All this happened, more or less...

My name is G and these are the true stories of my adventures.

Friday, July 23, 2010

The Pleasant Penninsula: Whitefish Bay

Iroquois Pt Light

With near 3300 miles of coastline, the state of Michigan is home to over 115 lighthouses, each of which is a unique and beautiful spot to stop and enjoy the water and the view. Point Iroquois Lighthouse, located on the southern rim of Whitefish Bay, is no longer operating, but part of the original structure has been converted into a small museum and the rest into a private residence. The grounds and the building are extremely well-kept, and both the museum and the lighthouse tower are open to the public, so you can hike up the 72-step spiral staircase for a fantastic panorama of the American and Canadian coastlines and any freighters passing through from the Soo Locks into Lake Superior.

View from the Lighthouse

Iroquois Pt

From the light, you can stroll down the boardwalk to the beach. Michigan has almost endless stretches of pristine, sandy beaches where you can stretch out in the sunshine or build castles or bury your toes among the warm, sparkling little grains. Point Iroquois is not one of them.

Because we are tough, we braved the rocky shore to cool our heels in the bay and check out some of the beautiful (if slippery and unforgiving) stones that give it its kaleidoscope of colors. Most of the stones here are too big or too round for skipping, but it's a great spot for agate-hunting. I do recommend you bring your Crocs along though.

Iroquois Pt

After picking our way gingerly back up to the car, we continued around the bay to Whitefish Point, home to a larger, less-photogenic lighthouse and a much more walkable beach.

Whitefish Point

With skipping stones a-plenty and a sweeping view of Lake Superior, Whitefish Point is an ideal place to stroll. Most times of the year, you can't stand in the water for more than a few seconds without going numb up to your ankles, but over the Fourth, it was surprisingly hot and the normally frigid Lake Superior was actually refreshing.

Whitefish Point

In addition to the lighthouse itself, Whitefish Point boasts a little complex of buildings that include the Great Lakes Shipwreck Museum (with an admission cost of $12/head, which Stride declared was too much money to see "stuff that's wrecked") and a fudge shop. He doesn't look very impressed with the fudge either...

Fancy Fudge

On the drive back, we stopped for a coffee at the Dancing Crane, and had one of those rare moments of truly finding a diamond in the rough.

Dancing Crane Coffee House

Stride got a fruitylicious smoothie and I had my standard latte made from their home-roasted beans. While we sipped, we played with the games, toys, and other gadgets they have scattered all over the place. Stride beat me handsomely at checkers and we both struggled to master Gravitation, the greatest game of all time.

Dancing Crane Coffee House

If you're in the area, I definitely recommend that you pop in here and enjoy the great service, food, and atmosphere for a bit.

Dancing Crane Coffee House

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