Virtual Travel – Michigan

Welcome to Michigan.

 

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Great Lakes

Michigan is known as the Great Lakes States, and the plethora of road map covers featuring them is evidence of the importance to the state.

Maps – 1947 – Lakeshore     1968 – Soo Locks     2000 – Lighthouses     2001 – Great Lakes Great Times     2010 – Fishtown in Leland     2012 – Unidentified Small Harbor

 

Bordering 4 of the 5 Great Lakes gives Michigan 3,288 miles of shoreline – more than any state other than Alaska. With that much shoreline, they have a large collection of lighthouses.

Below are two from the Lake Michigan area near Ludington.

 

Below photos are from various internet sources

Big Sable Point Lighthouse, Michigan at Lighthousefriends.com Lighthouses of the U.S.: Michigan's Western Lower Peninsula

Beautiful Lighthouses in Michigan Worth a Visit | Michigan

Point Betsie Lighthouse Lake Michigan Canvas Print

3 Michigan Lighthouses To Receive State Preservation Grants – CBS ...

 

 

Transportation in Michigan

Maps – 1951 – Unidentified Country Road     1974 – Modes of Transportation     1975 – Interstate 75     1993 – Boats and Cars     2005 – 100 Years of Michigan Transportation

For more than 100 years Michigan has been the automobile manufacturing capital of the world.

 

 

Detroit area map from 1951 – before freeways. Detroit, and other midwest cities, were the first cities in the world built with the car in mind.

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Most of the main roads are multi-lane, with very wide median strips to enable ‘Michigan Lefts’.

In virtually the entire world there are left turn lanes, and protected by traffic light left turns. In Michigan where  there is a boulevard, there are no left turns – rather you turn right, immediately jump over to the left laen, do a U turn, and go on your way.

How the 'Michigan Left' turn became a thing

 

This photo from the Woodward Dream Cruise shows the northbound traffic, with a U turn to return to Marshall Street Westbound . Also note the No Left Turn sign at the intersection itself.

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Michigan has a long history of railroads throughout the state. While much of the passenger traffic is gone there are still some nicely restored stations throughout the state.

 

In the small town of Hickory Corners is the Gilmore Car Museum. Built across a campus like a small town, they have a fantastic collection of American cars, plus numerous buildings that have either been moved there or built there to recreate the original.

Below are some examples, a diner moved from Connecticut, and the Cadillac dealership.

The Sinclair station is in a nearby town.

 

 

Grosse Pointe is a wealthy suburb of Detroit. Each year they the Great Lakes Boating Festival at the Grosse Pointe Yacht Club.

 

 

 

 

 

Parks

Maps – 1965 – Douglass Houghton Waterfall     1980 – Au Sable River     1989, 2011, 2014 – Sleeping Bear Dunes     2009 – Roadside Parks     2013 – Pictured Rocks National Seashore Cruise     2016 – Isle Royal National Park

There are a number of National Park Service locations in the state.

 

 

Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore. It spans 35 miles of Lake Michigan shoreline, and has dunes over 200′ high.

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Tahquamenon Falls State Park is in the Upper Peninsula. There are two waterfalls in the park, with the upper falls dropping 48′, with a width of 200′ making this one of the highest volume waterfalls east of the Mississippi River. It’s nickname is Rootbeer Falls, due to it’s color.

 

 

Grand Marais is at the eastern end of Pictured Rocks National Seashore.

 

 

Pictured Rocks is one of the most dramatic locales in the east.

 

 

 

Variety  

1970 – Winter in Michigan     1976 – Bicentennial     2003, 2006, 2018 – Collages of Seasons and Regions

 

 

Frankenmuth is a faux German town. It is a huge tourist spot.

 

 

Grand Rapids is the second largest city in the state, far behind Detroit.

 

Meyer May House is a classic Frank Lloyd Wright design located in Grand Rapids.

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Also in Grand Rapids is the Frederik Meijer Gardens & Sculpture Park.

 

 

Battle Creek had a forest of trees killed by the emerald ash borer disease. Rather than just clear cut them, they had a number of carvers come turn it into something special.

