Today, we took our time meandering along Lake Superior's shoreline! We woke up to our continental breakfast and headed up to Whitefish Point. It is one of the first lights along Lake Superior. Whitefish Point is known as the Graveyard of Ships as more vessels have been lost here than in any other part of the lake. This is where, in 1975, the Edmund Fitzgerald was lost and shipwrecked. We toured the Great Lakes Shipwreck Museum and looked at all of the artifacts brought up from shipwrecks along the coast!
We toured the lighthouse keeper's home - it was awesome! I would totally live as a lighthouse keeper! Except back then, it was a terribly lonely life, I'm sure! I love walking through museums and models of homes where you can see how the lighthouse keepers used to live back then. It's so interesting! Afterwards, we walked down to the Lake Superior coast and skipped stones along the water. It's so different from Lake Michigan. We don't have stones like this at all on our shoreline! Plus, Lake Superior is so cold!
After our time at Whitefish Point, we ate lunch in Paradise before heading out on our trip. We found signs for Oswald's Bear Ranch in Newberry, Michigan and followed them all the way to the ranch! It is the largest bear-only bear ranch in the entire United States! Rescued cubs are brought every year for a home in the wild upper peninsula. It was so fun to see so many bears in the same area! The males were so huge and the cubs were adorable. A bit too big now to hold, but they would sit in the chair so you could get your photo with them! They ate fruit loops off Brett's hand and chomped on his fingers in the second photo. Hehe!
After the bear ranch, I wanted to find this secret lighthouse so bad. I read about it a few months ago. It's called Crisp Point Lighthouse. It was declared the most endangered lighthouse in the United States in 1991 until it was restored just recently. It was built in 1902 and operational until 1930 and abandoned for many years. In 1965, the coast guard destroyed everything but the towering white lighthouse. In 1992, it was decommissioned and the entrance was destroyed by erosion. It wasn't until 2006 that they finally decided to restore it and bring it back to life. For so many years, there were no roads leading to the lighthouse and it was completely inaccessible! That is so amazing.
We turned off the main road onto a dirt road to get here. I read stories of how long it takes to get out here, but I had no idea until we traveled it. It was 20 miles each way of very rough dirt road. I felt so sick from the winding roads and Brett and I were almost mad at each other at how long it was taking to get out there and finally.. the sky became clear as we approached the lake and there it was. And it honestly was worth the trip. It was gorgeous. It's definitely one of Michigan's best kept secrets. I've never been able to climb a lighthouse's stairs unguided and never have I been able to climb out onto the top of a lighthouse. It was a once in a lifetime experience! (Can you spot Brett on the tower?!)
We made the two hour trip out to Munising for our final destination on the trip! We're staying in a gorgeous hotel here for two nights. Our room overlooks Lake Superior and Grand Island. We saw a tiny glimpse of Pictured Rocks from our balcony. I can't wait to take our two boat tours tomorrow to explore the different Pictured Rocks! I'm so excited. For dinner, we ate at a local place called The Dogpatch and are now hitting the hay for our big day tomorrow! Can't wait to post all about it!