Hike, Bike and Ice weekend 2014 (Part 1)

This past weekend was the 4th annual mom/son Michigan Adventure weekend.   From my last posted, I said announced this year’s challenge of 50 miles of hiking, biking and running. We knew this was going to be a tough challenge, a lot of miles but we were going to give it our best shot!

 When we made it into town, our motel room was not quite ready (we anticipated this since we were getting to town before lunch!), so we left the car at the motel, grabbed the bikes and headed out to Sand Point and Munising falls. The falls are just a short ride from the motel and are one of the first stops that we make when we get to town.  We were going to head to Sand Point first, but for some reason, we decided to stop at the Falls first.

While we were hiking back town from the falls overlooks, we ran into group that was trying to get a group picture.  We offered to take the photo so they could all be in it. We started chatting with this group a bit and found out that the one young man was originally from the Czech Republic, currently living near Detroit, the other two young men were his friends and the older couple was his parents that were visiting from the Czech Republic for 2 weeks.  The boys were looking for waterfalls that they could actually walk it… They were on the mission!  Since Darrin and I have visited virtually every waterfall in the area, we knew exactly where they needed to go.  We gave them directions to Tannery and Memorial Falls, right down the road!  Darrin’s favorite falls to walk though/under.

 After we got back to the parking lot, we decided that we didn’t need to go to Sand Point.  We could just take this group to the falls.  We waited for them to get back down from the falls and told them that if they wanted to, we would bring them to the falls that we had mentioned.  They were more than a little excited when we offered this!  We spent the next hour with them, guiding them back to the hidden gems of waterfalls that were just down the road.  They boys all enjoyed getting into the falls, following Darrin’s lead and walking right into water!  They all said it was really cold, except for Darrin – he said it was warmer than last year!  lol

 After the adventures at the falls, we headed back to check into the motel, change clothes and head into town for lunch.  Since our motel is only a short distance from town, it was a quick bike ride into town for lunch at “The Lunch Bag” – the awesome little cafe that we found at the end of our trip last year!  First place we stopped this year after checking into the the motel was the last place we visited last year!  Once again, we had great food and got some great ideas for places to visit all over the UP!

After lunch we stopped at the local winery so I could see what else new they might have, tasted some of their new creations and picked up a few bottles of wine.  As we were walking out the door, I spotted a brochure for the local frozen yogurt hot spot that was right down the road… so dessert was next!

By this time, we had put on a few miles riding around town, checking out the local waterfront park and were ready to head back to the motel. One of the places that the guys at The Lunch Bag told us about was a place the locals apparently call “Paradise”  It was a remote beach area just on the other side of Christmas.  So we figured we would see if we could find it.  Time for another adventure!

We found the road off the main highway without any issue and a few miles later we found the small dirt road.  This was definitely a typical Upper Michigan road – dirt, narrow and full of potholes!  We figured we were getting closer to the lake, but unfortunately with the rain the few days prior, the road ended up a little rougher that I was comfortable driving on so we ended up turning around.  Thankfully there was a small clearing there that we could turn around in – otherwise it would have been a long drive in reverse back to the other road!

Once we finally made it back to the main road it was smooth sailing back to the motel.  On the way back, it hit me.  We are on the shore of this massive, wonderful lake – I wanted FRESH fish for dinner.  We saw several signs for the local Elks fish fry and one other, but I didn’t want some frozen, over processed, over cooked fish.  I wanted something that was swimming in the lake yesterday!  So, when we got back to the motel, we stopped at the front office to check with Pam and what she recommended.  She gave us the name of 3 different places, so we had a decision to make!

I did some research online.  One of the places was further out of town than we wanted to venture, the second was more of a supper club (and far dressier than any clothing options that we had with us!).  The 3rd was the steakhouse and bar that was on the corner where we had to turn when we were looking for “paradise” just an hour before. So we were off again!  Back to Christmas we go!

Foggy’s did not disappoint!  From the outside, this steakhouse bar/grill looks like your typical small bar.  Nothing fancy on the inside but I was pleasantly surprised that it was not just a bar that served food.  The front half of the building was the bar and the back half the restaurant.  They even have a huge grill in the middle of the dining room where you can grill your own steaks!  You can read my full review of the restaurant here.  Fabulous food, great service and reasonable prices!

After that awesome dinner, we made out way back to the motel to relax and figure out our game plan for tomorrow.  Darrin opted to add and extra section of trail to our hike so we needed to figure out how early we needed to hit the trail so that we could get back in time for kick off of the Packers Pre-season game!  As we were sitting outside, enjoying the view of this amazing lake, we decided that we needed to get out and move a little!

We jumped in the car and made the 20 minute trek out to Miner Castle – another must stop each year that we are here.  We made it out there about a half hour before sunset and decided to stick around to see what kind pics we could get…  The scenery did not disappoint!  The colors in the sky were amazing – the pictures that we were able to get could not capture the true uber awesomeness of the fire in the sky!

When we finally made it back to the motel, we were beat!  We tried sitting outside to enjoy the calm quiet of the lake, but the mosquitoes were ready to dinner… and we didn’t want to me the main course so we headed in and called it a night!

Day 1 total miles = 11

I leave you with a few images from Miners Castle…

Part 2 coming soon – we tackle 14 miles of pristine wilderness and cliffs!

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