Iargo Springs is located inland from the little town of Oscoda by maybe 15 miles or so. Although I'd grown up in Oscoda, I'd never visited the springs, so I was glad for the opportunity to pay them a visit. The friends that we went up there to see had also wanted to see the springs badly. We certainly weren't disappointed!
The Springs lay alongside the banks of the Ausable River. The banks in this area are very steep, and rise almost straight up at least 500 ft. or more above the water. You can definitely see the work of glaciers-of-old in this area. In the old days, when Indians traversed the Ausable River regularly, they would meet at the springs and hold pow-wows there because they believed the water from the springs held magical powers.
The parking area is at the top of the high bank. Then you have to descend 294 stairs downward in order to see the springs (3 or 4 of them) and walk the man-made boardwalks that criss cross the little streams that are created by the springs. These little streams drain into the river, and they have expanded the width of the river here greatly by pouring sediments out along the shoreline. These have formed a large delta.
I figured walking down a lot of stairs would be easy. I mean, you're going DOWN, right? How much energy can that take? But after the first 200 or so stairs, the muscles in the front of my upper legs started to burn a bit. It was the same for all our friends too (so at least I didn't feel as bad...lol). However, we made it to the bottom and were glad we did!
The forest floor was a lush, green, moist canopy of glorious beauty. Our Forest Service had placed large logs in front of 3 of the springs years ago, and this made for beautiful waterfalls. The sound of the water dancing over the falls, and then over the rocks in the streams below them, was wonderful--like hearing a child laugh. The boardwalks meandered all over the place. There had to be at least 6 of them winding their way to the delta, and each one ended right at the delta. The water in the delta was crystal clear. You could see all the logs beneath the surface, and there were no waves or ripples in the water at all.
|The delta in the foreground; the actual river in the background.|
|The delta at the shoreline.|
|One of the springs flowing over a man-made barrier.|
|A second spring.|
|An island in the middle of the Ausable River.|
|The start of the 294 stairs back to the top.|
|Lumberman's Monument--a beautiful park that includes a brass statue erected as a tribute to the early loggers in the area.|
|Foot Dam was definitely flowing pretty hard. Fishermen fishing for salmon and steelhead are in the foreground.|
|This guy was only too eager to show us the steelhead he'd just caught.|
|The lights of Oscoda City Beach as seen from the end of the pier stretching out into Lake Huron.|
The day ended as nicely as it started. The 6 of us stopped at an overlook area and took more pics, then visited the last dam on the river (Foot Dam) and checked out the fishermen along the shore. We then ate dinner at a Mexican restaurant nearby where the food was really good. When dinner was finished, we drove into downtown Oscoda were we all walked out into Lake Huron on the new boardwalk/pier the city had just built. Then, following several hugs, the 6 of us parted ways--they back to their campground for one more night, and us for our trip home. Before we got on the road, Tom & I decided to drive 2 blocks to where I'd heard a childhood friend of mine was working. She and I hadn't seen each other in at least 15 years, during which time her hubby had moved them around the country several times, had several affairs on her, and finally told her earlier this year that their 28 year marriage was over because he'd found someone else. They have 2 kids in their late teens. My friend and her daughter moved back to Oscoda where a lot of her family lives, and her son stayed with his dad in California. My friend had to pick up her broken life and start over again. I know this year has been especially tough for her, but it appears she's picked up the pieces of her life and is standing on her own 2 feet again. We gave each other several big hugs (she was shocked to see me!), and she finally got to meet Tom. It was only a 15 minute visit, but there was so much emotion there. She gave me her phone number, and I plan to stay in touch with her now that she's in Michigan again.
That's the end of Part 2, and the end of our trip up north. Next time, I'll post some pics from our visit to an area cider mill last Sunday. We took Dante with us, and he was a lot of fun!