Gogebic Co. (7/1999)
I can't pronounce it. Marenisco. A
beat-up, run-down place. Hungry-looking children roam the
dirt side-streets on bikes. Seemed a bit out of
touch.. probably a shadow of itself. Wakefield. A large lake sits here where
the road forks. I seem to also remember a large statue of a fish. Bessemer. This
old mining town sits atop a few ledges. A friend of mine has family here. Home
to a thick Northwood accent, which derives from the Scandinavians that settled here.
Black River Harbor. Where I first saw Lk Superior. A beautiful beach where
butterflies dance in the pines and driftwood covers the rough sand. There is an
interesting drawbridge leading to the water. Ironwood. The closest thing
to a city in the Northwoods.
Berrien Co. (3/2000)
Michiana. Grand Beach. New Buffalo. This
is where Chicagoland ends. I love this little place where the
inviting Red Arrow Hwy
begins its trek north through wood and vineyard. Home to a nice open-air fruit stand where
you can buy fresh fruit like in the old days of Chicago.
Harbert. Berrien Spgs. Bridgman. One of many towns
among the woods along the Red Arrow on the east shore of Lk
Michigan. Dotted with antique stores and harbors. Warren Dunes
SP. Probably my favorite state park in the U.S. Woods give
way to the lake and the road bends to reveal a huge dune of bare
sand and an even bigger beach. I love swimming in the clean
water and come often. The camping area is a lonely place with
grassy dunes that play with the sunlight. Sawyer. Smart, small
town near the dunes. Stevensville. End of the Red Arrow
Hwy. Suburb filled with fast food. St. Joseph. The
good-looking twin to Benton Harbor. Silver Beach and Lion Beach
stand at the harbor of the historically significant St. Joe
River. Town is elevated above beach and filled with upscale
houses and boutique shops. Lighthouse and parking area south of
city are wonderful places to see the sun set over the lake. Benton Harbor.
This medium-sized city seems to be in competition with its more
wealthy neighbor on the south side of the St. Joe River. Like
other Great Lake industrial towns, it is in decline and main
street is a near ghost town. Recently the sight of some rioting
and discontent. Hagar Shores. Riverside. Paw Paw Lk. A
lake surrounded by old resort slash farming town. Coloma.
A farming town with a perfect main street. Three Oaks.
Ontonagon Co. (7/2000)
expanses of pine and birch between towns. Merriweather & Bergland.
The large and pristine Lake Gogebic lies south of these
Northwoods towns. Home to unique water fowl. White Pine.
Hard to get to place. Silver City. Entry point to Porkies.
Ice cream stand here. Porcupine Mts. SP. The Porkies are
home to some impressive and secluded places, including
Government Mt. and the mist covered Lake of the Clouds high
above the surrounding landscape. An overlook here is heaven on
earth. A lonely semi-paved road wraps around the south edge of
the park toward the powerful waterfalls of the Presque Isle
River. Unspoiled, rocky Superior shore is home here to many
Van Buren Co. (8/2000)
The way to
see this county is along the Blue Star Hwy that runs through the
lush woods of the east shore of Lk Michigan. Good fall colors
drive. Covert. Van Buren SP. A place I come to often to
see the dramatic, grass-covered dunes that hide the beach from
the woods. Once here while a storm was passing over the lake
throwing lightning in every direction. More secluded than Warren
Dunes, but some industrial activity nearby makes Warren more
attractive. Southhaven. An attractive, upscale Midwest
town with a perfect main street. Paw Paw. Bangor.
Allegan Co. (2001)
A nudist colony headquartered here, I believe. Many people
vacation here who are richer than me. Graafschap.
Ottawa Co. (2001)
Small city situated inland fro Lk Michigan. Home to the famed
Tulip Time Festival in
spring. The streets are lined with tulips and every house seems
to participate with their own display. Worth taking a look even
if you don't like tulips particularly. A park nearby is anchored
by windmill. A city where sized wooden shoes can be purchased.
Proud of its history as a Dutch settlement point in Midwest and
a vibrant industrial point. Zeeland. Pt Sheldon. Grand
Haven. Small city at the wide mouth of the Grand River. Road
is built up between Muskegon and Holland with tiny but busy
Kent Co. (2001)
and clean residential city on Grand River among hills. Home to
Gerald Ford and Grand Valley University. Actually has a skyline.
Wyoming. Stopped in suburb once for groceries.
Comstock Pk. Kent City.
Montcalm Co. (2001)
through farming towns and hills. Howard City.
