Michigan and Lake Superior Agates

It was time to get back on track and head over to Michigan. It’s a little difficult leaving each place. It becomes a bit of home and I leave a piece of my heart there. We’ve met so many nice people along the way that we most likely will never see again but still have touched our lives. One couple was Dave and Heidi who were traveling across the country to start a new job. Dave is a neural scientist and professor. They had quite a menagerie with them: two dogs, a turtle and two birds. Matt had a great time discussing 3D printing with Dave and I enjoyed chatting with Heidi. DSC_8529 2

But move on we did. I was finally able to capture a shot of a typical barn for this part of the country. All through Wisconsin, Minnesota and now Michigan I have seen these sloped roof barns. I really wanted to get a photo of the red ones with a white roof, but at least this shows the type of barn.DSC_8532 2

We spent a few nights in Michagamme Shores Campground right by the Michagamme Lake. The campsite was a gorgeous double wide with a lovely view. Here is the lake that evening.DSC_8568 2

We were in for some rain and woke up to a different sight. In one day, the temperature dropped 40 degrees. We went from 80’s and hot to the 30’s at night. Whew! Time for sweatshirts and jackets.DSC_8572 2

It was a work day, but we got out in the evening rain to get some fresh Lake Superior fish to fry. Here’s Matt holding our treasures: lake trout and whitefish from Thill’s Fish House. We fried them up with butter and lemon juice. So good!! I had never had either and decided I liked the trout better.DSC_8565 2

Before moving on, there was one more place I wanted to visit. Some of you know that I love stones and in fact have polished many. Here are some that I have polished.Examples of Janine's lapidary work

Just as we left Minnesota, I learned that the area we had been in was well known for finding agates. Do you see that pink swirly stone on the upper left side of the photo? That is an example of an agate. Now I was very interested in Lake Superior agates and a bit upset that we had already left the prime area for hunting them. I did, however, spy a rock shop near where we were camping. After Matt finished work, I said that was where I wanted to go.20140911_184642 2

At first I thought that Carolyn’s Rock Shop was just on her porch. And it took me a bit to figure out which door bell to ring, but finally Carolyn asked us to come in. She slowly led us down the steps into her basement pointing to rocks on each step as she went. Each one had a story, it seemed, and she told it enthusiastically. Soon we were in the basement and I was surprised to find that her rock shop took up the whole thing! We were given the grand tour and it was quite enjoyable. There were many tempting treasures there, but I stuck to my guns and only bought a couple Lake Superior agate samples, one natural and one polished.Lake Superior Agates

Here is a close up of the unpolished sample. Notice the waxiness and the concentric lines? Those are two of the qualifiers for when searching for Lake Superior agates.Lake Superior Agate unpolished

We enjoyed talking with Carolyn about agates but also about her life. She is a stroke survivor and I was impressed with her determination. Even though the doctor said she would never be able to do steps again, she was not going to give up on her rock shop. This amazing woman tied a rope at the top of the steps and pulled herself up the steps. Now she has almost recovered fully and is so glad to have her rock shop to inspire her. Here she is holding one of her rock specimens.Carolyn's Rock Shop

Buying agates from Carolyn just fueled my interest and desire. Yes, the next day we were leaving the prime hunting area. But after more research, I learned that it was possible to find the agates all along the lake. That night I actually had a dream that I was agate hunting and found several. Then suddenly some of our family members were with us too and when I went to show them the agates, they had shriveled down to slivers. When I awoke, I had to chuckle. Was I interested in Lake Superior Agates? You bet!

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