UP Fall Color Tour – 2

Fall Color in the Park at the Corps of Engineers Soo Locks Visitor Center

Wednesday, September 22, 2010
Brimley, Michigan – Wild Bluff Golf Course

During the drive from Grand Marais to Brimley the color change was modest.ย As we got away from the lake several miles we found leaf color change at about 30 – 40% along Michigan Highway 28. As we returned close to the lake on the Whitefish Bay Scenic Byway it reduced to about 15%. A week or two later the drive along Whitefish Bay would be quite scenic. I noted since the last time we were on this road, the state has added a few scenic rest stops on the lake side of the road where you can stop, have a picnic or even take a swim (in warmer weather !).

Dan and Donna stayed at the Bay Mills Casino Hotel and found their rooms comfortable. They had asked for non-smoking rooms and expected however to continue to smell smoke. Casino patrons are notorious for smoking addiction. But they were pleasantly surprised – once past the lobby and gaming entrance the smell of smoke wasn’t noticeable. Dan had breakfast in the resort cafe and gave it 5 stars. Donna stayed in her room and had yogurt because she thought the cafe might be smokey ๐Ÿ™‚ Jo and I stayed at the Casino resort RV Park and were very pleased with it. Had both Wi-Fi and Cable TV. Level pads – gravel not cement. Clean washrooms and showers. Decent price for the amenities. Walking distance to the Casino and Resort.

It was raining ย the Tuesday afternoon we arrived and rained during the night. The next morning Dan and I had tee times at 10 am. The rain had stopped by then and the weather was on the cool side but not enough to deter us from golf. While I futzed with my equipment and did a little practice chipping on one of the practice greens, Dan went up to the second floor restaurant and bar to grab a sandwich. Again he gave high marks to the food service and the service in general. Very nice view of the course from the second floor too. As guests of the hotel our fall rate green and cart fee was $52.

Wild Bluff Golf Course Brimley, MI
View of the Wild Bluff Golf Club Club House from the 18th hole tee box

Even before we tried out the course we were impressed because the package includes free range balls and new or almost new Yamaha electric golf cart with a large gps screen, a built-in ice cooler, and an onboard ball and club head cleaner. Quite a deluxe machine.

The course is very scenic. Set in the woods with most of the holes are on top of the Bluff, some with scenic views overlooking Lake Superior. The fairways are bent grass and tree-lined with either water or sand bunker fairway hazards. The course presents some dramatic elevation changes; the more level holes had undulating fairways and challenging direction changes. Most greens were elevated and ran fast, with challenging pin locations, and were at times tough to read. We played the White Tees which totaled 6156 yards with a 125 slope rating. The Black Tees total 7056 yards and a slope rating of 136. We found the course fun and quite challenging. You can see more pictures and details about playing the course at our Wild Bluff Golf Course Review on our SuperiorTrails Golfing website.

Thursday, September 23, 2010
Sault Ste. Marie, Michigan & Sault Sainte Marie, Ontario

Soo Locks Park
Fall Color in the Park at the Corps of Engineers Soo Locks Visitor Center

Rainy weather returned along with colder weather as we headed to Sault Ste. Marie. We found a bit more color when we arrived in town. The two Soo’s are actually on the Saint Marie River as it empties out of Lake Superior so perhaps that explains why Sault Ste. Marie had more color change than Brimley which is only maybe 20 miles west. (See the picture taken on the grounds of Corps of Engineers Soo Locks facility.) We actually had plans to play golf at Sault Ste. Marie Country Club but with the rain the previous days and the rain seeming to go on all day on this day, those plans were cancelled. Did drive by the course and it looks in good shape so playing it will be on our future agenda.

We elected to tour the Soo Looks. Spent time in the Visitor Center looking at all the exhibits and viewing a movie about the history of the area. They post a schedule of expected arrivals of big ships that are going through the locks. So we hung around to watch the Robert S. Pierson go through the locks. Neat experience. Interesting to watch how the seaman handle these huge crafts. Here’s a couple of shots below. If you want to see some more you can go to our Soo Locks web page on SuperiorTrails.com

Robert S. Pierson Soo Locks
Robert S. Pierson as she enters the Soo Locks

Robert S. Pierson Soo Locks
Robert S. Pierson beginning to leave the Soo Locks
Antler Bar, Sault Ste. Marie, Michigan
The famous Antler Bar in Sault Ste. Marie, Michigan

Later we caught a late lunch at the Antler Bar, a place known for its menagerie of stuffed wild game and hundreds of antlers on the walls and hanging from the ceiling. Also has some pretty unique menu selections. Donna was a little freaked out eating amongst all this wild life ๐Ÿ™‚ But it was a fun place, good wait service, and OK on the food side. If you are in town, probably a place you should include to experience the Soo. On the other hand the Soo Locks are something you ought not to miss.

Go Here for Friday, September 24th of our Fall Color Trip