Welcome to my blog

If you enjoy finding a lot of different outlets for your creativity, then we may just be kindred spirits.
This blog is an outlet for my interest in miniatures, crochet, plastic canvas, and many other various arts and crafts.

I also love walking, taking digital photos, and most recently, have rediscovered an old love...bike riding! I purchased an amazing new bike, a comfy Townie by Electra this summer, and have been having a grand time exploring the area as though for the first time. It's like being a kid again!

If you enjoy any of these things too, pour a cup of coffee and tea, sit down, and join me.

Take care!

Saturday, August 27, 2016

Bike Ride 15, Home to Whitefish Island and Back, 12.56 km

My route
 Yesterday I went on an afternoon jaunt back to Whitefish Island, but this time I rode my bike from home, instead of driving to the mall and parking.  Boy, am I feeling it today.  It wasn't the farthest I've ridden but it was the hardest ride so far because I wasn't feeling 100%, and it was windy out for half of the ride (and hot and humid for the other half). 
Time I left house
 I left the house at 3:30 PM, carrying one huge bottle of gatorade in my bottle holder, and 3 bottles of ice water, some grapes and a granola bar in a cooler bag in my back basket.
 I rode up Douglas St. to the end, and then took my normal route to the end of Henrietta, Wellington, and Conmee, where I crossed Carmen's Way and jumped onto the Hub Trail.  It took me only 10 minutes to get to the part of the hubtrail that passes the Underpass; I couldn't believe it!

Hub trail near underpass
 Then it took me another 10 minutes to get from the underpass to the International Bridge Plaza and the tourist information center.

Tourist Information Center

 From there it was just another 10 minute hop to the Soo Locks!  There was a little hill leading up to the locks and i had to walk my bike because my breathing hasn't been great these past two days.  The sun had come out and it was extremely hot and humid, so I sat under a shady tree and drank my gatorade, waiting to catch my breath.
View of Locks bathrooms from shady tree, lol.

Historic building along Soo Canal
 After I could breathe again, I walked my bike over the narrow canal bride onto Attikamek Island.  Attikamek is Ojibway for Whitefish.
Whitefish Island Map
 I looked at the map and decided to follow every trail, starting with the outer trail on Attikamek and then crossing over to Whitefish Island, then doing the inner trails on Attikamek, then back to St. Mary's Island.
Trail leading under the International Bridge

Beautiful clouds over Soo canal

My bike by ruins of old wall

Path beside International Bridge
 This narrow trail was lovely to ride on; hard packed, with some gravel but not too much, and mostly shaded.
Almost under the International Bridge
 The water looked so cool and inviting. I was so hot I was tempted to go in, but the rapids are just the other side of the retaining wall, and the current was too strong so I sat on a big rock under a shady tree and drank some ice water instead.
Man Fishing the rapids
 A man was fishing from the retaining wall.  Earlier, he had been chest deep in the rapids; he's lucky he wasn't swept away.  People have drowned here.  I used my zoom to get this image, and you can see the American flag in the distance.
St. Mary's River

Bridge to Whitefish Island
 I rode the trail until I came to this bridge, which led to Whitefish Island. I was halfway across the bridge when I took this photo.

View from Gazebo on Whitefish Island
 This first gazebo was full of spider webs so I just went in, took this photo (above) and left again.  It doesn't look steep in the photo, but I had to walk my bike down this ramp because it was too steep to make that turn safely...for me, anyway.  I'm sure others could do it but my balance is still not great.
Little cabins
 These little cabins are cute but people have peed in them and they stink. Why do people have to ruin things?  My friend thinks that homeless people stay here at night.  Maybe he's right, but I think it's more likely that highschool kids party out here at night.
 This part of the trail (above) was extremely nice, and reminded me of camp where the trees meet together overhead forming a tunnel.  The shade was lovely.
St. Mary's River, rapids
 The trail led back to the shoreline of Whitefish Island, with incredible views of the rapids and Sault Michigan across the river.
close up of swirling water
 I really love the way the water swishes and swirls, even in the shallows.  It's so pretty.
 This photo above was taken from the far end of Whitefish Island, from the first gazebo after exiting the tree tunnel.  There are several gazebos along the way, providing shade and incredible views of the river and bridge.  They get progressively closer to the bridge before they turn away back to the center of the Island and the duck pond.
Merganser duck
 I thought this was a loon until I got home and had a chance to look at it on a bigger screen. It's a Merganser duck.  This guy was really cool; he ran on top of the water for quite some distance.
 We have ducks like this out at camp too, and I've never known what they were. I always called them submarine ducks because sometimes they swim with all but their heads submerged, lol.
Merganser, cropped photo
 It's a beautiful duck; I love the funky "hair" lol.
Merganser duck silhouette
 It also looks great in silhouette.
A long, winding wooden walkway runs along the shore of Whitefish Island, which is great because sometimes this area is flooded from the flood gates being left open.

Pretty view from wooden walkway
 I love the silvers and blues in the photo above.

My bike
 After the wooden walkway ended, I had to push my bike for a bit because there was so much loose gravel.  The gravel is fine to ride on unless you have to brake; then it's dangerous because it makes the bike skid.

 The sunlight glinted on the water, turning it silver and white. 
My bike in a gazebo
 I stopped at every gazebo, eager for the shade provided by the roofs. It was very hot out.
View from gazebo

View from gazebo

Duck pond

Pretty flower

View from gazebo

View from gazebo closest to bridge

 The view from the gazebo closest to the bridge was amazing. the clouds looked like a watercolor painting.

 The fisherman had found a friend, so I used my zoom lens to take a few more photos of them.
 When I spoke to them later on, one guy said he had caught 5 fish. He didn't say which kind of fish but I believe people usually catch Whitefish here.

View from gazebo
 The river was on both sides of the last gazebo.  I was glad for the wooden walkways.

Fishermen resting
 The fishermen took a break at the same time I did, lol.

Seagull and ducks

 I took photos of this building both with zoom (above) and without (below).  I think it's the power building on the US side.

Left Whitefish Island
 At 7:25, I left Whitefish Island, crossed over the thin canal bridge to St. Mary's Island and the Soo Locks.

Pretty sky

Hub trail
 Along the way, I saw my Mom and Dad in their truck.  My Dad asked if I was OK to ride home and although I was tired, I told him I was fine. He told me my best friend  Laurie was in town, waiting for me to get home. 
 I booted it and made it back to the underpass by quarter to 8.


 I made it home by 8, even though I had to get off my bike and push it up the hill through the underpass.  Shortly after taking the photo below, my best friend arrived and held my camera while I put my bike away.  I was so exhausted I could barely take in what she was saying. She was tired too, so we agreed to meet after we had our showers.  She went back next door to her Mom's and I staggered into the house and collapsed.  After I cooled down and let the dog out, I  had a quick bath, and then Laurie came over and we visited with one another for the rest of the evening.
Today I am toast, lol.  My whole body hurts, especially my back and shoulders.  I don't know how people who go on bike tours do it as I couldn't imagine having to ride my bike again today.