Talka Whatthe Hecka Menon Falls….. or something like that.

Saturday September 16, 2017- Travel Day 43


Upper Tahquamenon Falls- Notice the folks on the right hand side of the brink for a perspective of the size of this fall. Color of water is caused by tannin.

Sixteen miles up MI 123 is Tahquamenon Falls State Park. Tahquamenon is an Ojibwa word meaning “dark berry”. The falls is significant not only for its beauty but for its size. The 200 foot wide and fifty foot tall upper falls flows up to 20,000 gallons of water per second.

Scenery around Upper Falls

That makes it the second largest fall east of the Mississippi River second only to Niagara Falls. It doesn’t look as large as it is until one sees people standing beside the brink.

The lower falls splits around an island and is more like a cascade. The scenic beauty of the Yooper Peninsula is wonderful but these two waterfalls are my favorite this far. We celebrate our great fortune by purchasing two waffle cone ice creams. Jil had a mint chocolate chip with the chocolate was in huge chunks, not chips. I, on the other hand, honored Tahquamenon Falls with a dark cherry ice cream cone……. you remember Tahquamenon means “dark berry”, well cherry is not berry- but close enough!

We travel next to Paradise, which is on the north eastern coast of Lake Michigan. Jil wants to go to the Great Lakes Shipwreck Museum. Why, I ask. Because I do, she replies. Never argue with the boss.

Whitefish Point Light Station, circa 1864

Sooooo, we take a left in Paradise and head towards Whitefish Point Light Station and the shipwreck museum. The museum is located on the light house grounds. Several of the original buildings still exist and are meticulously maintained. Four buildings are open for self guided tours with a docent in each. And one has be converted into a B&B.

Notice the Second Story Bridge From Home to Light Tower

Jil wanting to go to the museum turned out to be a very good “want”. The shipwreck museum is small in size but large on explaining the history of shipwrecks both hundreds of years old to modern day. Most were caused by nasty storms that whip up the Great Lakes to ocean proportions. 25 foot seas and 60 knot winds is significant for any vessel.

Museum Pieces/ Center bottom: Original aerobeacon lens 8′ in diameter!

A lot of the ships were torn in two. Records indicate at least 550 ships have gone down, approximately 200 of them off Whitefish Point. The area between here and Munising is known as the Shipwreck Coast. All ships entering or leaving Lake Superior must pass Whitefish Point, making this light the most significant of all. The rest of the tour is through the light keepers house, another home that is used as a gift shop, the boathouse and a small building used as a theater. The crew’s quarters is now a B&B.

Light Keepers House

The light in the lighthouse was lit by oil lanterns and the clockworks that turned the light had to be wound every 2.5 hours. Talk about job security! The light keepers home was attached to the light tower via an enclosed, elevated walk accessed from the second floor. We thoroughly enjoyed the Tahquamenon Falls, the Great Lakes Shipwreck Museum and the grounds of the Whitefish Point Light Station.

We spent the night at the Bay Mills RV Park in Brimley. Bay Mills is on the Chippewa Reservation and associated with the Casino across the street. Tomorrow we have a very loose “appointment” with the owner of Sault RV & Trailer Sales/Service to get our malfunctioning landing gear fixed.

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