Sunday, August 26, 2007

Lake Superior Circle Tour -- Day 1

At mid-morning on August 4th, Boyfriend Extraordinaire and I set out on our second "trip of a lifetime" around Lake Superior.

It was an uneventful drive, though the construction and traffic really irritated me and added to our drive time. Otherwise all was well.

We lunched at the Hardee's on the Oconto River where we realized how low and stagnant the water looked. Apparently, the drought has been bad this year. More with tradition was the reaction we got from the Hardee's staff when B.E. ordered a meatless burger. They just never know what to make of a vegetarian order, and this time was no different as two different staff members questioned the sanity of the cashier who took the order. Ah, those meat and potato loving Wisconsinites!

We made a brief stop at Rapid River Falls to check out what is always a serene and beautiful area. It wasn't ugly, but the river flowed so low that you could jump across the water in certain areas. The rapids were but mere trickles for most of the falls, but there was one area where water actually tumbled over a one-foot drop. Ooooh!

When we arrived at our "home base" at the Sunset Motel on the Bay, in Munising, the sun still hadn't set, so we headed right for our favorite place: Sand Point Beach.

An unusual sandbar had formed at the beach that jutted like a peninsula out into the bay. Kids were playing on the sandbar, looking eerily as if they were walking on water where they should have been hip-deep.

The sun was setting behind Grand Island, facing the beach across the bay, and the waves washed lightly over the sandbar, making it almost invisible. I could not resist -- I walked right into the water and out to the sandbar.

Never in my wildest dreams did I expect Boyfriend Extraordinaire to join me, since he's only touched Lake Superior once, always calling me the crazy one for wading and playing in the cold water. However, he surprised me and I turned around to find him following me. Soon he had followed the sandbar out into the water about 50 yards from the shore, and still was only about ankle deep, making him look like he too was walking on water.

This was our view of the shore and the beach when we'd finally hit knee-deep water.

The second spectacular trait about the beach was the soft sand. With nary a rock around, we could wander anywhere barefoot, with a cushy carpet of sand beneath our feet.

As we watched the kids playing on the sandbar and the sun set before us, a strange scene unfolded. A young woman with a videocamera started shooting the sunset. Her family was with her, though not within earshot, so her narration of the scene was for posterity on the tape. When the sun touched the horizon, she began counting, as if she could easily count the few seconds it took the sun to disappear. Well, it isn't that fast, and I think this might just have been the first sunset she ever saw if she tried to count it down. B.E. and I sat on a log and rolled our eyes as her countdown went on and on. By the time she reached 40 or 50, she got tired of counting and filming the nearly set sun and walked away. Tourists: pshaw!

Still, it was a nice sunset.


Anonymous said...

Looks like you remembered the filters and stuff! Cool shots!

Anonymous said...

Excellent photos! Yeah, I heard from my Mom that the Oconto River was really low this year and the Oconto Falls people are praying for some rain. I told her we could have sent some up from here in Texas where it's been flooding.