Monthly Archives: July 2015

Minnesota Part I: Duluth/Saginaw

We knew our drive from Marquette to Duluth would be a little longer than usual as we drove west along the shores of Lake Superior through Michigan’s Upper Peninsula and Wisconsin until we got to our destination at Ogston’s RV Park. We had estimated it would be a little over five hours so we got an early start. (Early, as in we were ready to start the engine at 9:45 instead of 11:00 AM). We have a routine on travel days. As Mike gets ready to start the engine, pull in our slides, and disconnect our power I take the dogs for a last-minute walk. They know it is their last chance to do any business until we get to our next destination, and we are conveniently out of the way when the walls start closing in.

Mike turned the key, the engine started… and then after about 3 seconds it stopped. Hmmm, that was not part of the plan. I thought it would be best to try and be as helpful as possible, so I jumped into action, immediately revising our walking route to make our outing take twice as long. The best thing I could do for Mike while he was trouble-shooting the problem was to be invisible. We work really well together. Piper, Cessna and I walked all the roads of the campground and through some of the wooded trails. We were gone for at least 30 minutes. I figured everything would surely be all settled by the time we made it back to the Monaco. As we approached the campsite the engine was still silent and Mike was in the driver’s seat reading a manual. I continued to be helpful by keeping my mouth shut and diverting my attention on my laptop.

After all of his diagnostics were unsuccessful, Mike got on the phone and called a Cummins engine repair shop in the next town over. Lucky for us, they were able to send out a field-technician within about 45 minutes. When he arrived he hooked up a laptop to our engine and started asking it questions. Pretty soon there was lots of stinky smoke in the air. This, also was not part of our plan.  As it turns out a water-fuel separator sensor had gone out. The part was actually installed by Monaco AFTER the engine was built, so it was not critical to operating our rig. The repair man disconnected it for us, started our engine, and assured us we were good to travel. We finally pulled out of the Marquette Tourist park a little after 1PM.

The drive was fairly easy and very beautiful. We ended up arriving into the Superior/Duluth metro area right at rush-hour, but all the traffic congestion seemed to conveniently be in the opposite lanes of traffic. We found our campground with no problems and set ourselves up for our first stop in Minnesota.  The campground was small but clean and quiet. There were four small lakes on the property, and Mike was able to fish without a license since they were on private property. He was happy about that. It had been a long and stressful day, so we enjoyed our ‘first-night’ martinis and I made quesadillas for dinner. We both crashed in the bed extra early – eager to put this travel day behind us.

The city of Duluth was lots of fun. The scenery was very pretty, the people were extremely friendly, and we found lots of fun things to do on our outings. We stayed in this spot for two weeks and the only complaint I had was about the water. Brown rusty iron water is not good for drinking, cooking, cleaning, or laundry. (More details about that under my picture from the mine).

First Minnesota sunset, outside of Duluth.

First Minnesota sunset, outside of Duluth.

The dogs are happy to show the love to our driver after another safe journey from Marquette to Duluth.

The dogs are happy to show the love to our driver after another safe journey from Marquette to Duluth.

Our spot at Ogston's RV Park outside of Duluth.

Our spot at Ogston’s RV Park outside of Duluth.

The table is set for steaks and baked potatoes al fresco!

The table is set for steaks and baked potatoes al fresco!

The Hibbing Taconite Company Mine on the Masabi Iron Range is a National Historic Site. It is the 2nd largest operating open pit iron ore mine in the world. It is 8 miles long, 3.5 miles wide and 535 feet deep. Iron Ore is harvested here and pellets are transported by rail car to Duluth, where they are loaded onto ships that carry them through The Great Lakes to places like Detroit, Toledo and Cleveland, where they are used to manufacture steel.  The water at our campground was well water. There was so much iron in the water that it was brown and tasted like metal - undrinkable. I unknowingly washed a load of whites in my washing machine and ended up ruining a couple of white shirts... they look like they had been tie-dyed with brown ink. The walls and floor of my shower were also stained brown... took three days of cleaning with scrubbing bubbles before I could get it back to normal.

