We hada very restful night after our big ordeal and great rescue. It was a beautiful day and we decided to check out a few more places instead of going straight home. It looks like we are over the trauma.
First, we headed 15 miles back north to the northeastern tip of the UP to Whitefish Point.
We looked at the lighthouse,
and walked around the grounds for a bit but were too restless to go into the museum.
We went down to the beach instead
and found this sad memorial to three men lost at sea. We see these huge bulk carrier ships go under the bridge in Sarnia everyday and it’s hard to imagine them going under.
It was time to leave the Upper Peninsula. We drove over Mackinac Bridge
and took the road hugging Lake Michigan towards Petoskey State Park.
The road is also known as Tunnel of Trees because it looks mostly like the picture below. It’s a very narrow road barely allowing two way traffic, which was a bit unnerving with a big van, but if you ever drove in England you know it’s manageable (and probably wider).
We made it to the park fairly early, but the kiosk at the front was closed. Instead of the usual self registration forms, Michigan State Parks has “the yellow phone system”. You pick up the yellow phone and talk to a central location that handles all of the state parks’ after-hours and off-season registrations. It was fairly smooth and you have the option to pay by credit card or cash. We opted for cash, but only after we hung up we realized that we didn’t have exact change. Oh well, the extra $2 will be a small donation to the parks, we though.
We set up camp and headed to the beach.
The area around the town of Petoskey is famous for its Petoskey stones, Michigan’s state rock. We found a lot of cool rocks, but not many petoskeys. It’s okay since we have lots and lots of them on our beaches at home.
The Petoskey stone is fossilized coral known as Hexagonaria percarinata distinguishable by its unique structure of six-sided corallites, which are the skeletons of the ancient coral polyps.
These fossils are about 350 million years old, formed during the Devonian Period when Michigan was much closer to the equator.
These beautiful fossils look exceptionally beautiful once polished. Here is an example.
Despite the lack of Petoskey stones, the beach was long and beautiful
and when we left we were gifted with a lovely sunset.
Back at the camp, there was a knock on the door and a ranger handed us $2. It was change for our overpayment. What?
The next morning we continued west and south through the pretty little town of Petoskey.
We stayed close to the shore
and stopped here and there to look for more rocks. It’s almost as if we like rocks or something.
I finally reluctantly agreed to start heading back when I realized that I won’t be able to sift through all of the rocks on this beach.
It was time to head back home. We crossed our favourite bridge at sunset,
and parked a very dirty van in the driveway.
The next day we took some layers of dirt off the van,
and then off the driveway.
Here it is all shiny and clean and so is the driveway.
Time to go back to our favourite beach,
take in some of fall’s wonders in Sarnia
and enjoy fall’s glorious sunsets.
Until next time, stay well!
Footnote: do any of you remember how we got stuck in Florida just as our odometer reached 66,666 km? Well, this ordeal was at 76,666. What is happening here?