Thursday, October 15, 2020

September 30, 2020 Our Tour of Michigan Lighthouses on Our Drive Home

This is the last day of our trip to Michigan. We have all day to drive back home along the east side of Lake Michigan. Since Christy found a map of Michigan's Lighthouses at the Visitor Center in New Buffalo, we are going to try to see as many of the lighthouses as we pass on the way home.

This pillow's message is definitely how I try to live each day. 

I'll admit bringing the dogs on this trip had me worried but they were both really good at the cottage. I walked them around the yard one last time before we headed home.

This old stone fireplace was on the property.

We passed a sign the other day that read the 45th Parallel the halfway point between the Equator and the North Pole. So we are pretty far north and the fall colors are evident all around here. 

So now we say goodbye to the cottage...

...and hello to the Point Betsie Lighthouse. Unfortunately, the grounds around the lighthouse are closed. 

But dogs are allowed on the beach, so we took them for a short hike...

...and got to see the beautiful Point Betsie Lighthouse up close. 
This lighthouse and keeper's residence was built in 1858. It was the last lighthouse on Lake Michigan to be automated in 1983.

I'm a history geek and I love visiting sites like old lighthouses. Christy is not so she enjoyed walking on the beach... did Nola & Yeti.

I love beaches too. But I love beaches with a lighthouse even more.

Since I had the idea to visit all the lighthouses, I have to add the Manning Memorial Lighthouse we stopped at yesterday. This was built in 1990 as a memorial to local fisherman Robert H. Manning. This was the furthest north lighthouse we visited. So the Point Betsie Lighthouse is the next heading south. You might not care but to a geek like me, it matters.

The next lighthouse is the Frankfort North Breakwater Lighthouse. We were here two nights ago so I am using this photo since we didn't stop here today. This lighthouse was built in 1873 and moved to this location in 1932.

So now we are back to today's drive south down the Michigan side of Lake Michigan. Since dogs are not allowed on the beach, Christy stayed with them in the car while I walked out to the Manistee North Pierhead Lighthouse.

The view of the beach on the north side of the pier.

The catwalk out to the lighthouse. It is not open for public use. If it was I would have used it.

The Manistee North Pierhead Lighthouse

The view from the end of the pier. This lighthouse was built in 1927.

Our next stop is Ludington State Park which has a 3-mile roundtrip hike to Big Sable Point Lighthouse.

We had a little trouble finding the trailhead due to the angle of a sign pointing to the trail in the campground area. That's my story and I'm sticking to it.

So that is how we ended up hiking on the dunes.

Yeti has gotten much better at dealing with people on our hikes. But sometimes he has a relapse, so that's why he has a muzzle on.

It feels good hiking on a beautiful but windy day, even if we are lost.

A park ranger pointed us to the trailhead... we are hiking to the Big Sable Point Lighthouse.

The trail is along an old road with dunes and lakes on both sides.

There are also a few informative signs for people like me.

The dogs were happy to be out of the car.

The trail passed through a forested area which was a nice change of scenery.

Ponds with a nice reflection of the sky...

...and the actual sky were equally impressive.

The hike through different types of topography kept it very interesting. 

The big sky made the scenery incredible all around us.

Christy & Nola trying to catch up to the boys.

Our first glimpse of the lighthouse.

The Big Sable Point Lighthouse was built in 1867.

Another lighthouse with an impressive keeper's house.

We walked around the lighthouse then moved on because there were several dogs and Yeti was getting wound up.

This is a brick tower that began to deteriorate, so in 1900 it was encased in steel plate. All materials were shipped in because there wasn't a road built to this place until 1933. 

I loved both the wide-angle...

...and the closeup shots of the house with that amazing sky.
I also started thinking about living here in 1867. Then I wondered if I would have been able to take the lightkeeper job. I think I would have loved it. 

The Ludington North Breakwater Lighthouse was built in 1924.

Supposedly you can walk out on a break wall to this lighthouse. It didn't look possible today.  

There was a strong wind blowing from the west. I took these pictures from the boat launch on the beach parking lot. 

Some fall colors on our way to Silver Lake State Park.

The wind was ferocious here. We didn't know if dogs were allowed on the beach here, so Chrisy stayed with them as I hiked over the dunes to the lighthouse. 

The Little Sable Point Lighthouse is 108 feet tall and was built in 1874.

The wind was blowing so hard that I was getting sandblasted when facing the beach.

Not surprisingly, the beach was empty except for the few Lighthouse geeks like me who were taking pictures.

In 1954 the light was automated and the keeper's house was removed.

I walked back to the parking lot on a path that had these two information signs.

The White River Lighthouse is now a museum. Unfortunately, it was closed when we got here. It also started to rain. But we took the dogs for a walk anyway.

We headed out toward the beach with the occasional wave crashing onto the walkway

When the water got too high, Christy and Nola turned back and headed for higher ground.

Yeti & I made it to the beach. But there wasn't much beach to walk on past that dune.

The waves kept crashing over the walkway.
But I kept taking pictures because the sky was so impressive over Lake Michigan.

Eventually, we headed back to the lighthouse.

The White River Lighthouse is another impressive sight on our trip today.

The White River Lighthouse was built in 1875.

The rain began to come down harder, so we headed back to the car. I didn't mind the rain because these lighthouses were so unique. I was having a great day.

We were now in a rush to get to Muskegon before sunset. But I kept seeing the clouds clearing over the lake and needed to pull over to take some pictures. I finally found a place to pull off the road here.

I'll admit I have a problem. I just can't pass up taking photos when the scenery is this perfect.

We made it to Muskegon just in time to see the sunset. Unfortunately, this walkway didn't take us out to the lighthouse. 

Because there is a Coast Guard facility here.

So we walked over to the beach in Pere Marquette Park.

Another impressive sunset over Lake Michigan.

The Muskegon South Pierhead Lighthouse was built in 1902.

The Muskegon South Breakwater Lighthouse was also built in 1902.

The Breakwater Lighthouse under an impressive black cloud.

Christy took the clearest photo of the smaller Breakwater lighthouse. I cropped it and zoomed in. This is the best shot we have.

Once again there is a strong wind over the lake. Several guys were kiteboarding here tonight.

We had a beautiful sunset across the horizon.

The closest we got to a kiteboarder.

Looking south down the beach.

Looking northwest over the lake.

I couldn't take not getting closer to this lighthouse. While on the beach, I saw someone on the pier. So Christy & I walked through the open gate to the parking area for the Coast Guard Station. Then the two of us and two Pyrs walked out on the pier to the lighthouse.

Nola, Christy & Yeti using the Lighthouse to block the wind.

Yeti getting a drink after a wave crashed over the pier.

The sky was lit up with many different colors.

It was a beautiful way to end our day of lighthouse hunting. Also, a memorable way to end a trip to Michigan with the dogs.

An NOAA Great Lakes Environmental Research Laboratory is also on the pier. 
Since it was dark we drove home after this stop. We'll have to drive back up to see the lighthouses we missed south of Muskegon.