Short Stories

This blog is a series of quick stops of note as we traveled through the rest of The Great Lakes on our way to Buffalo, NY.

There is a set of 36 islands called the Les Cheneaux Islands. These US islands are located in the upper shoreline of Lake Huron and are part of the State of Michigan. In all of our years of boating on the Great Lakes, Dorothy and I did not know this area existed. We spent several days anchoring and docking while checking out these small towns. Just a beautiful cruising area by water. This area is know for old wooden powerboats and just about everyone had a old restored “Woodie” at their dock. We visited the wood boat maritime museum in Cedarville, MI. When we asked for directions the local lady told us to go 2 blocks and turn right at the “blinker” pronounced “bleeeen-kr”. UP talk for a red and yellow intersection flasher.

The very small town of Hessel, MI has 2 things going for it, The Annual Antique and Wooden Boat Show held in August and The Les Cheneaux Culinary School. The school is very small and reservations are required. WOW, we were amazed at how wonderful our dishes were. I had French scrambled eggs and Dorothy had Avocado toast. The buttery whipped eggs just melted in my mouth.

Wooden boat show in August

Here is a fixer upper we saw on the side of the road.

We did some quick stops down the eastern Michigan shoreline on Lake Huron. The weather and sea conditions was general acceptable, we did run into some 6 foot seas for few hours but nothing we could not handle.

Childhood flashback in a public park in Harrisville, MI. Monkey bars and a hot metal slide that you stuck to going down.

We had options to stop at either Put-in-Bay or Kellys Island on our way down Lake Erie. Put in Bay while historic (Think war of 1812) also has the reputation of being the Key West of the North. We decided on Kellys. Great move on our part, it was homecoming weekend for the island. Not your typical high school homecoming, but a celebration for the locals honoring anyone who has ever lived on the island past or present. The Main Street ran right next to the marina and we had a front row seat for the Parade. It had all the usual suspects of a small town parade, firetrucks, law enforcement, local politicians, a marching band, church and civic organizations, and a long string of golf carts decorated by locals. They were all throwing candy, so much so the kids could not keep up with the bounty. Which meant Dorothy and I scored a couple of tootsie rolls.

We rented a golf cart for the day so we could tour the island in style. During our travels we ran across the Homecoming celebration open to everyone. They had games, rides, raffles, local vendors, music and the best was lunch. You could get a grilled hotdog, brat or hamburger with chips, pickle, slice of watermelon, can of soda, and a piece of cake for $4.50.

One of the local sites we stopped at was the Glacial Grooves. Very historic and cool to see. Gelogists from all over the world come to study this pheninon. The photo of the sign explains it all. I highly recommend viewing, if you ever find yourself in the area. its really impressive in person.

Another stop was the Inscription rock on the shoreline. It has a lot of history but not really much to look at. Most of the pictographs were well worn from weather and years of abuse by visitors. I am not sure why people felt they had to throw perfectly good money onto the rock.

From here we moved at a good clip across Lake Erie. Not much to see in the smaller towns and we were taking advantage of good boating weather. Lake Erie can be rough when the wind kicks up the waves.

We arrived a couple days early at Buffalo Yacht Club. This club is one of the friendliest yacht clubs we visited in our travels. All of the members we met were very helpful. Another Grand Banks owner, even let us use their car to sightsee and provision the boat for as long as we needed it.

We toured the USS The Sullivans a World War II destroyer. I was excited to see it because my father served on a similar vessel in the Pacific during the war. This is a very well preserved and clean vessel. I was able to get a glimpse of what his life was like on board. He served on the USS Shubrick from 1943 to 1945 when it was hit by a Kamikaze pilot with a large bomb and decommissioned in California shorty there after.

My father’s ship USS Shubrick

Our good friends Martha and Larry arrived in Buffalo the following day and we readied SEASONS for the trip on The Erie Canal.

Here are some sunset photos to close this edition of

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