Friday afternoon, while at a laundromat on M-28 in Munising, I saw an announcement on the bulletin board: Moose Lodge Meat Bingo. I couldn’t believe my eyes. It makes perfect sense if you’re a Yooper. Because if you’re a Yooper there are two things above all others: meat and bingo. Brilliant Yooper logic follows that it would be even more awesome to put the two together … and they’ve done just that! MEAT BINGO? Do you mark your card with cocktail weenies??
The fun doesn’t stop there, folks. You can drive along M-28 to Munising and witness chicken poop bingo during the 4th of July celebration. Yep, Yoopers celebrate our nation’s independence with chicken poop bingo. Figure that one out. Obviously, chicken poop bingo sounds way more fun than boring old vegetarian bingo. Too bad I won’t be here because that would be a great blog entry!
That’s when I was realized I needed explore what else I could find along M-28 from Munising to Marquette. Have you ever stopped to consider think about exploring a stretch of highway in your area? America’s highways are gateways to adventure where no two experiences are the same. Highways link us to America’s heart and soul.
Between Munising and Marquette M-28 closely parallels the Lake Superior shoreline, providing scenic views of the lake and beaches. West of Munising is a ferry dock offering transport to the Grand Island National Recreation Area, and easy access to Painted Rocks National Lakeshore, which I hope to see before leaving the area. (Most of the U.P. doesn’t open until some time in May.)
Au Train is in the heart of the Hiawatha National Forest, yet only 12 miles west of Munising. With miles of sandy beaches, this would be a beautiful place for a summer get away. During the spring mushrooms peek through the ground, and I’m hoping to go mushroom hunting with a co-worker. During the winter it’s very popular with snowmobilers, but now the beaches are quiet offering me solitude.
The Lakenenland Sculpture Park is located even further west in Chocolay near Shot Point. This roadside attraction is owned by Tom Lakenen and features fanciful, eccentric works of art made of scrap iron. This park is great for families. It’s FREE, has something for everyone and is situated in such a way that you can drive or walk through to view the 80+ sculptures. There is also a picnic area and playground for children. I wish I could have found more about the creator and his motivation, but I couldn’t. If I lived in the area, I would take all my out of town visitors to see this local landmark.
I completed my M-28 exploration at the pocket ore dock of the Lake Superior and Ishpeming Railroad in downtown Marquette. The dock was the first of its kind constructed on the Upper Great Lakes, making it a historically significant part of my trip. The ore dock cost $1.35 million to build … in 1932! Before closing in 1971, the pocket dock spanned four railroad trestles wide and handled over 1 million tons of ore. The trestle spans were dismantled and recycled. There was enough trestle to build ten railroad bridges. Today, the wood pilings leading out to the dock remain just above the waterline, and the south walkway to access the offshore portion remains intact, visible on the right side of the dock. Of course, it is fenced and gated. The town of Marquette is making motions to create a special place on the waterfront, including a historical preservation of the ore dock. That would be a smart idea, it’s stunning.
What will you find along your stretch of highway?