Sunday, August 26, 2007

Lake Superior Circle Tour -- Day 22

My plan was to wake up early enough in the morning to get to the Dog Patch for breakfast, but B.E. had other plans to sleep. By the time we got to the restaurant, breakfast was no longer being served. We drove through town, and on a hunch, B.E. told me to drive by the Munising Bakery.

Much to our delight, the bakery was NOT closed down. It was for sale, but it hadn't closed its doors. YAY! B.E. went inside to ask if they were still serving breakfast and the owner, remembering us from previous visits, said she'd cook for us, but had stopped serving breakfast earlier that morning. Ah, it's good to have a persuasive partner on a trip, particularly when his refusal to get out of bed costs you breakfast elsewhere.

From there we went straight to Miners Castle. It was a very windy, sunny day and though the temperature was warm, it felt chilly with all the wind. When we arrived at Miners Castle, there were two weddings being coordinated on the grounds! What a strange place to get married!

While B.E. lagged behind, using the washroom and getting extra clothes from the car, I wandered into the ranger's office and gift shop, browsing books and such. The woman inside said that just a half-hour earlier, the eagle who lives in the treetops nearby was swooping over the area. I tore out the door to see if I could still catch a glimpse of him.

Within seconds, there he was, soaring low and heading for the overlook platform, so I located B.E., who was (miraculously) right on the platform, and ran to get B.E.'s attention. I couldn't reach him in time since he was too far away. He stood on the platform gazing down at the lapping waves below, and I screamed for him as loud as I could, hoping the sound would somehow penetrate his hood and not be confused with the howling wind. He heard me! He looked up just as the eagle flew about 20 feet over his head. What a sight! We waited around for a while and sure enough, the eagle flew back in the other direction over our heads. He was putting on a show for us!

After a while he drifted farther northeast and we were able to take pictures of Miners Castle again. Beautiful, but we missed having the eagle around.

Not long afterward, the eagle came back. B.E. was laying in a sunny patch of grass and didn't see it, but I watched the eagle fly inland, then float out over the water, at least 300-400 feet above the lake. Given that the overlook is about 200 feet above the water, the eagle was close enough to see his distinct white head and tail. It was truly awesome.

We headed back to town when the eagle hadn't made an appearance in a while, and we spent a good chunk of time shopping at the local gift shops. We obtained the last of our collection of pressed pennies at the gift shop for the Pictured Rocks Boat Tours and then sat in their parking lot for our coffee break. It was, truly, a gorgeous day.

From there we visited the city dock, where we hoped to see fishermen. No such luck. However, B.E. did spot an eagle again! Was it the same one? We guessed so!

I wasn't feeling too well and thus we went back to the motel to check into our new room for the night. As I napped for a while, B.E. read a book. What drew him outside after a bit, I don't know, but he was soon waking me up and telling me to get outside because the eagle was back. We watched him circle around above us, then move farther into town to circle there, and then off inland somewhere in the forests. He was following us!

This was the best shot I got of him as he flew out of sight, blurry as it is.

Once I was fully awake, I took in the view of our awesome room at the Sunset Motel.

I'm telling you, this just cannot be beat!

There is a large picture window in each room, and I was sitting on the bed when I snapped this shot.

You're, literally, FEET from the bay! The other side of the bay is visible in the distance and the greenish blue waves are audible, splashing on the nearby wall. There is nothing better than this!

I've stayed at the Sunset when raging storms come in, and in the quiet of the night, with all the doors and windows closed, you can hear the wild water beating against the land. In the winter, the bay freezes over and the view is often a solid white wonderland with an occasional snowmobile racing across it. It's absolutely no wonder why waterfront property is so valuable. Ah, if I could only afford to live here...

Our tradition is to dine at the Brownstone Inn in Au Train on our last night in Munising, and this night would not be different.

On the way to the restaurant, we stopped at Au Train Beach and B.E. snapped some beach shots.
I made a silly joke about there being a wild volleyball net roaming the beach, and how different they look than the domesticated ones. B.E. giggled and took a pic.

Photo taken by Boyfriend Extraordinaire

Despite the drought, the river that winds through Au Train still flowed with a serpentine shape, emptying in the lake.

Photo taken by Boyfriend Extraordinaire

And the beach appeared to be heavily frequented with beach-goers.

Photo taken by Boyfriend Extraordinaire

Dinner at the Brownstone was absolutely delicious, despite a slight scare that we wouldn't get a table without a reservation. The hostess, a magician of sorts, was able to rearrange the reservations and accommodate us that evening, thankfully, and we enjoyed it immensely. Our waitress even taught B.E. a trick. He was attempting to beat some ketchup out of the jar for his fries and veggieburger, and she offered up some help. There are a couple of "57"s embossed on the jar, just above the label, and if you hit the "57" lightly with your hand, the ketchup comes right out. Sure enough, it worked! She said a customer showed her the trick not too long ago and she, in turn, teaches it to other customers. She said it also saves the restaurant money because most people use their knives to scoop out the ketchup, and not knowing if they licked that knife or what other food that knife had been in before that, they would have to dump the contents of the ketchup bottles. (I wonder if they really do this.) Anyway, if you're ever battling some stubborn ketchup in a glass Heinz bottle, tap the "57" and out your ketchup will come! More magic!

Back at the room, we enjoyed a cold evening of watching the last hints of light fading on the opposite side of the bay and turned in for our final night on the trip. It was heartbreaking to have to return to the real world, and indeed, we both had managed to block out most knowledge of any such thing. If nothing else, the trip had been thoroughly successful in sending our minds on vacation. And what a trip it was!

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