Monday, June 8, 2009

Sleeping Bear Dunes- June 8

Before I cover what we did on our second day to north western Michigan, I do want to add that on Friday we also drove up to Mission Peninsula. I will post on this blog a picture of the sign outside of the lighthouse, which should explain the significance of the area. Saturday morning we had breakfast at Joe's Tavern in Empire City. I ordered some oatmeal pancakes with cherries. They were delicious- and satisfied my craving somewhat for that fruit, too bad the cherry season is still a month off! From Empire City we drove to Sleeping Bear Dunes Park. The legend is that while fleeing a forest fire, a mother bear and her cubs tried to escape the fire by swimming into Lake Michigan. The cubs soon tired and drowned. The Great Spirit Manitou created two islands to mark where the cubs disappeared and then created a solitary dune to represent the faithful mother bear. We drove the scenic Pierce Stocking drive, taking time to hike the Cottonwood Trail which was one of the stops along the way. Walking this trail helped us to view close up the beauty and diversity of the dunes. In some places wind erosion has produced bowl-shaped dunes while in other places the build-up of sand has partially buried trees. From the park we headed south again, making two stops along the way to purchase rhubarb and asparagus at local farms(once home I have cooked the asparagus and made a strawberry rhubarb pie- wow,nothing in the world can beat fresh produce like that). In Baldwin Mi. we stopped at the Shrine of the Pines. Here is located the largest collection of rustic white pine in the world. This was the lifetime work of one man, R.Overholzen. The museum is located in a log hunting lodge on the banks of the Pere Marquette River. We found the furniture quite unique,most of it made with only a few wooden pegs and his own homemade glue. In 1950 Henry Ford offered Overholzen 50 thousand for a table and chairs in this collection and the creator of these gems refused to sell them. I will post a picture here of that table. That pretty much is a synopsis of our two days in northern Michigan, all I can add is that the Spring scenery(of rolling hills, lakes, dunes,forests,and farm orchards)was awesome and I would urge everyone to make a similar trip to north western Michigan.

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