Thursday, July 28, 2011

Grand Traverse Bay – It is surely Grand!

Despite two days of intermittent rain and heavy clouds, I enjoyed my stay at Hartwick Pines State Park, which is a few miles north of the cute little town of Grayling. It was one of those quiet campgrounds. There was no lake nearby so not many families stayed long. They did have some nice, easy trails – more like walking paths – and several bike paths in the park. It was just a really pleasant place. I didn't even mind the rain – it gave me a chance to review some of the research papers I had accumulated in Ohio and time to try and figure out those Switzer families!

On Tuesday morning (July 26th) I traveled west to Traverse City. My mother and I had been there a “few” years back and enjoyed our visit in the area. I also had another reason for going there – see tomorrow's post!

With the storms having passed through, the temperature dropped dramatically – the high on Tuesday was 75 and it got into the 50s overnight. Great sleeping weather! Deep blue skies and sunshine were abundant. It was a gorgeous day!

The view from the beach at Traverse City State Park, which is across the road from the campground. Thank goodness there is a pedestrian bridge over US 31/Front Street! You'd be putting your life in jeopardy to try and cross it otherwise!

After checking into the campground, assuring myself that I had a place to stay for the night, I drove around the western side of Grand Traverse Bay and on up to the northern tip where the Grand Traverse Lighthouse sits.

The Grand Traverse Lighthouse was erected in 1858. In 1952 it was electrified and modernized. Twenty years later an automated light tower was erected and the lighthouse was closed. In 1986 it was reopened as a museum.

This large “snow-ball” was about 8-inches in diameter! Huge. The entire bush can be seen at the left in the previous photograph.

I love how they have built a circular bench that wraps around this big old tree.


GrannyPam said...

Glad you have an opportunity to see some of the treasures we Michiganders are so proud of. Wish I hadn't let you sneak right past my place on the way up. If you happen to take I-75 back, please contact me.

Donna Hague Wendt said...

I discovered that my gg-grandmother, Sarah C. Blanding, was in the "Northern Michigan Asylum" in the 1910 census at Traverse City. I guess it was quite the show place at the time. She died shortly after that census. By 1949 the asylum was called "Traverse City State Hospital". I think there are a couple buildings still standing and now they have some shops on the old grounds. Wish I'd have stopped by Traverse City when I was on my "Ancestor Tracking" journey in 2002. - Donna Wendt

Becky said...

GrannyPam - It's not your fault you let me sneak by, you didn't know I was coming your way! It was a "last minute" decision on my part to head north to seek cooler temperatures.

I won't be returning south via I-75. I'm continuing north to the Upper Peninsula and then on into Wisconsin, Minnesota and the Dakotas for a rendezvous in South Dakota with some of my Joslin cousins in August.

Perhaps one day we'll meet in person!

Becky said...

Donna - I'm not familiar with the hospital/asylum. I did get a chance to see a "special place" though. It's pretty cool when you get someplace associated with the ancestors.