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Day 224 –  Lake Michigan Tour, Thursday, July 28, 2011

In Ludington, a cross, memorializing Pere Merquette, stands
over the harbor.  It is thought, the French
missionary and explorer died nearby in 1675, though the exact location remains
a controversy.

After a quick drive by, we continued to Lake Michigan
Recreation Area where we took a few minutes to walk along the beach in the dog
area.  Petey hasn’t been that energetic
recently, so our walk wasn’t long.  The
weather was a bit gloomy anyway, making the view not more than a few hundred
yards.

Further along the way, we stopped in Manistee, which has a
lovely downtown that is listed on the National Registered Historic Places.  Visitors may walk along the quaint streets
lined with Victorian-era buildings or along the river walk.  The wooden walkway is wedged between the wide
river and historic buildings.

Continuing north up the western coast of Michigan we turned
down a long, sandy road to Point Betsie Lighthouse, one of the oldest beacons
on the Lower Peninsula.  It was closed
for renovation, so no interior tour. I got a glimpse of the red, white, and
green lighthouse from afar.

From here we meandered along the roadway through the forest and past lakes and rivers to take a short scenic drive through Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore.  The Chippewas
claim a mother bear swam across Lake Michigan with her two cubs to escape a
Wisconsin forest fire.  While she reached
the shore, her weary cubs drowned.  In
pity, the great spirit Manitou turned the cubs into the Manitou Islands and the
mother bear into Sleeping Bear Dunes.  The
Sleeping Bear Dunes, some of which reach 480 feet, are some of the tallest in
the world.  The extremely steep, cream
colored slopes abutted the deep blue lake.

After a short walk along the dunes, we passed by farmland and barns as we moved on to Fishtown,
a collection of charming quayside restaurants, galleries, and shops.  As I strolled along the streets, I found a
virtual cache to keep my daily streak alive.

Eventually we reached Traverse City for the evening.  ETB

http://www.notablenotecards.com, http://www.etsy.com/shop/nichenotecards

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