The Longdogs

The Longdogs
Willy, Harley (back center), and Gretchen

The St Ignace Experience

Leaving Port Huron, we headed to the U.P. or the Upper Peninsula of Michigan. People who live here call themselves Yoopers. To get here, you have to cross the Mackinac Bridge.

The Mackinac Bridge is a suspension bridge spanning the Straits of Mackinac to connect the Upper and Lower Peninsulas of Michigan. Opened in 1957, the 26,372-foot bridge is the world's 19th-longest main span and the longest suspension bridge between anchorages in the Western Hemisphere. The Mackinac Bridge is part of Interstate 75 and the Lakes Michigan and Huron components of the Great Lakes Circle Tours across the straits. The bridge connects the city of St. Ignace on the north end with the village of Mackinaw City on the south. More on the bridge in my next post.


We stayed at the Tiki RV Park in St. Ignace. It is a Passport America park.

Luckily we called ahead from Port Huron because it seems that parks in the UP are pretty full up this time of year.

 You could see Lake Superior from the road in front of the park.

We were hoping for pull-throughs but alas no luck there.

My site the first night was pretty nice. We managed to make Mary Jane's small site into a pull through by having her come in from the opposite corner. It was a rather odd shape and the utilities actually reached easier from the other direction.

Willy and Harley met another traveler on our walk around the park.

The first night we checked out the town and treated ourselves to a unique Michigan dish.

This is half a pasty....It was big so we just split one.
 

Our original plan was to journey further north next to take the Pictured Rocks Cruise......alas, I could find no park with openings within an hour and a half of Manistique so........we went to plan B. Actually we originally debated doing the Pictured Rocks tour or the Mackinac Island tour and decided on Pictured Rocks. So it was a matter of going to our other choice and asking for a second night at the Tiki. Unfortunately, we had to both move sites. My second site required backing up a slight hill from an angle on some muddy ground. Not fun at all and a strange angle. Another camper who used to drive semi's guided me in the best he could but I could not get completely level so I just left the slides closed. That is one advantage of having an RV that is completely usable with the slides in. MJ managed to get into her site okay although it was again a quirky site. Next stop....Mackinac Island!

Niagara Falls......Part Deux

Tuesday morning we headed to a restaurant a block from the motel for breakfast before going back to the falls for a few more pictures......this time in the sun. This is the American falls.


This is the river right before the Canadian falls.

The Canadian falls puts out a lot of misty spray.




Taken from the parkway along the falls.

We really enjoyed our trip to Niagara Falls. It was nicer in the sun but even with clouds and some drizzle, the falls are both pretty spectacular. We had an easy three hour drive back to Port Huron. It only took us about 10 minutes to get through customs before crossing the Blue Water Bridge.

The Mighty Falls.....Niagara

Right from the beginning of this trip, we wanted to go to Niagara Falls.  Inspite of many trips to Port Huron over the years, I have never made it to Niagara Falls and Mary Jane had not been since she was a teenager. It is only three hours to get to Niagara Falls from Port Huron if you go through Canada. As we were plotting and planning, we learned that Monday was a Canadian National Holiday so they had a three day weekend so we decided that the weekend would not be the time to go. The more we thought about it, we realized that we would only have time to spend one night there so we decided to leave the RVs in Port Huron and get a motel.  Since Willy and Harley were traveling with us, Motel 6 was the way to go since they welcome dogs. We headed out Monday morning figuring that we would arrive in the afternoon and the 3 day holiday crowd would be heading out.

We arrived before checkin time so we headed directly to the falls for our first view. We were lucky enough to find a parking meter a couple of blocks away since we knew we would only be there less than an hour.  Of course, it decided to rain.

I didn't get a picture but I can tell you that Willy and Harley were not happy about walking in the rain. This was our first view of the American falls with the bridge to the U.S. on the left.

The Canadian falls are in a horseshoe mostly hidden behind the spray in the picture.

This is the river behind the falls. You can see the strong current.

We walked further along and crossed the Lock Bridge. The idea is that you lock your love in the lock and throw away the key so it lasts forever. There were a lot of locks here.

Here you can ride the Incline Railway down the hill closer to the falls.

This is a partial view of the Canadian falls.

We headed back to the car as we were soaked and drove along the parkway.

As you drive further away from the falls, there are shops. See the Canadian Mountie on the left?

This was the only wildlife we saw on the trip.





We kept going and found ourselves in what seemed to be another small town.


We discovered later that it was "Niagara On the Lake".  It wasn't to lively for a holiday.

After checking into the hotel, the weather cleared up some and we decided to head back to the falls for better views. This is looking from Canada over to the American falls. We had initially planned to cross back over to the U.S. to see the American falls but decided we could see everything better from the Canadian side.



The green column on the left supports a platform that you can walk out on from the U.S. side to get a better view of the falls.

Boats go out from both sides of the border to get you closer to the falls. It is a really long way to hike down to the boarding area.

You can barely see him, but there is a person on the left going down the zipline in front of the falls.


The Canadian falls put out a lot of mist. You can see the boat on the right.


There is a revolving restaurant and viewing platform on this tower just like in San Antonio. You can see the little yellow elevator car near the bottom.

The flowers were really beautiful.

There is also a ferris wheel that you can ride to get a different view of the falls....not this girl.


This is the police station near the falls. There are actually some parking meters along the drive....otherwise you will have to park in a lot and all of the prices are steep...$5 for 30 minutes in the meter and $15-20 dollars in the lots above for all day if you can hike from them.

We drove down the parkway in the other direction this time.


Some maps of the area.



An overhead view of the falls.
 
We came back the next day when it was bright and sunny but you will have to wait for those pics.