Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Blue Tops Live On

Last week we took a family vacation in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan. As a child my family would go up there every summer to visit my great grandparents, Nana Gwen and Gramps Harold. We haven't vacationed there since 1988...(I distinctly remember Tracy Chapman's "Fast Cars" on the radio) and the last time I was up there at all was in 1995 for Gramps Harold's funeral. Winters up there are something else.
My brother and I had been talking about going back and last fall he sent me a link to an article about a Michigan Tech Student that had built a cord log cabin with her father and she lived in it during the school year. Ends up that Student is the daughter of the family we used to rent "Blue Top Cabins" from. I contacted her father about possibly returning to the U.P. for a visit and the next thing I knew my dad had booked 3 cabins just down the street from our original vacation spot. My brothers family wasn't able to join us but my sister and her family made the 16 plus hour trek from Knoxville. I was excited to relive childhood memories with my kids but I was nervous if anyone else would enjoy themselves....there may be lots of water but it's definitely not the beach vacation we've become accustom to. Leaving 100 degree heat we set off on a 13 hour drive for cooler climates and what a pleasure it was. Jeans and sweatshirts become part of our evening attire. Ice cold showers and even colder swims, sunsets after 9:30, twilight that lasted nearly till dawn and more stars then I've seen in a planetarium highlighted the week. To my amazement my teenage nephew asked my sister if they could start vacationing there every year because it was way more fun than the beaches of North Carolina. The history up there is so rich and it was good to visit the place my family migrated to generations ago.

Sea Shells by the Lake Shore

Mackinaw Lighthouse

Mackinac Bridge - as a kid I thought this was the most amazing bridge. 5 miles long it marks a little more than 1/2 way between Cleveland and Houghton

One foot in Lake Michigan - One foot in Lake Huron

Mackinac Bridge

These towers can be seen for miles before you reach it on I75

My Hippie on Oskar Bay - our home for the week

Fishing without hooks ;-)

Sitting on the Dock of the Bay

Worn Out

Portage Canal Light House - loved climbing on those boulders as a kid - as an adult they nearly gave me a heart attack watching my kids risk life and limb jumping boulder to boulder

Lake Superior Sand Dunes - black sand like no other place I've been

Lake Superior at Sunset

6 of the 8 Grandkids in Nana's old stomping grounds

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