Tuesday, September 27, 2016

The Leelanau Peninsula

We left the Petoskey area and drove further south and west to the Leelanau Peninsula.  You have to drive to Traverse City to head up into the peninsula.  We stayed at a campsite on Lake Leelanau which is a large lake in the center of the area.

We drove over to Suttons Bay to check out the town.  Lots of shops, restaurants, and things to see.

This shop had all kinds of yard decorations and craft items but as you started looking you noticed there were signs everywhere to not touch or pick up anything.  So we left.

I did like the decorations of yard flowers but they were expensive.  Over $45 per item.

The shops along the main street were painted in bright pastels. 

We found a store that sold gelato so we gave the pups a treat.  Since they had already had ice cream we decided it was time to take them to the next level.  

Lucy couldn't get hers down fast enough.  Desi enjoyed every lick.
We took a drive to Leelanau State Park which is on the tip of the peninsula.

They had a great hiking trail so we took the pups for a walk.

Afterward they played in Lake Michigan and cooled off.

The Grand Traverse Lighthouse was erected in 1858 and in 1899 a fog signal was added.  In 1900 it was converted into a two family dwelling but a kitchen wasn't added until 1916.  In 1952, the lighthouse was modernized and electricity was added.  It was finally closed in 1972 and has since become a museum.

This flower bed was built in 1930 and is still in great shape today.  The rock they used was common to this area and we saw  buildings that were built with it. 
This whimsical looking flower bed was built in 1926.

The Leelanau Peninsula is a large wine producing area along with apples, cherries, peaches, pears and many vegetables.  With both the grapevines and the apples coming into season the area also had a lot of fruit flies.  They are very small and fast and obnoxious.  Some of the wine tasting rooms were having a heck of a time with them and eventually they also got into our rig.  And having bananas sitting on the counter in the rig didn't help the issue.  So I thought for awhile on how to get rid of them and finally came up with an idea.

While I was enjoying a glass of wine one evening and the fruit flies were hanging around me, I got out my Dyson  handheld vacuum cleaner and started scooping them up as they flew past.  Worked out well.  Scared the pups the first few times but after that they got used to it.   When you are in a rig you've gotta work with what you've got!

Speaking of apple trees, we noticed some of the orchards grow them differently than we've seen all our lives.  

Each tree is staked and held up with wires like they do with grapevines. There are almost as many apples as there is apple tree. 

In Lake Leelanau Village we saw this old church made of local stone. 

The parsonage was also made of the same material.

We stopped back at one of the local wineries, Shady Lane, we visited two years ago.

It has indoor and outdoor tasting rooms now.
We saw the same thing again with the covered vineyards.  I think it looks really strange and in the mornings with moisture on the netting it looks even stranger. 

A  lovely sunrise over Lake Leelanau.  Nice to wake up to.

The Captain returning from an early morning hike with the pups.

One day we were able to watch rowers on racing shells practicing their strokes on the lake.

The town of Leland is a short distance from where we were staying and they have an old section of town called Historic Fishtown.

The buildings are very old but still in use and right on the water. As you step down into the Fishtown area they have  "No Smoking Allowed" signs posted because the wood of the buildings and walkways is very dry. 
The fishing district has provided a livelihood for fisherman for over a century.  The Leland River is an outlet into Lake Michigan and fisherman first entered it by sailboat.  Around 1900, gas-powered oak boats were in use and small fishing shanties, such as ice and smoke houses, were constructed.  Gray and weather-beaten, some still serve their original purposes and Leland continues to be a commercial fishing area.   

A waterfall into the Leland River right behind some of the old buildings.  Near the waterfall on the upper left side was a restaurant with an outdoor sitting area where we had lunch.  The water going over the waterfall was so loud you had to yell to be heard but it was a great area to have a meal.  

A view of the Leland River from the restaurant.

Some nice boats were moored near the shanties.
For an appetizer we had Smoked  Whitefish Pate served baked and topped with almonds.  It is definitely an acquired taste. We both had whitefish for the main course and it was very tasty.  Because whitefish is in season now many of the restaurants were serving it.  After our meal we went to the local fish shop and bought several pounds to bring home. 

We also stopped near the water so the pups could have another swim in Lake Michigan.  Lucy is very good as far as going over the waves.  Desi not so much. 

But there is nothing better than rolling in the sand after a good swim.  

We spent several days traveling around the beautiful country area stopping in at local wineries. 

The pups came along because they like to go on rides, too.
We found a local artist named Stephanie Schlatter who had some beautiful pieces showing at the wine tasting rooms.  This particular winery had also commissioned her to create this painting on the outside of the building.
At another winery we saw this work of art, acrylic on wood, that she had created.  We bought this one and another to bring home for our dining room.  It needs better lighting than here to appreciate the true colors.  

Finally it was time to leave again.  We decided to drive down to Muskegon, Michigan, which is also on the lake because we really enjoy those areas.  We wanted to get an early start so we would have part of the day left in the new place.  We started hearing some loud noises outside and saw a crew drive near to where we were staying at the RV park.  Evidently, the ownership of the park decided
some very large pine trees needed to be taken down and this was the day.  It was very interesting.

The tree was a good seventy feet tall.

Much bigger than the rigs around it.  We were four spots over from it and we were worried.

One man on a crane started working his way to the top taking down branches.  The rest of the crew stayed below and picked up the dropped branches to mulch them and sweep up any mess.  They also helped with guide wires for the really large branches.

The man in the crane would loop a wire separately around several branches before he trimmed them.  When the branch was cut off it would slide down the wire to the men below.  It was amazing to see.

If you look closely,  this picture shows the branch sliding down the wire after it was cut off the tree.

This shows the top coming down.

Before the last part of the tree was felled, a large wedge was cut into the bottom of the tree almost at ground level.  You can see how close this tree was to people's property.

With a wire around the last part of the tree several crew members got ready to pull.

And down it came.

The final section of the tree was removed and hauled to a wooded area of the property.  The whole process took less than an hour.  They were really professionals.  Having chopped down and hauled a few hundred trees on our property by ourselves, the Captain and I know how heavy they are and how dangerous it can be.  Amazing!

On to our next stop.  But we wanted to leave you with two beautiful pictures of the sunrise we saw on a cloudy day over Lake Leelanau.   Peace!

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