Significantly north of the 46th parallel, it is late August, 79 ° F., and the local â€˜Câ€™ station sign provides an early warning, pre-empting nature itself, by announcing the arrival of â€œwinterizedâ€ diesel. Sidestepping the chips, candy bars, six dollar cigarettes, an array of jerked meats, and dozens of lottery choices on rolls larger than Charmin, I announce to the local high school beauty, â€œpump eleven, winterized dieselâ€.
â€Huh ?â€ She stares back blankly.
â€We still have four weeks before the onset of fall, whatâ€™s the rush to extinguish summer?â€, I ask politely.
Her petite finger points out the window to the gentle rain falling and blithely statesâ€¦â€¦â€summer snowâ€.
Even though spring was on fast forward, summer a myth in much of the country, the first maple leaf has taken on the hue ofred raspberry pudding and it is time to head north toward the 47th, the south shore of Lake Superior.
Taking a maiden voyage in the new-to-us 1985 Avion, anxious to discover its unique personality, the aluminum womb is certain to exhibit peculiarities. First night out is in the Munising, MI city park, a pleasant and roomy site, and because the electric hook-up is in the next zip code, the boondock option made the stunning sunset over still water even more enchanting.
A quiet Lake Superior at dusk The day had been spent cruising the Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore, a jewel of nature that extends from Grand Marais to Munising.Lynn, a.k.a. Mrs. Superior, prepares to embark on her maiden namesake, Miss SuperiorKayakers dwarfed beneath 150 foot wallSculpted rocks in an eerie gaze“Schoolhouse” Lighthouse, 1907, on Grand Island, perhaps the oldest on the Great Lakes
The first day has ended quietly. The next three days are planned in Houghton, MI, on the shore of Portage Lake, looking directly north to the Keweenaw Peninsula. The Avion, affectionately referred to by a friend as the “Towed Abode” has performed well aside from taking on a few ants. Perhaps we’ll nickname it the “Lantslide”. On to Copper Harbor.