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Great Lakes Shipwreck Museum at Whitefish Bay


6-24-16

Great Lakes Shipwreck Museum lighthouse

The Great Lakes Shipwreck Museum has an important mission, to educate the public about the ships that sailed the Great Lakes over the centuries. Also to honor the sailors that have given their lives while serving aboard their ships when the weather turned deadly.

Our first connection to this museum occurred on February 24th when we went to the Mad City Model Railroad Show and Sale in Madison.  There was an Edmund Fitzgerald model there and the museum was mentioned also.

Edmund Fitzgerald Exhibit at Train Show

We got there just before they opened so we looked around awhile. There is a historic marker for the lighthouse.  To see everything, allow yourself 3 hours.

Whitefish Point lighthouse markerShipwreck Museum info

Coast Guard Lookout Tower sign

Coast Guard Lookout tower

You can even stay overnight here!

Overnight Accomodations at Whitefish Point

The museum opened and we took the optional lighthouse tour too. Our guide Kate was wonderful and was enthusiastic in her delivery.  the view was amazing at the top. You could also see the mouth of the St. Mary River from here if it is clear enough.

View from Lighthouse

View of beach at Whitefish Point

View of St. Mary River from Lighthouse

Visibility was real good that day, this is the view from Google Maps of what you are seeing here.

Map View from Lighthouse of St. Mary River

A fishing trawler was also visible.

Fishing Trawler

The light itself, impressive!

Lighthouse light at Whitefish Point

She even took a selfie with us afterwards, thanks!

Selfie with Katie Beth at Shipwreck Museum

The video also has some of the other exhibits we saw.

We did the lighthouse tour first, so now it was time to explore the other exhibits. The first building was the Coast Guard Surf Boat House.

Coast Guard Surf Boat Building at Whitefish Point

In here is a rescue surfboat on display, this model has enabled rescuers to save many lives.

Surfboat info

Coast Guard Surfboat

Inside surfboat

Next door in this building are Edmund Fitzgerald exhibits. The song “Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald” specifically mentions Whitefish Bay so it was still surreal that we were there.  There was a model of the ship made of Legos® (video) on display.

Lego Edmund Fitzgerald

Lego edmund Fitzgerald bowLego Edmund Fitzgerald info

Edmund Fitzgerald plaque

In this building is also a wood cut-out to take a picture with.

Cut Out st Shipwreck Museum

And now for the last building with many more shipwreck exhibits, and artifacts from the Edmund Fitzgerald.

Main exhibit building at Shipwreck Museum

Panorama of inside main building at Shipwreck Museum

Edmund Fitzgerald large display, there was also a video playing showing all of the 29 crew members who died in the deadly November 10, 1975 storm.

Edmund Fitzgerald Display at Shipwreck Museum

The real ship bell.  You could not help but to feel sadness thinking of this brave crew and their sacrifice.

Edmund Fitzgerald Bell

There were many other ships represented too along the wall on the right side of the room.

Wall of shipwrecks at museum

Other displays..

Niagra Ship's Bell at Shipwreck Museum

Independence Shipwreck display

Lighthouse and ship display

After exploring the exhibits here we went down to the shore.  You accessed it on a boardwalk and stairs down. It was sandy with stones worn smooth by the water.

Boardwalk to Lake Superior shore

Lake Superior sand and stones

There were also dedications to the Edmund Fitzgerald shore side too, we could almost imagine the storm that sealed their fate.  This one listed the 29 crew members.

Dedication to Edmund Fitzgerald

On the shore were three more for three of the crew men, resembling gravestones.

Memorial to crew of Edmund Fitzgerald on Lake Superior shoreline

The summer shoreline is quiet and peaceful, the piles of driftwood showed the results of when conditions get rough.

Lake Superior Shoreline at Shipwreck Museum

We took a solemn self-portrait here among the driftwood, remember all the sailors who passed on.  We are glad we came here during our one day in the U.P. of Michigan.

Selfie at Whitefish Bay

Shipwreck Museum front

 

Paradise – Wild Blueberry Capital of Michigan


6-24-16

Entering Paradise sign

Paradise is located in the U.P. of Michigan and is in Chippewa County. It is unincorporated and in the heart of beautiful natural wilderness.  Every year on the 3rd weekend in August is their Wild Blueberry Festival. We found these artifacts and historical marker to the right of this sign.

Whitefish Township historical marker

Artifacts in Paradise

Oil Lamp Buoy in Paradise

We were too early for the blueberries, but not too early for the hospitality of this friendly community and other visitors in the area.  We began our morning in the nearby Great Lakes Shipwreck Museum.  The staff there are exceptional and were clearly enthusiastic about being there.

