Sunday, September 09, 2007

The Michigan UP

We've left Wisconsin behind and have travelled north into the Upper Peninsula of Michigan - the 'UP'. It's a quaint, quiet place and we've travelled along the shore of Lake Michiagan staying at State Parks along the way. In Mastinique we visited the nearby Palms Book SP, home to the Kitch-iti-kipi (made up name of course!!). It's a rather large natural spring, bubbling up through the ground at a whopping 10,000 gallons a minute. It's 45ft deep and 100ft across and the water is astonishingly clear. They've built a wooden self propelled raft which you winch out on a cable across the spring. In the middle of the raft there's a roof to cut down on sun glare on the water and you can look down into the water. You can quite clearly see the swirl of the sand at the bottom where the water comes through and there's a whole bunch of healthy large fish. It's just a shame its not a natural HOT spring. In fact the constant temperature of the water is a somewhat fresh 45 degrees! It doesn't freeze and it doesn't warm in the summer - just a constant 45 degrees - brrrrr!

The UP is also 'famous' for it's pasties. Yes, real, live CORNISH PASTIES!! We had to sample them and I have to say they were pretty darn good. Obviously this was beacuse they ARE the real thing - brought over by the Cornish miners that settled in the Northern parts of Michigan (although when we get back to UK I might have to have an Ivor Dwedney pasty in Plymouth just to compare!!)

We got all the way to the Mackinac Straits - the channel of water separating the 2 peninsulas of Michigan. It is linked by the Mackinac Bridge - the worlds 3rd longest suspension bridge at 5 miles long. It celebrated it's 50th anniversary this year - prior to that people travelling between the lower and upper peninsulas had waits of up to 18 hours for the ferry service on holiday weekends!!

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