I can now say that I have had the unique experience of driving all the way to Mackinaw City, Michigan without ever seeing Mackinaw Island. Here is a photo of Mackinac Bridge when we first arrived.
Missing the island wasn't the goal, mind you. I heard it was gorgeous and I was very interested to check it out. But then the torrential rains moved in. And while we started with a can-do attitude of "So what if we get a little wet? It'll be a fun story to tell." We quickly switched to, "Man, this rain is crazy! Let's get out of here!" We checked out the forecast, and it looked like the weather was going to be a bit better in Southern Michigan, so we headed in that direction. Along the way we stumbled across some beautiful coastal towns. There were more than enough places that were begging to be photographed.
At the end of the day we found ourselves in the city of Manistee. The sky cleared just enough to offer us an amazing sunset as we cooked dinner on a grill in a lake-side park. Yes, it was pretty amazing.
One of the most interesting finds of this trip was in the town of Kaleva (population 459!) Following a little roadside sign, we found the John J Makinen Bottle House. One guy build his entire house out of bottles in the 1940s. He owned the local bottle manufacturing plant, and used different colored ones to make patterns and spell out words.
You can read more about the bottle house here:
Labels: Lake Michigan, Mackinaw, Michigan, travel