Day #124 – Visiting Kitchi-iti-kipi

LOCATION:  Manistique, MI in south central part of Upper Peninsula
CAMPGROUND:  Indian Lake State Park
WEATHER:  Superb.  Sunny.  High 78

(For my regular blog readers, you can see we haven’t had internet for several days.  I am postiing 3 days of blogs today.)

We somehow killed the morning with reading, doing odd jobs (I cleaned out the refrigerator -fun stuff), and George’s tinkering.  Then we were off to Kitchi-iti-kipi — a big spring just a few miles from here, fed by Indian Lake where our campground is located.  It is a popular Michigan attraction.

The spring is a beautiful turquoise color and has a lot of Indian legends surrounding it.  The attraction is to ride a raft built by the CCC (Civilian Conservation Corps) back in the 1920s.  It stays at 40 degrees year-’round. 

It is operated by the riders.  There are printed directions to lock the gate, and to engage the mechanism that moves the raft.  Then, someone starts turning the wheel which moves the raft along on a thick wire.  This cute chick did a lot of the turning.  George jokingly tipped her (see $ bill in her hand), and then helped her with the wheel. 

We passengers hung over the open center to gaze at the crystal-clear water below.

You can see huge fish swimming in the depths – up to 50 feet. 

The raft goes to the other end of the spring, and then reverses. Back to shore we go…

We stopped at the Big Springs Inn for a drink on our way home.  Michigan probably has more craft breweries than any other state.  Even in Bud Light bars, you can count on some kind of local stout or IPA.  He tried a stout.  (Too chocolate-y)

Back at the campground, I did some meal prep and George got the campfire going, using more wood that I scrounged earlier today. 

I made this recipe, adapting it from one I found in a ladies’ magazine.  I did the assembly inside while George cooked the garlic and shrimp in our iron skillet over the fire.  It was excellent, and I will do it again sometime:

SHRIMP RAMEN SALAD WITH CRUNCHY SPRING VEGETABLES

2 T peanut butter or tahini
1 T rice vinegar
2 T soy sauce
1 T honey
1 tsp grated ginger
1 tsp sesame oil
1/2 c vegetable oil
10 oz ramen or soba or thin spaghetti
1/4 c thinly sliced garlic (from 10-12 cloves)
Kosher salt and pepper
12 oz shrimp, peeled
1 c julienned English cucumber
1 c julienned radishes
1/2 c green onion diced
Mint and/or cilantro leaves for garnish

Make dressing– In a bowl, whisk together peanut butter, vinegar, soy sauce, honey, ginger, and 2 T water.  Whisk in sesame oil and 2 T of the vegetable oil. 

Meanwhile, cook noodles in a pot of boiling water per package instructions.  Drain and rinse with cool water.  Toss with half of the dressing.

Combine remaining 6 T vegetable oil with garlic in a nonstick skillet.  Cook over medium heat until garlic is crisp and golden.  Place on paper towel.  Season with salt and pepper.  Season shrimp with a little salt and a lot of pepper, and cook in the same skillet – only 2-3 minutes.  Place on paper towels.

Divide dressed noodles among bowls.  Top with cucumber, radish, onion, herbs, shrimp, and garlic chips.  Serve with remaining dressing.

Serves 4.  Serve at room temperature or chilled.

BOOK:  “Pale Kings and Princes” by Robert B. Parker.  A Spenser detective novel, one I had picked up in a campground “library”.  It is very light reading – I finished it in a day.  3 stars out of 5

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