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The Great American Road Trip II - 3 - Duck and Cover

Posted by Sumiki , in Life, The Great American Road Trip May 17 2013 · 53 views

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The day began in Mackinaw City at around seven o'clock in the morning. We hadn't planned on getting such an early start, but the northern latitude of the city meant more daylight hours and earlier waking. We checked out, gassed up, and began the day crossing the epic Mackinac Bridge.

It's a gigantic bridge. There's nothing special about it other than that it's just massive. You think it's going to start dipping down to the other side but it just keeps on going. Of course, we made it to the upper peninsula with no issue and hit highway 123 en route to Lake Superior, the only Great Lake we have not seen on any road trip.

We saw deer eating, incredibly straight roads, lots and lots of trees, and what may or may not have been a black bear bounding across the road. By 9:09 it was 52 degrees, and we saw very skinny trees. We were bound for Lake Superior, and the closest point to us was Whitefish Bay, mentioned in Gordon Lightfoot's ballad "The Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald." It was creepy listening to the song as we caught glimpses of Superior beyond the trees.

After our Superior sighting, we had our sights set on Tahquamenon (rhymes with "phenomenon") Falls State Park. The park is divided into the lower and upper falls, which we visited in that order. The lower falls featured a couple of waterfalls around a small island and did not have many visitors. The water that feeds the falls is colored by tannins, leaving it a rich brown-orange hue. When the water stops, the tannins congeal on top to create a white foam that flows by and looks not unlike snow-colored lava. I poked my finger in it and it came out covered in brown silt.

By 10:10 we were on the way to the upper falls, which is much more picturesque. In terms of sheer volume, the upper Tahquamenon falls is the second-largest waterfall east of the Mississippi. (The first is, of course, Niagara Falls.) This water is also colored orange-brown. You can walk out on a wooden deck almost right up to the waterfall down 94 steps, with the ominous sign "94 Steps to Brink." My dad, of course, rubbed his nascent beard on it.

(Side note: Michigan drivers often fly past you on two-lane roads going seventy miles an hour, then get right in front of you going ever so slightly slower than the posted speed limit. In addition to the terms "California roll" and "Texas turn" coined on other trips, I think I'm going to add "Michigan pass" to the lexicon.)

Around 11:00 we were back on route 123 bound for Newberry. We passed swampy areas and turned onto routes 28 and 117 through farmland and pastures ready to plant crops. (Just last Saturday, we were informed, the U.P. got snowed on.) Before noon, we were heading west on US 2.

The scenery, while pretty, was nothing that we hadn't seen before, but was markedly different from what I expected from the U.P. We'd gone back down and skirted along the edge of Lake Michigan and made bad puns.

We saw old road signs in Escanaba after crossing the Rapid River and got lunch at a Culver's, which, being a more local chain, I have never been to (though I hear there's one in Charlotte). My dad got a peanut-butter-and-chocolate milkshake as dessert and looked like a little kid when sipping on it.

(Somewhere in here we unknowingly crossed over into Central time. This is the first time I've crossed over time zone borders and not seen a sign - perhaps because we did not cross on a major road.)

We entered Wisconsin just south of Menominee - the southernmost town in the U.P. - at a town called Marinette. Our route to Wausau took us through secondary roads and a ton of cute downtown areas evocative of Norman Rockwell. The landscape was lumpy; what you see on dairy products is not unrealistic or romanticized. (It does, however, smell incredibly bad.)

Passing Shawano Lake, we took route 29 west. Barns along the road have diamond-shaped designs on their massive silos almost like pieces of a Paul Bunyan-sized quilt.

By 4:18 we had gone 1300 miles and saw large hills in the distance towards Wausau. The rain, which had been drizzling for hours, began to come down steadier as we pulled off the road to our hotel.

We got food at a local chain called Hudson's, which is kind of like Applebee's with a car theme. We tried cheese curds and liked them. My dad put an orange rubber duck that came with the hotel room on top of an old gas pump which was inside the restaurant. We have named this duck Yoder, after the surname ever-present in Amish country, and will take pictures of Yoder everywhere we go from here on out.

Tomorrow: a shorter driving day as we work our way to Minneapolis, where we're due to stay for a few days.

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Rahkshi Guurahk
May 24 2013 12:55 PM

The Michigan Pass is worse in Alabama. The directions are inverted!

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He's the lord of all strangeness. - Ignika: Nerd of Life

How awesome is Sumiki on a scale of 1 to 10? - Waffles
42. - Black Six

[He's] the king of wierd, the prince of practicality, the duke of durr! - Daiker

Sumiki is magic. - Cholie

Sumiki says, "Do I creeeeeeep you out?" Yes, he does. - Waffles

Sumiki is a nub. He's cool, but he's still a nub. - Ran Yakumo

"What is a Sumiki?" You may ask. But the answer to that is still unknown, even to the Sumiki itself. - Daiker


Sumiki is best snickerdoodle. - Takuma Nuva

BZPower = Sumiki + McSmeag + B6. And Hahli Husky. - Vorex

What's a Sumi? Does it taste good? - Janus

I would have thought Sumiki wanted to reincarnate as a farm animal. - Kraggh


Sumiki: the horse_ebooks of bzp - VampireBohrok

Everything relates to Sumiki. No really, everything. - Daiker

Sumiki - hat-wearing ladies man. - Black Six

He's in worse mental condition than I thought. - Obsessionist

I'm just wondering why I'm looking at some cat dancing ... I suppose the answer would simply be "Sumiki." - Brickeens

I was like a beast, screaming through the mind of Sumiki at the speed of sound. I.. I wasn't strong enough to stop myself. What I saw was the end of infinity, through which one can see the beginning of time, and I will never be the same. - Portalfig

I imagine the 13th Doctor will be rather like Sumiki, at the rate we're going. - rahkshi guurahk

I was quite sure Sumiki had another set of arms stashed somewhere. - Bfahome

Note to future self: don’t try to predict Sumiki, he’s unpredictable. - Voltex

Let's be honest, I would totally have picked my main man Sumiki to lead my goose-stepping night killers anyway. We tight like that, yo. - Xaeraz

10/10, would Sumiki again. - Bfahome


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Every week, I post a new "Tuesday Tablescrap", a small MOC not worthy of a topic, but something to post and inspire me to build more.