The Hibbing Taconite Company Mine on the Masabi Iron Range is a National Historic Site. It is the 2nd largest operating open pit iron ore mine in the world. It is 8 miles long, 3.5 miles wide and 535 feet deep. Iron Ore is harvested here and pellets are transported by rail car to Duluth, where they are loaded onto ships that carry them through The Great Lakes to places like Detroit, Toledo and Cleveland, where they are used to manufacture steel.
The water at our campground was well water. There was so much iron in the water that it was brown and tasted like metal – undrinkable. I unknowingly washed a load of whites in my washing machine and ended up ruining a couple of white shirts… they look like they had been tie-dyed with brown ink. The walls and floor of my shower were also stained brown… took three days of cleaning with scrubbing bubbles before I could get it back to normal.

The view from our beach day on Lake Superior.

The view from our beach day on Lake Superior.

We camped out at the waterline because the sand was so hot where it wasn't wet.

We camped out at the waterline because the sand was so hot where it wasn’t wet.

Park Point Beach on a skinny peninsula between Lake Superior and Superior Bay.

Park Point Beach on a skinny peninsula between Lake Superior and Superior Bay.

Geese everywhere at this park.

Geese everywhere at this park.

A shallow waterfall at Gooseberry State Park on the north shore.

A shallow waterfall at Gooseberry State Park on the north shore.

One of the waterfalls at Gooseberry State Park.

One of the waterfalls at Gooseberry State Park.

The signs at Gooseberry State Park told visitors it was not safe to swim in or near the falls. I guess lots of folks in Minnesota are unable to read.

The signs at Gooseberry State Park told visitors it was not safe to swim in or near the falls. I guess lots of folks in Minnesota are unable to read.

The Split Rock Lighthouse. I recently read a travel article somewhere titled "10 Under the Radar Attractions in the U.S.". This spot was number 9 on the list. When I read that, I made sure to plan a daytrip for us to go see for ourselves. It was certainly beautiful!

The Split Rock Lighthouse. I recently read a travel article somewhere titled “10 Under the Radar Attractions in the U.S.”. This spot was number 9 on the list. When I read that, I made sure to plan a daytrip for us to go see for ourselves. It was certainly beautiful!

Dina and Cessna exploring the Split Rock Harbor.

Dina and Cessna exploring the Split Rock Harbor.

Another view of Split Rock State Park.

Another view of Split Rock State Park.

A view from our morning walks at our campground.

A view from our morning walks at our campground.

Our view from the patio at Midi's Restaurant in the historic Fitger's complex on the east end of downtown Duluth.

Our view from the patio at Midi’s Restaurant in the historic Fitger’s complex on the east end of downtown Duluth.

Cheer's y'all!

Cheer’s y’all!

The North Shore Scenic Railroad. The tourist in me got sucked in and I paid $16 to ride the train on our last Monday in Duluth. Mike stayed home and did research to find upcoming campgrounds. I guess if I had been in charge of six kids under the age of nine it might have been more enjoyable. As it turns out I had already seen all the scenery showcased from inside the rail cars. Oh well, the trains are operated completely by volunteers, so my ticket money went to a good cause.

The North Shore Scenic Railroad. The tourist in me got sucked in and I paid $16 to ride the train on our last Monday in Duluth. Mike stayed home and did research to find upcoming campgrounds. I guess if I had been in charge of six kids under the age of nine it might have been more enjoyable. As it turns out I had already seen all the scenery showcased from inside the rail cars. Oh well, the trains are operated completely by volunteers, so my ticket money went to a good cause.

The Lake Walk is a 7.5 mile trail in the center of Duluth along the shores of Lake Superior. We walked the dogs on different portions of it and the views were always spectacular.

The Lake Walk is a 7.5 mile trail in the center of Duluth along the shores of Lake Superior. We walked the dogs on different portions of it and the views were always spectacular.

The dogs came with us to watch the Wednesday night sailboat races. Cessna found it more interesting than did Piper.

The dogs came with us to watch the Wednesday night sailboat races. Cessna found it more interesting than did Piper.

I guess one of the rules of the race it to dodge the ships coming into the harbor.

I guess one of the rules of the race it to dodge the ships coming into the harbor.

The Rose Garden in Duluth.

The Rose Garden in Duluth.

There were lots of military jets and carriers flying over the skies of our campground. Mike loved seeing them race across the sky.

There were lots of military jets and carriers flying over the skies of our campground. Mike loved seeing them race across the sky.

A selfie from a fun bar in downtown Duluth called Black Water. Is that a reference to the well water at our campground?

