Friday, October 17, 2008

Saturday, October 11, 2008

On Saturday we awoke with heavy hearts, knowing we were departing that day. We packed up our belongings, loaded up the car, turned in our key, and felt homeless. But we still had a few hours before we would have to hit the road, so again, we headed to the Navigator for breakfast. If you don't go to this restaurant for the awesome tables that look down upon the city marina, then the homemade bread (and toast) is something you simply have to stop in for, because that marble rye is beyond description!

Once we were stuffed, we drove around town for a bit, bidding adieu to our favorite locales. On the way to Sand Point Beach, Boyfriend Extraordinaire had me pull the car over and he hopped out to grab this gigantic weed on the side of the road. When alive, it looked like a huge reed of some sort, similar to gigantic wild grass or cattails, but when dried, I kept calling it a sugar cane because that's how I picture sugar cane. It was about eight feet long and I was puzzled as to why he wanted it. He said he was going to make something from it for me. Then I was more puzzled.

When we got to the beach, he emerged from the car with the big, dried reed and started hacking away at it.

When he was done, he'd made these cool little canisters out of the segmented reed, complete with lids! How cool is that!?

It's funny to me that in the second weekend of October, the weather will rise up to 65ยบ in Munising, and people will go to the beach and sit out like it's the middle of July.

And this inspired me. I decided to get my feet wet. Note the toes curled so tightly that they're nearly invisible. That was to keep them from instantly freezing and falling off.

DUDE! SO NOT A GOOD IDEA! It might have been warm enough for someone like me to wear shorts and sandals, but that does not mean that Lake Superior hasn't already chilled down to its usual cold temp just above freezing. I will not do that again. Or, I won't do it again for a long time.

We then visited the city dock, where little else occurs other than fishing. However, it gives a fabulous view back at the hills that hug the town of Munising, which are best seen from the water.

It looks like this in every direction, since the hills are steep and create this wavy spectrum of color around the bay.

The dilapidated dock where fishermen play still has a gorgeous view of the west side of Munising Bay.

And there we were, leaving on a day when the bay was peaking with color. Bittersweet.

We left town around 1 PM and began the long trip home. One of our necessary stops was a return to Rapid River Falls, where we hoped the color would be a little more dramatic. Indeed it was.

The river itself didn't have much more water than it did a week before, but the leaves really added to the beauty of the location.

It was such a beautiful day and there was a periodic breeze that was stealing the gorgeous leaves from the trees. Occasionally the wind would blow a big gust, and hundreds of feather-like leaves would come floating down from above, capturing the sunlight and flickering as they fell. It was absolutely magical!

While we were there, there was also a terrible attempt made on my life. Ladybugs. No one else in the area was even touched by them, but they swarmed me and I was even bit by one. They were flying into my face, crawling in my hair, hanging out all over my clothes. B.E. had to rescue me and sweep them off of me, but they kept coming back and landing on me. I have no idea what it was about me that attracted them to me and no one else, but B.E. telling me that it was a sign of tremendously good luck didn't comfort me any. From that point on, I became the Ladybug Lady, and it wasn't fun.

Once again, the open area of grass called to Boyfriend Extraordinaire, and The Flop overcame him.

It was a little crowded at Rapid River Falls that day. There was a group of people taking wedding photos at the falls, and then migrating to beneath the maple trees. Though they seemed out of place in their formal wear, we befriended one of the members of the wedding party: a young husky named Amber.

After playing with the dog and peeling B.E. from the grass, we needed to hit the road again.

For more photos of Rapid River Falls, click the image below to visit my page.

Tabblo: Rapid River Falls

We reached Escanaba in the middle of the afternoon, where B.E. felt the need for a coffee break, so we got coffee and a lemon bar at a coffee shop chain, and sat at the lakefront while enjoying the view.

Escanaba is an interesting town, full of quirky shops, most of which seem to be just hanging by a thread, financially. As we were driving down the main drag, I spotted a mom-and-pop-style submarine sandwich place and decided to pick up lunch for later. We each got a sub from D&M Subs and headed back on our way.

When we reached Menominee, something miraculous struck us. Gas prices had dropped below $3/gallon! It had been $3.39 in Munising when we left that morning, but I almost had an accident when I saw that it was $2.98 in Menominee. So, I swerved over to the nearest gas station and filled my tank back up.

As we drove south, the price remained right around $2.99/gallon until we reached the Milwaukee area, and then it shot back up to $3.39 or more. Kinda made us wonder why the smaller towns had the lowest priced gas, which is usually the opposite, and we came up with a theory or two, but who really knows?

We crossed into Wisconsin and stopped at Seguin's again for some more cheese curds. The curds at Seguins weren't as flavorful as the ones from Jilbert's, but they also weren't moldy, and much to my disappointment, I was having to throw out many of my Jilbert's curds that had green spots on them. With our curd supply replenished, we ventured south again.

With few places to stop between Oconto and Milwaukee, we decided to take a dinner break at the rest stop just south of the Sturgeon Bay exit. We frequent this rest stop a lot.

Let me tell you, the subs we got at D&M Subs in Escanaba were some of the best sandwiches we have ever had! They were loaded with toppings, so huge it took two hands to hold them, and the bread was so soft and fresh that we couldn't stop eating the sandwiches even though we were full to the point of being a little woozy. THAT is going to be a new tradition for us. D&M Subs rocks!

The remainder of the trip was a straight shot home, and though I was exhausted from the drive and sad to have left Munising, it was kind of nice to be back home again. The vacation was a total success on all fronts, and I wasn't home a whole day before I started thinking about my next trip up there. Perhaps June, when things start to warm up and there are baby animals everywhere. Perhaps sooner.

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