Thursday, October 2, 2014

The Lakes Were Out To Get Me

My main objective of the trip -- besides Niagara Falls -- was to set foot in all five Great Lakes.
And okay. Maybe they weren't all out to get me, but there were a couple of incidents. Starting with...
Lake Superior
It was a beautiful day when I found my way down to the lake, just outside Marquette, Michigan. This was a simple, just-passing-through stop and a chance to get my feet wet. (Literally.)
Alas, there are various shore reclamation projects that use chunks of old roadway ... which leads to exposed rebar here and there. My first lake knocked me on my butt and got a lot more than my feet wet.
So deceptively serene.

And apparently I snapped a picture before that moment.

I left Superior with a scraped knee and hand (the back of it, somehow) but not much the worse for wear.

Next up was...

Lake Michigan

My stop by Lake Michigan was also at a random wayside stop, this one ... actually, I'm not sure where. Sandy beach and small waves made it one of the easier stops.

And I'd had a chance to dry out in between. That was nice.

That night, I camped at Port Crescent State Park, right next to...

Lake Huron

After spending the night on the thumb of Michigan, listening to the waves roll in and out, I awoke to perfectly clear skies and absolutely no wind.  It was perfect.

Finally, I crossed into Canada. The next day, after a winery tour and all sorts of fun, I found my way to a park in Niagara-on-the-Lake alongside...

Lake Ontario

And then the lake got mean.

I was being careful, getting close without getting too close. Shed my shoes (should have been wearing those Keens from before, but nooooo, I wanted to look cute when I hit the winery...) and managed to dip my toes in the water.

Then I made the mistake of deciding that wasn't good enough.

Now, you may have noticed the algae on that rock. Turns out, even if you're moving very slowly, it's incredibly slippery. Which was how a minute later, I found myself halfway in the lake with a bruised elbow and a destroyed ego. And an awful lot of mud and moss all the way down my back.

And as it turned out, a slightly damaged camera. Alas, the memory card had popped out just a little, so the shots I thought I'd taken didn't actually exist.

Luckily, my camera wasn't badly damaged and it still functioned just fine. (The door for the card slot is broken, but everything stays put as it should.) Unluckily, after that I had to make it back to my car without (a) causing any further damage to myself (my elbow was actually bleeding pretty well right then) and (b) bringing too much attention to myself.
Naturally, as I got into my car a couple I'd toured the winery with pulled up. I don't think I gave myself away. But I was soaked. And in pain.
Finally, two nights later I camped at Geneva State Park, right next to...
Lake Erie
As it turned out, Erie was the friendliest of all the lakes. A path directly to it. A quiet morning. (A couple of geocaches right there.) And smooth stones that didn't make a person slip and slide in.

I'd collected them all. My major goal of the Tour of the Lakes was accomplished; now, I had only to get home.
Oh. And to ride a few roller coasters first.

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