Sleeping Bear Dunes
Jun 13, 2009
|Crystal Mountain Resort is located at Thompsonville about 25 miles inland from Lake Michigan. This area is referred to as southern Northwest Michigan. The area is primarily farm land with rolling hills and wonderful forests. Really pretty. I have never been to Michigan and have found it to be really pretty. At least the northwest.
A must see is Seeping Bear Dunes, Pierce Stocking Scenic Drive in the park, and the small town of Glen Haven. These sites are all along Lake Michigan about 30 miles north west from the resort.
Lake Michigan is a product of the Ice Age. Glaciers moving down the continent carried lots of sand, gravel and rock debris in the ice. A sand dune is a pile of sand deposited by the wind. Sleeping Bear Dunes is a plateau where sand is deposited by the southwesterly winds heading toward the northeast. The dunes cover an area of 10 square miles along the shoreline of Lake Michigan and about one mile inland. The Pierce Stocking Scenic Drive takes you through many beautiful overlooks of this unique park.
The dunes are constant changing and in danger of erosion from nature and human traffic. They range from a couple of feet to over 450 feet high. There is one that is 110 feet nearly straight up and down that many hardy kids try to decend down to Lake Michigan and climb back up. Quite an accomplishment!
We went to the little historic town of Glen Haven. Once a cherry and apple cannery, the small town has exhibits of boats, motors and equipment of days gone by. One shop sells an untold number of products using cherries. Such as, salsa's to jams, breads and soups.
The Maritime Museum at Sleeping Bear Point is another must see. The exhibits feature the U.S. Life Saving Service and the Great Lakes shipping history. The docent was really knowledgeable and had wonderful stories. He could talk for hours if you let him. There was a lot of original equipment which was really interesting to learn how everything was used. The original house with sleeping quarters, kitchen, etc. One room was done to make you feel you were in the wheel house of a rescue ship. They even put pictures in the windows to make you feel you were at sea. It was really well done.
We visited a couple of light houses which I love. I hope we can return to Michigan some day and tour all 102 light houses that dot the Great Lakes and Michigan.
As we traveled through the farming communities, we ran across a sign for fresh asparagus. We both love asparagus. We drove about a mile down this farmers road and came upon his little stand but no one there. To our delight, this farmer sells his wonderful asparagus using the honor system. We picked out what we wanted, weighed it and put the money in an envelope and then a box. It was really cool.
When we got back to our cabin, J.C. and I ran off and played a round of golf getting home about 8 pm. What a great day! I find that I say that a lot and I really mean it!