A selfie from a fun bar in downtown Duluth called Black Water. Is that a reference to the well water at our campground?

U.S. Coast Guard

U.S. Coast Guard

The historic Fitger's Brewery is a large complex with several restaurants and shops on several levels. Mike spotted this 'day care' in a hallway. I guess they prefer to cater to the adult crowd!

The historic Fitger’s Brewery is a large complex with several restaurants and shops on several levels. Mike spotted this ‘day care’ in a hallway. I guess they prefer to cater to the adult crowd!

Bob Dylan was born in Duluth and then his family moved to Hibbing (where the giant mine is located) when he was a young boy.

Bob Dylan was born in Duluth and then his family moved to Hibbing (where the giant mine is located) when he was a young boy.

The Duluth skyline from our afternoon cruise aboard the Vista Fleet. (It was more fun than the train ride).

The Duluth skyline from our afternoon cruise aboard the Vista Fleet. (It was more fun than the train ride).

This ship is 1,000 feet long. It is loaded down with iron ore and heading out of the harbor to makes its way across Lake Superior. It has so much cargo that the vessel reaches down another 28 feet under the water.

This ship is 1,000 feet long. It is loaded down with iron ore and heading out of the harbor to makes its way across Lake Superior. It has so much cargo that the vessel reaches down another 28 feet under the water.

The lift bridge in Duluth connects the Canal Park area to the Park Point Peninsula. Vehicles and pedestrians cross the bridge when it is down. It lifts when boats and ships need to pass under it.

The lift bridge in Duluth connects the Canal Park area to the Park Point Peninsula. Vehicles and pedestrians cross the bridge when it is down. It lifts when boats and ships need to pass under it.

Another draw bridge in the Canal Park area.

Another draw bridge in the Canal Park area.

Last year we were in Washington D.C. on July 4th. This year we were in Duluth, MN.

Last year we were in Washington D.C. on July 4th. This year we were in Duluth, MN.

A view of Duluth and Superior (WI) at night.

A view of Duluth and Superior (WI) at night.

We drugged Cessna with Benedryl so she could make it through the fireworks. Piper, on the other hand, was ready for the action!

We drugged Cessna with Benedryl so she could make it through the fireworks. Piper, on the other hand, was ready for the action!

Waiting for dark to come so we could watch the fireworks from a scenic spot along the Skyline Parkway in Duluth. They say it was the largest fireworks display in all of Minnesota.

Waiting for dark to come so we could watch the fireworks from a scenic spot along the Skyline Parkway in Duluth. They say it was the largest fireworks display in all of Minnesota.

We enjoyed a view of Duluth's harbor while we waited for the fireworks.

We enjoyed a view of Duluth’s harbor while we waited for the fireworks.

Interstate 35 starts in Duluth and goes south all the way to Laredo, Texas. When the city planned to construct the highway through downtown Duluth, it was originally intended to be four stories tall. The citizens were concerned that the highway would ruin the view from the city (which has a footprint that climbs up a steep hill from the lakeshore). The local folks nixed the original plans and reworked the design so that a tunnel allowed cars to pass through downtown - preserving the view. This mosaic mural depicts the history of the city as the highway runs parallel to the Lake walk. There are cars traveling at 60 miles an hour on the other side of that concrete wall.

Interstate 35 starts in Duluth and goes south all the way to Laredo, Texas. When the city planned to construct the highway through downtown Duluth, it was originally intended to be four stories tall. The citizens were concerned that the highway would ruin the view from the city (which has a footprint that climbs up a steep hill from the lakeshore). The local folks nixed the original plans and reworked the design so that a tunnel allowed cars to pass through downtown – preserving the view. This mosaic mural depicts the history of the city as the highway runs parallel to the Lake walk. There are cars traveling at 60 miles an hour on the other side of that concrete wall.

Part of Duluth's Lake Walk.

Part of Duluth’s Lake Walk.

A marina across the channel from Canal Park.

A marina across the channel from Canal Park.

The view from our front window at Ogston's RV Park.

The view from our front window at Ogston’s RV Park.

