Friday, October 2, 2020

September 28, 2020 Welcome to Michigan: Swedish Bakeries, Fall Colors, National Forests, Great Lakes, Two Dogs & An Incredible Sunset

At some point this summer, Christy said we should take the dogs with us on an overnight trip. I said we should take them on a day trip first. Just to see how they handle it. So a month ago, we took them on several 12 -14 hour day trips that involved hiking and driving for several hours. Nola & Yeti seemed to love those trips. So here they are in the car as we head up to Michigan for a three day trip in a cottage near Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore.

Our first stop was at this Swedish Bakery on the Red Arrow Highway near the Warren Dunes State Park. We stocked up with giant cookies, danishes, cinnamon rolls, and macaroons.

The forecast shows a lot of rain but so far it's been just a misty rain. The fall colors are beginning to show, so I stopped to take a few pictures. 

This is why Christy calls Yeti "Daddy's Boy". He follows me everywhere and worries when I leave him even for a few minutes.

We tried to stop here just to stretch our legs but there was no one at the gate or the office. So we couldn't buy a day pass or check if dogs were allowed on the beach. We continued on into the Manistee National Forest... the Loda Lake Wildflower Sanctuary.

It was raining lightly when we arrived... we put on rain gear and hiked the Wildflower Trail. The dogs were happy to be out of the car.

The only wildflowers we saw were in a fenced area marked for Monarch Butterflies. 

I didn't care, it felt good to be hiking in a National Forest.

We found some fall colors near the wetland areas.

Nice boardwalk over the wetlands with great color on both sides.

Back on solid ground...

...and time for a drink at this little creek.

Christy & Nola enjoying a walk in the woods. 

Yeti standing out surrounded by orange and green foliage.

The Cultural Trail crossed our Wildflower Trail but we weren't sure where it led and we had to get further north before sunset. So we headed north to the Manistee River Trail and the North Country Trail.

We found the North Country Trail access by accident while looking for the Manistee River Trail.

There was some great information on the board at this trail access point.

I love history and was happy to see the poster asking hikers to respect the sites they hike through. We ended up parking at the suspension bridge over the Manistee River and hiking along both the NCT and the Manistee River Trail. 

Yeti surrounded by fall colors. This photo made me laugh so I added it to the blog.

We are downriver from the Hodenpyl Dam.

The wooden suspension over the Manistee River. 

There was a steady rain while we hiked here.

But it was so beautiful and peaceful along the river that I loved being here.

So far these two have been really good in the car and hiking.

When we plan these trips, we hope for good weather. Over the years we have been very lucky...

...even though the steady rain probably cut our hike short. We still enjoyed being outdoors.

This is an impressive suspension bridge.

The Manistee River

The rain picked up and the Manistee River Trail had a steep incline with water running down it. So we headed back to the North Country Trail.

Yeti checking out the river...

...and the colorful scenery.

We hiked above the river for a while. Then we hiked back to the car on an access road through the forest.

As we headed north and west the clouds broke up and we had sunshine by the time we got to our AirBNB rental.

This is our cottage for the next two nights in Honor, MI. 

Yeti made himself at home right away.
But since it was looking brighter outside, we drove to Frankfort Beach to watch the sunset.

There was a strong wind blowing off Lake Michigan as we walked out on the Frankfort Pier.

The sun was hidden behind the clouds but still provided enough light for some great pictures.

Sometimes I think a photo is going to be perfect but it doesn't turn out that way. This was not one of those times. I knew this was a great shot before I took it.

The waves were crashing over the break wall to the lighthouse so this is as close as I could get.

I was trying to get reflection shots right after the waves passed over the concrete break wall.

The Frankfort North Breakwater Lighthouse

Yeti enjoying the cool wind and water while I enjoy the incredible sky as the sun sets.

Christy & Nola on the pier.

The view to the north.

The view to the east.

The view to the west.

The view to the south.

I could have taken pictures until the sky went dark, but I was hungry so I had to stop...

...just one more. 
That was a fun day. Goodnight!


  1. This trip for the dogs, you & Christy sure turned out to be a great idea. Looks like a wonderful rental too that you found. The photos you took on the trails, sunset/lake are gorgeous. A lil rain doesn't stop you from exploring & taking pics along the way. Makes me want to do something similar more locally in our mountains (& without even going to a casino. Thanks for letting us share in your Michigan get away. Love & miss seeing the tree's fall colors.

    1. Thanks for the kind words Marilyn. We had a good time with the dogs in Michigan.