I recently took a road trip back to Michigan, my home state. In addition to spending some much needed time with my family, I had the opportunity to visit both familiar and unfamiliar locations in my home state. Bridge View ParkPerfect view of the Mackinac Bridge from Bridge View Park in St. Ignace, Michigan Getting to Michigan’s Upper Peninsula requires a drive over the Mackinac Bridge. The bridge is the longest suspension bridge between anchorages in the Western Hemisphere. It is a 5-mile-long bridge that connects Michigan’s Lower Peninsula (Mackinaw City) and the Upper Peninsula (St. Ignace). There are several places to enjoy the view of the Mackinac Bridge. The Bridge View Park in St. Ignace, Michigan (Upper Peninsula) is one of my favorites. Sunday AfternoonSunday afternoon at the beach on Old Mackinac Point in Mackinaw City, Michigan. Whitecaps, Mackinac BridgeA thunderstorm had moved through Mackinaw City a few hours before. It was still very windy (but warm!) on Lake Huron. Beach CrowdAfter the thunderstorm passed through the area, everyone arrived at the Old Mackinac Point beach to enjoy a warm summer afternoon. Mackinac SunriseShortly before sunrise from Old Mackinac Point in Mackinaw City, Michigan.
Mackinac Bridge from St. Ignace, MichiganBridge View Park in St. Ignace, Michigan is a wonderful place to enjoy the gardens and the magnificent view of the Mackinac Bridge. The Old Mackinac Point Park was a new location for me to visit on this trip. It’s located in Mackinaw City in Michigan’s Lower Peninsula. For the first time ever, I was finally able to find the place where you can stand under the Mackinac Bridge, and what a view that was! Under the BridgeThe view from under the 5th longest suspension bridge in the world - the Mackinac Bridge. As you can imagine, there are many lighthouses on the Great Lakes. We were able to visit several of them on this trip. In this week’s blog, I’ve included photographs of lighthouses on Lake Huron, Lake Michigan, and Lake Superior. Wawatam Light - St. Ignace, MichiganEarly morning at the Wawatam Light in Michigan's Upper Peninsula. This lighthouse was originally lit in 1998 as a Michigan Welcome Center travel icon in Monroe, Michigan (south of Detroit). In 2004, the Welcome Center was re-modeled and the Wawatam Light was moved to St. Ignace (north side of the Mackinac Bridge in Michigan's Upper Peninsula). https://www.michigan.org/property/wawatam-lighthouse I’ve visited the Whitefish Point lighthouse on Lake Superior several different times. Just to the east of Whitefish Point is the Crisp Point Lighthouse and I was finally able to visit here for the first time in my life. The road leading to this lighthouse is not open between November and April. Once we left the highway, we traveled on a loose packed dirt road for twenty miles, and the last section of the road (5 miles or so) was not much more than a two-track and barely wide enough for 2 cars to pass one another. I later found out that this is a snowmobile trail! A huge rainstorm had passed through the U.P. (Upper Peninsula) the day before, so there were several big mud puddles to maneuver around. It was thrilling to travel so far into the Michigan wilderness, and we were not disappointed by the view when we arrived at Crisp Point! Crisp Point LighthouseCrisp Point Lighthouse on Lake Superior in Michigan's Upper Peninsula. By far, the most remote lighthouse location that I have ever traveled to. Twenty miles of dirt road and the last 5 miles is an actual snowmobile trail, barely wide enough to allow 2 vehicles to pass. I grew up in Sault Ste. Marie, Michigan, home of the Soo Locks. Ships come and go through the Locks on their way from Lake Superior to and from Lake Huron and the St. Lawrence Seaway. My grandparents lived a block away from the St. Mary’s River, so I grew up hearing the familiar sounds of lake freighters (lakers) moving up and down the river, occasionally tooting their greetings to the other freighters they passed.
Indiana Harbor Downbound on the St. Mary's RiverThe Indiana Harbor is a 1,000 foot long lake freighter. It was downbound on the St. Mary's River in Sault Ste. Marie, Michigan. My other grandparents lived further up the shore of Lake Superior, about 30 miles west of Sault Ste. Marie. When we visited them, we used to always pass the Point Iroquois Light station. They’ve since restored the lighthouse and grounds and it’s a beautiful place to visit and to sit and enjoy the sights and sounds of the Lake Superior shoreline. On the day that we visited, there were workers on the north side of the lighthouse, cleaning and doing minor repairs to the façade.
Lake Superior ViewA perfect place to sit and admire the beauty of Lake Superior from the Point Iroquois Lighthouse in Michigan's Upper Peninsula. Another lighthouse that I’ve visited a couple times is on Lake Michigan, on the Upper Peninsula’s southern shore. The Manistique East Breakwater Light is a beautiful area on Lake Michigan. On the day of our visit, there were several people down on the beach and walking on the boardwalk walkways leading down to the beach. East Manistique LightThe East Manistique Breakwater Light is located on Lake Michigan in Michigan's Upper Peninsula. In my second hometown in Michigan, we were able to visit the Marquette Harbor Lighthouse. The last time I’d visited, it was wintertime with a lot of snow and ice on the harbor. Whether it’s winter or summer, this lighthouse is a beautiful area to visit. Marquette HarborA mother and her son and their dog Bandit enjoying themselves down at the Marquette Harbor in Michigan's Upper Peninsula.
Marquette Harbor LighthouseThe Marquette Harbor Lighthouse is on the shore of Lake Superior in Michigan's Upper Peninsula.
When we were driving through town in Marquette, I spotted some bright blue bike racks. There were several different designs, but the musical note design was my favorite! My brother was responsible for creating and putting together these artistic bike racks, based on a design that was created by his employer.
Musical Note Bike RackIn Marquette, Michigan, there are several different designs of these bike racks. This one is my favorite! It was a wonderful vacation filled with family, fun, and relaxation. Home is where the heart is, and I’ll always be a Great Lakes girl.