Guest Blog: Shades of October

Today’s guest blogger, Megan Emery, discusses her spontaneous trip throughout Michigan. Have you ever taken a spontaneous trip?
It was spontaneous and last minute, “I heard that highway whisper inside, are you ready to fly?” I left at 4 p.m. on a Friday, and the sun went down somewhere around Grayling. When I saw the lights of the Mackinaw Bridge ahead of me, I got excited. Once on the other side, I headed west on M-2 with Lake Michigan staying to my left for miles and miles. The tips of all the pine trees and smooth pane of water were highly visible under the moon. Anyone who has traveled north of Clare knows that the tops of the trees are different once you reach a certain latitude. My headlights also illuminated enough of the branches to my right to distinguish that they were changing color but I ached to see them in the day.

I settled into my hotel in Munising around midnight. Early in the morning I glanced out the window facing the hillside and saw the “annual blaze of glory” – the fiery oranges, raging reds and loud yellows and practically giggled with excitement. This was why I came.

I headed first towards Marquette. I ate breakfast of an omelet and toast with amazing homemade strawberry jam. I drank loose-leaf Jasmine tea as the sun came through the thin opaque shade to warm my table at the Sweetwater Café. I wandered down to the harbor to watch the locals winterize their boats. On my way back east, I stopped off at every road sign turn out for the beautiful sights. Somehow the pictures I took did not compare to the view before me when I moved my eyes away from the camera lens. At one of these turnouts, there were sand toys near a small overturned boat with a wet t-shirt cast over the side to dry. It was resting in the sun on the shores of Superior but there was no one to be found.

Back in Munising I ventured to Miner’s Castle part of the Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore and then visited a flurry of waterfalls. On the walk to Miner’s Falls someone ahead of me was building piles of rocks. They were all stacks of three and in all different sizes. It brought to heart the purity of the woods in the Upper Peninsula and the silly possibility of elves in the midst. Wagner Falls was hidden at the end of a short path through the woods, the creek bubbled over the rocks from the woods at a slight downward angle on the right, but ahead a true and wide falls fell. The sound was magnificent but nothing compared to what I would hear in Paradise the next afternoon.

I continued to a bed and breakfast in Engadine for the night. After attending church with my innkeepers I stopped my truck so many times for photos on the road to Newberry that I thought I might not get to Tahquamenon before the sun went down – I did. But that is for another day.

Megan Emery lives in Galesburg, Michigan. She is a Chippewa and a Spartan. She is proud to live in this beautiful state and visits new places as much as possible.