Preface: For those who live in warmer climates, most boats in the northern latitudes are hauled out of the water in the fall and stored ‘on the hard’. This also means that we could not stay on the boat after haul-out and instead, we headed to Toronto to dog/house sit for my sister while she and her husband were travelling in Slovakia.
We finished the winterization on Gaviidae late in the day on Friday (October 9). With no place to stay other than to crawl back onto the boat, we opted to start our road trip heading east assuming that we would find a motel along the way. Our first stop was in Ashland, WI (23 miles away). We were informed there was nothing available in the area due to a 10K race that was scheduled for the next morning. Okay – we figured we’d just keep going and we’d find something further along.
We continued along Highway 2 enjoying beautiful fall colors and looking for a place to stay. We tried to use AirBnB, but intermittent internet and a 24-hour-response-time was not going to work in finding a place for that night. It did, however, give us a lead on Powder Hound Lodge in Bessemer, MI. Using the internet for the address, we followed our GPS to their doorway. We were greeted by Anne and Chris who were in the middle of a family gathering with a big fire burning in the fire pit. Kids were running every which way. They greeted us warmly, got a room ready, and embraced us as though we were part of their extended family.
We used their kitchen to heat up leftovers from the previous night’s dinner–Dan’s Mexican corn bread casserole. Afterwards, we sat at their huge wooden dining room table sharing stories of our sailing adventures and their life moving from Minneapolis to the Powderhorn ski area of Michigan.
The next morning we were treated to a breakfast of homemade caramel rolls and French Toast. Chris shared with us must-see scenic drives and hikes and off we went heading into the Porcupine Mountains for the second day of our road trip. We started by scouting Black River Harbor as a possible overnight stop on Gaviidae as we move east next summer.
We thoroughly enjoyed the day exploring water falls and fall vistas. Beautiful fall colors were everywhere. We were definitely hitting peak season in upper Michigan. Click here to see the fall colors at the Lookout in the Porcupine Mountains.
As late afternoon approached we started to search out lodging for the night. The challenges encountered the day before continued. We learned that Michigan Tech was having their Parents Weekend and every place to stay throughout the Keweenaw peninsula was booked.
We found a small roadside motel that had a couple of rooms left in Three Lakes, MI. Not very fancy and only one restaurant/bar to choose from but at least we weren’t sleeping in the car!
We cleared customs into Canada the next day at Sault Ste. Marie and used AirBnB to find a wonderful little place past Blind River called Lake Lauzon Resort. Sharon and Mark were excellent hosts and joined us for dinner (after Dan took over their kitchen!) Breakfast was amazing with fruit, baked French Toast (yum!), and muffins. Dan took this video from their docks before we left.
With time to spare before we needed to arrive in Toronto, we took Sharon and Mark’s advice and crossed over to Manitoulin Island. It was great to see the interior of the island. Up to this point, we had only seen Manitoulin’s shoreline and the harbors. The interior is dotted with farms; split rail fences zig and zag across the countryside.
We travelled down to South Baymouth and then took the ferry across to Tobermory on the Bruce Peninsula. I was amazed that it was only $68 Canadian for the trip including our car. Click here to see the Chi Cheemaun ferry as it comes into port at South Baymouth.
The winds had been blowing 20+ for a couple of days so the waves on the crossing were 7-10 feet on the beam. We were both fine but there were more than a few people braving the chilly temps to stay in the fresh air. More than a few sick bags disappeared from trays on the tables while we were underway.
From the Bruce Peninsula we headed into Toronto which is now our home till the middle of December.
October 9-13, 2015