Lake Michigan - Beaver Island (St. James), Petoskey, Harbor Springs, MI

We have now transited all of the Great Lakes; Lake Ontario, Lake Erie, Lake Huron, Lake Superior and Lake Michigan. So perhaps a couple of jaw-dropping quick facts would be appropriate at this point. These 10,000 year old lakes were formed at the end of the last ice age and as the glaciers melted approximately 14,000 years ago they retreated north and left deep depressions in the ground, which over time then filled with water. The Great Lakes contain 6,000,000,000,000,000 (six quadrillion) gallons of water. Enough to cover the contiguous U.S. in almost 10 feet of water. They supply 20 percent of the world’s fresh water and 84 percent of North America’s. The total surface area is almost 95,000 square miles, bigger than the combined area of the U.K. These huge lakes have tides, however small, measuring less than five centimeters twice a day. Alright, I will stop there…

We have a nice cruise with a little rain and chop as we enter Lake Michigan and dock at Beaver Island (40NM) Municipal Marina and have a pleasant time in this little town. Historically, the town was a fishing village that ran out of fish and fast forward to today, their livelihood comes from tourism. If you are looking for a busy port this is not the place to stop but it does have a nice pub called the ‘Shamrock’ with a great bartender ‘Erica’. The town even has a brewery ‘Whiskey Point Brewing Company LLC’ along with a nice bike trail with lovely scenery. We move on to Petoskey (31NM) named after a prominent merchant and landowner, Chief Ignatius Petosgay. What a sweet, tourist friendly town with a great Bayfront Park. The history of this town is similar to those mentioned recently but by 1874 Petoskey had trains arriving three times a week, bringing thousands of people from cities like Indianapolis, Chicago, Cincinnati and Detroit. Visitors built summer cottages or joined summer resorts. Ernest Hemingway (born in Oak Park, Illinois) began summering in Petoskey in 1900. The trains no longer run but summer tourists still flock here to enjoy the waterfront, restaurants, breweries and gas light district with shops and bars...we do the same. A quick jump across the bay the next day to Harbor Springs (3NM) a very picturesque town with beautiful homes and an amazing harbor. We cruise the town on bikes and foot and enjoy this lovely place.

‘Mighty Mac’ the Mackinac Bridge

‘Mighty Mac’ the Mackinac Bridge

Leaving Mackinac Island heading to Beaver Island. The main towers of the Mackinac Bridge rise more than 550 feet above the Straits of Mackinac. The cables, composed of thousands of strands of wire tightly wrapped together, are anchored in giant concrete blocks, which are 8,614 feet apart.

Leaving Mackinac Island heading to Beaver Island. The main towers of the Mackinac Bridge rise more than 550 feet above the Straits of Mackinac. The cables, composed of thousands of strands of wire tightly wrapped together, are anchored in giant concrete blocks, which are 8,614 feet apart.

Larry finds a friend outside the Shamrock. on Beaver Island. Peaches is in love with Larry…his parents (fellow Loopers - Sean & Natalie of M/V Alegria) are not so sure…

Larry finds a friend outside the Shamrock. on Beaver Island. Peaches is in love with Larry…his parents (fellow Loopers - Sean & Natalie of M/V Alegria) are not so sure…

Our lunch time stop on the bike ride on Beaver Island

Our lunch time stop on the bike ride on Beaver Island

Look closely and you will see the water snake warming himself on the rock. This snake is at least two feet in length and quite fat and happy at the Beaver Island Municipal Marina

Look closely and you will see the water snake warming himself on the rock. This snake is at least two feet in length and quite fat and happy at the Beaver Island Municipal Marina

The first time I have seen Monarch butterfly caterpillars in their natural habitat feeding on milkweed. There are three caterpillars in this image

The first time I have seen Monarch butterfly caterpillars in their natural habitat feeding on milkweed. There are three caterpillars in this image

First stop at Petoskey is the Beards brewery

First stop at Petoskey is the Beards brewery

Beards has a great Cream Ale called Wunderbrau. Nice and light at 4.4% ABV

Beards has a great Cream Ale called Wunderbrau. Nice and light at 4.4% ABV

This place is quite unexpected…

This place is quite unexpected…

Mitchell St. Pub has serious character…and peanuts

Mitchell St. Pub has serious character…and peanuts

and they serve food as well

and they serve food as well

The old railroad (non operational) still runs through this beautiful park in Petoskey

The old railroad (non operational) still runs through this beautiful park in Petoskey

This statue of Ernest Miller Hemingway is based on a 1920 photo near this spot that shows him ready to depart Petoskey for a job in Toronto. Prior to this he summered at a small cottage on Walloon Lake named ‘Windemere”.

This statue of Ernest Miller Hemingway is based on a 1920 photo near this spot that shows him ready to depart Petoskey for a job in Toronto. Prior to this he summered at a small cottage on Walloon Lake named ‘Windemere”.

The City Park Grill is one of Hemingway’s old haunts. So we must go in for a look and a beer

The City Park Grill is one of Hemingway’s old haunts. So we must go in for a look and a beer

The bar at The City Park Grill is classic and our bartender ,Kayla, was fantastic.

The bar at The City Park Grill is classic and our bartender ,Kayla, was fantastic.

Hemingway stayed at Stafford’s Perry Hotel quite often while visiting Petoskey. Built in 1899 the hotel boasted steam heat, electric service, a barber shop, a buffet restaurant and a newsstand. The Perry also advertised as the only fireproof hotel in town. Its brick construction, a novelty at the time, contributed to its survival.

Hemingway stayed at Stafford’s Perry Hotel quite often while visiting Petoskey. Built in 1899 the hotel boasted steam heat, electric service, a barber shop, a buffet restaurant and a newsstand. The Perry also advertised as the only fireproof hotel in town. Its brick construction, a novelty at the time, contributed to its survival.

The Arts Center is quite lovely

The Arts Center is quite lovely

The original library was built with Carnegie funds in 1905 and now is part of the Arts Center. When living in Petoskey in 1919, this library was a favorite place of Hemingway’s.

The original library was built with Carnegie funds in 1905 and now is part of the Arts Center. When living in Petoskey in 1919, this library was a favorite place of Hemingway’s.

The ‘new’ library built in the 1920’s

The ‘new’ library built in the 1920’s

I love these little ‘mini’ libraries, especially this one…

I love these little ‘mini’ libraries, especially this one…

The Catholic Church in Petoskey

The Catholic Church in Petoskey

The older wood buildings in Petoskey burned but the brick remains

The older wood buildings in Petoskey burned but the brick remains

Our end-tie at Harbor Springs Municipal Marina

Our end-tie at Harbor Springs Municipal Marina

The inner harbor is the epitome of the new vs. the old

The inner harbor is the epitome of the new vs. the old

Gorgeous homes with beautiful gardens

Gorgeous homes with beautiful gardens

Right along the harbor…properly themed with anchor motifs

Right along the harbor…properly themed with anchor motifs

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The Harbor Springs Yacht Club was holding a sailing school today

The Harbor Springs Yacht Club was holding a sailing school today

Excuse me for posting more beautiful homes

Excuse me for posting more beautiful homes

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The Independence from the Bluffs. A great view of the town, harbor and Petoskey in the distance

The Independence from the Bluffs. A great view of the town, harbor and Petoskey in the distance

Another gorgeous home on the Bluffs

Another gorgeous home on the Bluffs

Such a lovely plack, I had to include it

Such a lovely plack, I had to include it

Ephraim Shay’s home, steel plates and all

Ephraim Shay’s home, steel plates and all