Saturday, September 04, 2010

Scenes of Michigan II

I'm posting more photos per post than normal so just bear with me. We have been trying to wander around the area somewhere new every week but some of the time I am lazy and don't take many photos. It gets to be too much like work otherwise.

One of the weekends in August one of the nearby villages, Port Oneida Village Farms, held its annual fare. The area is owned by the National Park Service as part of the Sleepy Bear Sand Dunes National Park and once a year they open up all the farms and volunteers demonstrate the old crafts.


We visited the Port Oneida Historical Farms on Fair Day. I liked the scene across the fields.

I always like barns and this one was no exception.

Although this looked like he was making horseshoes, he was making an ornamental iron hook with twists in it. Watching him put the twist in the iron was interesting. Of course there were the 30 something folks there who had never seen a forge.

Another view of the barn.

I'm not sure how many of my viewers have ever had to use an outhouse for their only 'convenience' but those of us who grew up in Bauxite, AR had a lot of experience with them. This one is painted and everything. I don't remember ours being painted.

The farmhouse had its clothesline attached to the house. Ours always seemed to be further away from the house but I'm not sure if there was a good reason for that being the case. However our mother always insisted in the clothes being 'grouped' with all the like items hung together.

One of the surprises of our visit was this notice in the front room of one of the farmhouses. You probably can't read it but it says that Richard Bach of Jonathon Livingston Seagull fame was living in an upstairs bedroom when he wrote it. He would go to the Michigan shore (a mile or so away) and watch the seagulls or simply sit in his bedroom and observe them out his window. Being a fan of Bach this was a nice find for me.

This being an English saddle struck me as 'out of place' if they were trying to be authentic but, who knows, perhaps the original owners were English. No, I didn't ask - sorry.

More barn photos.

Another 'period' performer providing a little music for the crowds.

One of the farmhouses had been restored to show the kitchen as it would have been. They even had a mother/daughter cooking and canning. It was a warm day and the wood stove provided more than enough heat for us.

This 'cellar' was original. It was dug out of the hillside to keep it cool and would have been used to store vegetables or canned goods. Useful when we had to depend on the 'iceman' to keep anything cool. Although I remember those days well (before fridges) I struggle to remember it being particularly difficult to keep food. One big advantage was it meant that if we had ice cream it was always homemade since you had no way to keep it if purchased in town.

Now for a change of pace, this is one of the nearby wineries (Black Star Winery). It is one of the more beautiful settings and has the added advantage that also make cheese so when you go to taste their wines you can also try some of their cheese (want a little cheese with that whine?). They are known for a cheese Becky and I associate with Switzerland as that is the first place we ever had it - raclette. I don't remember exactly what all was in the dish but clearly remember their bringing a 'device' to our table to melt the raclette. Potatoes were involved and some type of meat and when coupled with the setting - eating on a balcony looking up at this large mountain that people were hang gliding off of (landing not far from where we were sitting and being taken back to the top via helicopter) requires no photograph in my mind. I can see it clearly. I digress - their raclette passed the taste test.

A mile or so from the winery is this view of Lake Michigan shores. We liked the look of this small boat. It appeared to us to have a 'jaunty' look.

This area has plenty of public beach area. This one has a small pavilion with picnic tables and restrooms. I must admit I was a wimp regarding swimming here. Lots of people obviously have a higher tolerance for cool water (or they are just younger and know no better) as there is always someone out in the water. I like the beach and view better.

A couple of miles away from the park is this unique (to us) place. I have seen examples of hydroponic gardens but never one in actual operation by an individual. The produce produced at this one are excellent and reasonably priced.

This is one of those 'You know you are in the country when ....' things. Most of the fruit and vegetable stands in the area operate on the honesty system but this is the only one we saw that doesn't even have a place that you stick your money in. The advantage of this one is you can make change if you only have a $20. I presume most folks are honest as they continue to be in business. Another farm in the area has eggs in a fridge that operates the same way. You choose the eggs you want and leave money in a can.

