All this happened, more or less...

My name is G and these are the true stories of my adventures.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

The Pleasant Penninsula: Drummond Island


The last day of our northerly vacation coincided with the first day that my parents were going to be in the UP for their annual getaway, so we decided to crash their party on Drummond Island.


It was Mom's idea to go the the Fossil Ledges on the northeast edge of the island. The ledges are precisely what they sound like -- a coastline of layered stone eaten slowly away by Lake Huron. The result of this slow-motion shattering is a series of rocky terraces stretching out into the water, blurring the border between the island and the lake in a truly entrancing way.


Of course, like most places worth going to, the Fossil Ledges are on what we might call the path less traveled. You have to make your way through Maxton Plains, a nature preserve inhabited by a rare combination of plants and animals. If you don't get eaten by any bears, you can continue north-ish on the dirt road, which gets progressively rockier and narrower.


To add to the fun of our trip, recent rain had flooded several parts of the road so that Dad had to guess how deep the water was and where the rocks were. The good news is that the road is basically limestone, not mud, so (as we were reassured several times) "you won't sink." However, that didn't do much to relieve our concerns about flooding the engine, popping a tire, or eviscerating the car on the large, frequently submerged, rocks.



If you ever attempt this drive, we recommend doing so in a high-riding vehicle like a Jeep or a truck. Our research shows that with some ingenious navigating a Pontiac Vibe can successfully make the trip, but as we all know, not everything that can be done should be.


When we got to the final drive leading to the Fossil Ledges -- a drive which is unmarked and easy to miss unless there happen to be other cars parked near it -- we had to abandon the Vibe and go on foot because the rocks were just too imposing to risk their wrath any longer.


Once we finally got to the ledges, we discovered that it was well worth the perilous journey, and we spent quite a while wandering up and down the mile-long stretch of coast, picking through the rocks to find fossils of shells and coral and all manner of creeping little denizens of the waves.


Even despite a little rain, we spent over an hour strolling this uniquely beautiful little stretch of coast, taking photos and hunting for cool fossils and just enjoying the fresh air and the water.



For the most part, the rough drive makes the Fossil Ledges a fairly secluded spot, but Stride did make one new friend while we were out there and few people we passed on the way all stopped to exchange information and advice about navigating the road, in typical friendly Yooper style.


Times are not good in Michigan right now. The economy is rough and a lot of people are struggling, but this trip has reminded me that we still have a lot of incredible things to be proud of. Here's to you, Pleasant Peninsula!

1 comment:

Miss Minnesota said...

These are some great pictures, I've never been there - so thanks for sharing!