Wherever we’ve been we’ve met friendly and interesting people in places that absolutely fuel our dreams of coming back for a longer visit. Michigan sure fit the bill.  Our first stop is to meet up with a good friend and colleague of Jennifer’s in Saugatuck, on the shore near Grand Rapids. I think Manteo N.C. on Lake Michigan.  We were only in town an hour or two but our friend agreed to take some of these photos of Bald Head Hill and other Saugatuck sights.

     Moving up the peninsula we saw one cute little boating town after another on the lake shore, and in between some beautiful forests on any of a hundred lakes.

  We landed for several nights just below Charlevoix at barnes county park near Torch Lake.  Then we crossed the Mackinac Bridge onto the upper peninsula to sit out some really beautiful blustery rain in Sault Ste Marie watching ships pass to and from Lake Superior. 

    While Jennifer worked I visited a big merchant vessel museum. A ton of fun for me to wander through alone.  It’s probably where I caught the cold I wore for a week or so.

     Sault Ste Marie isn’t a very pretty town. Even though the locks are frozen solid for two months of the year this is the busiest inland shipping channel in the world.  But like all of Michigan this town is built by, for and of working people. By October and especially in this weather most of the ‘retirees’ have moved on to Texas or Arizona. We have the campgrounds largely to ourselves. The people we see in Michigan are weekend campers with their kids, or else just friendly folks at the bar or in the store who appreciate tourists but are more concerned with how things are going.  Ask about fresh fish on the menu and the waitress tells us that the lake is 5 degrees warmer this year than it should be and that fishing is suffering.  Conversation is often about the auto business and how the economy is or isn’t working downstate.  Like everywhere else we go, politics just isn’t mentioned – isn’t considered relevant. We like Michigan a lot. 

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