Warren & Emily SwanTrips → 2000 Michigan

Rapidly inflated gasoline prices changed a lot of vacationers’ plans.  The trip we would take in 2001 was originally planned for this trip.  But it would have cost so much in fuel that we decided to do something we hadn’t done before: make Michigan our state to visit. 

Warren Dunes campground was full, so we camped at New Life Campground across the road from the park entrance, and attended the service given by the campground owner.  At the town of Coloma we visited the Paw Paw Lake Store, explaining that we were from Paw Paw, IL.  We enjoyed the Dutch Farm Market at South Haven. 

The Swans at De Zwaan We camped at Macatawa Campground at Holland State Park to visit several sites.  At Windmill Island we enjoyed the crafters and performs, and the giant windmill, De Zwaan (The Swan), which had been imported from the Netherlands and rebuilt here.  →

We visited Veldheer’s Wooden Shoe & Delft Factory, and swam at Lake Michigan Beach.

It drizzled a little before we camped at Interlochen State Park.  Amy and Daniel liked in-line skating here.  Warren took Daniel to Fun Country for Go Carting.  We were disappointed that the National Park film at Sleeping Bear Dunes was mere confused New Age junk, with no information content at all.

Although Warren & Emily had both grown up in Great Lakes states, we really didn’t have an appreciation for what life was like on these lakes.  This trip was wonderful for changing our thinking.  The Glen Haven Coast Guard / Rescue Stations was an excellent source of such information, including a re-enactment of a Breeches Buoy Rescue, which Daniel and Amy participated in.

Grand Traverse Lighthouse on Leelanau Peninsula was also very good for learning about life on the Great Lakes.

We camped for three days at Wilderness State Park near Mackinac City, from which we saw various sites.

Paddle Dance Our undisputed favorite site on this trip was Colonial Fort Michilimackinac.  The interpreters / re-enactors were very good.  After a wedding re-enactment, Olive joined the line dancers for a jig while the interpreter Jim, played King’s Head, also known as Soldier’s Joy.  Then Daniel joined the larger line for the Paddle Dance.  Here he is with Olive.  →

We visited Historic Mill Creek nearby, which is where much of the wood was milled for rebuilding the city on the island.  The kids played at the beach at the campground.

Another side trip we made while camped at Wilderness was to head back down toward the center of the lower peninsula to Midland, where a dulcimer & folk music festival was being held.  On the way home from that we stopped and hiked at Hartwick Pines State Park, which was beautiful.

Leaving the Mackinac area we crossed the Mackinac Bridge, and the Eastern end of the upper peninsula to Sault Saint Marie.  However, we crossed into Canada to Superior Provincial Park to spend the night, visiting the Agawa Rock Pictographs while there.

We had a fun time at the Soo Locks, and at the Valley Camp Museum Ship, where we learned about the fate of the Edmund Fitzgerald.

We stayed a couple nights at beautiful Tahquamenon Falls, and had a fun time hiking the lower and upper falls.  Whitefish Point Lighthouse and Shipwreck Museum was another good place to learn about life on the Great Lakes.

Driving west through the upper peninsula surprised us, because it reminded us so much of driving “out west.” We visited the Pictured Rocks on the way to our next campground, Union Bay Campground at Porcupine Mountains State Park.

Presque Isle Falls Here we hiked to Lake in the Clouds, the Summit Peak Tower, and Overlooked Falls.  At Presque Isle Falls the sign pitifully said 100 yards to the falls, but it neglected to point out that after going 100 yards you’d have to dive into a caņon and see the falls an instant before you died.  After their 100 yards you still had another > 100 yards of boardwalk steps, mostly vertical, to get to the falls.  But it was worth seeing.  →

A fascinating ranger talk and walk was of the ghost town Nonesuch at Porcupine Mountain.  All that remains is the ruins of the old stamping buildings of this former mining town.

We made a day trip to see Copper Harbor, Fort Wilkins and the view from Brockway Scenic Drive — the highest point between the Allegheny Mountains and the Rocky Mountains.  These were the last sites before heading home.

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