Great Lakes Shipwreck Museum lighthouse

Just before we finished our tour I asked where a good place for lunch would be in Paradise. They said without hesitation, The Berry Patch Bakery and Restaurant.   They knew about the song “Cheeseburger in Paradise” song by Jimmy Buffett and took advantage of that by selling t-shirts. I got one!

Berry Patch Restaurant in Paradise MI

Cheeseburger in Paradise shirt

Downtown Paradise

Let’s explore the businesses downtown while we are here.  See all businesses listed in the Chamber of Commerce.

 

Paradise Recreational Sports

Paradise Recreational Sports

Paradise Food Pantry Market and  TJ’s Restaurant.

Downtown Paradise 2

We were not here long, but we enjoyed a great lunch at The Berry Patch and learned more about the many offerings in the U.P.

Leaving Paradise back of sign

 

Yoopers for a Day – The U.P. of Michigan


Day 4 – 6-24-16

Welcome to the U.P.

Sadly it was time to leave Michigan but we weren’t leaving without seeing as much as we could on our way to Crivitz, WI.  This was our route through the U.P.

Yoopers for a Day

It was a real thrill crossing the Mackinac Bridge for the first time.  The agency charged with the upkeep of the bridge and safety of people crossing is theMackinac Bridge Authority.  They have offices in both St. Ignace and Mackinaw City.

There is a $4.00 toll payable on the St. Ignace side, which helps pay for maintenance and professional drivers. They drive people across the bridge in bad conditions or if you have a fear of bridges.  Tune your radio to 530 or 1610 AM to hear a broadcast on bridge conditions.  If there are good conditions, you hear a welcoming message to the Upper Peninsula (U.P.).

Enjoy this view of the bridge from  Michilimackinac State Park and hear the broadcast, a 4 min-33 sec. looped message.  A bonus, the freighter Joseph L. Block  goes under the bridge!

The sunrise was beautiful as we crossed the bridge. I apologize for not having a video of that, the camera was misbehaving. Enjoy these photos of our crossing though!

Mackinac Bridge Crossing

We left Mackinaw City about 6 AM to have breakfast at the St. Ignace Truck Stop. First though, we could not resist a selfie at the Big Boy next door!  Next time we will eat there.

Big Boy Selfie in St. Ignace

The truck stop was great too, still glad we stopped there.

St. Ignace Truck Stop

After breakfast we continued on, passing what I thought was a lighthouse the day before.  We found out that it was a lookout tower attraction, $1.00 admission as part of a souvenir store called Curio Fair.  Maybe we can stop there on our next visit.

St. Ignace Look Out Tower IMG_1754

Curio Fair in St. Ignace

We also drove by Castle Rock, we didn’t stop this time.

Castle Rock in St. Ignace

We continue on, our next stop is the Great Lakes Shipwreck Museum in Paradise.  Here we saw MANY great displays, including one dedicated to the Edmund Fitzgerald. Gordon Lightfoot’s song  “Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald”  figured prominently here.

Great Lakes Shipwreck Museum lighthouse

After our visit we headed into Paradise for lunch at The Berry Patch.

Entering Paradise sign

They knew about the song “Cheeseburger in Paradise” song by Jimmy Buffett and took advantage of that by selling t-shirts. I got one!

Berry Patch Restaurant in Paradise MI

Cheeseburger in Paradise shirt

We also enjoyed talking to some of the other patrons eating there. One couple we met suggested visiting Tahquamenon Falls State Park  to see the waterfalls. The day pass was $9.00 to be able to see both falls. We took them up on their suggestion and did go after lunch. We ran into them there too!  The falls were beautiful and were worth the visit. We went to the Upper Falls first.

Upper Teq Falls info

Upper Teq Falls in Michigan

And now the Lower Falls.

Lower Teq Falls Info

Lower Teq Falls

Lets see both falls in action!

By this time it was 3:40 PM and it was time to move on.  We passed through other communities on our way to Crivitz.

Escanaba

Escanaba

We have reached the entry into the U.P., Menominee.  This is how we will enter Michigan on a return trip and skip the car ferry.  We discovered we could get to St. Ignace in a day from Madison by entering Michigan from here.  Menominee also has a well-stocked Welcome Center to pick up literature on ALL of Michigan. We actually visited Menominee on our way home, also the last lighthouse we saw.

Menominee marker

 

Menominee Visitor Center

Menominee North Pier Light House

We arrived in Crivitz at about 7:30 PM. A long but fun day.