If you read my last post this is the same travel map. Here we are on the road again heading west and ending up at our winter home base in sunny Gulf Shores. By the time we arrive all the hurricanes should be out to sea.
Summer 2016 travel route from Michigan to Seattle winding out way down the coast to California then Arizona all the way to Padre Islands in Texas then back on to Gulf Shores
The last shot before we lock the doors before hitting the road.
Another fun summer planned. Packed and ready to go!
We always like to get on the road and leave our cares behind. Our first day is a short one just to get out of Dodge.
Kewadin Casino is a good first night out stay. It gets us on the road and is only a two hour drive from Traverse City. It is nice to be on the road with the planning and packing behind us.
Great place to stop over night. Park free or ten bucks for a hook up
There is a sigh of relief once we get across the bridge. Seeing the Mighty MAC is always a good thing.
Once we are across the Mackinaw Bridge we are really on vacation. Although when you are retired it is harder to tell when the fun really starts. This shot is from the Upper Peninsula.
Lake Michigan stop along US 2. The route will be US 2 to Seattle. US 2 one of the first coast to coast routes.
Our first destination stop is Fayette State Park in the UP of Michigan. It is an old mining town site on a deep natural harbor that processed iron ore from 1867 to 1891. It has a great setting. The State of Michigan is restoring the remaining buildings. Great stop to take in Lake Michigan or for the photographer lots of content to choose from.
Whenever we can we stop at the Fayette State Park. A 19th century ghost town created to process iron ore in the 1867. This is the old hotel. Note the second story door which use to connect to a two story outhouse.
Fayette Hotel from the front…still hanging in there…
Old store and mine offices. Employees were paid out this building.
The upstairs opera house had a side entrance…still pretty much intact.
The manager’s house. Still in great shape. The State of Michigan is doing a nice job with restoration.
Middle class workers house. Every time we come there are improvements.
Glimpse into days gone by. The old out house still stands.
Old machine shop still looking good. Very interesting construction and a good background for a photo.
The foundry was the heart of the Fayette operation. Fayette is located on a natural harbor as you can see from this picture.
Inside the foundry, simple design. Work was hard and it was hot!
The kiln matches the wall even though it is a replica.
This photo was taken from the ridge across the harbor.
This old building is a perfect place to frame a photo shot…
From inside the foundry
Here are some of our favorite stops in the UP. The pictures and captions tell the story.
Enjoyed a nice sunset over Lake Michigan from Fayette beach
A must stop when you are in the UP of Michigan, a stop at Randall’s for a Pastie or two. Theirs are the best we have found. Just simple mine work food good hot or cold.
We have been coming to the UP for 50 years now and whenever possible we stop to enjoy Sunday Lake.
This time it was a lunch stop at Sunday Lake
Our northern route is US 2 from St. Ignace to Seattle. Here are some shots along the way as we travel through Wisconsin, Minnesota, North Dakota and Montana on our way to the Glacier National Park.
US Wisconsin Rest stop along US 2
Dark and rainy…Grahams Island a North Dakota State Park. The drive out was on a causeway for the most part.
Although very early in the morning and still dark, fun black and white shots over the water.
The long road to Grahams Island. This was the good section. After the trip out the RV and Truck had to have a bath.
It took some time to get rid of the sticky mud!
Forth Peck Dam is a Corps of Engineer project in Montana.
Nice walking trails. Seeing the down stream part of the dam was closed.
Fort Peck on the largest earth filled dam. The term is hydraulic filled.
Captures the moment in the past. One of the tubes to generate power.
Wheat fields of Montana…went on for a long time.
US 2 in South Dakota and Montana looks a lot the same.
Glacier exceeded our expectation. The weather was great and this being the shoulder season the crowds were easy to work around. We did a number of great hikes and drove the Going to the Sun Road which takes the high road through the mountains. No vehicle over 21 feet is allowed. We stayed for four nights on the east side at St Mary Campground and two nights on the west side at Fish Creek. The east side was more fun for us…
Last time we were in Glacier NP was 2003 and there were major fires.
Our first hike in Glacier. The views and the mountains keep calling us back!
Glacier is very green and there are waterfalls everywhere.
The higher the trail the finer the view.
The glaciers are getting smaller and there are fewer now.
Lots of trails like this follow the stream up the mountain.
Every National Park has its own personality. East Glacier is a must see for everyone.
Glacier Highway Going to the Sun is a great drive. At some points having a big pickup was an disadvantage…even with the mirrors folded in still got in trouble.
Going to the Sun views never stopped…
Another shot along the highway
Stopped to check out the view close up…Jan takes a shot with her camera.
More glaciers along the highway…
As you get higher the snow gets closer
Great view with the sun behind us
The big hike 10 miles with 1,600 foot climb to Grinnell Glacier. We got an early morning start to beat the crowds.
Mountain Goat friends that we found along the trail…
We are only a short way up and already fine views to behold
It seems like there is a stream everywhere…lots of melting snow.
Constant view…love the east side Glacier hikes.
Turn around the view is still good the other way
The mountain trail levels out for a bit.
The sun is peaking over the top of the mountain…great early morning lighting
Getting close to the tree line.
Grinnell Glacier comes into view
The color in this scene drew me in…
Much of this trail was about scrambling over rocks or taking big steps.
The Glacier comes into view. A nice vantage point from here.
The trail is easier here. Near the peak it gets rocky and requires some scrambling.
