We just recently returned from a week long trip to Northern Michigan. Having never been there before we really had no idea what to expect other than what we had read online, had heard from friends and seen from looking at photos on the internet. Upon our arrival we were in for a tremendous surprise! The place is incredibly beautiful!
The season was fall in mid-October, the temperatures were cold (well, cold for Florida residents, the good folks in Michigan weren’t too affected by the weather). A storm was passing thru which led to rain and strong winds coming in from the west across the lake. Winds so strong they knocked a lot of trees down including some across the power lines which led to three days of no electricity. Fortunately we were privy to a Generac Home Generator which ran non-stop until at last the power was restored.
It was harvest season and farmers were busy bringing in apples and corn and lots of both! Road side fruit stands were plentiful and to stop at one was a treat! The offered apples, cider, honey, baked goods and just about anything else you could imagine that makes this area so very special! Visiting this area took me back about fifty years to when we had similar stands here in Florida. Sadly they have become a thing of the past in our part of Florida. The stores in Michigan were clean and very well stocked. The employees were friendly and helpful, a far cry from what we have been accustomed to.
We hunted early one morning. The rain on Lake Michigan had turned to snow further inland and the wind was howling. We hunted over corn rows using two highly trained Brittany Spaniels who knew their business. They located and flushed these pheasants who fell to 20ga shotguns loaded with #5 high brass shells. These birds will be enjoyed with gravy over rice and yes, that is snow on the birds and on the tailgate! It was COLD!
The Hunting lodge was loaded with mounted birds, fish, deer and other animals. The Taxidermist who mounted these items is world renowned and awards adorn the walls of the cabin. He is very skilled!
One thing that really stood out is the cleanliness of the area. There was NO trash on the roadsides, on the beach, nowhere! What a difference this made and it really added to the uniqueness of the area. Its a very special place.
One afternoon we visited a beautiful lake fed by a crystal clear and strongly flowing trout stream. We were blessed to have caught several very nice Rainbow Trout, some weighing in the neighborhood of 3lbs! These fish were fat and healthy. They put up a great fight and were put back into the lake to hopefully fight another day!
The seasons were changing and the leaves were incredibly colorful, more so than I have ever seen before!
As the weather finally calmed we were able to get down onto the beach along Lake Michigan and do some walks. The water was clear, emerald green and very similar to the water in the Caribbean. I wanted badly to swim but I knew I’d suffer if I did because it was freezing cold. The lake could very well freeze over in a couple of months!
The sand was tan and smooth and very clean. There were a lot of rocks in certain areas of the beach and in the water. The rocks were different colors and sizes and were smooth due to the constant wave action which was similar to the waves in the ocean. One afternoon while we walked 3 bald eagles flew overhead! It was a very beautiful beach and much like the roads there was no trash to be found!
Our research and anticipation of Lake Michigan did little to prepare us for the absolute beauty of this area. It was nothing like I had imagined. The beauty of the water rivals the Caribbean! Had it not been so cold I would have spent the afternoon swimming in it! The lake is vast, over 300 miles long and 160 miles across, unlike any lake I have ever seen! Words alone cannot describe it’s awesomeness and beauty!
The Northern Michigan landscape is stunning this time of year with the turning fall foliage. Large corn fields and apple orchards line the hillsides for miles. This visit was truly a step back in time to the beauty of this great country that I remember from my childhood. It was a trip we will never forget!