Ontoganon Light was the last lighthouse we visited in Michigan this past summer, and we almost didn’t get to see it because of rain.
We packed up that morning to slowly make our way back towards home. Ontoganon Lighthouse was a couple hours’ drive away, and thankfully the rain had stopped by the time we got there. We stopped for a view across the water first and then tried to get closer, but a little “No Trespassing” sign at the gate on the road leading to the lighthouse made us think that it’s probably better to turn around and take the official tour. I have to say that this tour was certainly worth the money (admission was very reasonable). It started at the gift shop/museum and then we all boarded a shuttle bus that took us to the lighthouse. The guide was very knowledgable and walking through each room, you were actually allowed to touch the things that were there!
During our Michigan vacation this past July, we spent a few days in Houghton, and saw some interesting buildings across the water. These turned out to be the Quincy Smelting Works…closed permanently in 1971 and now abandoned.
A couple of days later, we had to drive right past it on our way to somewhere else, and of course I talked Greg into stopping so I could take a closer look….and more pictures!
Keeweenaw Waterway Lower Entrance Light could be seen in the distance from the top of Portage River Light, and of course we had to make our way over there for a closer look…
Many thanks to Brian and his Photoshop skills for fixing the terrible lens distortion in this photo!
It was a loooong walk out to the lighthose…
….and an equally long walk back!
Also called Jacobsville Light. This lighthouse is privately owned, and it wasn’t clear whether or not they offered tours. One website said they did, another said they didn’t. We decided to stop anyway (and at least take some pictures) and were greeted by the owner. We asked about tours and she said that we were welcome to climb the tower and sent us to meet her husband, who was already up there, and he gave us a nice history of the lighthouse and the area.
44 feet above the ground
Sand Hills Lighthouse is in Ahmeek, Michigan and run as a bed & breakfast. They don’t offer tours, but that didn’t stop us from looking at it from the outside.
Eagle River Falls was another easy-to-find roadside waterfall. Of course the girls were especially happy, because that meant not having to hike who-knows-how-far to get to it
Found this little butterfly right next to Jacobs Falls and had a little photo shoot while Greg and the kids were busy picking thimble berries. He (she?) was truly brave because I got to get within about half an inch with my iPhone and olloclip. These photos, however, were taken with my Nikon and macro lens.
Jacobs Falls was very easy to find…it was right next to the road, and you couldn’t miss it.
Eagle Harbor Lighthouse offers very reasonably priced tours ($5 for adults, children under 16 are free) and we took the self guided tour of the lighthouse and adjacent maritime museum. The lighthouse is still an active one and even though we could take the stairs all the way to the top, we couldn’t get into the room where the light is.
We could have taken a boat tour to visit Copper Harbor Light, but it was a bit expensive and we decided to skip it. We did have a nice view of it from across the water…
Unfortunately this is as close as we got to this beautiful little lighthouse.
Spent some time at Sand Point Light in Baraga, Michigan. The lighthouse wasn’t open to the public, but there was a picnic area right at the lake, and we kicked off our shoes and got our feet wet in Lake Suuperior.
We drove through L’Anse again on our way to Houghton, Michigan, where we spent a few days on our vacation this summer. On our way through L’Anse we stopped at Falls River and walked along the river for a while. Of course I stopped often to take pictures of the many wildflowers there. I didn’t have the macro lens on my camera, but I did have my iPhone and olloclip. I must have spent a little too much time with the flowers, because at some point Greg and the girls had left me behind and gone on ahead (was really nice not knowing which way they went when, on my attempt to catch up, I came to a fork in the road and I had to send Greg a quick “where the heck are you??” text). Saw some deer very close to me in the bushes (not sure who was startled more, the deer or me!) that Greg and the girls missed because they didn’t want to wait for me.
The Lower Silver Falls aren’t exactly what I’d call a waterfall, but still pretty.
My dear readers who are also Stuart and Trevor fans already know that we got to meet up with Kathy in L’Anse one afternoon. Well Kathy told us about thimble berries which are similar to raspberries. After that day, we always looked for them on our walks through the woods, and picked the ripe ones. I think it was still a little early in the season, because most of them weren’t quite ripe yet.
