An approaching sunset in Shelby, Michigan. Quite a scene change from the sunsets in the Great Southwest!
I took five days off to attend a family reunion in Shelby, Michigan, which is quite a ways up the eastern shore of Lake Michigan. Days off, you ask? Aren’t I already on one big vacation? Not when I’m troubleshooting the refrigerator again, and thrashing with the items in storage. That’s work!
Each wave leaves a sand trail at its edge.
The Little Point Au Sable lighthouse, now unused, is open for tours.
All you have to do is climb the 92 feet to the top platform. The steps can be unnerving for young children, and make geezers like myself wheeze. Fortunately, there are three rest platforms along the way.
Also onroute are architectural drawings and renderings at each rest platform. The lighthouse was put into service in 1874!
Beauty! Though I couldn’t bring myself to lean any body weight on the iron railings, it felt quite safe up here.
As they once said decades ago, “It was grand!”
The light went from kerosene to electric bulb in 1954. The upper lens section rotates to vary intensity, while the lower is fixed.
Ore ships pass by regularly.
The walk from the house to the beach presents its own views.
The entire area is hilly, based on sandy soil. So, over time, everything shifts a bit.
Mac Wood’s Dune Rides is a very popular attraction, with the terminal located right next door to the equally popular Whippy Dip ice cream stand. Note the wide, treadless sand tires.
Wheeee! Given enough momentum, the steep hills are easily taken. I never really got used to taking all the turns fast enough to drift the rear end out – I’m used to sports cars, not long, tall converted F-250’s and F-350’s weighing 8,000+ pounds. In the back of my mind was the image of a tire digging into a firm spot in that super-soft sand, but of course it never happened!
This entire area was once heavily forested! Following the Great Chicago Fire, one robber baron cut a lot of the trees and shipped the wood out, but then logging equipment started a fire and burned the rest down. The Silver Lake State Park Dunes is the result. Grasses have recently been planted to try to control the sand, which has moved and engulfed nearby houses!
Shadows from clouds move over the landscape. The Dunes has three areas: the Mac Wood tour area in the south, a walking area in the middle, and a Jeep/ATV/motorcycle area in the north. If your vehicle meets the noise requirements, you can take it on the dunes!
This is simply a view of Silver Lake from the top of a sand dune. It’s also a view of all the kids killing themselves trying to climb back up the dune after a rapid descent!
Yep, down we went in one shot.
On the way back to the entrance, you can see just how deep the sand is. My Furd could probably make this, but not with The Enterprise attached!
A simple wood bridge gets us over the creek. They like to call it “Termite Bridge” and always like to question whether we’ll make it or not. Then they stop on it.
Pentwater is a nearby tourist trap, and a very nice one at that.
A local kite shop is filled with highly unusual creations, all for sale of course.
The kite shop also has a safe on display, the likes of which I’ve never seen. It’s a safe within a safe. Not gonna break into this one with brute force!
Care to go fishing?
Some dumpy trawler, probably in to patch leaks.
A police boat sporting two 225 HP outboards. Yowza!
I love stuff like this.
This far north, they all have to come out of the water eventually.
I’m guessing there were more sailboats in the area than motorboats.
Boats aren’t the only fun thing to blow your money on around here.
The lake varies with each day and time of day. A stiff breeze at the moment.
Another shot from the walkway to the beach. Life is hard sometimes.
All roads in the area resemble this once you get within a mile of the beach. Heavily wooded, narrow, and mostly firm-packed sand. Enchanting. This is one of the flattest sections, and some are narrow enough that the truck had no wiggle room.
Back at the beach, a seagull fighting a headwind and doing its best to look like an eagle.
The boats actually stay quite far out. The water remains shallow for a very long way.
Wood takes a beating here over time, which everyone loves.
You never know what the water will bring in.
This plane, reputedly a Coast Guard aircraft, goes down the beach once every day.
A sand-carving “contest” was held by the local neighborhood association. This wasn’t the very best, but was the most notable. Those are dead minnows collected from the beach.