 

 

Marquette is the largest city in the Upper Peninsula. It is also home to Northern Michigan University. With the long, cold, snowy winters they have opted for a domed football stadium. This one is special as it is primarily wood.

 

 

The Upper Peninsula people (affectionately known as Yoopies) are a unique bunch, with a creative side.

 

 

 

Bridges

1971 – History of Bridges     1984, 1997, 2007, 2017 – Mackinac Bridge

 

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The Mackinac Bridge is the most famous bridge in the state. It connects the Lower Peninsula to the Upper Peninsula.

 

Among the others in the state is the Ambassador Bridge between Detroit and Windsor, Ontario, Canada

 

Sault Ste Marie International Bridge Arch Greeting Card for Sale ...

 

In Battle Creek they have a park where they take all the old obsolete county road bridges and used them in the hiking/biking trail.

 

 

 

 

Detroit – 1973, 1978, 2015

 

 

Tiger Stadium – Home of the Detroit Tigers from 1912 until 1999. It sat empty for 10 years before the city tour it down – but not without much fight from the community.

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It was replaced by Comerica Park.

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The Detroit Institute of Art has an amazing Diego Rivera mural depicting the industrial life of the city in the 1930s.

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The Guardian Building in Detroit is one of the best art deco skyscrapers in existence.

 

 

The Fisher Building is another great art deco building.

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Detroit is Motown.Unfortunately many of the auto factories have long closed like this massive former Packard factory.

 

 

The Woodward Dream Cruise is the largest classic car gathering in the world. It occurs each August in the suburbs just north of Detroit.

 

 

Detroit is home to one of the most important New Car Shows as well.

 

 

Henry Ford spent much of his fortune on building Greenfield Village. He moved actual buildings in (like the Wright Brothers Bicycle Shop) to build the town.

 

 

 

1987 – Mackinac Island

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This entire island became Michigan’s first state park in the late 1800s.

Main Street (from Wikipedia)

A street, surrounded on both sides by two- and three-story buildings. One person is riding on horseback in the middle of the street, while others are walking on the sidewalk. Bikes are parked at the curb.

 

Hotel

A grand escape awaits at the Grand Hotel on Mackinac Island

 

 

 

1996 – State Capitol

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Lansing is Michigan’s state capital.

State Flag

Flag of Michigan

 

State Seal

Great seal of Michigan

 

State Wildflower – Dwarf Lake Iris

Dwarf lake iris (iris lacustris)

 

State Children’s Book – Legend of Sleeping Bear

Book cover: The Legend of Sleeping Bear

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A Milestone – Posting Number 1000

This photography blog started out as a way to share some photos with friends, but after a number of years it has reached a milestone – posting number 1000!

To celebrate I give you my favorite 40 photos of all time. (I tried to make it less but could not)

Scottsbluff, Nebraska




Milwaukee sunrise




Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore, Michigan





Duluth, Minnesota thunderstorm





Yellowstone National Park – All Hail the Geyser Gods





Pagosa Springs, Colorado





Mendocino County, California





Cambridge, Ohio lumberjack contest






Cincinnati Renaissance Festival






Loudonville, Ohio – Native American Pow Wow





Alaska Peninsula








Columbus – Krampus





Chicago





New York City subway art





Cincinnati – Rosie the Riveter Contest





Lanai, Hawaii – Cat Sanctuary





Haleakala National Park, Hawaii





Waimea Canyon Park, Kauai, Hawaii





Columbus – Krampus V2





Washington DC – Embassy Day





Houston – Lucky Land





Amarillo, Texas – Cadillac Ranch





Cleveland – Parade the Circle





Columbus Zoo









Montreal




Olivos, Argentina





San Antonio De Areco, Argentina





Buenos Aires – Casa Rosada





Bariloche, Argentina





Buenos Aires – Retiro Train Station





Buenos Aires – Recoleta Cemetery





Los Glaciares National Park, Argentina





La Leona, Argentina





El Calafate, Argentina





Buenos Aires – Palacio Barolo





Igauzu Falls, Argentina







Michigan Upper Peninsula – National Parks Road Trip – Day 2 – Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore & Tahquameon Falls State Park

After an early start we left St Ignace at the break of dawn, continuing north across the Upper Peninsula of Michigan. Our first destination was Tahquamenon Falls State Park. There are very few towns on the UP though the last one before the park was called Paradise. The centerpiece of Paradise, Michigan is a mini mart/gas station with a 12′ high wooden carving of a bear with a rifle.