The Grinnell Glacier comes into view upfront and personal
Glacier melt makes for a colorful lake…
Jan having lunch after the climb up
Ready to head back…it sure is a long way back down…past the four lakes to the trail head
At Glacier you are never alone…fellow hikers enjoy the reward at the end of the trail
The view coming back down is even better plus not quite so much work
Long and humbling view of the mountain’s grandeur
Miss Moose was off in the distance chowing down on the vegetation
We meet Mr Grizzly eating anything he can find getting ready for winter. He was about 500 feet from the trail.
Love the color of the water
West Glacier is wetter and more forested. Also even more mountain streams. This is the Avalanche River
Avalanche trail views are through the trees.
At the end of the trail is Avalanche Lake
This early morning reflection only lasted for a few minutes
Avalanche Lake changes color when the sun shines.
Love the color of the glacier made water…striking stream for sure.
Jan took this one…she liked that all the kayaks were different. This is along the trail on Lake McDonald.
Lake McDonald behind our RV site at the Fish Creek Campground
After Glacier we headed west again on US two. Had a nice stop at the Kootenai River and the Grand Coulee Dam. We stayed at another dam site on the Priest River and logging a night in the great state of Idaho.
Kootenai River Stop on the way to Idaho
Kootenai River comes cown from Canada. The water is still blue green.
Even with a fear of heights Larry made it across the swinging bridge over the river
Priest River in Idaho, an Army Corp of Engineer park. Idaho is one of the states we have not logged an overnight since we retired. The list is getting shorter as we are down to five or six now. The plan is to have them all checked off by next summer.
The Corps of Engineer Parks are well done and the National Park senior pass gets you 50% off on the nights stay.
We did not expect to see so many wheat fields in Washington. They went on for miles.
I love dams and their engineering. We had to stop at the Grand Coulee to check it out.
This is the back water on the Columbia River for the Grand Coulee Dam. Nice view from the top of the hill.
The Coulee Dam is a mile long…
Another angle for the Grand Coulee
Next stop was the North Cascades in Washington. We made a day trip through the mountain about 10 years ago and have always wanted to go back. We did some hiking and the drive through the mountains. The weather was good and it was all we expected it to be. The pictures and captions tell the story.
Next stop…North Cascades in Washington
Cascades come into view…they just seem to rise out of the ground
Washington Pass is an impressive stop
Washington Pass the long view
The views are best on the Cascades Highway driving west
There are three dams along the drive. All different and interesting to check out. Plus the lakes in the valleys make for great views.
There are many views like this right from the car window
Another dam created lake…note the tour boat in the lower right.
This dam is owned by the City of Seattle. It has an educational center and provides boat tours of the dams.
I took this photo standing on one end of the dam…
The Cascades are very green. Almost rain forest like. Enjoyed hiking several of the trails and seeing all the colors of green.
The Blue Lake Trail was through the forest with a lake at the end. The was one of the few views through the trees on the way up.
Blue Lake has a small glacier. It was very cold and windy when we reached the top.
There are several very interesting towns in the Cascades. Our stay was in Winthrop which looked very colorful with lots of things to do. Our stay was too brief to check it out. Here is an evening shot from our RV site.
We had heard about Leavenworth. A Bavarian Village in the lower Cascades. It is a German themed town that has been doing their thing for many years. Many of the people we have met along the road ask “are you going to Leavenworth”.
We heard about Leavenworth last time we visited Seattle a decade back. It is known for its strong German theme. We planned an overnight. There was plenty to do and we could have used one more day here.
There was a two day old fire when we arrived. It had burned 300 acres and by the time we left looked to be under control. However it does make one pause and take stock.
The setting has a Bavarian theme and is very well done. It looks like they have been at this for a long time.
Leavenworth is certainly a destination. There were lots of tourist having a good time including us.
There was German band playing fun music. I think they were having a good time too!
Jan caught me taking a picture of the flowers. There sure were a lot of them.
What is a German town without beer. Leavenworth is the home of Icicle Brewing. They had very good beer…liked their IPA.
It was an easy drive from Leavenworth to Seattle where we spent two days. We love Seattle. Taking in the downtown, the Pikes Place Market and the Harbor is a good adventure. It is a great city to visit with lots of diversity and lots of interesting things to see and do. This time we stayed north of the city and took the bus downtown. The traffic is always very heavy and getting around takes a lot of time. The day we left we tried to get to REI with the RV in tow. Now that was not a good idea.
Next stop was downtown Seattle. The downtown square.
This could be an iconic shot of Seattle…the harbor and lots of traffic…
Pike Place Market is a must see. This was our second time in Seattle and the market called us back.
The market place has been there for many years . It draws in everyone tourist and the locals.
You have to experience the throwing of the fish at this fish market. There were so many people I did not get a good picture this time.
Market color is fun to look at
Nice display that catches the eye.
Lots of fish here just like back home in Alabama
Love old signs…not much changes here.
This sign has been around for awhile too!
…and of course there are plenty of food stops.
There is a National Park downtown. It features the Klondike Gold Rush. Since we had seen and heard the Alaska and Yukon story had to check out the Washington side of this time periodl
The harbor is a great place to explore.
Do you like to shop then take in Pier 54!
Last time we were here took in Ivans. It has been there since 1938 so will catch it next time we are here.
You see a lot of families hanging out here…
Note the mountains in the back ground. They come and go from view depending on the weather.
What is a visit to Seattle without a coffee stop!
One last Seattle shot from the harbor. The downtown skyline.
As we have said before time flies when we are on the road. We have been on the road for three weeks with only six left. The next leg of our journey starts in Mount Rainier and Olympic National Park in Washington. Then comes Oregon and California which will take us another three weeks. Then the final leg will be back to the Gulf Coast via Arizona, Texas and Louisiana.
Larry and Jan