Category Archives: 2015 eNewsletters

Experience Michigan’s Paradise

 

September 29, 2015 Volume 1 Issue 5 Flickr facebook youtube

Experience Fall Colors in Paradise

A splash of color...

The sun’s position is shifting south, the daylight hours are slowly growing fewer, and the air holds the feeling of autumn. The hustle and bustle of the summer tourist rushing to capture as much of the area before school starts as possible has distinctly shifted to those interested in traveling at a slower pace, those that have more time in their schedule to pick up the lull of Lake’s Superior’s waves. The anticipation of Fall Colors is almost deafening. What is it about Fall Colors that causes so many people to just hop in their car and go for a drive? The canvas is the landscape, year to year it changes. The colors are brighter or less intense and the canvas is available for a short time. Some people will travel a region to capture the colors in one area then follow them to another. Fall Colors are a praise so to speak of the bountiful harvest that so many will enjoy. Fall Colors are last splash for the quiet and calm of Winter.

In 2015, our Whitefish Township resident weather data collector recorded the following information.

 

2015 Paradise Weather
Month Ave High Temp Ave Low Temp Total Rainfall
June 70 45 1.5 Inches
July 81 51 1.5 Inches
August 74 52  .8 Inches

 

Fall colors in 2015 appear to be at a slower pace than in 2014, I wondered if this was due to the unusually dry weather this past summer. Our weather specialist reported that the ever so slight color changes we saw in the past couple of weeks were due to stress. Fall Color changes are depended on the current weather, not the weather we experienced during the summer.

As of September 23, we’ve already had 2.9 inches of rain and to be honest, I think it is greener now then it was in August. Looking at the monthly rainfall totals, this makes sense. Have no fear, colors will change. Leaves are destined to follow their usual dance with diminishing sunlight. The good news is the colors should abound and depending upon the weather, they may stay with us a bit longer this fall.

Which is the best route? Curley Lewis Scenic Byway, Tahquamenon Scenic Heritage Byway, Whitefish Bay Scenic Route, County Road 412 to Crisp Point, Country Road 414 to Muskallonge Lake State Park, M77 to Grand Maris or Highway 58 To Munising and Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore. As a region embedded in the Hiawatha National Forest and Tahquamenon Falls State Park, Paradise is an ideal location as your base camp. Situated on the Tahquamenon Scenic Heritage Byway, plan a three day excursion, driving west to Seney National Wildlife Refuge and Wilderness area to Pictured Rocks, then return to the Tahquamenon Falls State Park and dine at the Camp 33 Brewery then take a nice walk to see the Tahquamenon Falls. On the next day relax, take a short drive to Crisp Point or relax at Muskallonge Lake State Park. You might even consider renting a 4-wheeler or hiking the North Country Trail or Paradise Pathway Trails. When you return to Paradise conclude your day with a fine meal at The Inn, Paradise, a local gastro pub and smokehouse. On day three, travel East on the Curley Lewis Scenic Byway to Brimley and then Sault Ste Marie Michigan to visit the locks and catch a Freighter being lowered to travel onward toward Lake Huron. Driving, hiking, walking, biking, capturing images, defining memories, and preparing for the season ahead, experience Fall Colors in Paradise. Have you made your Fall Color plans yet?



Experience a Run for the Light

By Sarah Wilde, Membership and Marketing Coordinator

Join us in October for the 2015 Fifth Annual Whitefish Point: Run for the Light Benefit Race with a Half Marathon, 10K Run and 5K Fun Run/Walk.

The 2015 Fifth Annual Whitefish Point: Run for the Light will take place at the Shipwreck Museum at Whitefish Point on Saturday, October 10, 2015 with a blast from the Foghorn at 8:30 am. All proceeds will benefit ongoing restoration of the Whitefish Point Lighthouse.

Registration forms can be downloaded at www.ShipwreckMuseum.com (events section) and mailed with payment, received by October 8. You can also register onsite at the Shipwreck Museum Gift Store through October 9, until 7 p.m. or online at www.Active.com through midnight October 8. Race Packets may be picked up Friday, October 9, from 12 noon to 7 p.m. and Saturday, October 10, from 6:30 a.m.-7:30 a.m. at the Shipwreck Museum Gift Store.

All registered participants will receive a 2015 Whitefish Point: Run for the Light Dri-FIT T-Shirt with Race Packet and receive special admission Group Visit rate of $9 (regularly $13) to the Shipwreck Museum. Awards to top two finishers in each Age Group, Male and Female, in each Race Event (Half Marathon, 10K Run and 5K Run/Walk). Awards to overall Top Finishers, Male and Female in each Race Event. Certificate of Finishing. The course will have Chip Timing and will be on flat paved roadway. Participants are encouraged to wear Halloween costumes. The Whitefish Point: Run for the Light benefit race was voted Best Race Event in 2014 by The Upper Peninsula Road Runners Club. Hope you can join us this year!

We need volunteers! Our Annual Whitefish Point: Run for the Light would not be possible without our awesome volunteers. Call the Shipwreck Society office at (906) 635-1742 or email swilde@shipwreckmuseum.com to sign up. All volunteers will receive a Whitefish Point: Run for the Light Dri-FIT Volunteer T-Shirt. Volunteer positions available at the registration tables, the start and finish line, and along the course at the three turn around points.

All race photos by Lynne Reed, GLSHS Volunteer, from the 2014 Fourth Annual Whitefish Point Run for Light.



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God, . . . ain’t you going to give us even one?

By Robert B. High

Reprinted from the Tahquamenon Paradise Resort News, 1978, Volume 1, p. 5

This is only a story, but it really happened November 10, 1975. The day began in Paradise, dark, forbidding with a chill northerly wind that held the icy breath of winter yet to come. Little shops were opening, the kids off to school.

Lake Superior, Queen of all the lakes, had changed her beautiful blue gown with frothy white lace, to dark green with a series of solid white edging for as far as the eye could see. She appeared to the more experienced fisherman and some of the older fresh water sailors who lived along her shores to be vexed over something. At least one man or  possibly several men paused as they walked along her clean sandy beach south of Whitefish Point or along the rocky agate strewn north shore west of the point and wondered what had been done to the old girl this time to make her so. Had we sailed too many times over her skirts? Had we polluted the waters around her feet too much? They knew that on occasion, she could exact her toll as tribute for the invasions and desecration. Her toll would be the lives of the sailors, sailing across her regal hem at this very moment if she deemed it so.

Many of the residents of the area, from Whitefish point, through Shelldrake, Paradise, Silver Creek, on along the shore line who had lived at least several years here were less aware of the situation because death from the lake had not touched their dear ones or friends as the commercial fishermen or sailors had experienced it. Yet they seemed to feel tense. It was a tension that defied explanation. It wasn’t talked about. They just started the day’s business as usual.

Some of the old-timers could be seen lifting their faces to the sky and then looking quickly down. Each one lost in his or her own thoughts as they hunched their shoulders a bit against the rising wind and trudged along their way on some errand.

At noon, the street and house lights were on where usually they were not needed during the day. The clouds scudded along in dark ominous blotches growing larger and lowering toward the pine and hardwood tree tops, the wind causing a deep moaning sound to come to the ears. The sound was accompanied by the growing roar of waves breaking a thousand yards off shore and finally pounding on the sand in an angry temp like the steady tolling of a giant bell. It promised one Hell of a day on land and “plenty hell on the lake”, as the old saying goes around here.

By 4:30 p.m., day and night seemed to crash together. Darkness came early, as if to cover the frightful deed our angry queen was about to commit. As if to aid her with the already unstable elements, she was to seat beside her a consort. That consort would be Satan himself.

The townspeople had closed their shops early on November the 10th and joined with their families around stoves with chill chasing fires crackling and popping within, or near the hearth-side that offered a more cheerful light. People who love each other draw together when something they can’t understand seems to cloud the emotions. It was the thing to do. The children appeared to be a bit demanding this night. It was difficult to concentrate on homework lessons and parents seemed to sense a need of reassurance. What was this tense feeling? No one knew.

Thus, out came the popcorn to be popped and buttered. A joint effort indeed. Out came the books to be read aloud for all to listen to. Stories to be told of olden days, never, never land; fun, and fancy. Each to his own.

About 5:30 p.m. the rain started in cold stinging shards, pelting window panes like tiny pebbles thrown against them by an angry god.

The wind had slowly shifted to west and south, and while doing so, rose to a howl. It seemed to lift itself from the tree tops and to hurl itself into mad oblivion.

Some people who lived on the lake shore were at their windows with binoculars trying to see, in vain, the lights of the giant ore freighters that usually sparkled on the horizon. The night was as black as they could ever remember and probably a few, offered a prayer for those brave lads they knew were at the absolute mercy of an angry queen. By now, the watery dress of the queen had been changed to black, as black as the first stage of oblivion. It seemed, consciousness had even left the night.

