Day 224 – Lake Michigan Tour

Day 224 of Year Long Road Trip Along America’s Scenic Byways

Petey and I began our Lake Michigan Tour in Ludington where a cross, memorializing Pere Merquette, stands over the harbor.  It is thought, the French missionary and explorer died nearby in 1675, though the exact location remains a controversy.

Pere Merquette Memorial on Lake Michigan

Lake Michigan Recreation Area

After a quick drive by, we continued to Lake Michigan Recreation Area where we took a few minutes to walk along the beach in the dog
area.  Petey hasn’t been that energetic recently, so our walk wasn’t long.  The weather wasn’t too conducive to a long walk anyway as the fog reduced the view to just a few hundred yards.

lake michigan recreation area

Manistee

Further along our Lake Michigan Tour, we stopped in Manistee, which has a lovely downtown that is listed on the National Registered Historic Places.  Visitors may walk along the quaint streets lined with Victorian-era buildings or along the river walk.  The wooden walkway is wedged between the wide river and historic buildings.

manistee

Point Betsie Lighthouse

After a brief visit in Manistee, we continued north up the western coast of Michigan. Down a long, sandy road is Point Betsie Lighthouse, one of the oldest beacons on the Lower Peninsula.  It was closed for renovation, consequently no interior tour was available. As a result, I got a glimpse of the red, white, and green lighthouse from afar.

point betsie lighthouse on lake michigan

Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore

From here we meandered along the roadway through the forest and past lakes and rivers to take a short scenic drive through Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore.  The Chippewas claim a mother bear swam across Lake Michigan with her two cubs to escape a Wisconsin forest fire.  While she reached the shore, her weary cubs drowned.  In pity, the great spirit Manitou turned the cubs into the Manitou Islands and the mother bear into Sleeping Bear Dunes. 

The Sleeping Bear Dunes, some of which reach 480 feet, are some of the tallest in the world.  The extremely steep, cream colored slopes abut the deep blue lake creating a lovely view.

Fishtown

After a short walk along the dunes, we passed by farmland and barns as we moved on to Fishtown, a collection of charming quayside restaurants, galleries, and shops.  As I strolled along the streets, I found a virtual cache to keep my daily streak alive. Eventually, we reached Traverse City for the evening. ETB

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Beth Bankhead

Former public finance professional turned travel photographer and blogger.

One thought on “Day 224 – Lake Michigan Tour

  1. You can’t be lonely because so many of us are with you in spirit enjoying the ride very much!!

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