|Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore|
North Dakota. Minnesota. Wisconsin. Michigan. 3 more days of road-tripping.
We took highway 94 all the way through North Dakota. Despite it’s width, nothing lined its shoulders. Well, almost nothing. We drove by the world’s largest cow, and stopped by the world’s largest buffalo.
Then, Minnesota. My first gripe – the welcome sign was 5 miles into the state, and there was no where to pause for a photo. If I was dropped from the sky into Minnesota blindfolded, I’d think I was in Maine. Except that the pizza toppings were under the cheese.
Wisconsin was amazing. We took route 13 for 100 miles following the shores of Lake Superior. Oddly roads that “follow” the Great Lakes allow for very little viewing time. Nonetheless, foliage was at its peak, and the completely empty route 13 (besides a guy at a picnic area telling us about little rocks) led us to Bayfield, a perfect small town. Unfortunately, we missed their annual apple festival by 3 days and the boat to Apostle Islands National Lakeshore by 2 hours. Honeycrips, ice cream and coffee made up for it.
Michigan’s route, 28, was more than 3 times the length of our time in Wisconsin. About halfway through, we stopped at Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore. We hiked to some falls, walked in some sand and gawked at some rocks. One of the best parts – roads shawled in deciduous splendor. At one point we drove 25 miles in a straight line – no side to side, no up or down. The kind of straight that makes a mirage on the horizon. I began believing good coffee was just at the end of the road. Apparently Uppers enjoy watered down coffee – a big problem for the morale in our car. At the end of the day, we enjoyed more empty roads and foliage along route 123. We stopped to see Tahquamenon Falls, and stayed in Paradise, Michigan. The place is oddly named.
By the end of the three days, Bronson’s straight legged protest as we tried to put him in his car seat said it all. It’s a long way across the mid-west.