Slow Walks, Waterfalls, and Weed

Slow Walks, Waterfalls, and Weed.  Sounds like the beginning of an online dating profile.  It wasn’t, it was the theme behind our latest trip.  We planned the weekend trip around visiting waterfalls along Michigan’s Lake Superior shoreline.  It was the last official weekend of summer; fall began on the following Monday.  This was a great time to visit the Upper Peninsula.  The leaves on the trees were just starting to change color, and the weather was perfect for hiking.   This was a much-needed trip to reconnect with nature and spend time with my daughter.

Heading north we stopped in Grayling MI to shop at the last available Medical Marijuana dispensary between us and our destination.  Riverside Provisioning is located on the south side of M-72 roughly 8 miles west of town.  You will find it situated alongside the Manistee River just before crossing over it.   The staff at Riverside Provisioning was welcoming and friendly.  I provided them with my medical card and driver’s license, and without any wait I was escorted back to the product room.   My Budtender assisted me in picking the right local strains to enjoy during our trip.  He was knowledgeable and easily answered any of the questions I asked him.  When I tried to throw him a curveball, he graciously explained that I may have been misinformed and provided a thorough explanation of the strain’s characteristics.  

Turning the car back to the north we headed over the Mighty Mackinac bridge and into St Ignace. We had held off on getting anything to eat until this point.  We had our hearts set on burgers and fries from Clyde’s Drive In.  Clyde’s is located at 178 US-2, in Saint Ignace just a couple minutes past the bridge.  If you enjoy a classic American burger in an old school drive in, this is a stop you cannot miss.  The food is outstanding and can satisfy even the most serious cases of the munchies.  You can choose breakfast at Clyde’s if you get there before 11am.  After that your choices range between burgers, including a ¾lbs burger called The Big “C”, plenty of deep-fried treats, and even shakes and malts to top it all off. This is a true drive in restaurant, you don’t get out of your car, they come to you.   I always order extra food for later when we get to stop at Clyde’s.  One meal there just isn’t enough for me.

A bit over an hour later we pulled into the campground at Tahquamenon Falls State Park.  We quickly set up camp and started a fire.  I retrieved my stash I purchased at Riverside Provisioning and rolled a joint of Hindu Kush.  It was a nice relaxing Indica that was perfect for hanging out by the fire with my daughter.  We ate our leftover burgers from Clyde’s while enjoying the glow and crackle of the fire.  It was a perfect late summer night in Northern Michigan.  There was a chill in the air that made the fire seem more inviting than it was just weeks before.  It wasn’t cold, but it was just enough drop in temperature to make me appreciate my warm sleeping bag when we turned in for the night.

There are over 40 miles of hiking trails within the park, including the roughly 4-mile trail between the Lower Falls and the Upper Falls.  If hiking doesn’t interest you, the falls are just a short walk from the parking areas.  The Lower Falls can be viewed from the riverbank or you can rent a rowboat at the concession stand and view the falls from the island.   We chose to view the lower falls from the riverbank.  There is an abundance of wildlife in the park, ranging from river otters, to moose, black bear, and bald eagles.  We then visited the Upper falls, viewing The Brink, and taking the Gorge Trail to view the falls from down river.  Both views are amazing.  I could easily spend an entire week exploring this beautiful park.  Unfortunately, we only had a few hours planned for these falls on this trip.  Once we had our fill of the falls and my head cleared of the nice Sativa buzz, we headed west to our next destination. 

Sable Falls is just one of many beautiful things to see at the Picture Rocks National Lakeshore.   There are multiple hikes and attractions at the site, including the Grande Sable Dunes which is roughly a half mile walk from the parking lot.  To view the falls there are 168 stairs down, and 168 stairs up if you go to the bottom.  If that seems like a lot, don’t let it stop you.  There are multiple viewing platforms while going down the stairs, each providing a beautiful view. You will not need to traverse the entire gauntlet of stairs to enjoy the falls or take pictures.   We spent a little more time there than originally planned.  It was well worth it.

We continued west to our final destination for the day, the Pictured Rock Cruises located at 100 City Park Drive, Munising, Michigan 49862.   This is an absolute must-see attraction!  The Pictured rocks are amazingly beautiful sandstone cliffs with waterfalls, caves, natural bridges, and colorful mineral deposits.  We chose the Spray Falls Cruise which takes roughly 90 minutes or so round trip.  We had a bit over an hour until our cruise boarded so we headed up the street to Eh! Burger, well after I made a quick stop at the car to use the vape pen a little.  Eh! Burger is Veteran owned and operated which I will always appreciate and try to support.  They are located at 101 E Munising Ave, Munising, MI 49862.  We quickly ordered our snacks (we had dinner plans already).  I chose the Chili Cheese Tots; they were an awesome munchie killer.  Time got away from us while we sat talking about the falls we had seen earlier in the day.  We only had 5 minutes before boarding.  That was a mistake.  The rest of the patrons were already in line. 

I highly suggest getting in line at least 30 minutes early.  This should allow you the opportunity to choose seats that you will be happy with.  I really wanted a seat on the upper deck but ended up on the bottom floor.  It would be much easier to use a vape pen while on the top deck.  The cruise takes you past a beautiful old light house before turning east towards the sandstone cliffs.  The captain does a great job of entertaining and educating passengers about the multiple stops, all while making sure both sides of the boat get ample time to take pictures with a good view. This is a cruise we will be doing again soon with the rest of the family.  Everyone should get to see this national treasure. It had been a fairly long day, we made a quick stop at the gift shop for souvenirs before heading back east to Paradise for dinner.

We saw “The Inn” a gastropub and smokehouse, when we first drove into town on Friday night.  I am a BBQ junkie, so it was our planned dinner destination for Saturday.  We were seated much quicker than I expected for a Saturday nigh, a short 15-minute wait.  Our server, the bartender,  was super cool and made some recommendations which we agreed to.  I had the Log Splitter, and just so you understand the type of delicious food you can get at The Inn, this bit of BBQ heaven consists of “House-Smoked Burba-Q Brisket, Crispy Pork Belly, Caramelized Onions, and Pickled Onions on a House-Made Roll.”  It was phenomenal!  My Daughter had “The Inn Burger”, a classic bacon cheeseburger that made me wish I wasn’t so full, it looked delicious.  I would drive a couple hours out of the way to eat there, the food was that good!

We got back to the campsite after dinner exhausted from the day, yet content with the adventure we shared.  I got the fire going and we sat and reflected on the day and discussed future adventures while I enjoyed the Hindu Kush again.  I love northern Michigan just about any time of the year, but fall is especially beautiful to me.  The chill in the air, the turning colors of the leaves, and the greatly reduced mosquito population makes it perfect.  Sitting by the fire with family and friends this time of year holds a close place to my heart.  Enjoying a bit of good cannabis, makes it even better.  We headed out in the morning to make the journey home.   Looking forward to our next adventure when we will travel to Manistee Farm CannaVentures to visit their “Bud and Breakfast”.  Look for that post in upcoming weeks, it is sure to be an adventure you don’t want to miss. Until then, be cool and Live the High Life!