Thursday, June 16, 2016

Day 7 - Thursday June 16 2016

Weather: 58 degrees Overcast.  I got a cart from downstairs and packed up the 700 lbs of luggage and rolled down to the lobby.  I did not know where David parked so I walked out in parking lot and found the van.  I drove it up to hotel lobby to load up.  David had already loaded some of his luggage and when he came out another door with the last piece of his luggage, he could not find the van.  A few minutes later he walked back to the lobby, thinking the van had been stolen or he was losing his mind.  You have to remember when David and Gwen say meet in lobby at 7:00 am that means with luggage loaded and ready to drive off.  We checked out of hotel at 7:00 am bypassing the mediocre free breakfast and headed South I-75 for 4 miles and then picked up Hwy 31 southwest towards Petoskey, MI.  In Petoskey we stopped and took a pic of the Pierhead lighthouse.  We stopped at 8:30 am for breakfast at the Flap Jack Family Restaurant in Charlevoix - what a beautiful little town Charlevoix is.  We headed to Traverse City to see more windmills (Traverse is the cherry capital of the US and along the way there were groves and groves of cherry trees with mom and pop stands selling cherry pies, fresh cherries and cherry concentrate).  In Traverse City we turned onto M-37 out onto a peninsula.  We followed M-37 for 18 miles to the Old Mission lighthouse.  The Old Mission lighthouse is on the 45th Parallel, exactly half way between North Pole and Equator.  As a side note, every square foot of the peninsula that was not a home or barn was covered with cherry trees, vineyards or wineries.  We have noticed many barns have a large painted emblem on the end.  These are called barn quilts and there are quilt barn trails you can follow to "complete your quilt".  Wonder if they have these in the south? We were also looking for Petoskey stones.   We made out way to Manistee, had lunch at the House of Flavors and the found the 2 lighthouses in Manistee.  The Breakwaters was under repair so could not see much.  We headed back on Hwy 31 and headed towards Mears, MI to see if we could get some dune buggies to ride the Sand Dunes at Silver Lake near Ludington.  We rented 2 dune buggies from Silver Lake Dune Buggies.  Running the dunes was a lot of fun.  I got stuck first try up a long hill, burying the back tires.  They taught us to get out of the buggy, dig out behind tires and push buggy backwards.  We got out but buggy rolled down hill with me running beside it steering.  It was not pretty, but we climbed in and were on our way.  David did the same thing, but Gwen got out and walked up the hill (see how lonely she looks on top of hill by herself).  A 4-wheel drive pickup came by and pulled David out.  We loaded up the buggies and checked them in.  Back in van we headed south on 31 to find White River lighthouse in Whitehall.  We arrived at the hotel in Tuskegon after 7:00 pm so ordered pizza, blogged and went to bed.  Tomorrow is a slower-paced day through Holland and down to South Bend IN.

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