Breathing Lake Michigan — Ludington to Traverse City

View of Lake Michigan from the dune outlook at Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore in Michigan. Photo by Barbara Newhall. Barbara Falconer Newhall travels up and down Michigan's lower peninsula, visiting friends and family and putting on book events for "Wrestling with God."

This 10,000-year-old dune at Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore near Traverse City rises about 600 feet above Lake Michigan. A sign discourages visitors from doing what this man is doing — descending the hillside. Climbing back up takes even the fittest of climbers a couple of hours. Notice the curved horizon. The lake is big, 100 miles across, and it seems my camera’s wide lens captured the Earth’s curve — or did it distort an otherwise flat horizon? Photo by Barbara Newhall.

By Barbara Falconer Newhall

The best thing about going on a road trip all by yourself is — you can brake for a photo op any time you want.

I invited my husband along on my 12-day sojourn to my home state of Michigan, but Jon was closing in on the final grafs of the final chapter of his thriller novel, and he was eager to stay home and get the job done.

Barbara Falconer Newhall travels up and down Michigan's lower peninsula, visiting friends and family and putting on book events for "Wrestling with God."

Photo by Barbara Newhall

And so,  a GPS was my only company as I drove my rental car up and down and across Michigan’s lower peninsula. It was wonderful.

Being on my own meant I could linger over cups of coffee and conversation with cousins and friends.

It also meant that I could ignore my GPS and exit the freeway any time I wanted. I could brake for windmills, corn fields, cumulus clouds, and, of course, the prettiest lake in the world — Lake Michigan.

I could breathe the air coming in off the lake.

Never seen Lake Michigan? Never walked its sandy beaches or breathed its watery breezes? Put it on your bucket list. You’re in for a treat.

Here are a few of the Lake Michigan photos I grabbed along the way with my trusty point-and-shoot.

View of Lake MIchigan through trees atop a dune at Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore. Photo by Barbara Newhall. Barbara Falconer Newhall travels up and down Michigan's lower peninsula, visiting friends and family and putting on book events for "Wrestling with God."

Small trees and dune grass help hold the fragile sandy dunes in place at Sleeping Bear. Photo by Barbara Newhall.

Sunset light reflected on a channel leading into Lake Michigan near Ludington. Photo b Barbara Newhall Barbara Falconer Newhall travels up and down Michigan's lower peninsula, visiting friends and family and putting on book events for "Wrestling with God."

Sunset light reflects on a channel leading into Lake Michigan near Ludington. Photo by Barbara Newhall

Trees reflected in the water of a channle leading into Lake Michigan near Ludington. Photo by Barbara Newhall Barbara Falconer Newhall travels up and down Michigan's lower peninsula, visiting friends and family and putting on book events for "Wrestling with God."

I didn’t colorize this photo. Honest. . .

Beach grass at sunset on Lake Michigan's eastern coast. Photo by Barbara Newhall Barbara Falconer Newhall travels up and down Michigan's lower peninsula, visiting friends and family and putting on book events for "Wrestling with God."

. . . . or this one either. Photos by Barbara Newhall

Footprints in the clean white sand on Lake Michigan's eastern shore. Photo by Barbara Newhall. Barbara Falconer Newhall travels up and down Michigan's lower peninsula, visiting friends and family and putting on book events for "Wrestling with God."

Lots of people had walked the shore of the Big Lake ahead of me that day. Photo by Barbara Newhall

Barbara Falconer Newhall, author of Wrestling with God, is photographed on a Lake Michigan beach. Barbara Falconer Newhall travels up and down Michigan's lower peninsula, visiting friends and family and putting on book events for "Wrestling with God."

And one of them took time out from sunset watching to snap this photo. Barbara Newhall photo

More travel stories at “The Funky Charms of East Austin, Texas” and “For China’s Young Fashionistas, the Cultural Revolution Is So Over.”

 

 

 

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  1. ginger rothe says:

    gorgeous photographs! pure michigan, which i visited in june.

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