This one looked so perfect I had to take a picture of it first
We also found Thimble Berry jam and bought a jar to bring home with us. It was delicious! Sara disagreed, and Melissa never wanted to taste it, which was fine…..more for me!
Definitely would have been worth getting up early for if I hadn’t been up already
On the day we went to Big Bay Point Lighthouse, we made it back to the hotel early, and because I didn’t want to just sit around all day, I looked through our travel brochures to see if I could find us something to do, and I found Da Yoopers Tourist Trap in nearby Ishpeming, Michigan. Sounded like fun, admission was free, and what’s not to love about a tourist trap?
I apologize for the picture overload…
Loved this oversized chair! Definitely my favorite exhibit. Even made the kids sit in it (as you can clearly see by the excitement on their faces )
“Bicycle Built For Two Ol’ Farts”
Arnold had a wife that wouldn’t shut up. So he invented this bike so he could share quality time without the constant nag, nag, nag… (built by Arnold Saari)
“Yooper Snow Removal Payloader”
1930 Model A-5 couple body, 1-ton 1931 Model AA Hearse chassis and the lift system is builts from a 1936 Plymouth differential (on the back of the car). The differential on the back of the cat is connected to the transfer case by power take off and two fan belts, which are operated by a shift lever inside the cab. The bucket is held up by a locking manual pump master cylinder, located in the cab of the vehicle. The chain above the door releases the bucket to dump the load. This Coupe has travelled over 100,000 miles and is still running! (built by George and Art Liimatainen, Mass, Michigan)
This vehicle is used by serious hunters. The guy in the front is the “Deer Whistle” and the guy in the back is the “Troller”. He trolls for deer with a pole and a bag of cabbage tied to the end of the line which is dragged through the woods. (built by Percy Olmsted and Billy Langson)
“Camp Go For Beer”
The day we went to Big Bay Point Lighthouse was one of the more relaxed days of our vacation. That’s all we had planned that day. We left the hotel mid morning and made it to Big Bay just in time to eat lunch at the Thunder Bay Inn (the food was very good!) and then made our way to the lighthouse, which is run as a bed & breakfast. Tours were supposed to be available although no one seemed to be around.
The lighthouse is also for sale (for a mere $1,275,000). So…..if anyone has $1.2 million lying around and doesn’t know what to get me for my Birthday in February, this would be a great idea!
You would think lighthouses are easy to find, right? Wrong! We almost didn’t find Christmas Rear Range Light, even with directions! They even seemed like easy directions: Drive M-28 west, between Munising and Christmas near the “Welcome to Christmas” sign.
As you saw in yesterday’s post, we found the “Welcome to Christmas” sign, parked, and walked towards the lake. We had to walk through loose sand, with plenty of broken glass everywhere (not a great idea with flip-flops) and about half way there, I told everyone to stay where they were while I went to take a look (I was ahead of everyone else). All I could see was some kind of strange white pillar with an oversized lightbulb at the top, which was actually the Christmas Front Range Light. If you clicked the link, you’ll agree that it’s not exactly pretty or even lighthouse-looking. The travel brochure with those wonderful directions showed a picture of the Rear Range Light, and I knew this was definitely not it!! And there was no sign of another lighthouse anywhere!
Back to the car we went, and just as I closed the door, buckled up, and Greg was about to back out of our little parking space, I glance in the side mirror and say “Ummm…what’s behind us??” Yup! There it was…on the other side of the road, hidden in the trees!
Of course we got out of the car, crossed the street, and went to take a close look.
Santa was nowhere to be found….
A quick stop at Munising Front Range Light on the way back to our hotel in Marquette.
While looking through one of the travel brochures for more things to do in the Munising, Michigan area, I came across Miners Castle Overlook. There weren’t any real details about what exactly Miners Castle is, but how wrong can you go with an overlook on Lake Superior, right? So off we drove to check it out…. and WOW! So glad we didn’t miss this!
Turns out that Miners Castle is the sandstone formation you see in the distance (once you can tear your eyes away from the gorgeous color of the water )
After enjoying the beautiful view for a while, we walked down the path that lead down to Miners Castle to get this beautiful view of part of Pictures Rocks National Lakeshore.