Look at map of Michigan. The lower portion of Michigan. Oh, OK, here’s a map for you. Looks like a hand, doesn’t it? Well, really more like a mitten, but imagine the hand inside the mitten. The “pinkie” and ring finger part of the state is just fabulously beautiful. In particular, Leelanau county on the Leelanau peninsula, that part west of Grand Traverse Bay which would be the “pinkie” fingertip, but really that entire northwest and west coast of the state. I’m going to need to return and spend an entire season just playing and exploring here.
It is all rolling farmland and lakeshore, with countless acres of apple and cherry orchards, super charming little towns and villages, a bunch more exceptional golf than I imagined, incredibly friendly (almost Canadian friendly) folks, a surprisingly vibrant and quality wine, cider and craft beer culture and some of the best biking of anywhere I’ve been. I mean GREAT biking.
Having said all that….yesterday I visited Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore, though not on my bike.
Yeah, so that’s a pretty horrible story, but at least I now know why it’s named as it is. And there actually is a sleeping bear…
The dunes all along the west coast of Michigan are nothing to scoff at, but especially here. Immediately along the lakeshore at this point the dune tops out more than 600 ft above the lake. It was a beautiful sunny day, but winds 15-30 mph which kept me off my bike. That’s just no fun to ride in.
Today was a much calmer day so, of course, I took off on my bike around the northern part of Leelanau county. You can see, it’s NOT flat.
This was the second bison ranch I’ve seen here in Michigan. Who’d a thunk?