The waves had grown to mountainous size. Spray blew from their tops in solid sheets of black water against the side of sterns and forecastles with main decks awash like an ebony shroud.

Radar became their only hope to search their way around Whitefish point and relative safety in Whitefish Bay, for at 5:53 p.m., the beacon at Whitefish point lighthouse, had, for some un-explainable reason gone out. Since the station is automatic, there was no one there to repair it.

The wind, by this time had gone completely wild. Eighty to eighty-five miles per hour with gusts well over ninety were registered. On land trees were crashing to the ground unheard in the roar of the wind.

A few residents from Whitefish Point down to Eckerman sent C.B. radio messages to each other. Those who had marine monitors or scanners, as they are called, made coffee and with worried frowns, prepared to listen through the rest of the night.

A night gone mad.

Around 6:30 p.m. worried townspeople were nervously phoning friends who lived along the beach Inland, they could hear the thunderous crashing of the waves and the roaring of the wind, each seemed to be trying to drown out the noise of the other. “Can you see any freighter light?” they would ask. “Nope”, came the rather glum and noncommittal reply. “Can’t see a thing out there.” “Must be terrible out there eh?”, the caller might say or ask in the form of an anxious question. Because of the tension and worry each one might have felt, the words (disaster or drowning) was not mentioned. “Call me if you see anything,” or “call me if there is anything I can do to help” May seem strange to the reader, because no one could see anything at all and there was nothing anyone could do to help on a night as insane with wind, wave, and rain as this one was. Sincerity in feeling; true concern for the living who were rolling and pitching on the largest inland lake in the world has that effect on us and is understood by everyone.

Usually, before they rang off, a final reply. “Sure will, I’m going to stay up for a while tonight anyway, so I’ll call if something comes up.” There seemed to be a reluctance to hang up the phone, but everything that needed to be said, had been said.

By 7:00 p.m., the queen of all the lakes had now reached the apex of her rath. It was time now for her decision. All the elements she had mustered forth were hers to command. The wind, it seemed, in order to please her, reached for its full fury. The waves in order to justify her decision had, peaked at forty feet or more. The darkness grew blacker as if to hide the act she was about to perform. Suddenly she rose from her iron throne, reached down, and on the crests of several huge waves broke the huge ore freighter EDMUND FITZGERALD into three pieces. Releasing the wreckage, she allowed it plunge to the bottom, taking each and every one of the 29 sailors with it. All this was done in less than a minute. Seating herself, she allowed the wind and waves an ecstasy of complete madness. An insane joy for the terrible toll she had so suddenly taken. On through the night the elements cavorted and danced to the tune of Satan’s Hornpipe.

The following morning, November 11, 1975, townspeople in the Paradise area began to sire and arose to a sullen day. The children began preparing themselves for school. Breakfast was started. Radios were turned on for the morning news and weather. Suddenly, the news no one wanted to hear, came to them anyway. The over 700 foot ore freighter EDMUND FITZGERALD was lost during the night approximately nine miles north and east of Whitefish point down bound toward the Soo. All hands were missing.

The shock, the sudden feeling of loss, thoughts driven crashing through the brain. Thoughts about the parents of the boys who were yet floating on that cold water; thoughts about the boys who had gone down to join so many others in the years gone by. Thoughts some of the women felt pushed back because they were too terrible to dwell upon, like, “But for the grace God, goes my son.”

A fleeting prayer for the survivors. All this in one galvanized moment. It can’t be true that all were lost? It’s too soon to say yet. Certainly there will be some lads struggling to live? It’s too monstrous to believe all are gone.

Some of the men folk had reached the beach, dressed as warmly against the wind as they could. They brought with them small boats with outboard motors, hoping in their hearts to see a man’s head above a life jacket; a flailing arm rising above a dark green forbidding wave. Hoping in vain to launch the boats against the waves. Walking the beaches in search of wreckage, or survivors, or worse yet, bodies. The men kept touch with walky talky radios, C.B. radio operators in their homes kept a constant monitor hoping to be able to pass the news that at least some of the boys had been found. Yet, practically everyone knew that only the dead might be found. The temperature of the water only allows a few minutes of life to a hapless swimmer out there. But we can’t give up hope? It isn’t in us to give up? The wind direction has got to carry them here along this very stretch of beach. We just know it?

Fishing tugs in the refuge harbor at the Point were prepared and all tugs that could, pushed their bows bravely into the waves to join the larger coast guard cutters moving about in search patterns.

All day of the 11th of November 1975, dozens of men and women searched along the shores. All day the fishing tugs, the Coast Guard cutters, aircraft, helicopters anything that could bring a pair of eyes to focus on water was utilized. All in vain.

As the day turned to dusk, and vision was no longer of use to search, the tugs began returning to the harbor. Wet, weary, fatigued almost beyond endurance, the men tied up to the slips. Hope was gone. One man summed it all up with a weary sigh. He raised his eyes to heaven and was heard to mutter under his breath. “God, ain’t you going to give us even one?”


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Paradise Area Community Experiences

 

 



Claudia Brings Music to Whitefish Bay

Story by N. Craig

Have you ever met Claudia?

Once Claudia sets her mind to a specific goal, to some extent there is no stopping her. Facing retirement in 2015 she was more then a little concerned as to how she would spend her day. After all she is a busy person. If she isn’t working on lesson plans, encouraging students to learn, mentoring teachers to achieve even more or cross-country skiing trails around her home with her dog, Star, until the very last bit of snow is gone, Claudia just isn’t Claudia. Just ask those who know Claudia. One neighbor will lovingly reinforce to anyone that will listen that Claudia is just a high energy bundle of crazy.

Have you ever been to the Wild Blueberry Festival? Many people have. The small community of Paradise swells beyond recognition as people from all over the UP and the upper lower peninsula of Michigan travel to one of this region’s greatest arts and crafts show and family entertainment festivities ever imagined. You may have even noticed the decorations around town. Well, more then likely, Claudia and her small team put those decorations up. Claudia loves to celebrate life! Let me tell you, decorating Paradise is no easy task. This is a small community with a lot of folks (including me) that finds the natural green of the trees, and the blue of the waters just about all that God wanted to do to decorate the place, why would we need tinsel, balloons, and even more colors? But decorate she does. Undaunted and determined, Claudia perseveres.

In the fall of 2014, Claudia had a phenomenal idea to raise funds for the Wild Blueberry Festival and to enhance the strong entertainment program. Her plan included a means to reach out to younger people and elicit their participation in this great community. Claudia exclaimed to the Paradise Area Chamber, let’s establish a Blueberry Idol Contest at the festival and set up a series of seven, free community concerts, Music on the Bay, whereby contestants could qualify to be in the final two or four groups to compete at the festival. The Chamber was elated, the Wild Blueberry Festival steering committee was less so. But undaunted, Claudia persevered and even though the Blueberry Idol package was on hold she proceeded with the concept of the free community concerts. She had the Chamber backing, but she needed funds to contract local talent. It was getting late in the season to schedule artists. She met with the Paradise Area Community Foundation, they approved her request for funds. She met with the Paradise Area Tourism Council and they too approved her request for funds. Music on the Bay was born.

Claudia did take retirement from teaching in the Brimley School System in the spring of 2015 and she delighted the Paradise community by accepting the role of Wild Blueberry Festival Chairperson for 2015. Immediately she was hit in the face with the loss of the ovens at the school. How would the committee bake blueberry pies. (I believe it was at this time, that I dared suggest, “Who needs Blueberry Pies.” and Claudia replied, “Come on now, it’s the Wild Blueberry Festival! We will have pies.”) She worked with the Whitefish Township Community Schools, dug through years and years of receipts to prove ownership of the oven the school was replacing with hopes of claiming the oven and setting it up somewhere to be put to good use. She reported to the Paradise Area Chamber of Commerce, she contacted the supplier of the oven. Keep in mind 2015 was the 32nd year for the Wild Blueberry Festival, there were a lot of receipts and a lot of traditions that she challenged. Undaunted, Claudia much like the Man of La Mancha, picked up her sword and approached Joy, the community meals program coordinator. Joy found a new oven, put together pricing, Claudia approached the Paradise Area Chamber of Commerce and the Wild Blueberry Festival Steering Committee about donating funds early this year and offer the township up to $5,000 toward a new oven. If Whitefish Township were to do the same, and the community meals program were to chip in then the community center could replace their oven with a new oven that could meet everyone’s needs. At the township meeting, Claudia was eloquent as she laid out her plan. A number of Wild Blueberry Festival enthusiasts and volunteers attended the meeting as a show of support. The Board approved. The Whitefish Township community would purchase this new oven. The blueberry pies were saved.