Mecosta Co. (2001)
Rapids. College town in the woods and hills.
Osceola Co. (2001)
through many times along scenic woods and hills of US-131.
Wexford Co. (2001)
Large town on Lk Mitchell. Not much to say, only passed.
Manton. Mesick. Buckley. Sherman.
Grand Traverse Co. (2001)
Tiny railroad town. Kingsley. Traverse City. Small port
city that claims to be the cherry capital of the world. While I
am not sure if this is true, I do know that it is home to a nice
little zoo and a great place to walk along the harbor. Boats
fill the Traverse Bay and people fill the active downtown. There
is a restaurant with a moose head here that was memorable except
for its name. Here during the Mackinac boat race so the
town was full of anticipation and rich wives of yachters.
Kalkaska Co. (2001)
Kalkaska. Railroad town I have passed many times.
Antrim Co. (2001)
Alba. Mancelona. Another railroad town along US-131.
Elk Rapids. Beautiful drive along US-31 through this
near-island town and northward through the woods. Torch Lk.
A bigger near- island town along Traverse Bay.
Otsego Co. (2001)
This large town is filled with golf courses so I usually just
Cheboygan Co. (2001)
their county correctly, unlike the cheese-heads. Woods and
pockets of wild savannah and large lakes.
Emmet Co. (2001)
City. Jumping off point to Mackinac for those who aren't me.
Mostly a tourist trap. The
Mackinac Bridge is
an awesome site when it first becomes apparent. One of the
biggest (man-made) things I have ever seen. Winds whip along the
Straits as you pass the flat Lower Peninsula for the rocky Upper
Peninsula high above the waves of Lake Huron. Burt Lk.
Petoskey SP. Camped here once after enjoying a night on the
beach. We looked for the fossils called
petoskey stones that Lake Michigan spits up here and feel we
found a few, but they still need to be polished. Bay View.
Petoskey. The rock is named for this town named for an
Indian chief. Follow?
Mackinac Co. (2001)
The gateway to the rocky Northwoods of the Yoopers. The
French mission of Marquette was here and there is a monument to
it where I reverently paid my respects to the brave explorer
whose bones are missing. The town, itself, is a tiny strip of
tourist traps and ferry docks. The last decent grocery store for
miles. I saw turkeys walking the streets once. Mackinac
Island. When you find out it is translated 'great turtle',
it is not surprising. It looks like a turtle from far away. Only
accessible by ferry and a step back in time to the Victorian
Midwest. Kite-flying, b&b's, a carnival of a main drag surround
the docks on the south. We rode a bike around the island and
discovered the place where the Brits invaded in 1812 on a
lonely, wooded beach. A great escape. Brevort. US-2 along
Lake Michigan is memorable. Grassy beaches with rocky shores on
the south side of the road and the hills and rocky birch and
pine forest to the north. Perfect. Epoufette. Rexton. Garnet.
The center of some isolated, former lumber towns in the
woods that have seen better days. Gilchrist. Naubinway.
Engadine. Pastures and small farms in the woods. Gould
City. A bar and a gas station surrounded by swampy woods.
Doesn't sound like much, but nearby
Lk Milakokia was once home for a week. Curtis. A
portage between the
Manistique lakes. The drag cuts through handsome shoreline
town. get your fill of yooper ice cream and food here. Pt
Patterson. A wild place where the road runs right into Lake
Schoolcraft Co. (2001)
The only gas for miles at this fork in the road. Germfask.
An old lumber town with a handsome main drag. Seney.
Seney NWR. I was here during a light summer rain. The swamps
and tiny ponds are filled with huge cranes and beavers roam to
and fro hard at work. The songs of birds and frogs fill the
grass. Gulliver. Manistique. Island town is home to an
Indian casino. Thompson. Cooks. Palms Book SP. Site of
Kitchitikipi spring. A perfectly, clean deep spring that
feeds large Indian Lake is a constant temperature. Its chemistry
has preserved trees that fell around it and fish bones fill the
floor. The water glows in the sun an eerie greenish-blue. A
contraption was built so people could see God at work beneath
the water. The water constantly pushing up from the ground
creates violent clouds of sand where huge carp hang out. Never
Luce Co. (2001)
Newberry. Lonely roads in every direction surround this
small town. Stores for fresh supplies here.
Oswald's Bear Ranch is an interesting spot north of the
town. Here, naturalist Dean Oswald has been taking care of bears
on his property and invited visitors to see them in very natural
habitats, but the cubs are the best part. (Once Sam was invited
in to pet them. Having never touched a bear myself, I am very
impressed with Sam's accomplishment.) The bears here are huge
and worth seeing many times. They change every year. MI-123
rides north through deep, untouched woods.
