Tuesday, September 13, 2011

So this is Pure Michigan

We've probably all heard them. Those overplayed commercials extolling the wonderful and amazing state of Michigan. Tim Allen tells of all the sights and attractions available to visit. For those of us who live in Michigan, we tend to drown out these commercials. After living in Michigan your whole life, you tend to think that you've seen it all. But lately, I've come to realize that Michigan actually has a lot to offer.

Over Labor Day, my family and I went on a trip to Northern Michigan, where we saw some of what Michigan has to offer.

The Soo

One of the first things we went to see was the Soo Locks in Saulte St. Marie. The locks let ships pass from Lake Superior to Lake Huron. While I wouldn't exactly call the Soo exciting, I did find it interesting to see a large ship pass through the lock.

The ship that we saw go through one of the locks was about 700 feet long. The locks can handle ships up to 1000 feet in length.

Once the ship is completely in the lock, they secure it so it doesn't move and bump against the sides.

Once the crew secures the ship, the water level in the lock slowly lowers. Once it lowers enough, the lock door opens and the ship can move on.

I guess there is probably not much cell phone coverage when you are out on the Lakes.

Later that day, we went to Oswald's Bear Ranch, where we got to see a bunch of black bears.

For five bucks, you got to get your picture taken with a bear cub. You only got to be in the cage for a few seconds, but it was worth it for the chance to touch a bear.

Mackinac Island

The next day, we took the boat across the straits to go to Mackinac Island.

On the ride over, we got some good views of the Mackinaw Bridge

Unfortunately, my lens got a little wet from the spray from the boat.

Once closer to the island, we caught sight of the Grand Hotel. I think I'd like to stay there at least one time in my life.

Then we rounded a lighthouse to enter the Mackinac Island's harbor.

For those that don't know, there are no cars allowed on the Island. The only way to get around is to walk, bike, or take a horse.

We chose to bike it. For five bucks an hour you can rent a bike. Definitely worth it. We chose to take a nice leisurely ride around the island, about 8 miles.

Once around the Island, we walked around the village, got some ice cream, and bought some fudge.

The Bridge Walk

On Monday, we woke up early to do the Bridge walk. Labor Day is the only day of the year that you are allowed to walk the Mackinaw Bridge. One benefit of getting up early was getting to see the sunrise.

A lot of people show up to do the bridge walk. I later found out that 36,000 people walked across the bridge that day.

So for those from a far, come and visit Michigan. For those from Michigan, go and see something new in our Great State.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

A Photo Date

A while back, my wife Jamie and I were looking for something to do one evening. We recently had gotten a second camera, so we ended up going to downtown Saugatuck for a photo date. We just walked around and snapped photos of whatever caught our eye. It was a fun evening. If you and your significant other enjoy taking photos, I would suggest this as a cheap date idea. Below are a few photos that I took that night.