Music on the Bay was a great success in its first year. Each Tuesday evening at 7:00 PM a singer/songwriter performed their best at the Whitefish Township Community Center. If the weather was willing, the concert was held outside in accordance to the preliminary concept. Concessions were made available and donation jars set about for concert attendees to make donations for a 2016 concert series. Young and old alike, sat midst family and friends to enjoy the music and sounds wafting from the stage of our small community. At the chamber’s September Annual meeting, reports as to the success of the concert series were reassuring as the chamber members were excited to offer the free concert series in 2016. Each Tuesday evening, 7:00 pm members in the community will enjoy music.

Claudia is making a difference. Not just decorating the town with colors and joy but music to lift our spirits and comfort our souls. Children need celebration in life. Children of all ages. Ovens and blueberry idols were not the only battles left to our dear friend Claudia. She sought the opportunity to serve her community as the Whitefish Township Community Schools Superintendent, she accepted that role for a fleeting moment. Shortly thereafter diagnosed with an aggressive cancer, she found herself having to step back from the Superintendent’s job, step back from the Wild Blueberry Festival Chairperson’s role and letting others step in. Undaunted, persevering she continues this battle but for certain she has brought music to the Paradise community and we are eternally grateful to her tenacity.


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EXPERIENCE ROCK HOUNDING

by N. Craig

The concept eluded me, my entire life until moving to the Paradise area in 2010. Sure I knew people that enjoyed rocks. They had traveled to Arizona during the winter months from Indiana and brought back Apache Tears and a variety of quartz stones. They invested in a rock tumbler and purchased a few “fixins” chains and clasps to attach to the polished stones and make a few gifts to give to family members for birthdays and Christmas. While I found them interesting and appreciated the efforts of my grandparents and cousins, I found the “fixins” turned my skin green and broke readily so often times those precious gifts were kept in my jewelry box to remind me of family. My Mother, an elementary school teacher had created a rock collection in 1952 which identified different type of rocks: sedimentary, quartz, shale, and limestone, pulled together and store in wooden box. It came out once a year while she taught to give young people a hands-on-experience in understanding geology. 50 years later it found its way into my data base design classroom a couple of times for high school students to shake loose the concepts of categories and classifications and to inventory these inexpensive treasures in their data base.

Sure people covet diamonds, rubies, and emeralds but to actually spend time looking for agates, jasper, or Petoskey stones simply wasn’t in my understanding of popular activities until moving from Indiana to Michigan and the shorelines of the Great Lakes. I must admit that leisurely strolling along the shoreline of Lake Superior, seeking a stone with colors that sparkle from the waves moving in and about that appeals to my “eye” is an experience that I recommend to everyone. The shoreline is continually changing, the selections every altering with each new wave, and especially with each spring. Rock hounding knows no age limit or social economic boundaries. If you like the stone, then you pick it up. Some people create incredible pieces of jewelry with genuine silver chains and mounts while others store their precious finds in mineral oil in a decorative decanter.

Today there are Tips for Rock Hunting in Northern Michigan, and Rock Hounding Facebook pages. The Whitefish Township Community Library offers a wildly popular free session each summer coordinated by a local rock enthusiast and jewelry designer, Valerie Smith. Agate seekers meet with her at the library for a session in understanding different type of rocks: Basalt, Granite, Unakite, Quartz, Jasper, Rhyolite, Chert, and Agates. Then the entire group travels north to the infamous Whitefish Point shoreline to stroll the beach with pails and a personal assistant, Valerie to confirm your rock identification. You do not have to have any special training in Rock Hounding. If you think the stone or rock is attractive, that is all that really matters. As your collection grows, you might find yourself being more selective. Take a pail, water resistant footwear and comfortable clothing. Periodically throw one of those less desirable rocks back out in the lake with your best pitching arm and release even more stress of the day. After collecting a number of rocks, you can decide what you would like to do with them. I’m still in the phase of adding them to my flower gardens or special paper weights, but you may be finding smaller rocks or breaking up larger rocks seeking the beauty within and may consider adorning a frame.

With the vast shorelines along Whitefish Point, Crisp Point, and Vermilion Point, there is room for many rock hunters. Characteristics of the rock hounding experience include but are not limited to fresh air, walking, bending over to study that rock a little closer, picking up those treasures, and adding them to your pail of precious finds. Whether hunting solitaire or with a few friends, the stress release and witness of the beauty of these shorelines is an experience Michigan’s Paradise that you may find enthralling.

Images Courtesy Valarie Smith

 

eNewsletter Experience Michigan’s Paradise

 


July 8, 2015 Volume 1 Issue 4 camera_37f42f82c facebook youtube

Crisp Point Lighthouse | Events | PATC Spotlight

Paddling the Tahquamenon Area

Article by Ken Orlang at The Woods “Tahquamenon River” Canoe & Kayak Rental

Images are Courtesy of The Woods

Tahquamenon FallsWhen you think about the “Tahquamenon Area”, the first things that most people likely think about are the mighty Tahquamenon Falls, or the majestic pine trees that surround the area. In fact most people probably don’t know much more about our area beyond that. But beyond these things is a virtual treasure trove of activities available to outdoor enthusiasts. This article focuses on one of the most popular of those activities – canoeing and kayaking.

There are over sixty miles of good paddling water on the Tahquamenon River, but much of this is suitable only for experienced expedition paddlers due to the lack of easy access on much of the river, which necessitates longer paddling trips. Luckily though, opportunities are also plentiful for beginners and even children to paddle one of the shorter trips that are available. Due to the slow current along most of the river, it’s also possible to put your canoe or kayak in at one of the campgrounds, or boat launches, and simply paddle back and forth. Children and novices can also hone up on their skills in a canoe, or two person kayak with a more experienced paddler at the helm. Since the river is far less crowded than most rivers in more southern climates, it can be a great focal point for your out-of-doors getaway trip with the whole family.

Kayaking      On a typical trip down the Tahquamenon River, paddlers can expect to see a varied landscape – depending on the trip – consisting of thick forest, tall trees, grassy marshlands, high ridges, and an occasional sandy shoreline. Some common animals that are seen by paddlers of the Tahquamenon River are bald eagles, white-tailed deer, river otter, beaver, and a plethora of other small mammals, wild birds, waterfowl, and turtles. While plentiful to the area, larger animals like the black bear usually remain elusive during the day, but even an occasional moose, or gray wolf can sometimes be sighted. If fishing will be a component of your trip, you can expect to find – depending on which part of the river you’re on – perch, walleye, northern pike, musky, small mouth bass, and a variety of different pan fish.

Paddle Safely     There are a few important factors that contribute to a safe and pleasurable canoe or kayak trip. The first thing that every paddler should remember is to always wear a coast guard approved life vest appropriate for the wearers age and size. Second on the list but nevertheless equally important is to never stand up in the boat – that also includes when getting in and out, which is when most tip-overs occur. Most people are naturally inclined to stand straight up when entering or exiting a canoe or kayak, but you can prevent this by remembering to first set your paddle down nearby, put one foot in the boat, sit down, then bring your other foot in. This is not the only technique, but it will work in most cases. Another thing to remember is that whenever exiting the boat to be sure and check with your paddle for any uneven or unstable footing. To learn more about being safe on the water, please check out this website.

Under the Bridge     Whether you’re just paddling back and forth from your campsite, or venturing out for a full-fledged canoe/kayak trip, you’ll want to be sure to pack along a few things starting with some water and a nourishing snack. You should also ALWAYS BE PREPARED by taking along a good mosquito repellent (deet works best). On sunny days you’ll also need to prevent sunburn by using a good sunscreen (SPF 15 or higher), or by wearing a long-sleeved shirt, long pants, and a hat. Sunglasses also will prevent you from having to look directly into the sun. The Woods has a long list of items here that you might also consider taking along with you to help ensure that your trip is an enjoyable one.

Easy Access     With ten years experience on the Tahquamenon River, The Woods Canoe & Kayak Rental can recommend the best trip for your family or group. All of the trips they offer include paddles, life vests, and a shuttle service. They also offer a shuttle service for your own boats.

Last of all, have a great trip, and be sure to bring home something good to remember!




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Our next issue is due by September 10 and includes information about
Fall Colors, Run for the Light, and the fine art of Rock Hounding!


Paradise Area Community Experiences

Walk Toward the Light!

Article Written by Rick Brockway, Crisp Point Light House Historical Society

Images by permission from the Crisp Point Light Historical Society

Photo by David PiontekAmerica is filled with hidden treasures. One of those gems can be found at the end of an adventurous drive along Luce County Road CR-412, that has been described as nothing more than a groomed sand trail. As you progress along, the trail becomes progressively narrower and increasingly twisty. In fact, one almost wants to turn around but there is no room to leave the path. And at the end of this desolate drive, you arrive at a sandy beach that beckons you to walk toward the light.

