In search of more summer-like temperatures I crossed the Mackinac Bridge into Michigan's lower peninsula. I'm a member of Anytime Fitness so a city having a location (1500 locations nationwide) tends to draw me. Traverse City had one so I made that area a destination. About 25 miles to the west of the city is Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore which I visited and toured by first visiting the Phillip Hart Visitor Center in Empire, MI to buy the $10 weekly park pass.
|Lake Michigan from the Pierce Stocking Scenic Drive|
The first stops were along the Pierce Stocking Scenic Drive which is a winding one lane 7.5 mile paved road loop with 12 stops for different views of the lake and the dunes. The scenery is just spectacular.
|The dunes beach along Lake Michigan|
It takes about an hour and a half to complete the Scenic Drive loop depending on how much photography you want to engage in.
|There's an ore carrier way out on the horizon|
Next up was the Dune Climb where you....climb up a 110 foot sand dune that seems more like a couple miles high. Here's the first part of the climb.
|Initially it doesn't look too tough.|
The tough part of the climbing is you slide back several inches for every step you take.
|Glen Lake from the top of the dune.|
After dumping sand out of my Topsiders I continued on to the historical town of Glen Haven, a steamship stop at the turn of the 20th century. There's a Maritime Museum there built around an actual Coast Guard station that is free to visit (donations accepted).
|Lots of exhibits of early 1900's life.|
They had a miniature cannon that fired rope 400 yards out to a sinking ship that allowed crewman to be brought to shore on....pretty cool!
|I'm a sucker for cannons.|| || || |
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