Having exhausted the list of things we wanted to do in the Empire, Michigan, area (mainly Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore and Traverse City), a free day presented itself for some exploring. We opted to drive south, along the Lake Michigan shoreline, to Manistee, Michigan. The drive proved uneventful for the most part. A large open-air arts and crafts show and sale was taking place in Frankfort, Michigan, and folks were parked in every available space. urther south, a pullover along the route provided a spectacular view of Lake Michigan’s western shoreline, and a viewing platform that must have been 200 hundred steps high provided an even more spectacular view. Much of the area, particularly closer to Empire, is used for apple orchards or corn fields. Manistee is an old fishing town, and many of the town’s buildings have been or are being restored. It also houses several buildings of the Little River Tribe of Ottawa Indians. It was apparent that the area was more “blue collar” in its culture, and tourism had not yet taken over as the main industry. We quickly drove through, turned around, and drove back out, stopping for a burger along the way. Both coming and going, we noticed that fall is quickly approaching as evidenced by the increasing number of trees with changing leaves, and some of the maples now have brilliant red leaves.
At Indigo Bluffs, we enjoyed a quiet rest of the afternoon, and then were invited next door to the Parker’s for hors d’oeuvres. Frank and Dianne are from Gravette, Arkansas, and have traveled extensively, both via land and sea. We really enjoyed getting to know them better, and hope our paths cross again—and surely they will since Frank and Dianne travel through much of northern Arkansas over the course of a year with their Good Sam’s club.
Tomorrow, we head home, driving south to South Haven, Michigan, for the evening.