The light is Crisp Point Light Station. In 1876 Crisp Point was originally the site of the Life Saving Station Number Ten, one of four that were put into operation that year located along the south shore of Lake Superior, in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula. It was named after one of the station’s keepers, Christopher Crisp. In 1903 the white 58, conical lighthouse was constructed and became operational on May 5, 1904.

Crisp Point LighthouseThrough the years, the lighthouse and life-saving station has undergone massive damage due the erosion of the Lake Superior’s shoreline. In 1965 the US Coast Guard destroyed all remaining Life Saving and Lighthouse Station buildings leaving only the lighthouse and it’s attached service Building. During a fierce November 1996 storm, the attached service building was lost due to this erosion. Along this area, known as “the Shipwreck Coast’, the SS Edmund Fitzgerald sank during a violent November 10, 1975 storm about 17 miles northeast of Crisp Point.

In an effort to preserve this amazing light, the Crisp Point Light Historical Society was formed on July 7, 1992 to save, restore and operate the lighthouse. Under the Societies direction, they have institute extensive erosion control using large limestone to protect the lighthouse. In 2006 the Lighthouse’s Service Building was rebuilt. With these and many other restoration projects the lighthouse is returning to pristine condition. In 2009 a new visitor’s center was built which resembles the original Foghorn Building that once stood a couple hundred feet to the north east in front of the lighthouse.

Guest AmenitiesAlthough we will always have erosion concerns and repairs that need to be done to the tower, the Crisp Point Lighthouse will continue to shine for generations to come with the continued support from it’s society members and the general public. Every year, volunteers of the Historical Society, sign up to be volunteer keepers at the lighthouse from mid May through the middle of October. These keepers, open the lighthouse and visitors center daily from 10:00 am to 5:00 pm. although some keepers will keep the tower and visitors center open longer for late arrivals.

Each year the Society holds an update conference on the third Saturday in July where attendees are updated on what has been going on for the past year and there are always some great guest speakers. At the 2015 meeting being held on July 18, the guest speaker will be Ric Mixter. Attendance is free to those who pre register. You may find more conference information on their web site, crisppointlighthouse.org

Family AdventureThe society has applied for a Lighthouse Assistance grant from the State of Michigan to do some major Tower exterior brick replacement. This grant, if approved, requires the Crisp Point Light Historical Society to pay all cost up front and then be reimbursed from the State from the Grant money. In 2012 the USCG awarded the Crisp Point Light Historical Society a permit to operated a Private Aid to Navigation (PATON). The first of May 2013 the new LED light was turned on and now operates from May 1 to November 1 each year.

The solitude, tranquility felt at the light is irreplaceable as you stand mesmerized by the waves rolling into the shoreline. We thank the passionate stewards who keep watch and preserve the best of America – and we are grateful to be part of their rebuilding process.

For more information on the Crisp Point Light Historical Society please visit their web site at crisppointlighthouse.org or follow them on Facebook at Facebook.com/Crisp-Point-Lighthouse. Noteworthy: Do not follow your GPS to the lighthouse.


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Our next issue is due by September 10 and includes information about
Fall Colors, Run for the Light, and the fine art of Rock Hounding!


 


Spotlighting a PATC Member

In this issue, the Paradise Area Tourism Council Member Spotlight falls on the Vagabond Motel. The term Vagabond is derived from the Latin term vagari or “wander”. Traveling to the Paradise area, visitors can’t help but wander between the Upper and Lower Tahquamenon Falls and Whitefish Point. Unless you’ve had the opportunity to wander about Lake Superior’s shoreline looking for that perfect rock, maybe you really haven’t experienced “wandering”.

Vagabond CabinTaking in the beauty of the area including nearby Curley Lewis Scenic Byway through the National Hiawatha Forest a traveler can grow weary. In the heart of Paradise, the Vagabond Motel offers clean, comfortable, and quiet respite at the most reasonable rates in town. The Vagabond Motel offers nine conventional motel rooms and a cabin. Situated directly on the Tahquamenon Scenic Heritage Byway, Michigan State Route M-123, the Vagabond motel is not located on the water’s edge or the deep woods but they do offer quiet rest and an easy walk to area restaurants and gift shops.

Vagabond Motel OfficeThe European vagabond character is often portrayed as a person with a limited income. While the guests of the Vagabond Motel may or may not have a limited income, owner’s Mike and Nancy Mitchell believe in offering their guest a good value. Since its inception, the Vagabond has been serving the needs of travelers to the area since it was built in 1964 by Mike’s parents, Earl and Agnes. Earl and Agnes were originally from the Iron Mountain area before settling in Paradise. Earl worked as a DNR Fire Officer, his office was located in the building where the current Paradise Area Night Riders keep their grooming equipment. Mike spent many early years grooming the snowmobile trails to Pine Stump and back. Mike and Nancy took over ownership of the Vagabond Motel August 1, 1980. Nancy came from the Newberry area, west of Paradise in Luce County.

In Room ComfortsContinuing the legacy of a quiet place to rest, Mike and Nancy raised their three children in Paradise and take great comfort in providing their children with that type of foundation, a community rich in natural accoutrements, heritage, and historical significance. The Vagabond Motel offers to continue the legacy to a third generation of Mitchells.

Snow enthusiasts have been dialed in to the Vagabond for years pulling up their web cam online to monitor snow conditions at any hour of the day. Is it any wonder that come time for the avid snowmobiler to ride some of the area’s 120 miles of trails, the Vagabond is a favorite base camp. Located within the newly (2014) ordained ORV trail system in Paradise, the Vagabond provides ORV riders, easy access to trails as well as the comfort a great place to rest.

Vagabond Motel RoomOver the years, Mike and Nancy have met a lot of people with interesting stories to tell. As Mike says, Nancy could write a book. We hope one day she will. But in the mean time, give them a call at 906-492-3477, and schedule your next trip to the Eastern Upper Peninsula by staying at the Vagabond Motel.


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Our next issue is due by September 10 and includes information about
Fall Colors, Run for the Light, and the fine art of Rock Hounding!


 

Experience Michigan’s Paradise

 


May 18, 2015 Volume 1 Issue 3 camera_37f42f82c facebook youtube

Shipwreck Museum | Events | PATC Spotlight

Explore the Shipwrecks in the Whitefish Point Underwater Preserve and visit the Great Lakes Shipwreck Museum

Article by Sarah Wilde, Membership and Marketing Coordinator, Great Lakes Shipwreck Historical Society and Technical Diver | Images are Copyright 2015 Courtesy of Sarah Wilde, Darryl Ertel, Terry Begnoche and GLSHS.

GLSHS Nelson

What is it like to dive down to a shipwreck today that met a tragic fate over a hundred years ago? Well, it’s almost like exploring an alien world. You enter into a shadowed frontier of glistening liquid. Gliding and floating, weightlessly exploring a three dimensional environment of sunken vessels. It’s a unique experience to explore such historical underwater shipwreck sites. To see a 100-year-old shipwreck’s bell still attached to its mount, thousands of artifacts, huge steam engines and to swim through 15-foot propeller blades and even inside intact wooden schooners, is a lifetime-highlight experience. Several shallow shipwreck sites are even accessible by kayak and canoe, which are located near the shoreline. They can be clearly seen resting in the sandy bottom from above. Snorkelers and swimmers can enjoy a cool plunge investigating the shallow water shipwrecks. From huge timber beams and hundreds of metal spikes that held the ship together, to boilers and ship hulls, that give us a glimpse at how magnificent these vessels were when they sailed the Great Lakes.

KayakingIt is very exciting and awe inspiring, given the incredible state of preservation the shipwrecks are in, laying at the bottom of Lake Superior for more than a 100 years. The cold fresh water of Superior does not deteriorate the wood and metal of shipwrecks, as the ocean salt water does. What is also fortunate for Lake Superior Shipwrecks is the absence of zebra mussels. The zebra mussel is a small invasive species that attaches itself to hard surfaces. When a shipwreck gets covered in zebra mussels, the ship and artifacts become unrecognizable. The weight of the mussels can also collapse shipwreck structures.

GLSHS T. BegnocheThe Great Lakes are a natural inland transportation waterway. Sudden storms, fog, and heavy vessel traffic all resulted in the loss of thousands of schooners, steamers and barges. The Michigan Underwater Preserve System (MUPC) was created in 1980 by legislation and sport divers, who took action to preserve Michigan’s historical shipwrecks for future generations. MUPC preserves and protects the Great Lakes shipwrecks by educating divers and non-divers on their history and aid in their preservation.

