I was up early and slipped out to photograph
more of Iron Mountain, Michigan, in particular the Millie Mine Bat Cave.
The cave is a 265' deep iron mine shaft which operated from 1880 and 1925.
A bat colony was discovered in the old mine in 1992 and the mouth of the
cave has been sealed to the public, but is still accessible to the four
species of bats which frequent the cave. The bats can be observed leaving
the cave at dusk in the spring and fall and it is believed that up to 50,000
bats hibernate in Millie Mine Bat Cave in the winter, taking advantages
of the year around temperature in the mid 40s in the cave.
There is nice scenic lookout a short hike away.
Millie Mine Bat Cave
Before returning to the room, I stopped at the Super
One Grocery to pick up some regional beverages for the trip. Vernors
Ginger Ale two liters were on sale for just 99 cents and I took the
four bottles of diet which were available. I bought a bottle of perry from
Peninsula Winery so we could decide if we wanted to buy more of their
wine on our way home and a bottle of straight bourbon whiskey from Traverse
City Whiskey Co.
On our way out of town, we stopped at a Fumee Falls
in a lovely roadside park on US-2 east of Iron Mountain.
We followed US-2 east across Michigan's Upper Peninsula,
enjoying the stretches which go along Lake Michigan and stopping for lunch
at Clyde's Drive In, in Manistique, Michigan. There are three Clyde's
Drive Ins in the Upper Peninsula, the others are in St. Ignace and Sault
Ste. Marie. The first one opened in 1949 and all three are very popular.
I've dined at the other two locations many times, but this was only my
second visit to this location. Due to Covid, there is presently no inside
dining, but many picnic tables have been added and the two women waiting
on the tables and cars were kept very busy.
Clyde's is famous for a 10 ounce burger which they call
the Big "C," but this early in our trip I wanted more fresh lake fish and
ordered a perch basket, while Linda got deep fried shrimp. Both meals were
good and I enjoyed the perch much more than the night before. Ring-billed
gulls can be real pests at the other two Clyde's locations, but we saw
none at the Manistique Clyde's. That made the meal much more pleasant.
Clyde's Drive In
Shrimp Basket and Perch Basket
When we arrived in St. Ignace, I gassed up and washed
the windshield before we crossed the Mackinac Bridge so I could take better
photos as we crossed the Straits of Mackinac. We also took photos of the
Mighty Mac from Bridge View Park on the north side of the Straits. There
was a chance that our trip might be cut short by a family emergency and
I wanted some "safety" photos so I would have at least a few 2021 photos
of the Mackinac Bridge to use on my web site MightyMac.org
and the associated Facebook
The Mighty Mac from Bridge View Park
On the causeway approaching the Mackinac Bridge
It was late enough in the afternoon that we went straight
to the Riviera Motel in Mackinaw City. We had one of the two rooms
on the end of the motel with the best possible view of the Mighty Mac.
We have stayed in the upper floor room 212 with the end
view several times before, but it had already been taken when I was booking
this trip and for the first time, we stayed in room 112. I actually liked
the first floor better, even though I think the view is slightly better
above. This room has a nicer bathroom and more furnishings than 212. It
is also easier transferring luggage without the stairs. We spent many hours
on the private balcony or along the nearby shore over the next two days.
We also played online versions of some table top games against each other
on our computers while enjoying the view and all the action of water, birds,
walkers, ferries and the traffic on the Mackinac Bridge.
I probably should stop recommending these rooms so much.
It gets a little harder to reserve them each year.
Room at the Riviera Motel
View of the Mighty Mac from our room, with the 650' Algoma Innovator
Our Balcony - only the two end rooms have balconies
We had supper at Darrow's Family Restaurant, just
a block from the bridge, where we both had whitefish fingers baskets. This
was the best fish we have had so far this trip.
Whitefish fingers basket
In the evening we visited a few of the gift and clothing
shops on Central Avenue in Mackinaw City and took photos from various places
around Mackinaw City before returning to enjoy sitting on our balcony.
The 767' Arthur M. Anderson passing under the Mackinac Bridge at dusk
from our room
The Arthur M. Anderson was the fist ship to look for survivors of the