Our intent was to take a weekend trip to Shawnee National Forest in Illinois, but they were calling for storms all weekend so we called our cabin reservations and asked if they could move them to a different date. They were happy to oblige so we started looking for a different destination.
The weather carries a big role in where we decide to go for a trip and this was no different. North looked like our best choice so Michigan it was. As usual, the closer our departure the more the forecast changed. Calling for rain Friday evening, but I was hoping it would hold off.
No matter how much I think I’m ready, when the time comes, it seems like there’s still a lot to do before we can leave. I’m hoping to nail down a routine that will allow things to go smoothly when preparing for our trips.
When 5:30 rolled around, the bike was packed and we were ready to go. No rain yet! Putting our helmets on and getting ready to leave, I start to see some raindrops. We had looked at the radar earlier and knew we would be getting wet so we were already wearing our rain suits. By 5:35, we were on our way and the rain began to really cut loose! A few miles down the road, I could barely see, so we decide to pull off for dinner and let the rain ease up. That worked out great because by the time we were done eating the rain had almost all but stopped. That didn’t last long, we were in and out of rain the rest of the evening. Around 9:15 we were pulling into our hotel for the night.
Saturday morning we left for Cadillac, Michigan and rode in rain off and on the entire way. Nothing too heavy so it was still enjoyable. Not very much to see as far as scenery goes. All I can say is the lower part of Michigan has a lot of trees and some very straight roads!
Sunday morning started off with a little rain too, but quickly turned to sunny skies as we approached the coast of Lake Michigan. Our first stop was the Frankfort North Breakwater Lighthouse. We walked out the pier to the lighthouse and I was amazed that the water was so clear and had a beautiful blue tint. I guess I’m used to lake Erie which doesn’t look anything like that. It was a little warm but a cool breeze came off the lake to help our comfort level.
Heading south on Michigan 22 we stopped at Arcadia overlook, also known as ‘Inspiration Point’. It’s just a couple miles north of Arcadia. There is a much better view than the one on the right if you feel like climbing the steps to get there. It was pretty crowded the day we were there and for time sake we opted to enjoy the view we had from the bottom of the steps. It’s still worth stopping.
Making our way south along the coast, we seen several parks that have something to offer the many vacationers visiting this area each year. We didn’t take the time to stop at each one because our focus was mainly on lighthouses this trip.
Our next stop was the Little Sable Point Lighthouse. This was probably my favorite part of our trip. For a small fee, we were able to climb the steps of the tower and out onto the platform. The volunteer worker mentioned that we were very fortunate to have the platform to ourselves, usually there are more people up there.
The view from top was awesome and being able to share that with my wife made it that much better! Like I said, this was the highlight of the trip for me. So, if you get the chance, take time to stop by and climb the steps to the top. Hopefully you will love it as much as I did.
When pulling into the parking lot for Little Sable, the attendant explained we wouldn’t have to pay because they ran out of tickets. I’m not sure the cost but paying to park, then paying to climb the lighthouse steps could get a little costly.
Continuing south, we dropped down to White Lake where the White River Lighthouse Museum is located. Fortunately we didn’t have to pay for parking here. When we entered the lighthouse a lady asked us if we were there to see the lights and since we wanted to walk up the lighthouse, we said yes. It cost us $5 per person and that allowed us to climb to top of lighthouse and go through the museum. The museum is fairly small, which is evident from the size of the building but had a few interesting items and information. The disappointment was at the top of the lighthouse. It was very hot and completely enclosed. They did have a small fan to circulate the air but it didn’t help much. I guess I was expecting it to be similar to Little Sable Point. It was nice to be able to go up top for the view but we couldn’t stay up there long due to the heat. Maybe if it was cooler out then my opinion might be different. It was starting to get late and I was hungry so we figured we better find a room for the night.
This is our last day of the trip and I didn’t want it to end, so I figured we would make one last stop at St. Joseph North Pier Lighthouse. Before that we had to take care of business, breakfast! We looked up on Google, like most tech savvy people would do and we came up with Anna’s House. You never know what to expect when dining somewhere unfamiliar but we were very pleased! The place had a great atmosphere, the staff was very friendly and plenty of menu choices, even for people with dietary restrictions. We received a large amount of food and I was only able to eat just over half my breakfast. Sharing a meal wouldn’t have been out of the question. Next time we are in the area, we will definitely be stopping at Anna’s House!
After a great breakfast we were on our way to St. Joseph North Pier Lighthouse. This was another spot we had to pay for parking. There wasn’t an attendant just a machine. Give it money and you get a parking pass in return. We enjoyed walking out on the pier to see the lighthouse, spent a short time enjoying our surroundings then back to the bike. Knowing we had a long ride ahead, we didn’t want to spend too much time there.
Our plan was to take all highway back home. We actually spent a lot of time on highways this weekend and it really wasn’t too bad. I don’t like it around major cities but where we were at, traffic was at a minimum so the ride was fairly relaxed. Traffic around Indianapolis was heavier than I would prefer but we made it through.
Stopping for lunch just outside of the city and then one last jaunt home. Just a little over three days and 1,083 miles. We had a great trip and learned a few things about riding in the rain.
|Garden of the Gods Illinois|
|Breaks Interstate Park|
|Pennsylvania and West Virginia|
|Indiana River Ride|