Sutton's Bay, Michigan
The nearly 200 mile drive on Thursday morning takes us through more green forests and blue lakes. I'm still not used to all the expansion joints on cold weather state roads. They can be very annoying!
Crossing the beautiful Mackinac Bridge we see Lake Huron for the first time. We've now been to all the Great Lakes.
Many of the small towns are packed with summer vacationers. The traffic is crazy.
|Construction on the bridge requires us to drive in the middle at a reduced speed (oh darn!).|
|Traverse City is very popular.|
We saw Linda and Steven in Duluth a couple weeks ago. They went south when we went north, knowing we'd meet back here. It was the end of last summer, trying to outrun the smoke, that we last saw Diana and Jim. They're here for two months as interpretive hosts at the nearby national park.
What is it about water that makes a site so special? It's not a massive river, but even this little lake is a wonderful front yard. We also have a lovely concrete patio for our picnic table, and lots of beautifully maintained lawn to enjoy.
|A peaceful and relaxing space.|
Friday morning Bill picks up fresh croissants which we enjoy with coffee on the patio. And the newspaper that is delivered to our front door every morning! Diana and Jim join us later to head into Northport for an outdoor concert. A Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young tribute band entertains us for a couple hours in the park. The large crowd has brought chairs, low tables, dogs, a variety of food, and adult beverages to enjoy with the music. Just like us :-)
We need to do this more often, we have a wonderful time.
|Bill, Diana and Jim with dozens of our best friends.|
|All ages appreciate the classics.|
|Certainly this table is set up just for me!|
|Chef Mario Batali - I didn't know who it was :-)|
|Now this guy.....I know him!|
With plans to see Diana and Jim later in the afternoon, we take a drive around Lake Leelaneau and up the west side to the end of the peninsula.
I spend some time exploring the artisan shops and pretty gardens of the little town of Leland.
|Painted fenceposts - I want a garden just so I can have one, or three!|
|A lamp for the gearhead in your life.|
|You know it's a cute town when this is their bank.|
|A lovely spot to contemplate the beauty of life.|
|When you leave your Cadillac and fishing boat alone in the garage too long.....|
|Grand Traverse Lighthouse, erected 1858. Converted to house two families in 1900, kitchen added in 1916 (where did they cook for 16 winters?).|
|This beauty shades the whole lawn.|
|Trail follows the shoreline behind the light.|
|Delicate delight along the water.|
|The light was moved to a nearby automatic tower in 1972, and the building was closed. In 1986 the state opened the museum.|
|A sign of the times.....|
|"Interesting" planters on the grounds.|
|I love these fresh Hydrangeas.|
We stop for the information movie at the visitors center, and learn the dunes were formed by glaciers. It is another uniquely beautiful place that thankfully has been protected for all of us to enjoy. The scenic drive takes us through green hardwoods to the overlook above the huge dunes.
|A very, very steep wall of sand with signs advising people not to go down the dune.|
|So of course.......|
|The sign explains that if you can't get back to the top, you will pay for your rescue. The fellow on his knees looks like he may need to get out his checkbook.|
|Late afternoon skies blend into the lake.|
|It "feels" like the sand should just slide into the water.|
|The Dune Climb offers a safer option for climbing. I still don't see the appeal :-)|
Cloudy and rain threatening on Monday, we head to Traverse City to run errands. Such a pretty town on the shore of Grand Traverse Bay. Unfortunately the dog wash place is closed :-( We find the rare car wash that cleans interiors and get the Jeep a much needed bath. The rain never comes so we luck out. Lunch at the Silver Swan is unique and delicious (really, check out the menu)!
|Mishwya with hommus and pita. OMG tasty!|
|Grand Traverse Bay|