Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Traverse City Cherry Festival

This is a wonderful time to be in Michigan if one is looking for fruit. The strawberries are at the end of there season but there are a few still being sold, blueberries are at their peak, and cherries are just ripening. The cherry festival in Traverse city started July 2, so it had been going on for awhile before we came last Friday.  It is a bit of a drive from Harrison but our mouths were watering for those sweet cherries.  And cherries were the first thing we saw after arriving. A large cup of them cost $4.00, we just could not pass them up!
We discovered very quickly after walking around the fair that we did not want to be there very long. The sun was furiously beating down on us and there was very little shade to be found. We had lunch and a piece of delicious cherry pie before taking some time to watch the ultimate air dogs. The dogs were diving into a pool of water and competing for the greatest distance jumped. There also was a diaper derby and toddler trot going on, as well as cherry idol auditions. But, as I said, it was too hot to take in much of the action of the fair and we chose instead to walk along Grand Traverse Bay where the breeze off the water cooled us off.
We decided to leave the fair and drive north on the Leelanau Peninsula. Michigan is shaped like a mitten. At the base of the thumb is Detroit, and at the pinkie is Leelanau peninsula which forms the western edge of Grand Traverse bay. It was a beautiful drive of scenic forested rolling hills. We also saw many cherry orchards in this area, and a field of hops. Our goal was to check out the Grand Traverse Lighthouse, which overlooks Lake Michigan.
The lighthouse was built in 1858, in 1900 it became a two family building and in 1972 it was closed. Lining the"great lakes" of Michigan are more than 100 lighthouses that illuminate the way for American and Canadian ships. While touring the museum there we learned some interesting facts about Lake Michigan, that it is the sixth largest lake in the world and contains a 100 different species of fish.

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