Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Our Michigan Trip, Part 2: M22 and the Leelanau Peninsula

On day two of our stay in Traverse City, Michigan, we decided, after diligent research by the "brains of the outfit" - that would be Marilyn - to take a road trip up the M22 highway and the Lake Leelanau Peninsula to the towns of Suttons Bay and Leland (and, no, the town was NOT named after the recently retired Detroit Tigers manager), and along the Sleeping Bear Sand Dunes National Park.  It was a trip that lasted about seven hours and just over 100 miles, and it was a memorable day.

First stop was the charming little town of Suttons Bay.

Lots of neat shops, bookstores (yes, honest to God bookstores) and galleries where several Pennsylvania dollars were spent.   Chief purchase was a hooded rain jacket that cost $58 but was on sale for $19.75 with a cool "Up North" logo.  Not that I really needed such a garment, but at that price, how could I pass it by?

It was interesting to see that there are Pirates fans on the Leelanau Peninsula. Why else would they be raising the Jolly Roger?

Of course, we were a little bummed out when we saw this sign in Suttons Bay and realized that we should have planned our trip for one week earlier:

We then left Suttons Bay and stopped at a cool winery...

...and then it was north on the M22 to Leland,

an oldtime, but still functioning Great Lakes fishing port.  As such, Leland is also known as Fishtown, or, better still....

We lunched at this place,

where the local police chief, a Captain Reneault, told us that "In Leland, everyone comes to Rick's."

The seafood chowder

was unbelievably delicious, but the place could learn a lot from Pittsburgh Lenten fish fries about the portion size for a fish sandwich.

The sandwich, small by Pittsburgh standards, tasted good, though!

After Leland, we then went south on the M22 and headed for Sleeping Bear Dunes National Park to the famous

 and here it is:

 We both made it to the top....

and back down again....

The trip back down was a lot easier.

We then headed to a scenic drive route that included several places where you could pull off the road and just take in some positively gorgeous views of Lake Michigan.

One spot included this warning sign,

but culminated in what may become one of our all-time favorite pictures:

And that was our day on the Leelanau Peninsula.

Coming next in Part 3:  Traverse City itself and our stay at the Traverse Bay Resort and Spa.

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