Indian Lake State Park is stretched out across the southern edge of Indian Lake, the fourth largest inland lake in the U.P. and is in the middle of the Hiawatha National Forest. It is 6 miles long and 3 miles wide. The land was acquired in 1932 and the 2 picnic shelters, which are made of huge, black logs and large sandstone blocks were built using CCC and WPA workers. We selected one of the few available lakefront campsites and H deftly backed the condo in at an angle that would allow the best view from the back window. It was so close to the waters edge that during the night you could easily listen to the waves lapping the shoreline. It was going to be perfect for sliding the portabote off the truck and practically right into the water - - IF all the ducks would get out of the way! Families of ducks and ducklings of various sizes called this shoreline home! The weather was gray and cool so of course we felt the call of town and headed back the four miles to Manistique to reacquaint ourselves with this busy little historic town. The red brick 1921 water tower and nearby siphon-bridge are still listed on all the brochures! The harbor was hosting their annual salmon and trout fishing tournament but we arrived there just as the winners were being announced. Downtown was quaint and had more full stores than empty and the shopkeepers greeted everyone who entered their shops. On Monday, it was way too windy and the waves were topped with whitecaps so the boat stayed on top of the truck a bit longer! Our campground hosts, Ralph and Karen are real Yoopers – accent and all and shared local information and gave me a cute story about the “Creation of the U.P”! They even served coffee every morning, starting at 8 a.m. Bud and Carol arrived from their trip up thru Wisconsin and we all relaxed and caught up with each other’s travel adventures!
Pasties were on the “must find” list for Tuesday so we all loaded in Bud’s Chevy Equinox and headed north to Lake Superior and the small town of Munising, the home of Murdock’s Pasties AND of course the Pictured Rocks National Seashore. The last time the 4 of us were in Munising, B&C attempted to see the beautiful sea sculptures by water but were turned back by the fog. The boats were not venturing out in the wet/windy weather today either. It was even TOO cold to order pasties at Murdock’s and sit outside to eat them. We stopped at the Visitor’s Center and then drove up the road and walked the short pathway up to see the 20-foot vertical drop of Munising Falls. There was plenty of white spray coming over the high cliff and splashing down on the rocks and tree trunks that had fallen in its path before stumbling and bubbling down the rocky creek-bed. We did find our pasties at Shooters Firehouse Grill and were almost as good as Murdock’s! Our return trip home always requires a different route back and we ended up on a forest road heading south. One side-venture turned into a 2-track road that even dared to boast a sign that stated it was an “Adopt a Road” – and it dead-ended into a small boat launch and a pretty little lake!
Wednesday started out windy – AGAIN, so we headed to town for breakfast! The Cedar Street Café was the mutual choice and H and I chose to split a “Garbage Omelet”! Well worth the price and PLENTY for us to share! From there we strolled out onto the long cement break-wall, lined with huge quarried boulders, built out into Lake Michigan to protect the harbor and the mouth of the Indian River. At the very end of the jutted barrier was the bright red Manistique light house.Back at the campground, since the sun had come out and the winds chose not to blow any longer, it was time to get the boat in the water! We sure were not going to get another chance on this lake. Off the truck, unfolded and put together, it slid easily into the shallow (now calm) water. Off we went, mighty fishermen, out across the vast open waters! Again, the fish, teased us by nibbling and yanking at our lures. Finally, H landed his feisty small mouth bass. I followed with a nice sized brightly colored yellow perch! His bass was bigger than my perch but my perch was at least big enough to keep! We didn’t. Three more small perch made it to the boat before we called it quits and headed back to shore to regale about our fishing prowess to B&C!! After “Happy Hour” the clouds moved back in and before our supper was over, the winds and rain returned. Oh well, time to pack down anyway because it was time to head out in the morning. We’ve more places to go before we have to go south instead of going further north.