Monday, July 15, 2013

Day 16: Moths To Motown

Friday, June 28, 2013

After enjoying coffee on the beach and securing camp, it was time to move along. All good things must come to an end.  (Speaking of ends, a fellow stopped by to comment on our stone skipping expertise along the shore. He was proudly displaying his industrial-sized case of Preparation H swabs under arm. Couldn’t he have hid them?)

As required during any camping trip, one needs to check the bathroom.  Not the plumbing or the cleanliness.  The outside walls.  Throughout the night, moths, big and small, find themselves attracted to the lights. By sunrise, they hunker down on the wall and wait for bug-folks like Natalie and I to check them out. 

Take this Luna Moth, for example. What a life.  Eat as a caterpillar.  Pupate.  Emerge as an adult.  WITHOUT A MOUTH, they have about a week to find a mate and have a romp before they die.  That’s it. One week as an adult.  She lays the eggs before she dies.  The whole thing starts all over again.  Those colors are absolutely stunning.  This critter was at least 4 inches across.

The Polyphemus Moth is quite eye-catching, too.  They also only live for about a week as adults. This one is a male, for sure. Those crazy antennae are big so they can detect the female’s pheromones.  Think the pheromones as perfume that drives the guys nuts. She releases it and the guys come running…er, flying.  They can detect her from miles away. No joke. Miles.  They are bigger than Luna Moths.

The drive to the Soo (Canada) was uneventful.  Stopping off at a nice store to purchase gifts was a no-brainer.  We were crossing back into the United States at lunch time, just like we planned.

Finding ourselves struggling to find parking in the Soo (Michigan), we managed. It turns out it is the single busiest day of the year as they are having some street festival thing-a-ha-bob.  It was, after all, time to wet our whistle.

The SooBrewing Company in Sault Sainte Marie is really quite neat. They don’t have regular food options but you are welcome to bring in outside food. Deliveries are even allowed.  Soo Grand Cru, Monkey’s Dunkle (the coolest name ever), GoldiLocks Blonde Ale and the Slowhand IPA (#1468-1471) were all pretty admirable.  Of the four, the Dunkle was the best. The toffee/caramel tones on the tongue were quite impressive.  In a weird sort of way, the beer seemed oddly heavy and light at the same time.  Perhaps that added to its allure.

With a belly full of food, the drive home was uneventful. That’s always nice.

Here are trip details.

Bird Species Recorded: 111 species (at least…)
Total North American Ticks for Paul (sum of all lifetime checklists): 4660
Life Birds for Natalie: not certain as she has not totaled her list: perhaps 10?
Life List for Natalie: unknown at this time
Total North American Ticks for Natalie (sum of all checklists) unknown at this time (okay, so she’s busy…)

Wisconsin Birds List: 83 (from 35)
Minnesota Bird List: 128 (from 115)
Ontario Bird List: 249 (from 248)

Life Beers: 29
Total Lifetime Beers: 1, 471
Breweries Visited: 6

New National Parks Sites Visited: 7

Gallons of Gas: 86.4
Miles Driven: 3,776
Miles per Gallon: 40.4



Ron Gamble said...

Awesome Vacation Story. Thanks for posting it. btw - what brand were the boots?

Paul said...

Hi Ron,

The boots were made by Asolo. I would buy another pair from them in a heartbeat.

Richard Quick said...

Paul and Nat,
What a great trip. I am inspired to visit many of the places you described.