Sunsets from Sleeping Bear Point

I was able to spend a couple of nights on the Leelanau Peninsula this weekend to continue my efforts to capture this beautiful area in photos that do it justice.  Since I stayed on the Peninsula rather than taking a day trip, I was able to try my hand at capturing the sunsets.

Each night, I climbed the dune at Sleeping Bear Point, near Glen Haven, to get 360 degree view.  To the west was Lake Michigan, the Manitou Passage and South Manitou Island.

Use this one-9875

To the east was the town of Glen Arbor on Sleeping Bear Bay, pictured in the lingering glow after the sun had set.


Neither of the sunsets I witnessed were anywhere near as stunning as some of the spectacular sunsets my family and I have witnessed sitting on the beach, but even a so-so sunset on the Peninsula is pretty awe inspiring.



Another trip to Sleeping Bear

Once again, I headed up to Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore very early yesterday morning, this time to catch the sunrise on Otter and Bass Lakes. The two lakes are a stone’s throw from each other south of Empire. After breakfast, I took a short walk up to Lookout Point on the Bay View Trail and then a longer hike on the trail at the old Treat Farm. That trail climbs up a dune the top of which offers a dramatic 360 degree view. After lunch, I came home along M22, through Frankfort, Arcadia, Portage Lake and Manistee, stopping to climb the Arcadia Bluff lookout. A spectacular day up north.

Otter Lake

Bass Lake


The view from Lookout Point on the Bay View Trail 


The Treat Farm Trail

The path to the Treat Farm begins at the Tweedle Farm on Norconk Road. The Tweedle family settled in the area around 1840 and established their farm at this location around 1895.

(The following photos have captions. To read them, scroll over the photo.)

The Arcadia Bluff Overlook


A Quick Trip “Up North”

Out the door at Saturday morning at 3:15 a.m. for the three hour drive to the Leelanau Peninsula to catch the sunrise. I arrived just in time to see the sun rising over Narada Lake near Point Oneida in the Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore.

Narada Lake at dawn-8829Narada Lake at dawn-8838North Unity School-8843

Shortly thereafter a layer of clouds blanketed the sky, giving me an excuse to go to breakfast. After breakfast I found a Sandhill Crane who was more than willing to pose for me.

I also drove up to the tip of the Peninsula to see the Grand Traverse lighthouse.

Grand Traverse Lighthouse-8964

Once More to the North

Once more to the north to shoot photos. Since the sun rises earlier each day, I had to get up even earlier to make the three hour drive and get to my shooting location before sunrise. Up at 3:00 a.m. and out the door by 3:15.

I started shooting on Good Harbor Bay, where Shalda Creek enters Lake Michigan. I had to share the area with a beaver, who was none too happy with my presence. I enjoyed shooting in “blue hour” before sunrise . . .

and the “golden hour” immediately after sunrise.

All that was missing, besides a good cup of coffee, was some clouds to make the sky more interesting.

From there, I headed back towards Glen Arbor, stopping at the Olsen Farm and along Thorosen Road to take a shot I envisioned a couple of weeks ago, when I was scouting the territory.

I next put on my waders and set up my tripod in the middle of the Crystal River, a meandering river that winds back and forth for seven miles from its origin on Fisher Lake to where it enters Lake Michigan.

The final stop was the Empire Bluff Trail, which offered a spectacular view of Sleeping Bear Dune.

Empire Bluff Pano 7151--3

Fall Colors at Sleeping Bear National Lakeshore

I got up early on Saturday and headed north to the Sleeping Bear National Lakeshore in hopes that the fall colors were still at their peak. I was not disappointed, although a little sunshine would have been appreciated.

A panorama looking towards Glen Lake from top of the Sleeping Bear Dune. 

Touring the Sleeping Bear Inn

I got a rare opportunity to tour the Sleeping Bear Inn in Glen Haven, Michigan. The Inn was built in 1857 by C. C. McCarthy, who owned a nearby lumber mill. In 1878, he sold the Inn to Philo Chamberlain, who operated a steamship line and purchased the lumber mill and other properties in Glen Haven. He appointed D.H. Day as his local agent. D.H, Day eventually bought out Chamberlain. For more information, see Wikipedia

The Inn closed in 1973. It was subsequently used as a dormitory for the National Lakeshore, but today it is shuttered up. The Park Service is seeking proposals to restore the Inn.