Marquette, and our last week in the U.P.

After thee fantastic weeks, we finally departed Grand Marais and headed west to Marquette, stopping one last time in Munising to grab some of our favorite smoked fish dip.  We had reservations at the city owned Tourist Park Campground for four days in advance of the next Saturday downtown market, and would need only to find one or two more days to make things work out (unlike Grand Marais and Munusing’s Tourist Parks, Marquette’s is reservable until you get inside a five day window of your planned arrival.)

PKM saying goodbye to the glorious warm sand on the shore of The Lake in Grand Marais.

We had contemplated spending this time in Munising or even Copper Harbor, but Marquette had the market and positioned us exactly right for the first leg of our return south.  Besides, we had stayed in Munising nearly a week last year, but had yet to explore Marquette beyond the one day market runs. 

This is the third municipal park at which we have stayed at in the UP, and they have a lot of similarity: medium to very large spots, a good amount of trees, a lot of power or power and water only sites, and a partial hook up price around $30 a night.  With the coming Labor Day weekend we were lucky to get an additional two nights by checking back daily for a cancellation, though it entailed having to move to a different site.  If there is one drawback it is the trains: though I find it nostalgic and it doesn’t bother or even wake me, it drove Rosemarie a bit nuts to hear the train whistles deep into the night.

Our huge site in Marquette.

We had mixed weather, and tried to take advantage of the dry days and explore the area a bit.  We located the Dia de los Tacos food truck, hit a couple of thrift stores, and the local food co-op.  We spent a little bit of time in the downtown area, as much to secure Rosemarie’s UP hat as anything else, and then hunkered down for a day and night full of rain and thunder.

Our best find was Presque Isle park, a really nice bit of land with trails and a beach.  The rugged coastal scenery was great, and the deer pictured up post was right out in the open, allowing us to get rather close for a nice shot.  We were surprised to see a few guys actually surfing, reminding us yet again that a lake the size of Superior acts a lot like an ocean. 

PKM really enjoyed this park; though the squirrels were far too clever, the chipmunks exhibited almost no life preservation instincts.  Despite being on her lead she managed to catch one of the things while we were outside supposedly supervising her.  We weren’t’ the only ones to see the horror unfold, our young neighbors in the next spot got a front row seat at the event.

The animal in this picture as a completely unjustified belief in its immortality.

Kitty was nearly at the end of her lead, which meant the thing would have to approach within two feet for her to even have chance at it.  And that is exactly what it did.  She was on one side of a big oak tree, it walked right up to the other side, and she made one solid pounce, snagging it with ease.  I ran over as fast as possible and shook her a bit and tapped her head until she finally let it go.  I missed it but our now amused neighbors said it went straight up the tree and appeared no worse for the wear.  Come on chipmunks, compared to you our cat is a Balrog, and the best advice is “Run, you fools!” 

We attended our final UP market in downtown Marquette the day before our departure.  Though not a record breaking event like the first two weeks, it was a great sales day, starting off our September right.  We stocked up on heirloom tomatoes, three different mushroom varieties, sweet carrots, and peppers.  We would be meeting up with family soon, and this would add to a planned feast. 

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