Tuesday, July 5, 2011

On to Brimley and Whitefish Point, MI

We set up "camp" in Brimley, MI at the Bay Mills Casino and RV Resort. This very nice resort is right on the lake and offers full hookups for RVs. As we were driving through the small town of Brimley, on the way to the RV park, we noticed this sign which pretty well sums up the winter recreation in the area!

Our site in Bay Mills was level and offered convenient access to Sault Ste. Marie and Whitefish Point. The RV park is expanding and will be adding some 45 more full hookup sites.

We traveled the 30 or so miles to Whitefish Point, which overlooks the eastern side of Lake Superior. As we traveled through the beautiful, tree-lined highway running next to the lake, we saw this great model lake freighter and lighthouse.

Sure enough, a few miles later, we saw the real thing -- the Point Iroquois Lighthouse on a deserted part of Lake Superior. The first light was built in 1855 with the larger house and new light built in 1902.

Orinda was impressed with the lighthouse and grounds and wondered what it would have been like to live here. It was very beautiful, but desolate and not a great place to live if you like visitors. Still, we learned that since this was relatively close to Brimley, (10 miles or so), it was possible to have more company than most light stations might have experienced.

The road we traveled on was the Whitefish Bay Scenic Highway and was a great ride. I don't think we say more than 2 or 3 cars on the entire 20 mile drive.

We soon arrived at Whitefish Point, known as a the Graveyard of Superior for all the ships that were lost in the area. Given the danger of the point, it is not surprising that there was a lighthouse built here in 1849. Today, the point serves as a museum, but was still functional as a navigation aid when we heard the deep fog horn on the point sound and warning ships away.

Not surprisingly, there is a very nice shipwreck museum on the point as well. Today, the entire point has become one large museum where you can visit the shipwreck museum, lightkeeper house, life boat station and more.

Orinda gives some perspective as to the number of structures that make up the light station. This really gives you an idea of what it was like to live and work in a light station.

The beach in front of the station is pretty desolate. We were amazed at the number of trees that have washed ashore -- apparently, the waves get VERY big here. I would hate to be on a disabled ship heading for this beach in the middle of a large storm.

Rick and Orinda are standing in front of the fog horn which has just sounded. It was foggy and cool (48 degrees) when we visited in late June. We could not see far out on to the lake at all, but just a mile or so inland, the weather was clear. The very cold water on the lake makes for some challenging weather conditions for the sailors.

1 comment:

Chuck and Anneke's RV travels said...

Thanks for the tour. It reminded us of our visit several years ago.