Sunday, August 3, 2014

Michigan!

I can't believe it's August already!  We've been "on the road" busy, busy, busy!  It has been my goal to "see Michigan", and boy have we been seeing it!  Up every day driving either the rig or the toad, off traveling from one location to the next, or sight-seeing until evening when I'm to tired to write when I return!  So...I have some "catching up" to do!

First stop, Grand Rapids!  We have a dear friend that Jack used to work with in San Diego that has moved several times and oddly enough, we have met up with her at a number of her moves, this time, she is back in her "home town", and once again, we were able to meet up with her!  Fun to have lunch with her in all the different states!  While in Grand Rapids we visited one of the loveliest parks we've seen, called Frederik Meijer Gardens & Sculpture Park.  132 acres of gardens designed by world renowned landscape artists, natural meadows, woodlands and wetlands.  More than 200 sculptures done by everyone from Rodin to Roxy Paine!  It even had a charming Children's Garden that had inter-active areas that encouraged children to touch, smell, hear, taste and even play in the water (a replica of the Great Lakes they could float small boats in!).  We ended up spending an entire day there, wandering all the various pathways, enjoying the art placed among the beautiful gardens and woods.  So unique!

Light of the Moon (c1991) by Igor Mitoraj
This also started our different camping stays in Michigan as well.  Our first, was at a The Extraordinary Berry, a farm in Benton Harbor, where we spent the night and enjoyed meeting the owners and learning all about their little farm and the area & Michigan in general (all the while scarfing up some great berries!).



After that, we started staying at some of Michigan's State Parks.  They are lovely, inexpensive, and mostly empty during the week especially!  They usually are located near one of the lakes, or another "attraction", like the sand dunes  or lighthouse (or both), but all seem to be in the woods.  They have electric, but water, is located by a "community faucet", so you better bring your own container if your not "self-contained" (like us), which I thought was interesting.  All campgrounds, state, city & private, have you park on the grass here. That seems so weird to me.  All the other states we've been in, their campgrounds are so careful about telling you not to put anything on the grass, it's just taken me awhile to get used to to opposite here!  At Interlochen State Park they have a Music Camp right next door that gave free music concerts (some nights they brought in big names too), so we got to enjoy a lovely evening of jazz one night too!
Sand Dunes at Ludington State Park MI
North Breakwater Lighthouse on Lake Michigan, Ludington MI


Ludington State Park, Lake Michigan MI












Ludington State Park, Lake Michigan MI






















One of the surprises I have gotten in our driving, is that even though the map shows that the road is right along the lake, you really don't see it!  You don't see it, because there are hundred of tall trees between you and the lake!  You may be 100' or a mile from it, but no matter, because most of the time all you can see are trees!  As the road bends in and out, sometimes we can get a peek, here and there, but sometimes for miles and miles, no view at all!  Without the toad, taking long day trips - to the lake itself - you could travel this whole area and almost never see Lake Michigan for sure, and many parts of Lake Superior!  Even with the toad, we've had to drive long distances to go see lighthouses (lots of them around here, many more you either have to hike miles to or have to go by boat to see tho) or other attractions.  All in all, no complaints, we are really enjoying our adventure here...learning new things, new ways, new foods and even new words every day!


...on the road in Michigan,  Marie

If you wish to view the rest of the photos from this trip, you can at my Flickr account at:  http://www.flickr.com/photos/74905158@N04/

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