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The 376 square miles of the Whitefish Point Underwater Preserve is world-renowned for it’s deep pristine shipwrecks. With discoveries of twelve newly identified shallow water shipwreck sites in the last several years by the Whitefish Point Underwater Preserve, along with the steel freighter Cyprus, the wooden steamer A.A. Parker and the 1800s three mast schooner Nelson located by the Great Lakes Shipwreck Museum, Whitefish Point is absolutely the place for scuba diving explorations. From the Basic Open Water Diver scuba diver to the Specialized Advanced Technical Trained diver, Whitefish Point Underwater Preserve contains shipwreck sites that are obtainable by any level of dive training.

darryl_alleghenyMany of the area shipwreck artifacts were recovered and are on display at the Great Lakes Shipwreck Museum at Whitefish Point. Throughout the museum complex, visitors will see maritime legends come to life. Artifacts and exhibits tell stories of sailors and ships that braved the waters of Superior and those who were lost to its menacing conditions. Gaze upon the famous Edmund Fitzgerald’s bell recovered in 1975 by GLSHS. The steam ship was lost 40 years ago during a November storm.

SagamoreVisitors can “see and feel” what it’s like to scuba dive to the Independence shipwreck site, viewing the life-size underwater display in the main gallery. Learn about the many shipwrecks and history of the area with informative display panels, artist paintings and fine detailed ship models. Explore the entire Museum complex and restored historical buildings to learn about Michigan’s unique maritime history.
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Since exploring most of the shipwrecks around Whitefish Point, my favorite remains the Allegeny. Resting in thirty feet of water, you can explore this shipwreck site with ease. On June 6th, 1913, the Allegeny heavy with a load of lumber was undertow by the M.T. Green and caught in a fierce gale storm. The towline parted and the Allegeny struck a sand bar near Vermillion Life-Saving Station, Michigan. The ship broke up in the shallows and was a complete loss. Lifesaving station surf men took five of her crew off before the ship broke up. Artifacts remain scattered at this site, which include a huge anchor and lots of chain. Ships rigging with blocks and pulleys lay tangled in the sandy bottom, a capstan, several tools and smaller anchors are visible. It’s a unique and pristine site, which is a time capsule of Michigan’s maritime history.

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Check out the Great Lakes Shipwreck Museum website at www.shipwreckmuseum.com. For additional information on the shipwrecks of Whitefish Point Underwater Preserve, visit their website at www.whitefishpoint.net. For information on the Michigan Underwater Preserve Council and all the Michigan Underwater Preserves, please visit www.michiganpreserves.org.

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Paradise Area Community Experiences

  • May 1 Great Lakes Shipwreck Museum Opening Day
  • May 14 Business Expo, Whitefish Township Community Center, 7:00 PM
  • May 23-24 Tahquamenon Logging Museum Lumberjack Breakfast 7:00 AM to Noon
  • May 22-24 Paradise Area Community Garage Sale
  • June 13 Whitefish Point Marathon
  • June 27 Two Hearted Trail Run


Compliments GLSHS

What’s happening at the Great Lakes Shipwreck Museum?

Article Written by Bruce Lynn, Executive Director, Great Lakes Shipwreck Historical Society

Images by permission from the Great Lakes Shipwreck Historical Society

Recent discussions by museum professionals worldwide have reflected on the need to provide the visitor with new experiences and reasons to come back. One museum Director noted:“…Museums, now more than ever, are looking for new ways to engage visitors. In a world that is dominated by rapid changes in attention, excessive multitasking, and massive media bombardment, it has become increasingly difficult to engage target audiences in meaningful ways. Yet some basic premises remain. Active participants, collaborators, shared owners, are more likely to care, to feel engaged in something, than those passively standing by…”

With that thought in mind, the Great Lakes Shipwreck Museum has been working on a number of major projects that will provide new experiences for years to come.

One of the more noticeable changes at Whitefish Point occurred in September 2013 with the relocation of the 1923 United States Coast Guard (USCG) Motor Lifeboat House from private property to a new location adjacent to the former USCG Crew’s Quarters. This structure, in remarkable condition for its age, will soon undergo an exterior restoration and interior redesign. Ultimately, it will feature changing exhibits and will, at times, be used as a theater and presentation space. Generous grants from the Michigan Lighthouse Assistance Program/Michigan State Historic Preservation Office and the Michigan Council for Arts and Cultural Affairs have made this restoration work possible.

Compliments GLSHSOne of the most exciting aspects of the Motor Lifeboat House being on site at the point is the fact that it will house and exhibit a 36’ USCG Motor Lifeboat. A unique (only one currently on display in the U.S.) type “TR” Motor Lifeboat was recently obtained through the generosity of a Great Lakes Shipwreck Historical Society member and remarkably, is only 10 hull numbers removed from the original Motor Lifeboat that once cut through the waves of Lake Superior and Whitefish Bay. “We were very fortunate to find this Motor Lifeboat and even luckier to have such generous members and supporters!” remarked Shipwreck Museum Executive Director Bruce Lynn. “Not only did a member pay for the boat, but a downstate transportation company delivered it from Maryland at no charge and Passage Boat Works in DeTour Village is housing it for us at no charge.” Needless to say, the Shipwreck Society is fortunate to have such support.

Another historic structure at Whitefish Point also is undergoing restoration. In its day, it was officially known as the U.S. Navy Living Quarters for the Radioman-In-Charge, but today most know it simply as the Shipwreck Theater. Restoration work on this building began last summer and will be completed in 2015. Special thanks (again) to the Michigan Council for Arts and Cultural Affairs for a grant making this work possible. Eventually, this once humble home will feature an expanded video theater capacity and will also host new and varying exhibits.

Also new at the Great Lakes Shipwreck Museum is a children’s exhibit…and parts of it are “hands-on!” This exhibit is housed in what used to be the museum’s “Fudge Shop” and now children (of all ages) can discover the equipment of a modern Scuba diver, or assemble their own Lego model ship…or even see high definition images of an Isle Royale shipwreck that still has Life-Savers candy in its hold. A real highlight is a 12’ long Lego Edmund Fitzgerald model which is built with over 18,000 pieces and took nearly a decade to build. For those who might wonder about the fudge…the museum still sells it (freshly made) in the Shipwreck Coast museum store.

Each summer the Shipwreck Society searches for lost wrecks and the August 2014 discovery of the 1866 schooner Nelson is a perfect example of this ongoing research. The Nelson, originally built as a Barquentine, was a frequent passerby in Whitefish Bay and came to grief near the Deer Park Life-Saving Station in the spring of 1899. Future exhibits will tell the very tragic circumstances surrounding the sinking of this once proud vessel.

Arguably though, the vast majority of the museum’s 67,000+ visitors come to learn more about one particular shipwreck. The Edmund Fitzgerald sank 17 miles northwest of Whitefish Point in a terrible storm on November 10, 1975. A permanent exhibit in the main museum gallery, featuring the ill-fated ship’s bell, tells the story and shows the faces of many of the vessel’s 29 man crew that went down with their ship. The year 2015 marks the 40th anniversary of the sinking of the Edmund Fitzgerald.

There is much happening at the Great Lakes Shipwreck Museum and the best way to discover “what’s new” is to come up and reintroduce yourself to the museum campus. We hope to see you in 2015! For more information, visit www.shipwreckmuseum.com or call, 800-635-1742. The Great Lakes Shipwreck Museum is open daily from May 1 through October 31, 10:00am to 6:00pm.

eMail Newsletter Sign UpOur next issue is due by July 10 and includes information about the Crisp Point Lighthouse Historical Society and Canoeing!

Spotlighting a PATC Member

The ViewThe Paradise Area Tourism Council Member Spotlight falls on Curley’s Paradise Motel.

Located at the intersection of Tahquamenon’s Scenic Heritage Byway, M-123, and Whitefish Point Road, Curley’s Paradise Motel is a complex of conventional motel rooms, cottages, and rental homes on Lake Superior. Irwin L. Curley Lewis, cited by the book, Remotely Yours, A Historic Journey into the Whitefish Point Area, by Jan McAdams Huttenstine, was an entrepreneur offering rest and hospitality to travelers since 1941. The well known Yukon across the road from the motel was built in 1932 and officially opened in 1936 by Curley Lewis. In recognition for his passion toward the advancement and development of Chippewa County, there lies an incredible scenic drive along the southern shoreline of Whitefish Bay between M-123 and Bay Mills. This route is dedicated as the Curley Lewis Memorial Highway, meandering along the shoreline within the National Hiawatha Forest.