Michigan Part III: Marquette

When we left Wisconsin, we drove north along the shore of Green Bay until we crossed into the Upper Peninsula of Michigan. Our destination was Marquette, the most populated city in the U.P. with only about 25,000 citizens. I think I will make it official and say that this was one of my favorite stops on our trip so far! We stayed at a municipal park and campground on the north side of town and the location was perfect! We had access to walking trails in all directions, and we could get almost anywhere in town via a 30-minute bike ride. The town was charming and historic, the natural scenery was spectacular, we were on the shores of Lake Superior, and the people were very friendly. The locals up there are called Yoopers. They are a hearty, durable, and good-natured bunch. I guess you would have to be in order to survive one of their winters! Everyone was extremely active and fit. People were out on the trails walking, running or bicycling regardless of weather conditions. All cars had some sort of sports gear strapped to the roofs (kayaks, bikes, paddle boards). Everyone seemed to be on a quest to enjoy the summer weather at all costs. The weather while we were there at the end of June was cool and crisp. It didn’t get dark until after 10PM. We stayed very busy because there was so much to do and see. To this blog post I am attaching more photos than I have in any other post since our trip began because everywhere we looked we saw something beautiful or interesting.

A view of our site at the Marquette Tourist Park.

A view of our site at the Marquette Tourist Park.

Piper did not know about chip monks before we visited Marquette. He now has a new obsession.

Piper did not know about chip monks before we visited Marquette. He now has a new obsession.

The Dead River on the northern boundary of our campground.

The Dead River on the northern boundary of our campground.

As we were arriving at our spot at the Marquette Tourist Park, we had to wait for this baby skunk to cross the road in front of us. There were six of these cute and scary critters running around our side of the campground. I was terrified one of the dogs would get sprayed. What the heck would we do with a skunked dog in this motor coach! As it turns out, the dogs did not get sprayed... but one of the campground workers did while she was mowing the grass. Eventually, they were all trapped and relocated to a more remote recreation area.

As we were arriving at our spot at the Marquette Tourist Park, we had to wait for this baby skunk to cross the road in front of us. There were six of these cute and scary critters running around our side of the campground. I was terrified one of the dogs would get sprayed. What the heck would we do with a skunked dog in this motor coach! As it turns out, the dogs did not get sprayed… but one of the campground workers did while she was mowing the grass. Eventually, they were all trapped and relocated to a more remote recreation area.

This is the view from most of our walks in Marquette.

This is the view from most of our walks in Marquette.

The Wooden Nickel is a fun dive bar near the University. We stopped in for happy hour one evening and had fun absorbing all the signs and pictures that adorned every inch of the walls and ceiling.

The Wooden Nickel is a fun dive bar near the University. We stopped in for happy hour one evening and had fun absorbing all the signs and pictures that adorned every inch of the walls and ceiling.

We saw a fox on one of our walks!

We saw a fox on one of our walks!

Some sandy beach in Marquette.

A sandy beach in Marquette.

I happened to be cruising around Presque Isle when this sea plane landed near the harbor. He taxied up the boat ramp and dropped off his passenger. Then the turned around, went back into the water and flew away. What a fun sight to see!

I happened to be cruising around Presque Isle when this sea plane landed near the harbor. He taxied up the boat ramp and dropped off his passenger. Then he turned around, went back into the water and flew away. What a fun sight to see!

The sea plane taxis out of the Presque Isle Harbor, preparing for take-off.

The sea plane taxis out of the Presque Isle Harbor, preparing for take-off.

 

Pasties are a Michigan thing. They might even be a more exclusive U.P. thing. I first learned about them when we visited Mackinac early last fall. Pie crust filled with ground meat, diced potatoes and diced rutabaga. The ultimate comfort food. Beware though... they are pronounced paastie (soft A). When I ordered my first one, I pronounced it more like what one would wear if dancing with a pole. Everyone knew I was a tourist at the counter. Before we left Marquette I stocked my freezer with 4 of them. Simple and delicious.

Pasties are a Michigan thing. They might even be a more exclusive U.P. thing. I first learned about them when we visited Mackinac early last fall. Pie crust filled with ground meat, diced potatoes and diced rutabaga. The ultimate comfort food. Beware though… they are pronounced paastie (soft A). When I ordered my first one, I pronounced it more like what one would wear if dancing with a pole. Everyone knew I was a tourist at the counter. Before we left Marquette I stocked my freezer with 4 of them. Simple and delicious.

Mikey watching golf on a Sunday afternoon.

Mikey watching golf on a Sunday afternoon.

Live performance art at the downtown Farmer's Market.

