What a difference a year makes, to borrow a phrase. Last year at this time we took a drive Up North to northern Michigan and encountered exceptionally cold weather the whole week, and lots of rain as well. Today we set out again, a year later, under clear, sunny skies and a warm breeze.
Starting on Lake Michigan's southern shore, we headed north and made our way onto US Route 31. This year, our first detour was a short meander through Ludington, the eastern shore terminus of the car ferry between Wisconsin and Michigan. The "Spartan" was moored along the quay.
We resumed our northward drive and then made a second detour to cruise around in the lakeside town of Manistee, which sits on the Manistee River just before it flows into Lake Michigan.
Manistee has a small but attractive downtown, stretching a few blocks along the river. It has what appears to be a still-operational movie theater -- the "Vogue."
We continued on and a short way north of Manistee reached the starting point of Michigan's celebrated Route M22. We took it north until we stopped for a nice dinner on the terrace of the Arcadia Bluffs Golf Club clubhouse, a spot overlooking a few holes of a beautiful golf course with a stunning backdrop view of Lake Michigan.
Then it was on to Traverse City, which will be the base of our touring for the next few days.