Curley's Paradise Motel

Who doesn’t want to start their marriage in Paradise? Many people make Paradise a destination for such important events. Bill and Lynda Ferguson of Detroit, Michigan honeymooned at Curley’s Paradise Motel, Room 13, in October 1962. Their experience in the community and the beauty of the scenery remained in their hearts and minds over the next nine years so they made the big move. In 1971, transporting their four children, ages 3, 4, 6, and 8, Bill and Lynda moved to Paradise and took a leap of faith in buying Curley’s Paradise Motel from Curley Lewis. To this day, Bill’s son Dave, recalls a time when Curley took him wild blueberry picking. As a physically slight man, Curley offered a massive opportunity to Bill and Lynda to continue his legacy, providing rest and hospitality to weary travelers. Curley’s Paradise Motel has been owned and operated by the family of William (Bill) and Lynda Ferguson for 44 years.

Comfortable AccommodationsWith over 700 feet of beach frontage, Curley’s Paradise Motel is a complex of 26 conventional motel rooms with air conditioning. Be sure to ask for a room that overlooks Lake Superior’s Whitefish Bay. There are four cottages which accommodate from four to six people each comfortably. And just in case you have a larger group, Curley’s has a couple of homes available for your group of six to eight people. The cottages and homes each have fireplaces and air conditioning. For additional details and images of Curley’s Paradise Motel, be sure to visit their website, or better yet, give them a call at 1-800-236-7386 or 906-492-3445.

Lake SuperiorOver the years, many travelers have stayed at Curley’s and connected with Bill and Lynda’s family. Their hospitality and openness to people is just an extension of their good hearts. Bill was instrumental in developing the Whitefish Township EMS service, a founding member of the Paradise Area Community Foundation, an active member of the Paradise Area Chamber of Commerce, and a founding member of the Paradise Area Tourism Council where he currently serves as Vice President. Lynda has been a valuable member of the community serving for years on the Whitefish Township Community Library Board and active with the Whitefish Township Community Schools. The Ferguson children and grandchildren have continued their parent’s efforts to support to the community. Bill and Lynda may have stayed in Room 13 in 1962 but they feel they have been so blessed to raise their family in the Paradise area, to watch their grandchildren grow here, and enjoy their great grand children when they come for a visit. Paradise is a great place to visit, a great place to explore, and a great place to raise a family.

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Our next issue is due before July 1 and includes information about the Crisp Point Lighthouse Society and Canoeing!

Experience Michigan’s Paradise

 

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March 22, 2015 Volume 1 Issue 2


Experience Birdwatching in Paradise

Whether a novice or just passionate about birds join in the fun identifying, photographing, and recording your bird experiences at Whitefish Point. It will be an experience in Paradise that you will want to repeat in the fall.

Wildworks by Barb

Barb Erickson, a local artist, gardener, and bird enthusiast, says many people get caught up in the thrill of bird watching because their curiosity gets the best of them. What are those colorful, winged beauties outside that window? She's right! Curiosity caught the best of my husband and I and we found ourselves buying a bird reference book. We had just moved to the Paradise area, enthralled by the wide range of birds migrating through the area. One Spring, my husband found our tree outside filled with Blue Jays. We were familiar with a number of song birds from Indiana but found ourselves using a reference book, filled with colorful images of birds, male and female used to identify the bird species. Tim Broucher, senior conservation geographer and blogger refers to this resource as a bird guide book. There are a number of bird guide aps but what if you there is no online signal? You might want to invest in bird guide book. One used for years by many people is Golden's A Guide to Field Identification Birds of North America.

Mary, a golf course owner and assistant principal says, “Go Ahead! Make a notation there right in the margin. Write the date and location where you saw that bird.” And so it begins and continues. I’ll never forget when one of our guests, Sandy poured over the guide book looking for this swooping bird that reminded my husband of the barn swallows in northern, Indiana. She scoured the dog eared guide for that particular bird as it and its friends periodically swooped by her. Low and behold it was Cedar Wax Wing. We learned more from that book then just its identify, we learned they liked berries, we had confirmed they had been eating nearby berries. They also liked spiders. Oh, man these Cedar Wax Wings are our friends.

Bird watching can be as simple as identifying these creatures, recording the place and date of identity, to drawing their likeness like Barb or capturing their image with a zoom lens camera. Then there is the desire to find more varieties, traveling to different locations, walking or hiking and taking in fresh air just to capture a look at one more species. Birdwatching.com describes the experience as “your lifetime ticket to the theater of nature”. Meeting with others that have an interest in birds can be a great experience as you share stories of search and identification. You can do as little hiking as you prefer or pack brown bag lunch to enjoy at the end of a trek through a North Country trail.

Share the experience with children or grand children. Encourage their curiosity and explore a variety of species together. Reinforce and apply the biology and science they learn in school. Perhaps they would like to try their hand at drawing images of the birds they’ve identified or capturing a clear image they can post on their social network. But don’t stop there. Encourage them to explore the scientific research of owl banding or following birds with online tracking as we learn more about these birds and their migration habits. Why? If we learn more about birds, perhaps we learn more about ourselves.

Paradise Area Community Experiences

  • April 21 – 26 Whitefish Point Bird Observatory Spring Fling
  • April 25 Spring Open House, Village Fabrics and Crafts
  • May 1 Great Lakes Shipwreck Museum Opening Day


Ruddy Turnstone Image by Jack Cook

Whitefish Point Bird Observatory

Article Provided by Jonathan Lutz, Michigan Audubon Society

The Whitefish Point Bird Observatory (WPBO) is currently undergoing some changes and will become a formal program of Michigan Audubon, effective January 2016.

In the meantime, we are working through a transition to move WPBO from existing as a stand-alone operation managed by volunteers to a professionally-run project of Michigan Audubon. We are currently making interior upgrades to the WPBO headquarters, and the building the old post office; will receive a new roof once the snow and ice have cleared. The building is used as an administrative office, program supply storage, and houses the Observatory’s seasonal staff.

The WPBO spring hawk migration count begins March 15, and the hawk counter will be arriving in the coming days from Montana. The spring owl study begins this week, led by veteran WPBO staff and Whitefish Point residents, Chris Neri and Nova MacKentley. Finally, the WPBO spring waterbird count begins April 15, welcoming back a Detroit-based birder to conduct the count.

Piping Plover Chick Image by Sierra Utych

The annual Spring Fling event takes place April 24-26 at the Point. Some activities will also take place at the school in Paradise. This year we are hosting world-reknowned bird research, Scott Weidensaul. Most recently Scott co-founded Project SNOWstorm–a nationwide effort to deploy satellite transmitters on the backs of Snowy Owls to monitor their movements. Two owls, “Whitefish Point” and “Chippewa,” have been tagged and released near Pickford. You can view their movements at the project website, www.projectsnowstorm.org (click on “Maps” and select either “Chippewa” or “Whitefish Point” to learn more). The project has received broad, national media coverage.

Online registration for the Spring Fling event can be found at www.wpbo.org. All are welcome to attend! Spring Fling attracts between 200 and 300 birders to Whitefish Point and the Paradise community during the last weekend in April. The attendees are a subset of the 2 million self-identifying wildlife watchers that reside in Michigan. The US Fish and Wildlife Service reports that in 2011 wildlife-watching contributed $1.2 billion dollars to Michigan’s economy. Chippewa County has terrific year-round birdwatching opportunities, and we will be looking to expand both our recreational birding programs and avian research programs in the coming years.

Whitefish Point Unit
Seney National Wildlife Refuge

Article Provided by Greg McClellan,
US Fish and Wildlife Service

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service) is the primary Federal agency responsible for conserving, protecting, and enhancing the nation’s fish and wildlife populations and their habitats. The Service, among other things, is responsible for the management and protection of migratory bird populations.

In 1903, President Theodore Roosevelt established Pelican Island National Bird Reservation to protect colonial water birds which were being excessively harvested for their plume feathers to be used in making hats and clothing. Pelican Island is recognized as the nation’s first National Wildlife Refuge.



Adult Piping Plover Image by Sigurd Utych

Today, there are over 560 National Wildlife Refuges in all fifty states and numerous territories, including the Whitefish Point Unit of Seney National Wildlife Refuge (NWR). National Wildlife Refuges provide habitat for more than 700 species of birds. Each year, millions of migrating birds use National Wildlife Refuges as stepping stones while they fly thousands of miles between their summer and winter homes during spring and fall migrations. Most refuges are also utilized as summer and/or winter homes. Arctic terns have the farthest migration of any bird in the world annually migrating from their wintering grounds off of Antarctica to their breeding grounds in the Arctic and back each year a round trip of over 20,000 miles.The arctic tern is listed on the Whitefish Point Unit bird checklist as an accidental visitor.