Not only do we like the produce, the whole farm is like a garden. The rest of the photos are of the buildings and setting around the greenhouse. The owner has a real eye for plants and flowers.

Thursday, September 02, 2010

Scenes of Michigan

I find that I am WAY behind in posting photos to the blog. It isn't that we have been idle or that I have not taken any photos - just that I appear to have lost my round-to-it. In order to catch up I will post more photos per posting and will not be overly verbose. All the photos are taken within a 30 minute drive of our park - one of the reasons we really like our location.

Since food is always part of our travels I will share this small cafe the owner of the resort told me about. The owner is an old friend of his and has quite a story to tell. The end of the story is he and his son went to Iraq as contractors and made enough money to open this place. He fixes a mean breakfast among other dishes. We love finding this type of place in our travels.

The Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore Park begins about 10 miles from us. We have visited one of their northern beaches several times but finally made the drive further south to visit the dunes themselves. Here are some photos of same including the countryside and some of the buildings that are along the coast and inland.

Glen Arbor is a medium size town along the way and just south of it is a place called Glen Haven. It was founded by a early pioneer who made his money in logging in the late 1800s but recognized that the area would one day be a tourist attraction for folks from the east. The buildings of his are now owned and managed by the park district. They lie right on the shores of Lake Michigan. This is the old 'store' that now serves as the park visitor center.

Just inland and south of Glen Haven is this house and barn that was owned by one of the wealthy early pioneers. The property has been purchased by a private party and is being restored to some of its former glory. We were intriqued by the barn.

A bypass takes you up toward the dunes on a winding road which begins with this covered bridge.

At the top of the drive you reach the dunes themselves. The wind was blowing pretty strong the day we were there which was a bit hard on our eyes and caused us not to linger very long. It is LONG way down to the water and signs warn those who think about 'running' down the hill that is is a hard climb up. We were not tempted. The second photo is of a different view of the barn we admired earlier.

Not too far south of the dunes is the town of Empire. We frequently see the town mentioned on the news and in the paper with things happening in Empire so had to pay it a visit. It was time for lunch and there was only one place to choose from. We noted the menu in the window and had to try the Root Beer. In case, like us, you have no idea of what a 'growler' is - it is a gallon jug. They make a great burger and offer a 'surf and turf' of a burger and fried smelt. I can vouch for it. Never had smelt but it is like white bait in Europe.

The caption of these two photos could be one of those "You know you are in small town America when ....." type entries.

Back to Suttons Bay and just outside our park is this small garden. The sign led us to think it was like the plots in England where people in the neighborhood leased a plot to raise a few vegetables and we thought about checking on a plot as Becky misses being able to raise vegetable. We have since been told it is for those who the courts sentence to 'Community Service'. Well maybe next time ..... On the plus side, they do a great job and the flowers and veggies are looking marvelous.

Suttons Bay has a small museum and educational center for the 'sea'. One of the things they do is a night cruise with retired professor of astronomy as 'host'. We decided it was too much to pass up so booked aboard. The night started out cloudy and we were afraid it was going to be a bust but the skies cleared on the way out of the harbor and we had a marvelous time. Hope you enjoyed your trip with us!

Monday, July 12, 2010

Photos in and around Suttons Bay

New this time are 'words by Becky'. She volunteered to help me get more postings by adding the descriptions -- hence the difference in 'style' you will see.

Came across these unique wild flowers along the path to the cherry orchard.

Water lilies, to inspire any nature artists among us.

Now, all is needed is a frog.

Cherries, kissed by the morning dew. Can't you just taste them.

Lavender fields forever. A popular eatery in Northport.

He loves me he loves me not.

Show off!
Summer rain shower freshens everything.

Sail boats galore.

Shades of blue, for me and you.

Northport dockside view.

Here's the church, here's the steeple.