24 March 2010

Northern Exposure

This is what driving 375 miles north will get you. You go from the snowstorm mentioned in the last entry to this:

No snow, shining sun, twittering birds. It's as if the U.P. knew that I was coming home to visit.

I'm sitting at the Peter White Public library while Daughter and her new best friend (who she met 10 minutes ago) explore the various levels. I needed to come to the library because Parents live out past the world of cable and ethernet. They have a computer with a dial up modem to connect them to the internet, which is fine for certain applications, but not so much for posting photos. And I have a few photos to share.

One of the iconic images of Marquette is the image of an ore boat on Lake Superior. The U.P. is a large producer of iron ore, and the ore is shipped downstate and to Ohio on huge boats that are very distinctive in appearance. Last night on the local news they mentioned that the shipping season had opened, so when Daughter and I came in to town today I swung by the ore docks.

As I suspected, there was an ore boat being loaded, the Michipicotin. These guys are bout 1000 feet long, and can hold upwards of 70,000 tons of freight. We just happened to be there just as they were actually loading the boat, so we watched for quite a while and listened as the various chutes lowered, released millions of iron ore pellets to cascade down the chute, then were cranked back up again. For all the years I lived here, I think this was the first time I actually saw and heard the ore being loaded onto the boats.

While we were there we also stopped by Presque Isle park. Daughter was a little disappointed that we couldn't walk out to the lighthouse yet again. Last time we were thwarted by flies, this time it was a slightly more substantial obstruction.

I'm actually happy that we couldn't make it. I, being the brilliant knitter that I am, did not bring a hat or mittens with me, and the wind coming in off the lake from Canada was a little on the nippy side.

Speaking of knitting, I also stopped by one of the local yarn stores, Uncommon Threads. Among other things, I picked up some Poems sock yarn to make a pair of socks for Daughter.

It's a lovely wool yarn that has nice gradual changes from one color to the next. Nice gradual changes, that is, until you get to one of these:

Then you get a not so gradual change from green to orange. They couldn't even be bothered to try and match the colors up. So I'll be starting over from here and hoping that there are no more knots further on. It's too bad, too, because it was coming along quite nicely.

So now Daughter and I will head back to the wilderness where I believe this afternoon's agenda is helping Dad fix some of the problems with his computer, then creating a PowerPoint presentation about Clematis so he can speak at the gardening convention in April. Then I'll tackle that sock again while I watch nature unfold outside the living room window.

1 comment:

Carrie said...

Daughters old best friend misses her terribly! When are you coming home?