Falls, Crisp Point Lighthouse and Grand Marias Harbor range lights
Day trip along
the south shore of eastern Lake Superior in Michigan's Upper Peninsula
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|Returning through Paradise to pick up highway 123 west, I stopped for
lunch at Buffalo Bill's, which was recommended by the young man at the
gift shop. Buffalo Bill's is a typical small town town restaurant. I had
the house specialty buffalo burger with cheese and mushroom. It is a bit
price for a small town restaurant ($11 of burger, fries and ice tea), though
the servings were generous and the food good. The kitchen and server were
both quite slow.
It wasn't until I was leaving town that I realized - I had a "Cheeseburger
in Paradise." (Those of you who don't listen to Jimmy Buffet have no idea
what I am talking about:-)
Since lunch took so long and the day wasn't bright enough for good photography,
I skipped the lower Tahquamenon Falls, though I couldn't skip the larger
After climbing down the 148 steps to the observation station below the
falls and taking a few photos, I returned to the car and continued west
a few more miles and turned north onto a sand road: L-500.
After two days of rain, the road was pretty bad, but there was no other
traffic and I could use the whole road to find the spots that weren't as
bad. It was good that I had dad's heavy Ford Crown Victoria. There was
12 slow miles of that road, then 7 miles on a narrow barely improved road
to the Crisp Point Light.
Crisp Point has just the tower remaining. The Crisp Point Light Historical
Society recently added a nice board walk, and rock near the base
to stop erosion. Only one other party had signed the guest register so
far that weekend. The weather was still wet, but it was clear enough to
see one freighter on the horizon. It was still - no wind or waves.
Driving back from Crisp Point, I turned west on l-412, drove to
L-37 and then north to Deer Park. A few miles south of Deer Park, a black
bear crossed the road in front of me - just a quick glimpse. The first
wild bear I have seen in 25 years. I also saw 9 deer in ones and twos over
the course of the day.
The west from Deer Park, along Lake Superior was another sand road (L-407)
to Grand Marais. It was paved when it crossed from Luce to Alger County
Grand Maris is a quaint community clustered around a natural harbor.
There are large dunes along Lake Superior to the east and even larger dunes
(the Grand Sable) to the west. At the tip of the point which forms the
Harbor are the two Grand Marias Harbor range lights, about 1000 feet apart,
the Lightkeepers House and Museum (closed except by appointment), Ranger's
Office, and Coast Guard Station.
It was now 6PM, the wind was up and there were 3 foot waves. The walk
to the lower light was pretty cold.
other trip reports & photos
Photos copyright (C) 2005 by Keith