Day 15: Friday, June 25th

I awoke at the Lake Gogebic Hotel at my usual time: 5AM. The day was starting out warm - it was already 65 degrees. The cloudy skies which had brought in the overnight rain had vanished and the morning was bright and breezy.

I fixed my coffee and stepped outside and was hit by the wall of noise from the reefer unit which was still plugged in and chugging away. In order to get away from the noise I walked around the back of the hotel and found another row of rooms I had not seen before. The were hidden by the lower units and were at a right angle to them and thus were not visible from Rt 28, only from the Elm Street side street. None of the units were occupied so I sat in one of the outside chairs and enjoyed the relative quiet while sipping my coffee.

Click on the photos below for a larger image.

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This old stone building sits near the intersection of Rt 28 and Elm Street. I asked the owner if he had any info on it. Being a lifelong resident he did. This building, built in the 1920s served as the pump house for the city of Bergland. One of the "well pits" as the owner described it, can be seen to the right of the building. I peeked in the windows and the building is now being used as a storage unit.

I was reading Betsy's journal for yesterday and she recorded a couple of things I had forgotten. When we had been talking to the hotel over the previous evening he mentioned about how all the tourists seemed to view the UP as their own personal park and playground but forgot about the year round residents who had to try to make a living here. Right on he is! Too easy to come and go and not think about the folks you left behind who helped make your visit possible.

I also forgot to mention the owners of the Lake Gogebic Motel have the place up for sale. But, after talking to the owner I realized they had little hope of ever selling it. They had been trying to retire for 10 years but they knew few people had the money or were willing to put in the hours to keep a hotel running. Especially one located in the boondocks of the UP.

Bergland, Michigan

Source: © Google Maps

I went back to the room after finishing my coffee and decided to leave sleeping beauty alone and go for a walk. I retraced my steps and then wandered around the back streets and then over to the cemetery for a look around. I then mosied back to the room and the still snoozing Miss Winky, had a bit more coffee and then set out to take a look at Lake Gogebic.

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I crossed SR 28 and walked down Ash Street past the city park and camping area. The upper area had a pavilion and the lower was grassed and pleasant enough looking. It might be a good alternative tent camping area in the cooler season when it is not so busy on the lake. There was a swimming beach not to far from the camping area which was adjacent to one of the parking areas.

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I went on down to the fishing pier and boat dock and poked around. It was still early and the lake was quiet and calm and the water looked fairly clear. I then walked over to the adjacent boat dock where it looked like I might get a better picture. I am sure this lake is a fisherman's paradise!

Lake Gogebic, Michigan's largest inland lake, lies at the far western end of the Upper Peninsula. With abundant opportunities for fishing, hiking, hunting, camping, and winter sports, Lake Gogebic is a four-season vacation gem that - for all its attractions - retains the peaceful atmosphere of a small Northwoods community, untroubled by traffic and crowds.

Lake Gogebic's 13,380 acres of prime fishing water teem with walleye, smallmouth bass, northern pike, jumbo perch and whitefish, providing both catches for the novice and challenges for the veteran angler. The surrounding forests offer prime hunting for deer, bear, small game and birds.


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On my way back up the street I noticed this American Eastern Yellow Fly Agaric growing on the road bank below the upper area of the park.

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Amanita muscaria, commonly known as the fly agaric or fly Amanita , is a poisonous and psychoactive basidiomycete fungus, one of many in the genus Amanita. Native throughout the temperate and boreal regions of the Northern Hemisphere, Amanita muscaria has been unintentionally introduced to many countries in the Southern Hemisphere, generally as a symbiont with pine plantations, and is now a true cosmopolitan species.

It associates with various deciduous and coniferous trees. The quintessential toadstool, it is a large white-gilled, white-spotted, usually deep red mushroom, one of the most recognizable and widely encountered in popular culture. Several subspecies, with differing cap colour have been recognised to date, including the brown regalis (considered a separate species), the yellow-orange flavivolata, guessowii, and formosa, and the pinkish persicina. Genetic studies published in 2006 and 2008 show several sharply delineated clades which may represent separate species.

Source: WikiPedia

When I got back to the room Betsy was up and about. We had our cereal, packed up and then headed across the street to Norene's Groceries in search of peanut butter. As might be expected there was nothing but the "Skippy" type and that's what we had to settle for. No organic, raw peanut butter to be had in these parts!

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On the way back to the car I noticed this snow plow and had Betsy pose for me. Note the beer can. Bad girl!

Then, at around 9:00 it was off to our secluded camp site in the woods - Robbins Pond.

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By now we were getting pretty good at setting up and breaking camp so we got settled in pretty quickly.

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The site was on the small side and we had trouble finding a place to pitch the tent which was not in a low spot. Someone, a previous occupant perhaps, had trenched a tent site, but it was to small for our Nylon Condo. Notice the overstuffed Sube. Sheesh!

Since we had done nothing but drive all over the countryside yesterday we had never been able to go for a hike. Champing at the bit for one but not wanting to drive anywhere we settled on a short walk down the road. So, we headed east on Forest Hwy 6964 toward Forest Hwy 5230. We were very glad to be in the woods again even if it was on a road.

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The roadside near the picnic area was loaded with Boneset (Eupatorium perfoliatum) and Queen Anne's Lace (Daucus carota).

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What a gorgeous place! The road was lined with large, luxuriant ferns of many species. Here Betsy stands next to the ubiquitous Ostrich Fern. In the foreground an Interrupted Fern fern flaunts its "fruits".

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This section of the road was lined with the lovely and delicate Wood Horsetail.

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Here we see a big clump of Interrupted fern surround by 100s of fronds of the Sensitive fern.

We continued on up to the intersection of Forest Hwy 5230 then headed back to camp. Our "short" walk ended up being 6 miles.
One thing we also noticed on our walk bummed us out. The entire section of road we had walked was marked up into plots for cutting. We were very glad we did not get there during the active cutting and hauling or we could not have stayed at this normally quiet, out of the way campground.

When we got back to camp our neighbor in site No 1 came up to welcome us and we found out a bit about him. At age 71 he was a homeless vagabond travelling the US with his two dogs and an American Express Corporate Gold Card. He could have stayed anywhere he chose and here he was at Robbins Pond. Smart man.

We then relaxed in the tent for a while and then drove the 6 miles up to Steusser Lake for a refreshing skinny-dip. We had the place to ourselves.

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Dinner is served!

Because I trained as a chef in both Paris and San Francisco I was able to whip up something special: Dinty Moore Beef Stew and salad. Buddy, that is livin'! As we sat there dining in total quiet we could only imaging what a zoo the Union Bay Campground must be like about now. < Shiver... >
After dinner we went out for another short walk after which it was to bed and books. The day turned out OK.

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