After a crappy night of rain and little sleep there was no way I was going to go home and end a trip on a sour note. I’ll end it sipping a sour beer with friends when I return however. I took off to go UP north. Note it is UP north for Michigan’s Upper Peninsula, not up north like trolls say when they are going to Gaylord, Alpena or any destination that does not include crossing the Mighty Mac.
Drive to St Ignace
The morning was not the best but I packed up the camping gear as a mist filled the air, shit I knew I would have to pop the tent whenever I get home to air and dry it out. With my trusty phone telling me the quickest way to get to St. Ignace I thanked it for the recommendation but I vetoed the idea and just took M-23 up the Lake Huron coast line.
With this drive it added some time but I also added time by making a few stops along the shore line just to listen to the waves crashing and feel the wind bring a cool breeze. At one stop I was a little close to the line and my Chuck All Star left foot got wet. It happens the view was pretty sweet.
The gas tank was good so I made about 3 stops along the coast line the last being outside of Cheboygan. From that view was my goal for the first half of the day trip, the Mackinaw Bridge. Onto St. Ignace and the joys of a pasty
On a regular trip to the UP I would take the B exit for St. Ignace head west for four hours and arrive in the Keweenaw. That would not happen today as that trip is another four-hour drive and I did have plans for the night. However being across the bridge I had to get lunch and in true Yooper style I got a beef pasty.
I spent seven years of my life living in the U.P. and with that came the expanding knowledge of the great meal, the pasty.
I wont tell the story here of how it came about to the U.P. but it is a Yooper thing, thanks to England. I stopped in at Bessie’s Pasties just outside of the downtown area.
It was a slow day, a couple was finishing up their meal as I walked in. It felt like I was stepping back in time as I walked to the counter. Looking at the menu board it was an old pop sign with the letters you swap out by yourself. They offered two types of pasties in two sizes, however I was informed the Yooperman was sold out for the day so I got the traditional. I placed my order with gravy and a side a slaw. What a perfect meal.
Cutting it in half with my fork I could feel the warmth and smell the aroma of goodness, I was at a great place and it was time to relax and enjoy.
I took a few bites before I would pour on the thick gravy. A simple mix it all together and down the hatch. With the belly happy it was time to get some history on.
Ojibwa history is not just native history for me, it is a history of part of my bloodline. As I said earlier, I lived in the U.P. on the reservation of the Keweenaw Bay Indian Community. As I continued my studies in college I would take a Native history class to get a better understanding of what I did not know. A visit to the Museum of Ojibwa Culture was a must stop.
What an impact this museum would have. From the history prior to the Europeans arrival to the impact of the government. This place tells a history not taught in classes. I posted one of a few photos that reflects that there are some many more great lessons to be learned in this old church.
Downtown St Ignace
The museum was still outside the downtown stretch so I hopped in and drover down about a mile. Once parked it was time to stroll the main street.
The town was quiet as ferries ran people to Mackinaw Island, that’ll be another trip, stores were filled with locals. It made for some great conversations with shop owners as my goal was to walk to the local coffee shop and get my cup of joe for the day. I noticed many storefronts empty, either a great spot to invest or tourism is down in the area. The walk was about three miles so a good way to work off the pasty.
One spot I stopped in at had multipul stores. The front was the wine shop that had wines not just from Michigan but from around the world. The far back was a coffee shop, not the one I was going to stop at and a few of the other store fronts had the traditional tourist trap items. With the tease of coffee I had to walk some more to get to the destination before I head out of town.
Before crossing the Mighty Mac I had to make two stops. First more pasties and second Bridge View Park. All my trips from to the UP always start at the B exit to head west and that is where I would go to get some pasties. I loaded up on 6 of them for gifts and meals. The visit to the park was wonderful.
A building ran a DVD of the construction of the Mackinaw Bridge as the floor tile had a layout of the Great Lakes and
Michigan. A great view out the window of the bridge protected from the cold winds of Lake Michigan. After the stop is was time for the hour trek to Petoskey.
Petoskey for the day
This wasn’t my first visit to Petoskey but it was the first time I get to wander it myself. My enjoyment of good beer takes me to many places, my better enjoyment of bourbon gets me even further. This was not either but some would come into play. What a great dive along Lake Michigan to get to see the waves and pull off to a senic view, that was a first thing to do.
Not having a clue about what view I would be given at my first stop I was in for a treat. As I walked to the overview a couple was in the distance taking their engament pictures. I was happy for them but also like, fuckers wrong spot I want to go down those damn stairs! It was all good I would explore when they were done.
The view was beautiful and once I had my momeny I took it and booked down the stairs. I saw there was a park down below so I had to get down. To my amazment it wasn’t just a park but the same couple taking more photos. Well they picked a spot I would not have and witht hat choice it gave me the waterfall.
It is not one of those magical trail hiking waterfalls, heck it was man made but it was a great tease tp take in, so I did. The creek flew producing a simple sound to take in, better then the old bickering women. Back up the stairs and time to checkout downtown.
The downtown is a great spot for shops, clothing for the 65 and older crowd was on display. The alcohol shops consisted of bars, wine tasting rooms and a vodka companies tasking room. What drew most of my attention was a group of men standing around a cannon. It was about five dudes that most have been playing Pokemon Go. Heads in the phones and these dudes are like mid 30’s, whatever can yuck on ones own yams. As I wandered I reached out to a wonderful human to meet up for a drink or three.
The drinking took us to the local craft beer spot and to my amazement one of my favorite beers was in the fridge. Blackrocks barely wine Gnomas has been a go to for me for about 3 years, the drinking establishment had it, barrel aged. Crushing that was a must and done it was.
The best part about being so far north in the late days of spring is that the sunsets pretty late. I must have been closer to 930 this day. After munching some grub having a couple more beers with Maggie it was down to sunset photo taking time.
Sunsets are one of the most fasinating things that takes place,they are never the same and a view over a lake or any body of water is well worth more then 1,000 words. With that in mind we did, we took a shitload of pictures of the sun going down.
After epic photo taken it was bar and bed time. Dive bars are always a great spot to just relax drink a good beer or two and talk. As we were doing that Greta Van Fleet came on and I about lost my shit. If you follow my snap you know I’m in love with thie EP From the Fires, if you are a classic rock fan listen. From that it was bed time and introducing her to Greta Van Fleet but then again I brought my homemade mead.
A raspberry dry wild flower honey mead to cap off the night with great music. The mead was fucking jamming with flavor as it went down so easy and taste was that of raspberry jam but way easier going down. Sadly I only have two bottles left, guess I’ll do a post on making the next batch.
The Lone Wolf Wandering