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July 21st, 2017              

Samantha's boyfriend Derek was staying with us from out of town, and Sam wanted to show him some of the sights of Michigan. She opted for a drive to the Tahquamenon Falls in the upper peninusla. In addition to Sam & Derek, we were joined by Tyler and his girlfriend Rose, as well as Drew, Jayden, and my niece Marissa.

Our first stop, after crossing the mighty Mackinac Bridge, was at the Bridge View Park in St. Ignace for some photo opportunities.

 

Bridge View Park

Samantha, Derek, Drew, Rose, Tyler, Marissa, and Jayden posing for a picture on the rocks with the Mackinac Bridge in the background.

Tyler and Rose laughing at something while standing on the rocks.

Another shot of the kids on the rocks.

Tyler and Rose exploring some of the park waterfront.

A look out at the Mackinac Straights and the Mackinac Bridge.

Sam and Marissa posing for a picture in front of the bridge.

Jayden taking her turn posing in front of the bridge.

Drew standing for a photo in front of the bridge.

After leaving St. Ignace and the Bridge View Park we headed north and west to the lower Tahquamenon Falls. Once we arrived we found a spot out front to enjoy the lunch that we had packed before truly beginning our adventure.

The whole point of our trip was to do some wading and swimming in the Tahquamenon River and falls, but when we made the hike to our usual entry point into the river we found that the river was flowing far to fast to make venturing out a safe matter. We tried to go across at a couple of different locations (and Derek tried even further up stream) but found the same problem everywhere. This pretty much put a bust on the whole reason we made the 4+ hour drive here, but we had no choice but to make the best of it. At least the scenery was pretty!

 

Tahquamenon Falls

A look across the Tahquamenon River and the bubbles caused by the many falls.

Jayden and Samantha exploring on the rocks after enjoying their lunch.

Drew hiking down the stairs towards the river after lunch.

The sign that greets visitors upon entry to the trails to the falls.

A friendly little chipmunk stood nearby as we walked along the trails.

Drew, Jay, Tyler, Rose, Marissa, Derek, and Sam posing on a small bridge across a stream that leads to the falls.

Another shot of the kids on the bridge.

A look up the falls.

Rodney trying to keep his balance as Derek looks on...

...and tries to make sure he doesn't go floating down the river!

Rod talking to Rose, Sam, and Marissa.

Rodney walking down one of the wooden trails.

Rose and Tyler posing for a picture in front of the river.

A shot looking up the river.

Samantha posing for a photo on a rock in the river.

Jayden doing her best "Little Mermaid" impression.

Jay posing for a picture on the rock.

Tyler photo-bombing Marissa as she poses for a picture.

A shot of Marissa on the rock in the river (without anyone hanging out in the background).

Marissa, Sam, and Jay posing for a picture (on a rock that is slanted in such a way that it makes their height differences even greater!).

Another shot of the girls, this time with the order reversed to even things up a bit.

Sam and Jay getting ready to give each other a foamy high-five (with the bubbles from the river)...

...and making contact...

...while sending bubbles everywhere!

A close-up of a dragonfly that was on a plant near our hangout for the afternoon.

An even closer look at the dragonfly.

Another view of the dragonfly, this time on another plant.

This is what is left of the tree that Tyler used to take his yearly pictures on.

One last look at the Tahquamenon Falls.

After leaving the falls we made a quick stop at a picnic area on Lake Superior so that the kids could dip their toes into the water as well as take some photos. Here are some of those shots...

 

Lake Superior

Tyler, Rose, Marissa, Jayden, Drew, Samantha, and Derek posing for a picture on a log.

Tyler making his way back from being out on the small break wall.

Drew posing for a picture on a rock.

Drew getting his feet wet in the cold waters of Lake Superior.

Sam and Derek posing for a photo in front of the lake.

Jay posing for a shot on the same rock that Drew was on.

Since we didn't get to spend as much time as we would have liked at the falls, we decided that we would try to check out some other Michigan sights. We talked about the Sleeping Bear Sand Dunes, but that was too far of a drive from where we were. We opted to head to Sault Ste. Marie to check out the Soo Locks instead.

 

Sault Ste. Marie

A look at the empty Macarthur Lock.

This little cart was pulling a porta-potty on a dolly behind the cart...

...but when it hit the gap in the walkway between the doors is came to a complete halt, pulling the poor guy who was holding the handle right off with it!

The CSL Welland pulling in to the Poe Lock going northbound.

The CSL Welland nearly all the way into the lock.

A look at the tower of the freighter.

The big ship all the way forward in the lock.

The tower is getting higher as the lock fills with water.

You can now see under the rear of the boat as the lock reaches full capacity.

The CSL Welland leaving the lock...

...and churning up the water behind her as the engines are working hard to get her moving.

The CSL Welland leaving the lock.

A map painted on the ground outside of the visitors center.

We made two more stops before arriving at home tonight. The first was in Mackinaw City at the Michilimackinac State Park to take some more pictures and give the kids to touch foot in a third great lake today (Huron, after Lakes Michigan and Superior earlier in the day - and yes, technically the Michigan and Huron lakes are considered the Straights of Mackinac, but c'mon, it's all the same water, so close enough!).

We also made a stop for dinner, but there were no exciting photos from that event!

 

Mackinaw City

A pirate ship making it's way through the straights.

The Mackinac Bridge.

Drew trying to skip a rock...

...as Jay stands nearby...

...while avoiding getting hit.

Geese in front of the Mackinac Bridge.

A sailboat that had passed under the bridge.

Mackinaw Island in the distance.

The sailboat past the tip of the upper peninsula.

The Old Mackinac Point Lighthouse in Mackinaw City.

Samantha and Derek in front of the bridge.

Drew in front of the bridge.

Jayden in front of the bridge.

Marissa in front of the bridge...

...and then having a reaction to something going on near her!


 

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