The park is just west of Paradise. This park follows the Tahquamenon River over the Tahquamenon Falls, and eventually into Whitefish Bay on Lake Superior. The upper falls has a single 50′ drop, while the lower falls has more of a cascade. Both are very scenic and impressive, as in the springtime the river drains as much as 50,000 gallons of water per second, second only to Niagara Falls in the eastern United States.

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Tahquamenon Falls is also called “Rootbeer Falls” because of its golden-brown color, caused by tannins from cedar swamps that drain into the river. In winter, the ice that accumulates around and in the falls is often colored in shades of green and blue. The waterfalls were impressive and had a nice boardwalk trail. Climbing down 94 steps to the falls and also 116 steps down to the gorge offered a bit of exercise for us. We asked a park ranger how to pronounce the name of the falls and he said the way to remember is that it rhymes with phenomenon. So now Tah qua me non, is easy to say.

Next stop on the trip was the small town of Grand Marais, at the eastern end of the Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore. Once we arrived we stopped for lunch at Breakwall Bakery & Cafe in Grand Marais, where the local specialty is an olive burger made with a special green olives and mayonnaise sauce. It was tasty and strictly an upper peninsula thing!

The first highlight of the National Park is Sable Falls. The waterfalls were very pretty but the dunes were closed due to erosion from that point. We drove to the log slide overlook at Sable Falls Park, towering 300′ above the lake. People walked down the steep sand dune and trekked back up. The view was beautiful along the coastline of Lake Superior but we are too familiar with how hard it is to climb dunes and passed on the climb.

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Arriving closer to Munising, and the park headquarters, we hiked the trail to Miners Castle. The cliffs here are gorgeous with 200′ + drops to Lake Superior. Divers dove off the cliff as kayaks floated below. Caves at the bottom of the cliffs attracted swimmers into the clean and clear water.

The small town of Munising (population 2500) is the center of activity for Pictured Rocks. In addition to being the park headquarters it is the harbor that all of the tour boats leave from. Before our cruise however we attempted to find dinner, eventually settling on sandwiches at the Falling Rock Cafe and Bookstore. It was literally a counter in a bookstore with tables scattered throughout.

We took the 6 pm Sunset cruise, which is so popular they sent out two boats at the same time. As we left the harbor we first passed Grand Island, and the historic lighthouse on the southern end. Continuing further out we passed Miner’s Castle, this time on water which provided a very different view than that from the cliffs. It is strongly recommended that if you are going to Pictured Rocks you take the cruise as it is difficult to get a true view of the cliffs from land.

The cliffs and coves of the park are amazing as they seem to change based on the sunlight. They were created from groundwater and springs rich in minerals such as iron, copper and lime that leak out of the cracks and down the face of the cliffs.

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There are a few rock arches that extend from the shoreline to an outcropping in the lake. One of the more famous arches is Lover Leap, as with all places named that for the lore that two lovers jumped when they couldn’t be together. In addition to the arches there are numerous caves, including Rainbow Cave, which has significant mineral stained walls with the forest just above the top of the cave.

Another of the arches, Grand Portal, gives you a sense on how massive they are as our boat looks tiny when going past. Just beyond we reached Chapel Cove – a tight cove that the boat went into far enough you felt you could reach out on 3 sides and touch the cliff walls. Finally we went past Chapel Rock, the most photographed location in the park. It’s towering cliffs punctuated by a single tree from the rocky top. The sun setting and casting light on the rocks and sandstone cliffs throughout the trip provided many different effects. Shades of white, purple, blue and black were seen. The narrated boat tour lasted about 2-1/2 long and traveled nearly 40 miles round trip, returning to harbor in the dark.

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As we returned to our hotel we concluded this was one of the best days we have had in many years, not knowing how much more was to come on this trip.

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