Since moving to Michigan about 6 months ago, I've been eagerly awaiting the opportunity to take that well known scenic drive up north along the coast of Lake Michigan.
Our weekends have been tied up with ‘getting settled’ in the new dwelling. Turning a stale home into a house takes time, money - if you want to buy new things for the new house – and patience… of which I seem to lack. Thankfully, our neighbors from Connecticut planned a visit for Valentines weekend! This means I get to plan an adventure! My favorite task!
I googled Michigan’s route M22 and Traverse City, which seems to be one of the most visited destinations in all of the state.
We hit the road around 10am on a Saturday and headed for Frankfort, MI. I figured we could catch M22 there and then head to Traverse City, though we never made it that far…
I knew there was a snow storm headed through northern Michigan but do you think I told my daytripping travel mates – not a chance! They may have cancelled my fun. That said, by the time we hit Cadillac, Michigan the snowmobilers were in full force – they outnumbered the automobiles for sure. I put this location on my bucket list for a weekend of riding – maybe next winter!
Our jaws dropped when we landed in Frankfort and saw the Lake in the distance. I have never seen waves that big in all my life. Not from the Atlantic Ocean when I lived on the Coast of Connecticut and not even when I sailed the Caribbean and out ran a hurricane. These Lake Michigan waves crashed with force! And that wasn’t even the best part!
We made it to the beach and walked in the bitter cold with the winds whipping so we could get a closer look. Before any of us knew it, we were literally standing on a frozen wave gawking at the awe inspiring beauty of the enormous body of water, the frozen shoreline and the lighthouse ahead with those intense crashing waves!
Many Michiganders head up north in the summer for vacations at the beach but I am SO grateful that I was able to experience this destination in mid-winter, during a snow storm – because I’m told you don’t see waves like this any other time of year!
We had lunch at Stormcloud Brewing and watched some peeps play a strange game where they throw around concrete circles like hockey pucks… guess it’s a pretty popular sport but what do I know… I thought ‘curling’ was for the gym.
At this point, the snow is piling and the roads look rough. We headed through Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore and up to Empire for a view of those giant ICE BALLS. While driving through the forest area, we stopped to take a quick pic of the pretty row trees and the ranger pushed us on our way. That was a good sign that the roads might get worse and we better head home. Guess a visit to Traverse City will happen next season.
Sum it up in 6:
$30 - Gas in our truck – drove from 10am-8pm
$50 – Lunch for 2 at Stormcloud Brewing
$25 – Water and snacks
Memories - priceless
When we left Lansing, Michigan – it was 20 degrees warmer and there were no wind gusts. We headed north and hit a snow storm. Bringing gloves and a hat would be helpful!
SAVORING THE MEMORIES:
I printed my pocket cards and created some for ya'll to get in your bucket list or on your vision board!
When life starts to get mundane and I get sucked into routine - one gander through my adventure book and I'm ready to plan another! At my age, if you don't put it in the scrapbook, it didn't happen... because I will forget. Yes, 46 is old. :)
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I'm an advocate of self healing through nature and exploration. Follow along for daytrips on a budget and my journey of memory keeping after the trip has come and gone.