10/25/11 - Duplo Flower
11/1/11 - Slender Man and Masky
11/8/11 - Bizarre Black Spaceship
11/15/11 - 2001 Monolith

11/22/11 - My Little Slizer 50
11/29/11 - Punching Bag
12/6/11 - Thunder and Escorts
12/13/11 - Three Concepts
12/20/11 - Kaxium Alternate
12/27/11 - None (Christmas Break)


1/3/12 - Daiker
1/10/12 - None
1/17/12 - Volant
1/24/12 - Nidman's Chute Shoop Shop
1/31/12 - None (Brickshelf down)
2/7/12 - None
2/14/12 - Atomic Lime
2/21/12 - Spearhead
2/28/12 - Glatorian Kahi
3/6/12 - Seeker
3/13/12 - Skyscraper
3/20/12 - Microphone
3/27/12 - Toa Vultraz
4/3/12 - Flammenwerferjüngeres
4/10/12 - Umbrella
4/17/12 - Lime Beetle
4/24/12 - Special - Flame Sculpture
5/1/12 - None (BZPower down)
5/8/12 - Purple Ninja
5/15/12 - The Original Sumiki
5/22/12 - 7/24/12 - None
7/31/12 - Tahu
8/7/12 - None (BrickFair)
8/14/12 - Special - Chess Set
8/21/12 - Heavily Armored Wasp
8/28/12 - Spaceship Drill
9/4/12 - Scuba Vehicle
9/11/12 - Orange Guy
9/18/12 - Strange Flying Thing
9/25/12 - Goblet
10/2/12 - None
10/9/12 - Aim .............................. Down
10/16/12 - Gold Bot
10/23/12 - Teal Mech
10/30/12 - Special - Teal Mech (#2)
11/6/12 - Bits and Pieces
11/13/12 - Two Spaceships
11/20/12 - TARDIS Interior
11/27/12 - Christmas Creep
12/4/12 - Toaraga
12/11/12 - Fireplace
12/18/12 - Abstract Duckling
12/25/12 - None (Christmas)
1/1/13 - Black Bot
1/8/13 - 1/22/13 - None
1/29/13 - Handheld Rhotuka Launcher
2/5/13 - 8/6/13 - None
8/13/13 - The Hinklebot
8/20/13 - Special - Post-Apocalyptic Piyufi
8/27/13 - 8/5/14 - None
8/12/14 - Another Chro Original
8/19/14 - Kanohi Zatth
8/26/14 - Miniland Hatpile
9/2/14 - S. S. Starfish
9/9/14 - Special - Claude Hairgel
9/16/14 - Green Flame
9/23/14 - Avohkah Tamer
9/30/14 - Special - The Havoc Wreaker
10/7/14 - Fire Snake


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Formerly known as the Bring Back Teal Club, the Unused Colors Society is a club that serves to promote colors that are little-used or discontinued, such as teal, old purple, or metallic blue.




ToM Dracone
-Toa Lhikevikk-
Dirk Strider
Toa Flappy
Lime Paradox
Toa Robert
The X
Dave Strider
Akuna Toa of Sonics
Commander Helios
Popup2: The Camel
~Shadow Kurahk~
~System Of A Down~
Kohrak Kal17
Jackson Lake
Thunder on the Mountain
Ackar's Follower
Bitter Cold
Doc Scratch
Mendicant Bias
Darth Eryzeth
Toa of Vahi
Makuta GigaDon
~Toa Drokonas~
Progenitus Worldsoul
Toa Kuhrii Avohkii
Bohrok Kal
Toa Neya 2011 Edition
~prisma son of dawn~
.: WoLVeRINe :.
Alternate Velika
Schnee 1
Brickeens (again!?)
The Great Forgetter
Thomas the Tank Engine
Jonah Falcon
Oh my miru
Element lord Of Milk.
Lexuk Toa Of Insanity
Michael J. Caboose
knuckles chaotix
The Bean
Lord Kaitan de Storms
Toa of Dancing
Toa Arzaki
The Oncoming Storm
Lego Obsessionist
Toa of Pumpkin
Teal Armada
Toa Zehvor Blackout
Mr. M
Mylo Xyloto
Lord of Ice
Gamzee Makara
Zarayna: The Quiet Light



Vorex: Keeper of Time


Toa of Smooth Jazz



Dual Matrix

rahkshi guurahk
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If you learn one thing in life, learn this:

You should never, ever question why demons would possess a soda.

just a heads up - Cthulhu would probably eradicate mankind before bringing back Bionicle

so yeah, all I'm saying is, please think twice about this okay

nothing gets democracy flowing like erratic capitalizatION

[the NSA] couldn't say no when I offered them an ostrich farm in exchange

Sumiki -- nice try but we all know Toa Mata Nui stuffs its bra

You have a great understanding of history, but don't forget, war, murder and other poor decisions are also huge characteristics.

Also a long line of really great hats.

Shhh, I'm trying to focus on the negative to justify my dislike of history.

have we mentioned hats

To be fair, I am the one responsible for the invention of Mafia in the 1320s by seventeen bored italians locked in a mine shaft.

It's a long story.


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