We had a scare yesterday, and initially thought we were going to have to scrub the rest of the trip when one of the front trailer jacks (called a "landing gear") stopped working. It meant we could no longer decouple the trailer from the truck, which is a major problem, to say the least. After making some calls and giving it some thought, Mike came up with a work-around that allowed us to continue. I can report this morning that his work-around is working, and we are doing okay. We should be able to limp home without any problem, paying attention to only stopping on level campsites. (I'll say more about that later.) For now, I'll say I need to confess, that it's probably my fault that the jack is effed up and here's why.
It has to do with the State of the States. Remember when I showed you I'd stuck Wisconsin on the map? Well, I tempted fate by sticking Michigan up there at the same time. We were traveling to Michigan the next day, and I figured, why clean off the side of the trailer twice? It's only one day, right?
Well Fate, having been tempted, could not resist the urge and scared us into thinking that Michigan was off the map before we'd even arrived. But we made it, thanks to Mike and his problem-solving skills. Who says engineers can't spell? Oh wait. That doesn't work. Anyhooo...
So here's how the map looks now. I'm thinking we're not adding any states on the way back, but one never knows. We are a few days behind schedule, which means that some things on the itinerary are going to be forfeited. If I can figure a way to drive through Iowa and Nebraska, you know I will do it.
Here's the sticker sheet with the states we have not yet visited. As a Marine brat, I've been in quite a few of these states. Heck, I've lived in quite a few of them. We've just not visited as a couple with our RV.
But on with yesterday's journey. We drove through the little town of Ashland, Wisconsin, where they appear to be building an ark.
We traveled through quite a few little picturesque towns yesterday, this one below being the most patriotic of the bunch. There were flags everywhere...no real explanation for them beyond just loving our country. They'll get no argument from me.
And shortly thereafter, Michigan! Yahoo!
And, Michigan, we are loving your roads!
We stopped off for lunch at this lovely little spot. This is Lake Gogebic.
Fall is coming, my friends. We saw signs of it all the way yesterday.
Just before arriving in Munising yesterday, we drove through the little town of Christmas, which appears to exist for no other reason than to sell Christmas ornaments. And who do you suppose we saw there?
We are camped right alongside Lake Superior for two nights. Look north, and this is what you see.
Look south, and you see bright sunshine. I had to take this shot using the low-key setting on my camera.
Look straight out, and I believe you see Grand Island.
Turn directly around 180 degrees, and you can see our trailer.
This is a unique little bay here because it is sheltered on both sides and by the island, which means it doesn't bear the full brunt of the storms on Lake Superior. On the other side, there is a low mountain range. here's a panorama of the area. It's cut off on the left side because of the bright sunshine.
There is a sandy beach. If I didn't know better, I might think I was standing on a beach of the Pacific Ocean. The water extends on and on to the horizon. Minnesota is on the other side, but we can't see it.
Here's Mike's work-around. He uses the airbags on the truck somehow. He explained it to me, but it's not worth explaining to you. He can raise and lower the truck that way and ease it out from under the trailer. Then he used a manual jack to level and support this side of the trailer. It's a short jack, and so it requires those little plastic platforms to get it up high enough to reach the frame on the trailer.
We were wanting to try the local cuisine of "pasties" (pronounced with a short "A", as in "apple"). I had to ask my Facebook friends what they are, and we were told they were a sort of hand-held pot pie. The local watering hole and brewery served them up, and we had a coupon from the RV park where we're staying.
The "firehouse" lounge is right across from the Munising fire and police complex.
They brew beer, but I'm not a beer drinker. I always order some hard cider if it's available. I always love the labels on the bottles. Looks refreshing, no?
While we waited for our food, we perused their Firefighters' Wall of Fame.
Firefighters and police from all over the state and country had signed the wall.
Give a comedian a platform, and he'll tell a joke:
At least one memorial to a police officer:
I looked for and found a woman's name:
And there it is...dinner! Our very first pasties. They were served up with coleslaw and some dipping gravy. It was a little too hot to hold in our hands, and so we ate ours with knife and fork. I imagine the folks in the restaurant laughed and pointed after we left.
And then, we headed back to our trailer and enjoyed a gorgeous sunset.
It reflected in the water on the shore.
This morning, my little buddy is helping me write this post, making sure I don't leave anything out. There is a squirrel running around outside that is about to drive him crazy.
Today, we're taking a much-needed day to just hang out while we wait for our boat cruise to the Pictured Rocks. It doesn't leave until 5:45. Mike needs to make a trip to the hardware store, and I'll check out a few gift shops. We need to pick up our tickets for the cruise as well. Tomorrow, we'll start heading for home.
I didn't want to stop today without posting this image I swiped off Facebook of Erik and Mae (on the left). They celebrated their fifth wedding anniversary in Hawaii this year when the attended (as they always do) the first away game of the Oregon State Beavers football team. This year, happily, the game was played in Hawaii. It was Mae's first trip, Erik's second trip. They're looking pretty happy there, aren't they? That's Diamond Head in the background.
Happy anniversary, my dears...and many more to come.
And I almost forgot to tell you this last little tidbit of information that I wrote yesterday. I wanted to follow up with some information about the rocky landscape around Lake Superior. My thanks go to Marie who shared this interesting bit about the geology of the area with me. Recall the image I showed you of the lakeshore at Gooseberry Falls State Park:
Here's what Marie shared with me:
Canadian Shield or Laurentian Plateau (lôrĕnˈchən) [key], U-shaped region of ancient rock, the nucleus of North America, stretching N from the Great Lakes to the Arctic Ocean. Covering more than half of Canada, it also includes most of Greenland and extends into the United States as the Adirondack Mts. and the Superior Highlands. The first part of North America to be permanently elevated above sea level, it has remained almost wholly untouched by successive encroachments of the sea upon the continent. It is the earth's greatest area of exposed Archaean-age rock; the metamorphic rocks of which it is largely composed were probably formed in the Precambrian. Repeatedly uplifted and eroded, it is today an area of low relief (c.1,000–2,000 ft/305–610 m above sea level) with a few monadnocks and low mountain ranges (including the Torngat and Laurentian Mts.) probably eroded from the plateau during the Cenozoic era. During the Pleistocene epoch, continental ice sheets depressed the land surface (see Hudson Bay), scooped out thousands of lake basins, and carried away much of the region's soil. Drainage is generally very poor on the shield. The southern part of the shield has thick forests while the north is covered with tundra. The region is largely undeveloped but has great water-power potential and is a source of minerals, timber, and fur-bearing animals.
Here are the associated images:
When we toured the islands at Voyageurs, we were told that these were some of the oldest rocks on the planet, but we had no idea the vast size of these formations. Very interesting stuff. You guys are so smart. I do the looking, you do the 'splainin. Thanks again, Marie. And thanks also to Felicia who has been identifying all the wildflowers. Several others of you have chipped in as well, and I do appreciate your input.