Tuesday, July 9, 2019

2019-13 Manistique Michigan, Park 3 of the U.P. Michigan


Manistique Michigan
Garden Michigan
Gulliver Michigan
St Ignace Michigan

Lake Michigan


Campground: Manistique Kewadin Casino. Free. 30 amp, no water or sewer. No need to check in. Just pull up to a spot and park. Only two sites with 30 amp, about 10 sites with 20 amp.

Campground: Kewadin Shores Casino, St Ignace. $15 includes 30/50 amp electric and water. Dump station available. Occasional discounts available. Basic back in sites on grass, next to Rv parking area as well as pull-thru sites on edge of parking lot.

Distance Traveled: 55 miles.

Manistique Michigan (On Lake Michigan)

Manistique Mich has a really nice boardwalk along
Lake Michigan

their famous water tower

the U.P. still has Big Boy restaurants

looks like all the great lakes are at their top waterline

Well that was a short drive to my next Free campsite. Another Kewadin Casino site. Only one Rv was in a site when I arrived two days before the 4th of July.

Now I know I should probably start a new blog, going from the shores of Lake Superior down to the shores of Lake Michigan, but here we go anyway.

The casino is only a couple miles outside of the the town, which has a fairly vibrant downtown area. Of course, like all the small towns up here, the ShopKo has closed. A huge disappointment to the locals.

A visit to their historic Water tower designed in a Romanesque architectural style. Originally held 200,000 gallons of water. No longer used. The bridge and Flume near by was designed to channel water to create a power dam for the lumber mill and to provide power to the city. It has also been discontinued. Often wonder why a system that produced hydo-power would be deactivated. It obviously worked for many years providing cheap power.

Close by is the “Ancient Mysterious” Kitch-iti-Kipi Big Spring. Michigan’s largest freshwater spring. Producting 10,000 gallons a minute. Originally called “Mirror of Heaven” by the native Americans. They have a cool glass bottom platform that groups go on and pull the platform across the spring via a tethered rope for viewing the sites below. Lots of Trout are swimming in the spring and go between it and the adjoining Indian Lake it was the most serene and peace ride I’ve ever been on. The group I was on with all talked in hushed tones after a few minutes into the ride across the natural spring. Creating a most wonderful atmosphere. And the trout below us looked like they were at a Trout Day Spa and decided never to leave.

Kitch-iti-Kipi Big Spring.

the glass bottom boat
we manually pulled across the springs

lake trout, don't want to leave the springs

would you?

Because Lake Michigan hasn’t warmed up that much, and the air temperatures are now in the low 80’s, fog has been rolling in across the lake and a mile or so onto land. Clearing up by noon or 1pm.

I stopped in a local shop called the Mustard Seed containing many locally made items. I was super impressed by the display of stripped twigs forming wall art, a few tables, etc. The artist gathers the branches left over by beavers in building their dams. Each branch having been chiseled by the beavers teeth. Now that’s art created by man and beaver. Beautiful pieces of art. The owner says the artist is the most relaxed easy going guy he’s ever met. And it shows in his work.

Fayette, Historic State Park
(Camping and Boat slips for yachts)

what a fun place to explore

This area has a couple of nice day trips and I’m taking advantage of them since I’m staying in the area for about 5 days. I’ve already mentioned the springs, so the next stop was to the historic town of Fayette. It’s now a part of the Michigan State historic parks. And what an awesome job they’ve done at preserving the site. Considered a ghost town after the Iron furnaces closed down. A few people remained in the town, though most moved onto the surrounding towns to find work in the fishing industry, lumber and other mining ventures. I took the self guided tour though I think the guided tour would have provided some good info.

Lots of buildings to explore and read the historic plaques with good details on the lives lived here. In one of the middle class homes that also took in boarders, a stash of “morphine” bottles was found hidden inside the walls of one of the rooms. They don’t know who it was that became addicted to the morphine but give some possible clues. Morphine though dangerous was legal to use and was give to children, women and men for illnesses and pain.

The two story hotel which will eventually have all of it’s rooms open even had a rare two story outhouse connected to the hotel via a short walk ramp out back. They plan on recreating that feature in the next phase updates.

The whole town sit on a small bay on Lake Michigan, where hard wood would be shipped in and made into charcoal in dozens of honey cone shaped kilns. All to heat the iron ore to high temperatures Melting the metal and creating “pig” iron.

This was a super fun day of exploring for me and of course picture taking.

historic ghost town Fayette Michigan

the two story hotel, once had a two story outhouse

middle class workers homes

one of dozens of beahive kilns used to make charcoal
for the iron furnaces

the largest home in the town
the Supervisors home called the White House

the house where the morphine was found hidden
in the walls

Seul Choix Point Lighthouse

Seul Choix, meaning “Single Choice” so named after a French crew had only one choice to save their lives on the rugged rocky shores. Eventually a community of French Canadian fisherman settled in the area and the lighthouse and fog signal were finally built in 1895 as maritime trade increased.

The main lighthouse contained three families. That must surely have been crowded and eventually they built and extension and then a second house and as late as the 1960s a third house when the lighthouse was taken over by the Coastguard.

one of the dirt roads into the forests
of the U.P.

restored birdhouse

St Ignace (near the Mackinaw Bridge)

Couldn’t end this report without a shout out to John and Sandy, friends from my winter residence in Shelter Cove, Florida. It has been a real joy meeting up with them this week. We enjoyed a great walk along the boardwalk in St Ignace, watching all the speed boats racing across the bay to Mackinaw Island. A super fun place to explore if you haven’t been there. No motorized vehicles only bikes and horses.

John, Sandy and Doug

Paul Bunyan and Big Blue

Castle Rock, $1 to climb 190 steps

Mackinaw Bridge
5 largest in the world

bldg in St Ignace, nice waterfront tourist town

nice meandering boardwalk in St Ignace

fast ferry service to mackinaw Island

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