Live performance art at the downtown Farmer’s Market.

There was one food truck in Marquette. I never got a chance to sample the fare, which was unfortunate. He was parked all over town - different locations on different days. Sometimes as I was driving through town, I would see folks lined up and waiting for the truck to arrive so they could order lunch. Must be pretty good food if your customers sit and wait for you to drive up and serve them!

There was one food truck in Marquette. I never got a chance to sample the fare, which was unfortunate. He was parked all over town – different locations on different days. Sometimes as I was driving through town, I would see folks lined up and waiting for the truck to arrive so they could order lunch. Must be pretty good food if your customers sit and wait for you to drive up and serve them!

We actually went to church with the Methodists in Marquette, but I stopped into this beautiful cathedral on a couple of occasions to light candles for friends and family (as well as for us to continue our adventure with safe travels and positive outlooks).

We actually went to church with the Methodists in Marquette, but I stopped into this beautiful cathedral on a couple of occasions to light candles for friends and family (as well as for us to continue our adventure with safe travels and positive outlooks).

The rail cars carry Iron Ore from the mines west of Marquette. When they reach the docks, the rail cars are emptied into the ships below. The most frequent destinations for the ships when they leave with a full load are Cleveland, Detroit, and Chicago.

The rail cars carry Iron Ore from the mines west of Marquette. When they reach the docks, the rail cars are emptied into the ships below. The most frequent destinations for the ships when they leave with a full load are Cleveland, Detroit, and Chicago.

A ship at the 100-year old Iron Ore Pocket Dock.

A ship at the 100-year old Iron Ore Pocket Dock.

Presque Isle is a municipal park on the north side of Marquette. You can see why it is considered the jewel of Marquette.

Presque Isle is a municipal park on the north side of Marquette. You can see why it is considered the jewel of Marquette.

Lake Superior or Gitche Gumee. With more than 10% of the world's fresh water, its 3 QUADRILLION gallons are home to 80 different species of fish and the resting place of 350 shipwrecks. Its area spans 31,280 square miles - 350 miles from east to west. Average depth is 483 feet, and its deepest point is 1,333 feet.

Lake Superior or Gitche Gumee. With more than 10% of the world’s fresh water, its 3 QUADRILLION gallons are home to 80 different species of fish and the resting place of 350 shipwrecks. Its area spans 31,280 square miles – 350 miles from east to west. Average depth is 483 feet, and its deepest point is 1,333 feet.

The waters off of Presque Isle.

The waters off of Presque Isle.

World's largest glacial copper. Weighs in at 28.2 tons. A sign next to it implores visitors and locals to support the campaign to preserve this massive rock for public display.

World’s largest glacial copper. Weighs in at 28.2 tons. A sign next to it implores visitors and locals to support the campaign to preserve this massive rock for public display.

A nice family of geese strolling along the bike path on a sunny afternoon.

A nice family of geese strolling along the bike path on a sunny afternoon.

Piper was on guard at all times he was outside. Between the squirrels, skunks, and chip monks... the poor boy never got any down time.

Piper was on guard at all times he was outside. Between the squirrels, skunks, and chip monks… the poor boy never got any down time.

A big trout that Mike caught near Wichita, Kansas - out of the brine and ready for the smoker.

A big trout that Mike caught near Wichita, Kansas – out of the brine and ready for the smoker.

Mike's make-shift smoker. Works amazingly well!

Mike’s make-shift smoker. Works amazingly well!

The trout is smoked!

The trout is smoked!

Smoked trout dinner.

Smoked trout dinner.

The marina at the edge of downtown Marquette.

The marina at the edge of downtown Marquette.

Lake Superior rules the weather in Marquette. We were exploring the bars and restaurants in downtown when a fog rolled into the southern part of the city center. It was crystal clear where we were standing, but visibility was only 1-foot three blocks down the street.

Lake Superior rules the weather in Marquette. We were exploring the bars and restaurants in downtown when a fog rolled into the southern part of the city center. It was crystal clear where we were standing, but visibility was only 1-foot three blocks down the street.

What is better that surprise crawfish at dinner? Live southern music to go along with our food!

What is better than surprise crawfish at dinner? Live southern music to go along with our food!

We were in Marquette during "Art Week". A surprise visit from the local barbershop quartet made our dinner at Lagniappe that much more fun!

