Our last day of vacation, we definitely made it count! For me this was the best day of vacation! We got to lighthouses, waterfalls and sandhill cranes! Yes, sandhill cranes! I was so excited and this alone would have made this the best day of vacation for me.
Looking through the information provided in our cabin, Joe found a few local lighthouses nearby. We set out to find the first one down Highway 28 in Christmas, Michigan. We found the Bay Furnace area of Hiawatha National Forest. The remains of an old iron smelting facility are preserved there along with signs sharing the history of the furnace and the iron industry in Michgan’s Upper Peninsula. But no lighthouse… although we thought we saw it across the lake…
We stopped at the Grand Island ferry facility, still no lighthouse…. We went in to ask directions. According to the person we spoke with there is no Lighthouse in Christmas Michigan. Google maps to the rescue! I’m still wondering how the lady who I believe had lived there quite some time, did NOT know about this lighthouse.
There is no sign indicating the lighthouse along M-28 so you do have to be looking for it, but Google maps will lead you right there! The lighthouse is not open for tours, but it was available for pictures, which are always fun.
After pictures of the lighthouse we headed into Munising for lunch. Then we were off for a good hike! I just love a good hike.
My husband is the best! We saw a pair of Sandhill Cranes on the side of the road and he found a place to park (thankfully there was a small lot along the road) so I could jump out in pursuit of bird pictures. We saw a Sandhill Crane very briefly 6 or 7 years ago when we stayed near DeTour Village, Michigan. Since that time I have always wanted to try to photograph a Sandhill Crane. It was definitely worth the wait!
I saw one of the cranes and wasn’t really able to get a good picture of it. Then it called to it’s mate. When she responded I knew there was a second crane and waited for her to come into the clearing.
They met up and continued on their way together. Sandhill Cranes mate for life and often return to the same nest site year after year. Yes, I find them fascinating!
Now we were really off to pick up some souvenirs, have lunch and go for a good hike. Joe got a whole smoked fish and some fish sausage from VanLandschoot & Sons Fish Market. Then we stopped by Miners Pasty Kitchen (a second place owned by Miners Pasties and Ice Cream ) to check on getting a load of pasties to take home.
We hiked Munising Falls Trail which was a fun easy hike. We saw a squirrel along the trail who lived in a log and threw dirt at hikers when they got too close! He was a cute little character.
Then on to the falls. I’m far from a landscape photographer! I do enjoy experimenting with different techniques and settings I don’t normally use in portrait work. I’ve gotten to know a landscape photographer a bit over the past year, and we definitely work on different ends of the spectrum as far as lenses and settings. For water, I have a lot of fun working to smooth out the water to give it that creamy appearance. You have to use a very slow shutter speed and I don’t carry a tripod, so it’s especially tricky to get it in focus. I usually hold my breath–literally.
This little guy made another appearance as we hiked back out. 🙂
It was the last day of vacation, so we got in as much hiking as possible hiking Lakeshore Trail and Marsh Trail. Marsh Trail connected to the North Country Trail so of course we had to hike a bit on it too. 🙂 My convincing argument was if we keep hiking we can go for ice cream again when we picked up the pasties. So we stopped by Miners Pasties and Ice Cream one last time.
It was a very good last day of vacation.
VanLandschoot & Sons Fish Market
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1: We’re Off for a week in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula
5: Kayaking, hiking and Wicked Tuna