Monday, February 21, 2011

Mackinaw City, Whitefish Point, and Tahquamenon Falls

Mackinaw City Michigan
The Mackinac Bridge connects the Lower Peninsula of Michigan with the Upper Peninsula. It crosses the Straits of Mackinac and separates Lake Michigan (on the Western side) from Lake Huron (on the Eastern Side). It is part of I-75. For some, crossing the bridge invokes a fear. I find the bridge fascinating.  My fear of heights would keep me from leaning over the side, and I really don't like how it feels to have your car moving side to side on a windy day, but otherwise I don't mind crossing it at all. For many years I even have participated in the annual Labor Day Bridge Walk.  Here are some photos taken of the bridge last weekend.
 Heading North into St. Ignace
The southbound view from the UP
View from St. Ignace
The sunset from the bridge
Frozen Lake Michigan

This is a spot that in all my years of visiting Mackinaw City, I never had seen before. The McGulpin Lighthouse was just relit 2 years ago after being out for over 100 years. The light is west of the bridge. The museum was closed, but it was still nice to look at. Down at the end of McGulpin point there is another great view of the bridge, and an opportunity to walk out onto frozen Lake Michigan. Some of the ice was busted up and pointing in different directions. I think that the blue color in the ice was very pretty. 

Beautiful Bridge View
Love the blue coloring of the ice

Whitefish Point, Paradise, Michigan
Lake Superior in the winter is beautiful and Whitefish Point is a great place to check it out. The lake freezes in beautiful ways.  The rocks below are actually sitting on top of the frozen portion of the lake. The fourth picture below shows a wave crashing above the frozen embankment.  Cliffs and caves line the shore. The pictures do not show how high these cliffs are. If you've never seen a frozen lakeshore, it's definitely worth a visit.  The lighthouse is also interesting to see. In the summer months you can go into the museum and see the bell of the Edmund Fitzgerald, which sunk in 1975. One of these days I'll get to see it.  

The sand and frozen waves

The crashing waves looked so cool
  View from Lake Superior
These cliffs were as tall as me

Tahquamenon Falls
Tahquamenon Falls is gorgeous in any season. There are trails to snow shoe or cross country ski on, as well as to just walk around and enjoy nature. When you are done sight seeing, you can hang out at the outdoor fireplace to warm up, or stop in at the Tahquamenon Falls Brewery for a meal and drink.

Belle Isle Detroit in February

Belle Isle in February
We went for Shiver on the River. We saw a lot of neat things, and took the time to check out the sights. Here are just a few photos.  Anna Scripps Whitcomb Conservatory has several rooms of plants to look at. The orchids are my favorite.

The Belle Isle Nature Zoo gives you the opportunity to feed the European Fallow Deer that have lived on the island for something like 200 years.  There are only about 15 left and they no longer have free roam of the island for health reasons.  The Nature Center itself has aquariums and tanks with different fish, reptiles, amphibians, insects and arachnids.  There is also a window to view birds which captivated us for awhile.
The island sits in the Detroit River and is a very nice place to visit.