Michigan, Wisconsin and Minnesota.
We woke up early, left Manistique a little after 6 a.m. and drove north through the Hiawatha State Forest through dawn mist rising through the piney woods -- and found it necessary to listen to "Misty Moisty Morning" as we drove, naturally. At Munising we swung west along the southern shore of Lake Superior and switched the music to "The Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald." But there were no wild storms or shipwrecks today; the water was as calm as molten silver.
This is Shelter Bay, between Au Train and Deerton. Deep fine golden sand, light breeze off the water blowing the pines, a great calm silence.
From Marquette we headed southwest, away from the grandeur of the Great Lake, past dozens of smaller lakes half-hidden in the pines. (It feels like a cross between Maine and the Adirondacks, only wider and wilder and without mountains.) In Trout Creek, Michigan, we found Agate Falls.
It's just a short walk from the highway to look down at the falls. Overhead, there's a stunning old trestle where trains used to cross at a dizzying height above the falls. Now, apparently, ATVs and snowmobiles do it. You could slither down the steep banks to get below the falls for better views, but we didn't.
Not far to the west, we reached Wisconsin. See how red the rocks are in the picture of the falls? It's iron mining country. The soil is red, the places often have Iron in their names (Ironwood, Iron Mountain, Iron County). The "Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald" is about iron boats, though I never paid attention to that part of the lyrics before. We swung back up to Lake Superior at beautiful Chequamegon Bay in Ashland, Wisconsin.
Then we drove due west to Duluth, where Uncle Don and Aunt Judy lived for a while when Don was stationed there early in his Coast Guard career. Duluth is very cool, with ships and factories and bridges rising high over the water and high steep bluffs crowding the harbor. (Not my picture.)
Then on into Minnesota. You have to say that right: Minnesoohhwwwtah, with more O's than we'd normally put into it. We're in Bemidji tonight, watching the baseball game. We took a walk earlier through the campus of Bemidji State University along the shore of Lake Bemidji to Diamond Point Park, where there are waves and gazebos and breezes and trees and remarkably comfortable Adirondack chairs.
Tomorrow: North Dakota.