I have just taken a new job in Great Falls, Montana. A new state and new areas to explore.
By: joealaska , 1:56 AM GMT on May 07, 2012
Saturday morning I stayed in Hurley and played some golf. EAGLE BLUFF.
It is one of those courses that just appears on the horizon, so I checked it out driving into town Friday afternoon. It looked good.
Saturday morning was much calmer and warmer. There was hardly anyone around when I pulled in. The guy who met me when I walked in was very nice. He told me he was training a new person.
I sat back and enjoyed the show. He told me there were only a couple people out ahead of me.
The first tee was awesome. Hit from high up on a ridge straight down.
The front nine ended with a par 3. The back nine began with a par 3. The back nine ended with a par 3. It was a fun course. The golf was marginal.
I finished and headed east on RT 2. Right away I was into Michigan. I was going to see a LOT of Michigan. The road went through deep forest for many miles. I saw the turn off to Green Bay, 100 miles SOUTH. I was getting relatively close to THE BRIDGE, all I needed was to put in a decent drive then pull in when I saw something near the water. MANISTIQUE, Michigan. Right on the lake. Lake Michigan.
Near this point is the MOST northern edge of the lake. This was an historical geographic point, at least for awhile. In the early 1800s the USA was growing westward. This NORTHERN tip of Lake Michigan was set as the westernmost point of USA territories at the time. A line was drawn straight south from there, splitting the lake. Later it moved further west and the whole subject became droll.
The whole area is summer water wonderland. There are many hotels still not open. The season kicks in Memorial Day. Right now it is like a ghost town.
I was the first person to check in Saturday afternoon. The stuck me in the back.
Up early today. Nice sunrise. It would be a good day with a lot of driving by the water. I took a lot of pictures, but still took only 2 hours to get to The Mackinac Bridge. Just as I said aloud WATCH FOR THE BRIDGE it was there in sight.
28 feet short of 5 miles long. I drove around the northern end to see what was there. Looked like all the golf was on the south end. So I just crossed that big boy. $4 toll. Took film and pics. The inside lanes in both directions were perforated steel, so you could look straight down. It was a good ride. The radio had a station that told the history of the bridge. Good stuff.
At the far end I got off and looked for a spot for more photos of the bridge. I went to the edge of the water right by the bridge. I started a short walk when the bugs hit. I assumed mosquitos. Suddenly they were everywhere. When I slowed down to swat, they swarmed my face and head. I only had 50 feet to go, NOTHING stopping me now.... I started to run, and the swarm thickened. They were in my mouth. I stopped again to swat away, and I looked at my chest. There were a few hundred hanging everywhere, including my arms. I made one last step toward the water, and I swear I felt the bugs on my body double. I felt the cloud swirling all around me. Was this the beginning of the end? Would I be found on the beach next day as a small pile of fly leftovers? I could not believe I was unable to get to the water, and I turned back. When I got in the car, I brought a few hundred with me. I drove a half mile away and tried again, same thing. I gave up.
Shortly I talked to a LOCAL about the swarms, he said this was a prime year for the bugs. They are not mosquitos, but they do bite. But the bite is nothing and goes away. If I had known all THIS I may have slogged on to the water.
I saw another guy drive by with his windows UP and he was swatting at some inside with him.
This turned me off from staying around the area. So I headed south along the edge of Lake Michigan on the western edge of the state. I wanted to find a golf course eventually, but now the rain started and continued most of the day. So I enjoyed the ride. There were MANY nice courses I passed. It is golf heaven in the area. Traverse City is a hub. I went a bit further to Manistee, where tonight I lodge.
TOMORROW: I will finally tell you about the TSA incident I had way back in Anchorage, where the TSA showed how much they do not like me bringing a 5 LB sock full of loose change thru the security.
AND: The worst salad spill EVER!!
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