SUNDAY WAS FATHER’S Day. Sunday  also was waterfalls day. And as much as anything, Sunday became Flower Power Day.

My wife and I have lately been proving that the more things change, the more they stay the same. We are of a generation for whom Sunday afternoon was a time for taking leisurely drives in the country. For many, that tradition long ago disappeared.

During these days of COVID-19, social distancing and such, the two of us have fallen back into the tradition. Sunday was no exception.

On our Sunday drive this time, my lovely wife and I were treated to an afternoon of flower power. No, not the “hippie-dippy,” flower children protest days of the ’60s, but a slide show of beautiful flowers displayed in an array of stunning color all the way from home to the Black River Harbor, our destination in the far north of “Yooperland.”

It began in earnest between Boulder Junction and Presque Isle, where in several waterlogged spots along the way, flag iris were blooming in rich purple splendor. Heading north toward Marenisco, Mich., small stands of lupine began dotting the roadside shoulders with their rich violet, white and pink colors.

Highway 2 from Marenisco to Bessemer, Mich., especially from the east side of Wakefield, Mich., on, the shoulders and high banks were one big display of fabulous color.

Somehow or other, I have either not driven along that stretch during lupine time or I have just plain forgotten how rich that country is with lupines. I won’t soon forget again, even with a 70-something brain that seems to be more and more prone to forgetfulness at times, especially when it comes to remembering piddling little things like getting a lovely wife a birthday card or making a dinner reservation (May, May, what the heck date is it in May?) for our wedding anniversary.

Making the turn along the Black River road north of Bessemer, the lupines really took center stage. Huge swaths of them in full bloom decorated fields, edges of woods and road shoulders along most of the 15-mile trip.

We took a little detour through the national forest campground above the harbor and were treated to some small patches of what is a favorite flower of both of ours, the pale blue, dainty forget-me-nots. What a treat.

Once at the harbor, Gordie, our intrepid 3-year-old yellow lab, and I crossed the springy bridge across the river and meandered down to a long stretch of beach swathed in small, wave-worn stones.

Along the path I could see where people had tramped a short bit into the midst of thick lupine displays probably, I would guess, for photo ops.

A sunny, warm afternoon, the beach was covered with people for a quarter-mile or more, pretty much all of them adhering to more than adequate social distancing measures. Gordie and I rested near the jetty leading out from the harbor. I rested, anyway, while he tested the cold waters of Gitche Gumee.

He made a couple of half-hearted retrieves, had his picture taken by a guy above us on the breakwater and then, decided he’d had enough of swimming. Only a very few hardy souls, young ones all of them, were actually swimming or wading in the lake. The rest were smart enough, like me, to simply soak up the sun on dry land.

As we watched, a wide swath of black clouds approached across the lake, accompanied by rumbles of thunder. We rejoined my wife and golden wonder, Molly, on the other side of the river to start the trip back home.

One more detour. I needed to get me some waterfalls. It looked like there might only be time to walk in to one of the five falls above the lake and I chose Sandstone; a smaller drop, but a gorgeous one. I can tell you there are 123 wooden steps to reach the river level; easy going down, not so much coming back up. Sandstone is not a huge falls, but impressive nonetheless as it plunges through a narrow gorge. It reminded me of the one Paul and Norman Maclean ran through with a boat in “A River Runs Through It.”

Above the falls are two more lesser-seen cascades cut through rocks thousands of years old, splashing noisily on their way down to the big lake. Again, it reminds me of the closing scene from the movie, narrated by Robert Redford from the book written by the actual Norman Mclean.

“Eventually, all things merge into one and a river runs through it. The river was cut by the world’s great flood and runs over rocks from the basement of time.” That is the Black River.