Charlevoix, MI Thursday, Sept 5
I would categorize today as our puttering around day. Chris might disagree but I get to do the typing.
We only had to travel less than 50 miles to Charlevoix from Traverse City-at least if we were to go on a direct path. As you might guess, we did not. Old Mission Peninsula sticks out in to Grand Traverse Bay and is about 15 miles long. We did a loop tour, going up the west side and down the east side.
The southern end of the peninsula is the locale for many summer homes as well as Traverse City residents. The northern end is more rural and you find numerous vineyards and orchards. Wine tasting rooms are common, as they are throughout the region. Small fruit stands where you leave the payment in a jar compete with large stands that also sell jams and pies.
We stopped in Old Mission to mail a package. One local we met at the door wanted to make sure we noted that the Post Office sign stated “Main Post Office, Old Mission, MI” as if the small town had multiple offices.
This part of Michigan has a plenitude of lakes and streams. Our drive to Charlevoix took us by the Antrim Chain of Lakes-“the most beautiful lakes in the world”. The color was a beautiful blue in the lakes we saw and the water was very clear.
We had lunch in Elk River, a small water side town to the way to Charlevoix. We picked up some Christmas ornaments made from Petoskey stone. A Petoskey stone is a rock and a fossil,
that is composed of a fossilized coral (Wikipedia). It is pretty well-known in Michigan. The shopkeeper directed us to a local restaurant for lunch and we managed to find the locally made ice cream store for dessert.
Charlevoix is the locale of a series of unique stone homes built and designed by a local man, Earl Young, who had one year of study at the University of Michigan School of Architecture back around 1910. The homes feature unusual stone fireplaces, unique chimneys, cedar shake roofs, and were designed without blue prints to fit the lots on which they sit. They are all private so we just walked around the outside of a number of them.
We spent some time at “Castle Farms”. This was the location of a “model farm” built by the Chairman of Sears Roebuck in the 1910s who wanted to showcase model farming techniques and the farm products sold through the Sears catalog. It did not last long in its initial farm state and after decades of neglect has been renovated and is open for tours and is an event center for weddings, etc.
Tonight is an Evergreen night and our host is putting us up and two sisters who are on their way to Mackinac Island and the Grand Hotel. After get acquainted drinks, the five of us had dinner in downtown Charlevoix and wrapped up the evening with great conversation as the sun set on another unique day of travels.
Ed and Chris Thursday, Sept 5 midnight