Chippewa Co. (2001)
This popular park is home to the falls of the same name that, I
think, were mentioned in that Hiawatha poem. Anyhow, they are an
impressive sight, but the crowds are kind of annoying as are the
horseflies all over the place. Paradise. A pleasant
crossroads oasis on Lk Superior, home to blueberry festival.
Whitefish Point. A wind-swept beach that has become a
ship graveyard. A maritime museum with Edmund Fitzgerald
artifacts and a historic lighthouse are prominent features. I
also appreciate the chart of reported bird sightings nearby.
Strongs. A ghost town along the old logging rails. Sault
Ste. Marie. American side of a Canadian city. Site of
another ancient Marquette mission and filled with history. The
best spot to see the
hard at work carrying boats. The Army has a small base here to
keep an eye on those shifty canucks. Nice restaurants. The St.
Mary Rapids gush with the pressure of all the waters of Lake
Superior pushing through on its journey to the ocean. Customs
has been tightened lately. Trout Lk. A small town along
the logging rails in seemingly the middle of nowhere. I stayed
here for a week in a bat-infested cabin and loved every minute.
Alger Co. (2001)
Munising. Surrounds a bay that has a couple sunken ships in
it. Town still has a lumber feel to it probably because of the
paper mill. Compact and rustic main street that wraps around the
picturesque harbor. Pictured Rocks NL. The site of the
tall Munising Falls. Took a boat tour of the
weathered rocks filled
with formations and crevices, only interrupted here and there by
tiny sand dunes. Grand Island NRA. A large island once
owned by the Astor Fur Company. Christmas.
Delta Co. (2001)
to farmland of the Garden Peninsula. Ensign. Rapid River.
Kipling. Gladstone. Built up suburb of Escanaba on Bay de
Noc. Escanaba. Large Lk Michigan port town in an area
where agriculture overlaps the U.P. wilderness. Ford River.
The beginning of a nice drive along the wooded Michigan
shoreline along MI-35. Hiawatha NF. Thick woodland of
birch and pine preserved mainly for logging.
Menominee Co. (2001)
The last stand for the Northwoods along the Michigan shore.
Good place to rest. Menominee. Industrial port town on
Green Bay. Sister to larger Marinette, WI.
Wayne Co. (2004)
Drove around downtown for a few minutes after passing
through customs. The skyline is a welcome sight after traveling
through Ontario. Left town... maybe because of its bad rep in
Washtenaw Co. (2004)
farmland on the way home from Toronto. Ann Arbor.
Jackson Co. (2004)
farmland on the way home from Toronto. Jackson. Brooklyn.
Calhoun Co. (2004)
farmland on the way home from Toronto. Battle Creek.
Kalamazoo Co. (2004)
farmland on the way home from Toronto. Kalamazoo.
Bayshore. Charlevoix. A
beautiful resort town on Lake Michigan with some mean traffic
jams. Probably good fishing.
Leelanau Co. (8/2004)
A very green
county. Greilickville. MI-72 west of town is a great
drive through forests and farms. Empire. Glen Haven. Glen
arrived at this town to see where a t-shirt with a bearded man
Sam bought in Chicago had come from. It was an upscale tourist
town between Lake Michigan and Glen Lake. I remember the town
seeming green from the sun shining through the maple leaves all
around. Sleeping Bear NL. Site of
huge dunes and
impressive, healthy forests along Lk Michigan. I wanted to climb
dunes, but had to go home.
Benzie Co. (2004)
Forests abound here on the wild shoreline town between two
Manistee Co. (2004)
through, hugging Lk Michigan on the way home from Petoskey.
Manistee. Arcadia. Onekama. Oak Hill.
Mason Co. (2004)
Site of Marquette's death. The wooded road becomes highway
south of here. US-10 ferry to Manitowoc, WI.
Oceana Co. (2004)
through, hugging Lk Michigan on the way home from Petoskey.
Muskegon Co. (2004)
A classic Great Lakes, industrial city begins here and
stretches more or less all the way to Holland. The built-up area
made me nervous that all the nature of Michigan is doomed to be
eaten up by it. PJ Hoffmaster SP. Norton Shores.
Cass Co. (5/2010)
Very scenic drive along Custer Drive. Monroe. Sterling SP.
Very scenic drive along Monroe Road. Tecumseh. Sterling SP.