Another U.P. Roadtrip

We’re in the process of considering our next vehicle (we are very deliberate planners: we intend to test-drive several – which we’ve heavily researched already – in November when the weather is less than inviting, and then purchase sometime after the winter, when we will have gotten the most out of our already-purchased snow tires), and at the top of our list of imperatives is comfort. I know that a lot of people would say the same thing, but – and I quote every chain letter in history and several Jerry Springer guests – we are for real. We make a significant number of 8-hour drives each year to visit our families, and have historically made a couple of 16-hour trips to the office in Atlanta. These are the one-way times. In summation: we spend a lot of time in the car.

It would be reasonable to think that the last thing we’d want to do in between these behemoth journeys is spend more time in the car, and it would probably be reasonable for us to avoid more driving time. We are not reasonable.

We returned from such a trip to Atlanta, though admittedly we flew, at a little after 2:00 Friday morning. Two o’clock isn’t abnormal for us, but it was a late night when coupled with the week of 6:30am rise times (we’re normally 9am’ers) and considering the ~three hour drive back from the airport. Saturday we took our tour of Torch, which was a short trip somewhere on the order of 50 miles. Enough travel for most folks, but we are not most folks. Or reasonable.

I think we had a rationale for our trip, but mostly we just wanted to go to the UP. That’s a rational, right? I had the Cut River Bridge in my sights, so that’s where we headed. We stopped at one of the long stretches of beach along US-2. The weather was similar to Saturday, so the beach was alternately brightly lit and plunged into shadow.

I love the self-help lifeguard station and the “parking lot”

The structure of the bridge was beautiful, but the fall color wasn’t pronounced so I was a little disappointed. We enjoyed a quick hike down to where the golden Cut River joins the turquoise Lake Michigan, which was beautiful, but I think my favorite part of the stop was the passage under the bridge.

From there we headed north up to Sault St. Marie, on account of it’s up there and we didn’t see it our previous Tour de UP. Also there are the Soo Locks, which allow giant freight ships to bypass the rapids in the St. Marys River. There were no boats going through, but the lock system was still cool to take in, plus there’s that cool Sault Ste. Marie International Bridge allowing vehicular passage between Michigan and Ontario.

After saying farewell to Canada, we headed back south, arriving in St. Ignace just before the sun set. Even though the town is perched facing east over Lake Huron and Mackinac Island, the sky was still painted in lovely pinks and purples.

I snapped a couple pictures of the sunset as we crossed back into the Lower Peninsula, and then took a couple of night shots of the Mighty Mac after dinner. Eleven hours or driving, stopping, photography, talking and laughing later and we were back home. So yes, comfort is a must in that car. Also gas mileage. 😉


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10 thoughts on “Another U.P. Roadtrip

  1. Say it’s not so! You’ll be moving to the UP next, I swear! Heather, that is the most beautiful photo of the bridge I’ve seen in a long time. Glad you love “da woods”.

    • I don’t think there’s any danger of us moving up there yet. I think what happened was that last time we went – you know, the BIG trip – we realized that getting there wasn’t as far of a drive as we had remembered, especially considering the kinds of drives we often take. And we do love it there, so we’ve decided to go more frequently. Now we’re wondering how the GTI will do up there in the winter, because I want to see frozen waterfalls 🙂

  2. Bridge pictures are beautiful, but my favorates are the pink & purlple bathed St. Ignace light house and fish..just for the record..;)

    • I’m not sure why, but that fish caught my eye too…hence the picture ;). I was very proud of my arches picture since I had to do some “real” photography work to make it happen. And I also love that picture on the beach where the rain dappled sand is in focus and the more distant beach is not.

    • Ah, but you are a willing get up and go-er: you’re often out with your girls and girlfriends.
      I am some kind of odd combination of explorer and introvert. I’m still trying to figure out how the blog ties into it all, but I am so glad to share my bit of happiness and the world’s (*ahem* northern Michigan’s) beauty with you!

  3. That is just so cool that you made that kind of trip just for the fun of it. I’ve been at the Cut River bridge during fall when the leaves were at their peak and it is stupendous. Might be worth another trip. AND YES frozen waterfalls are beautiful!!

    • We love spontaneous road trips just for the fun of it. Did you see my post about visiting the UP in August? Planned it Thursday morning, and left Thursday after work 🙂 I’m not sure the Cut River bridge is worth the trip to the UP from the lower LP, but if you tacked on some more things and made a couple days out of it, I don’t see how you could go wrong 😉

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