The Whitefish Point Unit of Seney NWR was established in 1998 with the transfer of 33 acres from the U.S. Coast Guard to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. An additional 19 acres of adjacent property was purchased since then and now the Refuge encompasses over 52 acres. The Refuge encompasses over 3000 feet of Lake Superior Shoreline containing sandy gravel beaches moving into sandy beach dunes with the interior portion of the Refuge composed of a stunted jack-pine dominated forest. The Whitefish Point Unit is a stop-over (feeding and resting) point for birds migrating to and from Canada. The Whitefish Point region is renowned for its concentrations of birds during migration. Each year thousands of raptors, passerines and water birds funnel through the point to cross Lake Superior. The Whitefish Point Unit bird checklist contains 338 different species that have been observed in the area (including the Refuge, Michigan Audubon, Great Lakes Shipwreck Historical Society and Michigan Department of Natural Resources property) primarily migrating through. The stunted forests of the unit provide nesting habitat for various passerine species and raptors and the beaches provide nesting habitat for shorebird species.


Golden Plover Image by Sierra Utych

The threatened Great Lakes population of piping plovers have nested at the Whitefish Point Unit annually since 2009 after a 24 year absence since the last nesting occurrence in 1985. The Great Lakes population of the piping plover was at a perilously low level with just 12 breeding pairs in 1983.
The population is slowly improving with seventy breeding pairs documented in 2014. Since 2009, as few as one pair and as many as three pairs have successfully fledged chicks at the Whitefish Point Unit. The entire stretch of Lake Superior shoreline contained within the Whitefish Point Unit is designated as critical habitat for piping plovers. From late April/early May through early August a large portion of the beach area at the Whitefish Point Unit is closed to public access due to the nesting plovers. Piping plover are ground nesting birds that lay their speckled eggs in small depressions in the sand lined with rocks or shells.The beach closure is to protect the well camouflaged birds and their young. The tiny chicks are born ready to walk, but they cannot fly until they are about a month old. During this time the chicks are very vulnerable. Please help us protect the plovers by respecting the closures on the beaches and keeping all dogs on a leash.

The National Wildlife Refuge System Improvement Act was passed in 1997 and for the first time formally established fish, wildlife and plant conservation as the primary mission or purpose of the National Wildlife Refuge System. This act also gave priority to certain wildlife dependent recreational, public uses on National Wildlife Refuges. Among these priority public uses are wildlife observation and nature photography. Except for the seasonally closed areas of the beaches for nesting piping plover, the rest of the Whitefish Point Unit is open to the public for wildlife observation and photography. We encourage and invite the public to explore the Refuge and surrounding area to listen and look for actual birds or other wildlife or their signs such as tracks in the sand, cavities in the trunks of trees, little passerine or larger raptor nests in trees, or a molted feather. Besides wildlife, note the variety of habitats with the diversity of plants and wildflowers. A prime reason for the diversity and abundant bird life at the point is because of the quality of habitat. While exploring the point, please be cognizant of where you are going, stay on posted or identified trails, do not trample on vegetation or a nest. Please enjoy the wildlife, but do not get too close or repetitively follow them and disturb the wildlife, especially the young of the year. Please enjoy all that your National Wildlife Refuge has to offer.

Spotlighting a PATC Member

This issue’s member spotlight falls on Paradise Area Tourism Council’s Associate Member, Freighter's View on the Bay. A small motel with a cabin feel, Freighter’s View on the Bay has been welcoming families and area visitors to the shores of Lake Superior since 1960. Long time guest and avid bird watcher, Skip proclaims that Duanne and Nikki Craig are his third managers.An avid visitor to the Eastern Upper Peninsula since the early 1970’s, Duanne encouraged his wife to join him in the adventure at Freighter’s View on the Bay. Having lived in Arizona and Indiana for years, Duanne always felt called to his birth state of Michigan. Given the beauty of the area, how could Nikki turn down the opportunity? The opportunity to welcome others to the shores of Whitefish Bay, encourage them to relax, have a change of pace, get unplugged, and reconnect with family and nature.


Close to the water's edge

The two buildings were built in the 1950’s by Hank’s brother. Hank, a retired lineman, from the Detroit area has been coming to the shores of Whitefish Bay ever since he and his brother built their family cabin. Each building is solidly built within 50 feet of the shoreline bluff. Each building hosts two units, one basic room which looks like a conventional motel room and one kitchenette. They stay remarkably warm in the winter time, and offer guests a car port, picnic table, and gas grill in the summer. The rooms are simply decorated accented with images taken in the area.

Not sure which site to take in next? Just ask the Craigs, having explored the area and listing their own favorites, they’ll be glad to share their ideas and offer suggestions.Quite often on a summer evening you’ll find one, two or maybe all of the families relaxing around the campfire and sharing in the day’s adventures. But whether you would prefer to borrow one of the books from their library or reconnect with your social network, add depth to your Upper Peninsula experience by staying at Freighter’s View on the Bay.

 

Experience Michigan’s Paradise eNews

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February 11, 2015 Volume 1 Issue 1


Nature's Kennel

Experience Dog Sledding

One of the fastest growing activities in the UP of Michigan is Sled Dog Rides. The season starts with a grand race held the first Saturday in January, the Tahquamenon Country Sled Dog Race.

The UP 200 is the grand daddy of dog sled races in the UP held in the Marquette area, February 15. The UP 200 is a qualifier for the Alaskan Iditarod, the last great race in the country. But why not just relax, slow the pace down a bit and schedule a ride from the lower falls to the upper falls in Tahquamenon Falls State Park, take breath taking photographs, and sip some hot chocolate. Schedule a trip today with Nature’s Kennel, an experience of a lifetime, 906-748-0513.

Community Experiences

 

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Spotlighting a PATC Member

Once a year, Experience Michigan’s Paradise Newsletter will spotlight a Paradise Area Tourism Council Member. When exploring the eastern upper peninsula, change your pace a bit, take in the fresh air and use Paradise as your base camp. Relax. Stay awhile and enjoy. This month we recognize the Magnuson Grand Hotel Lakefront Paradise.

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The Magnuson Grand Hotel Lakefront Paradise is located along Lake Superior’s shore and offers guests the largest hospitality accommodations in Paradise, Michigan. The Magnuson is a family owned and operated business with the comfort of their guests as their primary objective. Building long term customer relationships has been a mainstay of owners Jim and Shirley Stabile’s 37 year tenure in the hospitality industry. Continuing this legacy as general manager is their daughter Laurie Winkler.

Lake Superior is known for its grand collections of rocks and stones. Carrying this theme into their spacious lobby with vaulted ceilings the Magnuson Grand Hotel Lakefront Paradise has a noble stone fireplace in their lobby offering guests comfort as they gather to share stories of their day hiking, canoeing, or shopping. Just off the lobby is their full-breakfast and coffee dining area with grand windows overlooking the lake. In the summer, you can enjoy your coffee outside on the patio. Lake Superior is not only the largest freshwater lake in the world but it may very well be one of the coldest. For guests visiting in any season, the Magnuson Grand has a heated indoor pool and luxury heated whirlpool. Magnuson Grand lakefront rooms have private balconies overlooking Whitefish Bay.

Magnuson Grand Lakefront Paradise can be readily found in Paradise on the Tahquamenon Scenic Heritage Byway, M-123 right behind the Little Falls Inn Restaurant and Red Flannel Saloon also owned by Jim and Shirley Stabile. The general manager, Laurie Winkler regularly shares with Facebook fans information regarding weather conditions and great images of the area. Their website, MagnusonGrandLakefront.com offers area visitors the ability to check on availability and make reservations directly.  The Eastern Upper Peninsula of Michigan may be a sparsely populated section of the country but the Magnuson Grand has the amenities of any fine hotel in the country, backed by the enthusiasm of a family intent in sharing the grandeur and beauty of the area.

In and Around Base Camp

A splash back from the past this article was originally published in 1978 in the Tahquamenon/Paradise Resort News 1978, Published by the Paradise Area Chamber of Commerce. The information is just as valuable today. Images of the various sites were taken in recent times.

As far back as the early 1600’s travelers have been coming to this area. The French Voyageurs used Whitefish Point and the bay shores for a base camp and rest area while exploring the endless wilderness to the west. While times have changed, it is still logical for the traveler to use Paradise as a base camp. The geographic location of this small town offers the visitor a unique opportunity to explore the wonders of the Eastern Upper Peninsula without the hassle of packing up and moving everyday.

The information here is just as example of one day trips to the most popular scenic attractions. You might like to try just one or two of these trips and spend the rest of your time enjoying some of our local points of interest which you will find elsewhere in this newspaper.

