Grand Traverse Lighthouse

Along the northwest shore of Michigan’s Lower Peninsula is the Grand Traverse Bay formed by the mainland and the Lelanau Peninsula. At the tip of the Lelanau Peninsula is the Grand Traverse Lighthouse marking the opening to the Grand Traverse Bay. This lighthouse has guided ships since it was built in 1858, now with an automatic light tower. I wanted […]

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Leland’s Historic Fishtown

We thought a Friday in the middle of September, before peak color season in upper Michigan, would be a good time to take a quiet, relaxing tour of the Leelanau Peninsula. We were wrong – many other people had the same false belief. The Leelanau Peninsula is a narrow piece of land that runs north between Lake Michigan and Grand Traverse Bay. If you can see in your mind’s eye Michigan as a mitten, the Leelanau Peninsula would be where the pinky finger is. It is most famous for its cherries and wineries; there are 26 wineries on the peninsula. It is close to the 45th parallel that is ideal for growing grapes, especially white. But our goal this time was not to do the winery tours that are well advertised. Our goal was to visit the small villages as we drove the perimeter of the peninsula, the small towns that we have visited before. It has been many years since we have been here so we had the advantage of visiting places that gave us the feeling of “coming home” while also having new adventures. We stopped at Leland because I had purchased really good fish sausage at a store on the docks once upon a time, long ago. There were scores of tourists, but we found a parking space behind some shops. I grabbed my camera and walked towards the shops below where the fish weather vane and sign […]

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Point Betsie Lighthouse

Just north of Frankfort and west of Traverse City in Michigan,  on the shore of Lake Michigan, is the Point Betsie Lighthouse. I’ve been there several times over the years because friends have a cottage on the Betsie River and we used to visit them there when they were younger. We have also camped in this area. Visiting the lighthouse […]

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Finding Up North

Have you ever noticed how “up north” is relevant to perspective? Many years ago some friends moved from Peoria, Illinois to our dot on the map in lower Michigan. Their friends in Peoria teased them about moving to the edge of civilization. For JB and I, up north is somewhere north of Claire – about half way from here to […]

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