Traverse City, Michigan, is the largest city in Michigan's north, and it sits beside the beautiful Grand Traverse Bay. It's a popular vacation destination with its annual cherry and film festivals and offers a number of cultural activities. It's also known for its Michigan wines and the many vineyards on the Mission Peninsula. Most of the photos here show the beauty of that area.
My reason for visiting on a beautiful, mid-September farewell was to attend a final farewell to one of my graduate advisors, Keith Adler. Keith was a great guy -- a warm, wonderful fellow with a wonderful sense of humor, a beloved professor and a generous soul with grand humor. When I first retired, I did a northern Michigan "retirement tour" to query other retirees of my acquaintance with their best tips for having an enriching retirement. Keith and his wife, Carol, were on my list.
The wonderful afternoon I spent with them is etched in my memory, enjoying a delightful lunch and Keith's delicious baking along with lively conversation at their lakeside home. When I left, Keith attached a screw to my front bumper, dangling and held up with duct tape. That screw has held for nine years!
I picked up my friend and former work colleague, Mike, and we attended the memorial, which was held in the garden of Carol's sister. It was one of the most touching afternoons I've spent in a long while, meeting members of Keith and Carol's families and reveling in wonderful memories. When we left, Carol gave us each a jade plant, a starter from one of Keith's. (He was a horticulturalist before he was an advertising guru!)
It was great spending time with Mike, who moved to Traverse a couple of years ago. I hadn't seen him since the pandemic (apart from our lunch group Zoom gatherings). He took me on a tour of the area. It's all beautiful but the prettiest part is Mission Peninsula.
The peninsula is home to many of northern Michigan's wineries. OK, I'm not big on Michigan wines. We don't have the climate to grow a good red to save our souls and I'm not fond of the fruity varieties. That said, I have had a few perfectly adequate white wines.
I love the neat order of the grapevines that seem to line most of the roadway.
The only downside of the peninsula is when there is a lot of traffic. (Don't go on a weekend!) And you may well end up behind this vehicle which does affect the forward view!
This wasn't my first trip to the peninsula. A few years ago, Rick took me to Traverse City to tour the former Northern Michigan Asylum where my great grandfather spent the last 13 years of his life. On that trip we also drove out to the tip of the peninsula. I loved the lighthouse there and the view. So, after Mike and I enjoyed an early dinner and lots of good talk, I headed home and decided I'd go back out that way for another look.
The Mission Point lighthouse was decommissioned in 1933 and had a rough go of it for some time with vandalism and creature infestation. When Peninsula Township purchased the building in 1948, they began to restore the structure. It now houses a gift shop (closed when I visited, both times!)
The lighthouse overlooks an expansive beach. On this day, the sun was low but many were still enjoying the warm September hours of early evening.
Also on the property is a restored cabin built in the mid-1950s by early settlers. It was moved to the park and furnished in the 1990s to show visitors how early settlers lived.
Although it was closed (again!) I was able to capture some views from the windows.
And yes, I wanted the quilt!
I'm not big on driving the up-north two-lane roads after dark and it was getting that way, so I was off. As I was driving along I couldn't help but notice the astoundingly beautiful almost-full Harvest Moon. It was almost a driving hazard, as when it came into view I could hardly take my eyes off of it! The only chance I had to get a photo (and a pretty awful one at that!) was at a light in Kalkaska (I didn't feel safe stopping along the road to shoot it!).
When I got home it was mostly sheltered by trees and the results were unremarkable.
They temperatures dropping big-time here up north.. It's now officially fall and I should be neither disappointed or surprised -- but yes, I am sad. I'm grateful to have had this wonderful day and the opportunity to both see one good friend and bid a final farewell to another.
Almost time to bundle up -- but in my brain, I'll still be thinking summer!