Day Trip to Traverse City

Gayle and I drove to Traverse City on Thursday (6/4/20) and I thought I’d share a few pictures we took. The pic. above is the view from Chateau Chantal on the Old Mission Peninsula. You’re looking southeast across the East Bay with some puffy cumulus clouds over the warmer land area. Our car thermometer reached a high of 89 near Baldwin, then dipped as low as 71 on the Peninsula with the wind coming off the water, then down to 64 as we were traveling back in the evening near Cadillac.

Chateau Chantal, Old Mission Peninsula

This is the view from Chateau Chantal looking to the Southwest. Magnificent views every way you look. We ended up eating at the nearby Peninsula Grill – outside and well-spaced.

Plastic sheets in a field in NW Kent County

Let’s back up a little. Starting out we drove back roads. We did see one place where there were still blossoms on small apple trees. The pic. above shows colorful plastic in a field. I wondered if you could make it into a flag with red, white and blue.

Cars at the boat launch at Cranberry Lake

Lots of boats out at Cranberry Lake. These cars/trailers are parked along the road to the boat launch. Free Fishing Weekend is June 13-14 here in the state of Michigan. My youngest daughter is a Master Angler.

Swimmers at Crockery Lake

We stopped at the county park at Crockery Lake – Lots of kids and a few adults in the water. The buoys that outline the swimming area were not in the water, so keep small kids close to shore here as the depth drops off fairly quickly in places. I didn’t get a water temp. here, but Reeds Lake in East Gr. Rapids was up to 72.

Cars social-distancing

Even the cars at Crockery Lake were social-distancing.

Unplowed Field

We saw some fields that had not been plowed…some that were plowed with nothing showing yet and…

Field of Corn

Some fields where you could see the corn coming up. The Michigan crop report said 53% of corn had emerged by May 31.

Wild daisies

Here’s some pretty, wild daisies that were growing by the side of a gravel/dirt road in Newaygo County.

Cows enjoying the summer day

Here’s some cows, big and little, enjoying the day. We saw many different animals, including deer, wild turkeys, ducks, geese…

Sandhill Cranes in Newaygo County

and these (I think they are) sandhill cranes. We’ve seen these birds several times going along a road in Newaygo Co. and I have seen several while kayaking. Again, here’s another unplowed field.

Boat launch Pickerel Lake Newaygo Co.

We noted that a number of lakes appeared to have a high water level. This was the boat launch at Pickerel Lake, with the water splashing over the edge of the pier.

High water in Newaygo Co.

You can’t see very well in the pic. above, but the trees were in the water here. It looked like the water could have been a couple feet higher than “average”. Some lakes have a controlled water level due to a small dam, but others go and up down as precipitation increases and decreases. We’ve had high precipitation over the past 5 years, including an annual record precipitation total in Grand Rapids in 2019.

Campground closed

Many of the campgrounds are still closed. Rest stops on the highways are open, BTW.

Nichols Lake in Newaygo County

This is Nichols Lake in Newaygo Co…sunshine and bright blue sky, just a few high clouds in the distance to the right of the tree in the middle of the pic. At the moment, no boats on the lake here.

Flag at Nichols Lake

Meteorologists like flags. It’s an inexpensive way to show which way and how fast the wind is blowing. Note the Crimson Maple tree on the left.

Bill at The Shack

We stopped at The Shack in Jugville (Newaygo Co.). I asked about the storm Tuesday night and they said they had spent some time cleaning up tree branches that the wind had knocked down. My hair is getting long. I read that Michigan and New Jersey are the only two states keeping salons closed at this point. We saw quite a few fish here from the pier, including a big fish that might have been a bass.

Snake in the water at The Shack

On the rocks nearby, we spotted a deceased snake…I’m just guessing this is a Northern Water Snake. It looked to be about 4 feet long.

Robinson Lake

Here’s Robinson Lake. It was just a beautiful summer day with puffy cumulus clouds in the heat of the afternoon.

Scenic overlook on M-37

We stopped for a burger in Baldwin, then headed north to the scenic overlook. This is the Hodenpyl Pond behind a dam on the Manistee River. The pond is 8.5 miles long and 1.5 miles wide. You can walk down stairs to the water, where Small Creek empties into the pond.

Getting ice cream in Traverse City

Here we are getting ice cream in Traverse City…my daughter #3 who just became state of Michigan union (CWA) rep. for Emory (part of American Airlines). The girl to my right is Yihan, how has been a music student at Interlochen. My daughter and her husband have hosted many of the Interlochen students. Yihan was supposed to stay with them for 10 days during spring break…but with the Covid-19 crisis…she can’t get home and will stay with them in Traverse City until August when she leaves to study at the Conservatory in Boston. She plays double bass and she is awesome. Maya on the right just got a special compassion award from school.

We noted that some people had masks, many didn’t. We had ours with, but wanted to get a quick picture where we could see our faces. The wind was coming into our faces as we took this pic. People in TVC were doing a pretty good job of social distancing. I had a temperature check and answered the list of questions on Wed. at a scheduled appt. Grand Traverse Co. has had just 28 confirmed cases of COVID-19, Leelanau Co. 11 cases – no fatalities and Benzie Co. 4 cases – no fatalities (compared to 3,851 cases in Kent Co.) I was driving, so I didn’t get any good pics. of the bay, but there were quite a few boats out.

Thin layer of smoke

The wind was brisk in the afternoon as we drove through Newaygo Co., but the wind died off quickly in the evening. Here, you can see a thin layer of smoke over a field south of Traverse City on the way back home.

Shortly after Sunset

This was shortly after sunset. The longest days of the year occur over the next 5 weeks. The sunrise is now at 6:04 am at the Ford Airport in G.R. and the sunset is 9:18 pm. The sun is highest in the sky (solar noon) at 1:41 pm when it is 70 degrees above the southern horizon. Now is the time to keep your sunscreen and a hat handy.

Michigan is a beautiful place to be in the summer. Thousands come here on vacation. With the virus still hanging around (in albeit a reduced capacity), it’s a good time for the family to take a drive and see the scenic beauty of our state.

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