Home Away From Home, Michigan

Climbing the Dune

Our first stop today was the Sleeping Bear Dunes National Park. Because we have the America the Beautiful pass we were able to get in at no cost. The dune is tremendous – so high but I was determined to climb it. Jerry headed toward to the bathroom and I headed for the dune. IMG_2077It was a climb to say the least but I made it to the top – kind of. To get to the other side of the dune to see Lake Michigan was another mile and a half and I’ve already seen Lake Michigan. The view towards Glen Lake was enough for me. I clambered down, bought the magnet and then we headed for Glen Haven, a small village on the shore of Lake Michigan.

Originally a company town known for farming and canning it is one of the few towns that survived and that is probably due to the foresight of D. H. Day who was first logging the trees and then added a fruit cannery. Today the historic town which is now owned by the National Park Service includes a general store, a boat museum, a blacksmith shop and a maritime museum.

Jerry at the helm!
Jerry at the helm!
The Maritime Museum is the original Sleeping Bear Point U.S. Life-Saving Station which was moved to its present location because the encroaching sand dunes were beginning to bury it in sand. The house is an amazing recreation of life during the treacherous early days. After viewing all of the rooms we entered the Pilot House room. It was just like being at the helm on the ship – a little eerie!

We considered going to Leland and taking the ferry to the North Manitou Lighthouse but a day pass was $40 per person and it was already 3:00 so we decided to go on to the Grand Traverse Lighthouse in Northport.

Grand Traverse Lighthouse
Grand Traverse Lighthouse
Located at Leelanau State Park, the lighthouse has been restored to include a museum showcasing the life of a lighthouse keeper and his family. The wife must have been musical because there were two organs in the house. This was a very different lighthouse in that we didn’t have 130 steps to climb and the top was enclosed.

Also on the grounds is the Fog House which is a tribute to World War II. After the attack at Pearl Harbor Lake Michigan was the only body of water in the United States not touched by foreign soil and because it mirrored the waters of the Atlantic and Pacific it became a mecca for training for aircraft carriers. There is a great deal of history in that one little building.

Our trip back to Traverse City followed the coast line and the scenic Lake Michigan. Every inch that I have seen is indescribably beautiful – what a nice place to live – during the summer that is!

We stopped at the grocery store yet again and got hamburgers to grill for dinner. After dinner we sat outside for a while, visited with the new neighbors from Arkansas and then Jerry later visited with a guy originally from Durham. Small world.

It’s 10:00 now and finally dark – good night!


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