We were in Marquette during “Art Week”. A surprise visit from the local barbershop quartet made our dinner at Lagniappe that much more fun!

Interestingly enough, one of the best restaurants in Marquette turns out to be Lagniappe Cajun Eatery. (Their radio commercials boast 70 NON-spicy recipes for the yoopers)! ha ha. You might be able to tell that we went a little crazy getting our Cajun fix at dinner that evening. First of all, we were shocked to learn they had live crawfish (flown in every Wednesday). The mudbugs were $12.00 per pound, so we were conservative and ordered just 2 pounds. Then to our order we added blackened alligator, hush puppies, fried cheese grits and red beans & rice - all extra spicy!

Interestingly enough, one of the best restaurants in Marquette turns out to be Lagniappe Cajun Eatery. (Their radio commercials boast 70 NON-spicy recipes for the yoopers)! ha ha. You might be able to tell that we went a little crazy getting our Cajun fix at dinner that evening. First of all, we were shocked to learn they had live crawfish (flown in every Wednesday). The mudbugs were $12.00 per pound, so we were conservative and ordered just 2 pounds. Then to our order we added blackened alligator, hush puppies, fried cheese grits and red beans & rice – all extra spicy!

Mount Marquette Ski Area. (The scenic overlook we were in search of was actually on the OTHER side of the mountain).

Mount Marquette Ski Area. (The scenic overlook we were in search of was actually on the OTHER side of the mountain).

I heard about a scenic overlook on Mount Marquette and convinced Mike to go find it with me. The expedition turned into a bit of a scavenger hunt. At first, we went to the wrong side of the mountain. I got better directions from a lady working in the ski area. We drove across town and found the obscure road (with no signage) that took us up to the top. I think the unpaved mountain road literally went STRAIGHT UP. I happened to be driving, so when we reached the overlook the engine smelled like it was on fire. I asked Mike if it was our car that was indeed smoking. He confirmed that yes, "you are just hard on cars". After we looked around and took some photos of the beautiful view, he enthusiastically offered to drive us back down to level land! I'm not sure which one of us was more frightened on the way to the top... me in the driver's seat - or him on the passenger's side.

I heard about a scenic overlook on Mount Marquette and convinced Mike to go find it with me. The expedition turned into a bit of a scavenger hunt. At first, we went to the wrong side of the mountain. I got better directions from a lady working in the ski area. We drove across town and found the obscure road (with no signage) that took us up to the top. I think the unpaved mountain road literally went STRAIGHT UP. I happened to be driving, so when we reached the overlook the engine smelled like it was on fire. I asked Mike if it was our car that was indeed smoking. He confirmed that yes, “you are just hard on cars”. After we looked around and took some photos of the beautiful view, he enthusiastically offered to drive us back down to level land! I’m not sure which one of us was more frightened on the way to the top… me in the driver’s seat – or him on the passenger’s side.

Looking west from Mount Marquette.

Looking west from Mount Marquette.

The swimming section of the lake at Marquette Tourist Park. The temperatures were too chilly to get in the water during the 2 weeks of our visit.

The swimming section of the lake at Marquette Tourist Park. The temperatures were too chilly to get in the water during the 2 weeks of our visit.

Iron Ore is a big deal in the Upper Peninsula. All the rocks are black.

Iron Ore is a big deal in the Upper Peninsula. All the rocks are black.

One of the exhibits in the Maritime Museum illustrated how the coast guard rescued crew members from ships that  wrecked just off the coastline.

One of the exhibits in the Maritime Museum illustrated how the coast guard rescued crew members from ships that wrecked just off the coastline.

A lighthouse lense in the Marquette Maritime Museum.

A lighthouse lense in the Marquette Maritime Museum.

McMarty's Cove Beach, from the lighthouse. This is a great picture, aside from the power line running through the middle of it!

McMarty’s Cove Beach, from the lighthouse. This is a great picture, aside from the power line running through the middle of it!

A view of the northern part of Marquette - snapped from the shore by the lighthouse. You can see the Superior Dome, the Power Plant, and Presque Isle. The Ore Docks are there too, just too small to see.

A view of the northern part of Marquette – snapped from the shore by the lighthouse. You can see the Superior Dome, the Power Plant, and Presque Isle. The Ore Docks are there too, just too small to see.

