfoot’s hit dirge, The Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald. How did that go?

Superior it’s said
Never gives up her dead
When the storms of November
Come early

and later:

The fishermen all say
They’d have made Whitefish Bay
If they’d only put ten miles behind ’em

We passed near Whitefish Bay yesterday. Lake Superior stretched to the horizon and the whitecaps made me glad I was on solid ground. I noticed all the boats visible were inside the harbor. I guess no one wanted to be the next Edmund Fitzgerald. I couldn’t get the song out of my head and was “singing” aloud as I drove until Mary cut me short.

We drove through Iron County today which was kinda ironic because I’ve never seen so many rusted-out cars. There must be something powerfully corrosive about the weather here. This area was the source of a lot of the iron ore that supplied the Pittsburgh steel mills and the Detroit auto industry. How that iron didn’t rust away through the millennia I’ll never know.

Speaking of rust, we had a close encounter with a rusty Winnebago this afternoon. He was leading a convoy of cowboys from Wisconsin. We pulled up beside him at a stop light. As we started moving he kept veering into our lane. He didn’t seem to understand the concept of “traffic lanes.” What really concerned me was realizing that he had nothing to lose should he hit us. His rusty old Winnebago would have been none the worse for a collision. But our shiny new truck and trailer …….. Well, need I say more?

We left our beloved US 2 yesterday to follow a “scenic route” suggested by our National Geographic guide book. This was Route 13 along the south shore of Superior just east of Duluth. We were very disappointed. I don’t know what all the fuss was about. We got two brief glimpses of the lake through the trees. There was really nothing of note.

When we got back onto good ol’ US 2 this morning the foliage perked up and it was far more scenic than that crummy Route 13. At first there were just a few, lone, brilliantly red maples amongst the green. Then there were whole sections of the forest painted in reds and oranges. I expect in a week or two the forests in this area will really burst into color. Unfortunately, we are heading south so we will probably stay just ahead of the turning foliage.

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We’re on Michigan’s Upper Peninsula now. (For those of you in need of a little geography lesson, Michigan claims a large section of what, on a map, looks like it should be part of Wisconsin. It is separated from the rest of Michigan by Lake Michigan.)

There were several downhill ski resorts with large billboards along the highway. This seemed odd because there were only the slightest rises in the topography as far as we could see. Having skied in the Cascades, I expect ski slopes to be on the sides of mountains. All the runs of these Michigan areas must be what we call “bunny slopes.”

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