Sunday, December 11, 2011

Michigan Is Magical

Michigan is magical. Pure and simple. In fact, if you Google that phrase, you'll find actor David Arquette confessing as much via Twitter from when he was here last year filming a movie in Ann Arbor. I made it a promise to myself earlier this year to spend more time exploring my own backyard, and that included a road trip along the Lake Michigan coast in early October with my good friend Octavian, who flew up from Orlando, Fla., to accompany me. The weather gods smiled upon us that week. Temperatures hovered in the 70s and we enjoyed sunny blue skies all six days. In these images, you'll see scenes from our stops through Ludington, Manistee, Leland, and Leelanau, hiking through Sleeping Bear Dunes (where Octavian disregarded my advice not to take all of his photo gear down the steep bluff and then spent about an hour trying to come back up), an overnight stay in Traverse City (where we enjoyed city life for a night, had drinks at Jolly Pumpkin, ate delicious coconut tofu at Poppycocks and caught a flick at the State Theatre), and a three-day backpacking adventure on North Manitou Island (all I can say is I can't wait to get back there next year). We camped in our tents every night and hiked for miles and miles on the island. I saw one of the best sunsets of my life on the west coast our first night there, and then I ran along the sandy beach shore as waves crashed on my bare feet the next morning. Soul-stirring is the only way to describe it. The trail heading to the northern tip of the island isn't maintained, so we spent nearly an hour bushwhacking our way to the shoreline later that day before we discovered that we were going to have to descend about 100 feet down a cliff to get to the beach, which we did. Another of the highlights was enjoying the fruits of a generous apple tree when my food supply was running low. I brought only a 35mm lens, so needless to say my abilities as a photographer were somewhat limited. But I'm pretty happy with a number of these photos. Hope you enjoy them. (Oh, and in case you're wondering, those photos at the end are of a pair of 1930s Ford automobiles we found abandoned on the island.)


  1. Memories.... Oh memories... Good time brother! We'll definitely do this again next year, but lets go further north in 2012. Just for the record, I didn't grow up in Orlando, and you left out one of my favorite images you made. Sure enough I was in it. lol It was the one of me in the tall straw grass making an image towards sunset... :)

  2. You're right. That is a good photo! I added it to the series. Now you're in six of the photos. Does that make Octo a happy Romanian?

    Can't wait for next year - we'll definitely go further north, and make sure to include Pictured Rocks!

  3. Wow! Fantastic photos!!! Definitely inspires me to make sure I take a vacation like that this summer.

  4. I live in this magic and you captured well. I recognize some of those dunes, faded wooden structures, and lake views. Every corner breathes fodder for my passion, which is why I keep my camera in my car daily. Stopping to shoot after a long cerebral day at work is just what the doctor ordered. Glad you enjoyed!