The only reason I insisted that we buy a ticket for a guided tour of the Marquette Lighthouse was because I thought that ticket would get us access to walk out onto the breakwater. As it turns out - the Federal No Trespassing Sign at the beginning of the path is just for show...the locals do not pay attention to the barrier.  I was able to walk out onto the breakwater for free. However, the lighthouse tour turned out to be very interesting. If we had not bought our tickets, we would not have been able to go out to the end of this catwalk and see the view from a different perspective.

The only reason I insisted that we buy a ticket for a guided tour of the Marquette Lighthouse was because I thought that ticket would get us access to walk out onto the breakwater. As it turns out – the Federal No Trespassing Sign at the beginning of the path is just for show…the locals do not pay attention to the barrier. I was able to walk out onto the breakwater for free. However, the lighthouse tour turned out to be very interesting. If we had not bought our tickets, we would not have been able to go out to the end of this catwalk and see the view from a different perspective.

A full campground at the Marquette Tourist Park.

A full campground at the Marquette Tourist Park.

A view from the beginning of my walk out to the edge of the Marquette breakwater. The only other person I saw that morning was just coming back to land as I was heading out. As we passed, he looked at me and said 'enjoy'. It was at that moment that I realized I had the place all to myself on that beautiful morning. It was kind of like church in nature instead of in a building. I'm glad he took the time to point out the obvious, because I don't think I would have clued in to how special the moment was without his insight.

A view from the beginning of my walk out to the edge of the Marquette breakwater. The only other person I saw that morning was just coming back to land as I was heading out. As we passed, he looked at me and said ‘enjoy’. It was at that moment that I realized I had the place all to myself on that beautiful morning. It was kind of like church in nature instead of in a building. I’m glad he took the time to point out the obvious, because I don’t think I would have clued in to how special the moment was without his insight.

Sunday morning in Marquette.

Sunday morning in Marquette.

A full view of Marquette from the far end of the breakwater that surrounds the city's harbor.

A full view of Marquette from the far end of the breakwater that surrounds the city’s harbor.

These two ducks and I had the harbor all to ourselves on the Sunday morning that I walked out to the edge of the breakwater.

These two ducks and I had the harbor all to ourselves on the Sunday morning that I walked out to the edge of the breakwater.

Our last campfire in Michigan.

Our last campfire in Michigan.

The Superior Dome, which opened as the "world’s largest wooden dome" on September 14, 1991, is a domed stadium on the campus of Northern Michigan University. I wonder how high the snow gets on the sides of the buildings in the winter.  I don't think I would want to be there in person to find out.

The Superior Dome, which opened as the “world’s largest wooden dome” on September 14, 1991, is a domed stadium on the campus of Northern Michigan University. I wonder how high the snow gets on the sides of the buildings in the winter. I don’t think I would want to be there in person to find out.

A ship leaving the Ore Docks.

A ship leaving the Ore Docks.

By the time we get up and get moving (without rushing around) on travel days, it is usually around 11AM when we pull out of our site. Leaving Marquette, we had a five-hour drive to Duluth, MN. We were extra efficient that morning, and Mike started the engine at 9:45. Everything powered up like usual... and then the engine died. Mike got the manual out, and I took a short walk to try and stay out of the way while he did his trouble shooting. He couldn't identify any obvious solutions, so we ended up calling a Cummins Shop in the next town over. Lucky for us, they arrived to help us only 45 minutes after we placed the call. As it turns out it was a fuel-water sensor that Monaco had installed after the engine was built. The service man disconnected it for us and we were able to make the drive with no problems at all. Mike is still working on ordering a replacement, but we are not hindered until the new one is installed.

By the time we get up and get moving (without rushing around) on travel days, it is usually around 11AM when we pull out of our site. Leaving Marquette, we had a five-hour drive to Duluth, MN. We were extra efficient that morning, and Mike started the engine at 9:45. Everything powered up like usual… and then the engine died. Mike got the manual out, and I took a short walk to try and stay out of the way while he did his trouble shooting. He couldn’t identify any obvious solutions, so we ended up calling a Cummins Shop in the next town over. Lucky for us, they arrived to help us only 45 minutes after we placed the call. As it turns out it was a fuel-water sensor that Monaco had installed after the engine was built. The service man disconnected it for us and we were able to make the drive with no problems at all. Mike is still working on ordering a replacement, but we are not hindered until the new one is installed.