Day 110: Searching For Yooperlites


time of year

Biggby Coffee for breakfast. We’ve seen these all over the place up here and had to try them. We got a honey, cinnamon, and vanilla latte, a regular coffee and breakfast bagels with egg, cheddar and cream cheese. I completely understand their popularity here.

The highway is lined with rolling hills and freshly green white paper birch trees and alternating patches of trilliums and cattails. The exits here are few and far between, some more than 10 miles apart, with patches of small communities and farmland between the stretches of northern wilderness.

King’s Fish Market, somewhere in the UP along Hwy 123. We bought Yooper chocolate and smoked fish bites, a specialty made in house.

A picnic lunch on Lake Superior. Chris liked the smoked fish, I think it’s disgusting. The seagulls (lake-gulls?) loved it.

Tahquamenon Lower and Upper Falls, McMillan Township, MI. The lower falls is about a 3/4 mile walk on a boardwalk that takes you through beautiful woods and past one set of falls and across the river to an island in the middle where you can see the other set of falls. The water is filled with tannin and looks more like flowing Coca Cola than water.

Upper falls is 4 miles away. It’s much more built up with a visitors shop and a restaurant/bar. You can take a 1/4 mile paved trail to steps down to the falls and then to viewing points along the river. We took the nature trail through the woods past flowering trout lilies and spring beauties back to the car. We marked a 3.8 mile trail to do another time that takes you through giant cedars.


difficulty: 1

The road takes us through swampland, 2nd growth Forest and one small town. I’ve never seen so many Trilliums and marsh marigolds in bloom.

We checked into Voyageurs Hotel, Grand Marais, MI. There’s a beautiful view of Lake Superior out our window. And now it’s time for a well earned nap.

Price: $142/night

Grand Marais, MI is a tiny little, quaint lakeside town surrounded by very cute, old residences and summer homes. The Pickle Barrel House, now a temporarily closed museum, was once one of these summer homes before it was moved to its current site and used as a tourist information center. The Pickle Barrel House is listed in the National Register of Historic Places. We walked the town at dinner time and the restaurants and pubs had more ATVs parked outside than cars.,_Minnesota

The shores of Lake Superior are said to be a superior place for rock hunting and that’s why we’re here. We’re hoping to find Yooperlites, rocks that appear to be plain grey in regular light but glow brightly under UV light. It seems that quite a few people are here doing the same thing. We met a nice lady who showed us the rocks she found, which looked like glowing lines of lava under her UV light, and learned that our light is not quite strong enough to find them with easily. We did manage to find one very tiny, very bright Yooperlite.

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