We leave behind nearly a week in Traverse City in idyllic weather so cool and pleasant and so different from summer in our beloved Texas. We really enjoyed our stay at Holiday Park Campground, one of the best-kept RV parks we've ever seen. Here are a couple of photos; I could have included many more:
I hadn't included this park on my "Best of the Best" page because its sites are not hard surfaced. However, the graveled sites are so well maintained and the grounds so beautifully kept, I'm going to go ahead and include it. We would happily stay here again.
We spent one day driving on Michigan 22, a scenic 'circle tour' of the peninsula as recommended by Eddie and Jan, and we lost count of the scenic views. Here are a few photos taken on West Grand Traverse Bay on Lake Michigan. I loved the calmness of the bay and the reflection of the sailboat's mast in the water which, by the way, was crystal clear:
Traverse City is quite a picturesque town, nestled as it is on the bay, with lots of pleasure boats and parks with art displays, such as this one:
It would be very appealing to spend the summer here if you're looking to get away from the heat.
Of course, being foodies, we couldn't resist a stop at Cherry Republic in Glenbrook as we drove around the area; we snagged some delicious cherry goodies to take home:
And then, who could pass up Moomer's Homemade Ice cream in Interlochen? (There is always a line out the door, no matter what time of day.):
For the day's whimsical shot, I just couldn't resist taking a photo of these gulls that seemed to have posed for me:
I have a thing for gulls. I really like how these birds always seem to be lined up in the same direction. Probably has something to do with the wind. (Or they may just have a little OCD; who knows?)
Saying goodbye to Traverse City, we decided to take the 130-mile drive up Highway 31, where we saw still more delightful towns and scenic views on our way to St. Ignace. As is customary, we usually stop for lunch after an hour or so, and we found a nifty roadside park where we had some hot dogs in a very cool breeze. In fact, Sandy had to go back to the bus and get a jacket, but it didn't detract from our enjoyment of this beautiful little park right there on the lake:
Our first and most impressive view approaching our new destination, St. Ignace, was the Mackinaw Bridge:
At five miles long, it is the longest suspension bridge in the U. S. It is not clear why the bridge is named Mackinaw while the nearby island of tourist fame is spelled Mackinac but pronounced Mackinaw. That probably falls into the category of things I will never understand nor spend much time contemplating.
We parked at Lakeshore RV Park, a functional but friendly place not far from the bridge view you see above. However, our view here from Phannie was a little less impressive, but still, a view of Lake Michigan, nonetheless:
The orange thing you see above is a light underneath Phannie's right mirror that flashes when the turn signal is activated. I presume its purpose is for the benefit of drivers in a blind spot who would not wish to tangle with 16 tons of motorhome turning toward them. I, of course, don't want to do that, either; such a thing can get very expensive, to say nothing of dangerous.
We have several missions while we're here in St. Ignace, but those will appear in forthcoming posts. We were also intent to finding a Petoskey stone for grandson Pryce, who is a rock collector of sorts. This, of course, required a bit of backtracking--35 miles back to Petoskey. This stone is both a rock and a fossil, composed of fossilized rugose coral, supposedly 350 million years old, laid down only in the lower Michigan peninsula area during glaciation. When dry, it looks like an ordinary piece of limestone but, when wet, it displays the six-sided mottled fossilization of the piece. You can see the difference in the photos below:
Using skilled lapidary techniques, the stones can be made into some distinctive and unique jewelry which of course, Sandy would come to own as a result of our quest of that day. This was fine with me, as her birthday had just passed by and, as usual, we waited until she found just the right thing to be gifted for the occasion. A plus was that it is a unique souvenir that she will always remember from this trip, especially as it can be found nowhere else. By the way, it is also the Michigan state stone.
Well, that will do for now. It's off to Mackinac Island, from which our next post will be composed.
Thank you, Lord, for this wonderful life;
please forgive me if I fail to appreciate it each day as I should.
We don't stop playing because we get old; we get old because we stop playing.
---George Bernard Shaw
"I get up every morning, and I just don't let the old man in." ---Clint Eastwood