And so this short break in Michigan’s Upper Peninsular draws to a close. Friday will find me on the road, back to the heat, humidity, and eternal flatness of Central Illinois.
The western Upper Peninsular has been an escape into paradise. Lush greenery, cool clear streams, verdant hillsides, lakes the size of inland seas. Above all, the weather has been so typically British.
Of the places visited, Houghton is without doubt the most appealing town. Nestled among hills on the banks of Portage Lake, this delightfully compact municipality has a sense of character frequently lacking in small town America.
At the bottom of Main Street, a sharp right-hander leads one without warning onto a glorious example of a double decked vertical lift bridge. In fact, built in 1959, it’s the widest and heaviest of its type in the world.
The main thoroughfare from Marquette to Houghton bejewels the traveler with a myriad of delights, not least the magnificence of Lake Michigamme as viewed from a roadside rest spot.
Marquette is a great base to explore the western Upper Peninsular. The harbor area on Lake Superior is a good place for a stroll in the evening and the sheer size of the old iron ore dock, built in 1911 and rumored to be still commercially active, dominates the view.
Sixty or so miles south of Marquette is Escanaba. While the town itself is not particularly impressive, its frontage onto Lake Michigan most certainly is. The large marina is a pleasure to stroll around, or just sit and admire the many boats entering and leaving its compact harbor, though some are definitely too large to be accommodated among the many yachts and sportsboats.
Even if you’re not into boating, the adjacent parkland with its ornamental fountain and acres of recreational space are there to be enjoyed to the full.
And……no, I didn’t stand and salute the flag. Sorry!
Sadly, I will be leaving it all behind me for now, but I’ll return to Illinois with fresh hope that one day, hopefully in the not too distant future, I’ll be coming back.
Filed under: It had to be good somewhere