At the end of our first week in Michigan, we took my mom and sister to a memorial service in Traverse City; the woman who died was a sister of someone I’ve known all my life, so we attended the service as well. Afterward, we drove to Sleeping Bear Dunes and had fun exploring a little around there. Our children had never been there before, and neither had Gayle. We all enjoyed seeing the beautiful scenery. This first photo was at the edge of Traverse City; there were a couple of railroad overpasses with bridges like this.
Grand Traverse Bay was beautiful, and there were a lot of sail boats on it.
As far as we know, this is one of the “Tall Ships”, replicas of the sailing vessels used on the Great Lakes a few hundred years ago. It was sailing across Grand Traverse Bay.
The Traverse City area is famous for its cherry orchards.
The highway between Traverse City and Sleeping Bear Dunes is straight and flat, compared to what we’re used to at home!
Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore! There are two inland lakes, and the dunes are on the other side of the overlook here.
Lake Michigan is off in the distance.
See the Manitou Islands off in the distance? There are two of them. The story goes that a mother bear and her two cubs were swimming across Lake Michigan to escape a forest fire in Wisconsin. They were almost to land when the cubs tired and drowned, forming North and South Manitou Islands. The mother reached land and laid down to watch for her cubs, forming the sand dunes.
The drive we took through the park wound around through forests like this.
A favorite stop along the way is this overlook. You’re not supposed to go down to the lakeshore here, but many people do anyway—and then have to climb the 300-400 foot, steep sandy slope. We didn’t allow our boys to do it.
Our little people loved playing in the sand dune above the trail. Mr. Imagination slid down on his tummy several times! I took his clothes off and shook the sand out before we got in the van again.
Grandma noticed that this large boulder beside the trail was actually a huge Petosky stone. This particular type of fossilized coral is the Michigan state stone.
This is the D. H. Day barn, a historic building.