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First Day – Tahquamenon Falls State Park, location of the second largest falls east of the Mississippi. Stop first at the Lower Falls, and rent a boat to the island that divides the river into eastern and western streams just where it falls. Wandering along the island’s path, you can wriggle your fingers in the four cascades that foam over light-colored sandstone ledges…..but this is only a prelude. Four miles upriver are the Upper Falls. Here the Tahquamenon rumbles 40 feet in a sheer perpendicular drop over a ledge 160 feet wide into a tree-bordered bed below.

sooLocks_92785

Second Day – Drive up I-75 to Sault Ste Marie for a visit to Michigan’s oldest city. The main attraction is the Soo Locks, the busy canal which handles more than 100 million tons of freight annually. Boat and train rides offer opportunities for a good view of the locks. For an inside look at a lake freighter, tour the Valley Camp. Then ride an elevator to the top of the 21 story Tower of History for a panoramic view of the entire Soo area.

Exterior.BistroSunset-680x390

Third Day – Plan to spend most of the day on Mackinac Island, the historic site of several early American battles. Ferry service is available from early morning to early evening from St. Ignace and back. The island is most noted for its carriage rides (no motor powered vehicles are allowed), fudge shops, and bicycle paths. The island is hone-combed with trails leading to shoreline cliffs and other interesting natural formations.

Yellow_rumped_Warbler_Larry_McGahey_5_13_2009_fishing_route_b_sm

Fourth Day – The two stops on the agenda are Seney National Wildlife refuge and Au Sable Point near Grand Marais. Choose either attraction first; they are in opposite directions on M-77. Grand Marais is sand dune country. Fishermen can rent trolling boats here for “deep sea” fishing in Lake Superior. A different terrain awaits you at Seney, where more than 200 species of birds nest, and a wide range of mammals are protected. A visitor’s center provides insights into the area’s ecology.

picturedrock_0874

Fifth Day – Head over to Munising for a visit to the famous Pictured Rocks. Although designated a National Lakeshore in 1966, this natural wonder is still mostly inaccessible to visitors except by boat. The multicolored sandstone cliffs rise as much as 200 feet from the Lake Superior shoreline. Along a 15 mile beach, nature has been a fanciful sculpture, creating caves, arches, and columns. Boats make daily trips to the Pictured Rocks from Munising city pier. The ride takes three hours.

Hiawatha National Forest

Sixth Day – Enjoy a scenic jaunt through Hiawatha National Forest as you head down M-13 toward Fayette State Park. At Fayette you will see one of the Upper Peninsula’s ghost towns. This particular community cast its fortunes with the iron industry and lost. Five miles south is Burnt Bluff, where the only known original Indiana paintings in Michigan are located. The paintings are believed to be about 1,500 years old.

Experience Michigan’s Paradise eNews

 


February 10, 2015 Volume 1 Issue 1


Nature's Kennel

Experience Dog Sledding

One of the fastest growing activities in the UP of Michigan is Sled Dog Rides. The season starts with a grand race held the first Saturday in January, the Tahquamenon Country Sled Dog Race.

The UP 200 is the grand daddy of dog sled races in the UP held in the Marquette area, February 15. The UP 200 is a qualifier for the Alaskan Iditarod, the last great race in the country. But why not just relax, slow the pace down a bit and schedule a ride from the lower falls to the upper falls in Tahquamenon Falls State Park, take breath taking photographs, and sip some hot chocolate. Schedule a trip today with Nature’s Kennel an experience of a lifetime, 906-748-0513.

Community Experiences

calendar

 

Spotlighting a PATC Member

Once a year, Experience Michigan’s Paradise Newsletter will spotlight a Paradise Area Tourism Council Member. When exploring the eastern upper peninsula, change your pace a bit, take in the fresh air and use Paradise as your base camp. Relax. Stay awhile and enjoy. This month we recognize the Magnuson Grand Hotel Lakefront Paradise.

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The Magnuson Grand Hotel Lakefront Paradise is located along Lake Superior’s shore and offers guests the largest hospitality accommodations in Paradise, Michigan. The Magnuson is a family owned and operated business with the comfort of their guests as their primary objective. Building long term customer relationships has been a mainstay of owners Jim and Shirley Stabile’s 35 year tenure in the hospitality industry. Continuing this legacy as general manager is their daughter Laurie Winkler.

Lake Superior is known for its grand collections of rocks and stones. Carrying this theme into their spacious lobby with vaulted ceilings the Magnuson Grand Hotel Lakefront Paradise (MGHLP) has a grand stone fireplace in their lobby offering guests comfort as they gather to share stories of their day hiking, canoeing, or shopping. Just off the lobby is their full-breakfast and coffee dining area with grand windows overlooking the lake. In the summer, you can enjoy your coffee outside on the patio. Lake Superior is not only the largest freshwater lake in the world but it may very well be one of the coldest. For guests visiting in any season, the MGHLP has a heated indoor pool and luxury heated whirlpool. MGHLP lakefront rooms have private balconies overlooking Whitefish Bay.

MGHLP is can be readily found in Paradise on the Tahquamenon Scenic Heritage Byway, M-123 right behind the Little Falls Restaurant and Red Flannel Saloon. The general manager, Laurie Winkler regularly shares with Facebook fans information regarding weather conditions and great images of the area. Their website, MagnusonGrandLakefront.com offers area visitors the ability to check on availability and make reservations directly. Planning a business retreat or conference? The MGHLP has the ability to offer your company the ideal venue. The Eastern Upper Peninsula of Michigan may be a sparsely populated section of the country but the MGHLP has the amenities of any fine hotel in the country, backed by the enthusiasm of a family intent in sharing the grandeur and beauty of the area.

In and Around Base Camp

A splash back from the past this article was originally published in 1978 in the Tahquamenon/Paradise Resort News 1978, Published by the Paradise Area Chamber of Commerce. The information is just as valuable today. Images of the various sites were taken in recent times.

As far back as the early 1600’s travelers have been coming to this area. The French Voyageurs used Whitefish Point and the bay shores for a base camp and rest area while exploring the endless wilderness to the west. While times have changed, it is still logical for the traveler to use Paradise as a base camp. The geographic location of this small town offers the visitor a unique opportunity to explore the wonders of the Eastern Upper Peninsula without the hassle of packing up and moving everyday.

The information here is just as example of one day trips to the most popular scenic attractions. You might like to try just one or two of these trips and spend the rest of your time enjoying some of our local points of interest which you will find elsewhere in this newspaper.

nc_1992

First Day – Tahquamenon Falls State Park, location of the second largest falls east of the Mississippi. Stop first at the Lower Falls, and rent a boat to the island that divides the river into eastern and western streams just where it falls. Wandering along the island’s path, you can wriggle your fingers in the four cascades that foam over light-colored sandstone ledges…..but this is only a prelude. Four miles upriver are the Upper Falls. Here the Tahquamenon rumbles 40 feet in a sheer perpendicular drop over a ledge 160 feet wide into a tree-bordered bed below.

sooLocks_92785

Second Day – Drive up I-75 to Sault Ste Marie for a visit to Michigan’s oldest city. The main attraction is the Soo Locks, the busy canal which handles more than 100 million tons of freight annually. Boat and train rides offer opportunities for a good view of the locks. For an inside look at a lake freighter, tour the Valley Camp. Then ride an elevator to the top of the 21 story Tower of History for a panoramic view of the entire Soo area.

Exterior.BistroSunset-680x390

Third Day – Plan to spend most of the day on Mackinac Island, the historic site of several early American battles. Ferry service is available from early morning to early evening from St. Ignace and back. The island is most noted for its carriage rides (no motor powered vehicles are allowed), fudge shops, and bicycle paths. The island is hone-combed with trails leading to shoreline cliffs and other interesting natural formations.

Yellow_rumped_Warbler_Larry_McGahey_5_13_2009_fishing_route_b_sm

Fourth Day – The two stops on the agenda are Seney National Wildlife refuge and Au Sable Point near Grand Marais. Choose either attraction first; they are in opposite directions on M-77. Grand Marais is sand dune country. Fishermen can rent trolling boats here for “deep sea” fishing in Lake Superior. A different terrain awaits you at Seney, where more than 200 species of birds nest, and a wide range of mammals are protected. A visitor’s center provides insights into the area’s ecology.

picturedrock_0874

Fifth Day – Head over to Munising for a visit to the famous Pictured Rocks. Although designated a National Lakeshore in 1966, this natural wonder is still mostly inaccessible to visitors except by boat. The multicolored sandstone cliffs rise as much as 200 feet from the Lake Superior shoreline. Along a 15 mile beach, nature has been a fanciful sculpture, creating caves, arches, and columns. Boats make daily trips to the Pictured Rocks from Munising city pier. The ride takes three hours.

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Sixth Day – Enjoy a scenic jaunt through Hiawatha National Forest as you head down M-13 toward Fayette State Park. At Fayette you will see one of the Upper Peninsula’s ghost towns. This particular community cast its fortunes with the iron industry and lost. Five miles south is Burnt Bluff, where the only known original Indiana paintings in Michigan are located. The paintings are believed to be about 1,500 years old.