Earlier this week we took our annual summer trip to Lake Superior. This was the fifth trip we’ve made and we always go with the Bonetti family. I have been friends with Mark Bonetti since our school days, and as well as seeing the best freshwater lake in the world, it is good to renew our bonds of friendship. This year we decided to go to the far east in the UP to stay in the small town of Paradise, and explore the coast near Whitefish Point.
We are shown above at the Centenial Cranberry Farm. Although it looks nice, it was extremely cold with a sharp, northerly wind making us quite chilled. It was the first time I have been to a cranberry farm and learned how they are harvested. The cranberry is native to the UP and it is a small bush that likes acidic bogs. The glaciers made sure there are plenty of bogs in the UP. Our neighbor to the south, Wisconsin, is the number one producer of cranberries in the US. The Kralovecs are fruit fanatics as you can tell from some of my blog posts! Cranberries are traditionally eaten during American Thanksgiving and Christmas.
It was a long drive but well worth it. Lake Superior’s water temperature in mid-July was 57 F (14 C) and quite refreshing. We went swimming on Monday evening despite the cool winds. The tourists from Ohio thought we were crazy, but once you get in the water it is quite nice. On Tuesday we toured the Great Lakes Shipwreck Museum and the Whitefish Point Bird Observatory. The area is a popular stop for birds on the flyway south because the point juts out into the lake, making it a short flight to and from Canada. We collected rocks and driftwood, played in the sand and really had a nice morning at the beach. Nadia and the boys at the Shipwreck Museum
The museum was very interesting. Lake Superior gets huge storms in the autumn and many ships have gone down. Most were in the 1800’s and early 1900’s and mostly due to collisions or storms. The most fascinating story is of the Edmund Fitzgerald. This was an ore carrier that sank in 1975, the last ship to go down with lives lost. Gordon Lightfoot wrote a song about it. The event captures the essence of the beauty and danger of Superior. Many ships went down near Whitefish Point because it narrows as it approaches the Soo Locks.