Monday, October 31, 2011

Lake Leelanau, MI (north of Traverse City)

After Petoskey, I headed to Lake Leelanau, MI.  This city is about 22 miles North of Traverse City.  There were several places I wanted to go in Traverse City and I wanted to visit Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore. 

I had visited Sleeping Bear Dunes a couple of times before, but the only hiking I had done was the Dunes Trail.  I wanted to do other trails this time (and hopefully not as difficult as 3.5 miles on sand dunes).  I ended up hiking 2 smaller trails and walking a couple of miles around their scenic overlooks.

Above is the Dunes Climb!    It is the start of the Dunes Trail.  I didn’t walk up it this time, but had to stop to get a picture.

Some people walk up and slide down, others jump down like this kid!

lake_lee_sleeping_bear_dune1It’s a long way down this dune to Lake Michigan.  Some people do walk down.  In this area, there were several signs warning people that it could take a long time to walk back up and also that if they need help coming up (as in a rescue) it will cost $$$$. 

I stayed at Lake Leelanau RV Park, which is right on Lake Leelanau.  Early one morning, I kept hearing a lot of boats and I later found out there was a fishing tournament that day.  Next time I would probably stay at one of the state or national parks. 

One day, I drove to and up Old Mission Peninsula to Old Mission Lighthouse.  It was a nice drive that led to a nice hike – until the sleet started!!

The lighthouse was built in 1870.   I had just started down one of the trails when it started raining and then I realized it was mixed with sleet.  I didn’t hike very long, I headed back to the car!!

I visited Traverse City a few times.  One day I went to Gallery 55.  This is a “art and fine crafts”  gallery/store.  It is a great store.  I’m not much of a shopper, but I would visit it again when in the area.  I found out that the building it is in was originally a 19th century insane asylum.  One of the items I was interested in looking at was the Fordite Jewelry.  (Gallery 55 info on Fordite)  I like jewelry that isn’t common and really liked the idea of this recycled item! 

While in Traverse City, one day I saw this -

A cruise ship!  I didn’t think this was a common site, so I asked while at the Farmer’s Market and I was told that this was the first time in 4 years that one had been in this area.

From here, I headed down to Grand Haven, MI.

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