|Even without sun, the shores of Lake Michigan are beautiful, especially on the Leelanau Peninsula.|
So we decided to head to Traverse City, a place neither of us had much of a memory of being at for years. I last was there covering the Special Olympics Winter Games in college for the newspaper and for class, so it was time to return. We decided to celebrate our wedding anniversary up north doing as much "up north" things as possible.
The biggest adventure took us to the tip of the Leelanau Peninsula, where we spent part of our day visiting the Grand Traverse Lighthouse and Leelanau State Park, a small park at the tip of the peninsula. Here, we discovered not many people spend a Saturday in mid-April at the beach, as we were the only visitors around lunchtime.
We walked to the rocky beach, covered in wonderful stones for skipping, and spent out time admiring the rough waters of Lake Michigan. It's not a large beach, which you are reminded of if you walk too far to the west: a sign stating a wildlife conservancy meets you and warns against entering private property. Along this beach is the light that continues to shine over the waters, as the Fresnel lens and any form of light source has been pulled from the tower.
|The Grand Traverse Lighthouse, built in 1858 and|
decommissioned in 1972.
After scouring the grounds, we discovered there were people inside the lighthouse as well as the gift shop. After speaking with them, we find out their volunteer keepers there for the week, tending the grounds and running the gift shop on a volunteer basis. They've traveled all the way from West Virginia to do this, and have done it multiple times. They told us they've fallen in love with the lighthouse and can never get enough. I may have found my new favorite hobby, if I can snag a week off work in the future.
I remember vaguely visiting the point when I was very young, but never setting foot in the lighthouse. That changed Friday, as we climbed in and went back in time to see the old lighthouse keepers items, stoves and other memorabilia. I've seen lighthouse museums before, but it always fascinates me to go back in time before they all got decommissioned by the Coast Guard (This one was decommissioned in 1972).
If you're on the Leelanau Peninsula wine tasting, make the trek north to the tip for some wonderful views. It doesn't take long and the water is breathtaking to view, especially from a lighthouse tower. How often does one get to do that?