NOTE: IN ORDER TO BETTER SEE PHOTOS IN THEIR FULL 1600 PX. RESOLUTION, VIEW THEM IN THE ALBUM FORMAT BY CLICKING ON THE LEAD PHOTO OR ANY PHOTO IN THE POST. This is especially true for landscape shots. Thanks to Mark for the idea of adding this alert so the photos can be seen at their best!

Tuesday, December 20, 2016

Lake Michigan Circle Tour

This is a flashback post from a trip Wayne and I took in 2010.

In 2010 Wayne and I took a tour around Lake Michigan which included Little Sable Point Lighthouse located in Silver Lake State Park in Michigan.  It was built in 1874 and still looks much as it did 120 years ago. Open to the public seven days a week from 10am to 5pm with a small admission fee it has 139 steps and a Third Order Fresnel lens.  But walking the beach without mosquitoes is what I remember the most.

While in the area don't pass up a dune buggy tour, we rode with Mac Woods and enjoyed it immensely.

Another stop was Empire, where the state park was too full so we stayed at Indigo Bluffs RV Resort and would stay there again.  We rented a kayak and paddled out to Lake Michigan on the lower Platte River, other folks floated along on tubes, the water was shallow and smooth most of the way.

Nearby Glen Arbor was full of fun little shops including the yummy Cherry Republic.

We look so young!  

But sunset on the beach at Sleeping Bear Dunes was more our style.

A stop in Traverse City yielded a belly full of the best cherry pie ever at the Traverse City Pie Company.  And the lineman in Wayne admired the transmission tower done up like a lighthouse.

In Brimley we toured the Point Iroquois Lighthouse which has been around since 1857 and had a relaxing stay at Brimley State Park where most of the campers hailed from Ontario.

We visited the Soo Locks where freighters, barges, tugboats and more traverse the 21-foot drop between Lake Superior and Lake Huron every day and night.

The first State Lock was built in 1855. Up until then, explorers, fur traders, and Native Americans portaged their canoes and cargoes around the rapids. Everything would change when a 21-foot drop in water levels was rendered less important with the construction of a Lock. The Soo Locks Visitors Center is open from Mid-May through Mid-October from 9:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m. and contains a lot of information about the history and how it all works.  Street parking is what is available unless things have changed since we were there so leave your camper back at the campground!

Soo Locks Visitor Center

The Great Lakes Shipwreck Museum in Whitefish was interesting and the area was gorgeous.  Whitefish Point is known as the Graveyard of Ships as more vessels have been lost here than in any other part of the lake.

Shipwreck Museum

But Wayne's favorite maritime museum is the Ship Valley Camp in Sault Ste. Marie

Housed inside the massive cargo of this lake freighter is a 20,000 square foot museum with over 100 exhibits.

The exhibit for the Edmund Fitzgerald included the 2 lifeboats that washed ashore. The damage spoke volumes. The other boat was only half a boat.

We saw Canada from the deck of the ship but didn't have time to cross.  Always have to leave something to come back for!

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