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Livin' out here on "The Leelanau": The Road Wearier 1978. Highway to Hell!

Aw, I'm just using a sensational headline for a teaser. Today we're gonna take a bike ride out to the Leelanau State Park, located in Leelanau Township, right at the tip of Leelanau Peninsula, which of course is part of Leelanau County. And its certainly part of "The Leelanau". Thats a lot of Leelanaus, huh? Its about two and a half miles from my house. Lets hit the road, then.

The road on the right goes into my subdivision. The long straight road heads due north for about a mile, then jogs slightly, and heads north again to the State Park entrance.

Here's that little jog...it goes to the west a bit.

And here's another long straight stretch, about a mile and a quarter. This leads right to the park.

Here's a cool looking gate that leads into a cherry orchard. Most of the orchards are fenced to keep out the deer. The cherry harvest is now complete for the year. Never ask a cherry farmer if he had a good year. He'll always tell you it was a very poor year. The only way you can kinda guage how he did is by assessing the value of the new pickup he buys.

Heres a little roadside fruit stand. Today it had local peaches, the first I've seen for sale this year. They need to ripen a little yet, but should be good very soon.

Here I am....I made it to the State Park. I asked some people strolling by to take my picture. Note that the sign, which is only a couple of years old, is made with "stick-em' stones", despite that fact that the nearby beach consists of nothing but stones this size. Its cheaper to build a sign like this, I guess.

Here's the new entry station. Only motorized vehicles have to pay to get in. I do have an annual sticker on my car, and it gets me in to any state park in Michigan.

Lets swing down into the campground for a quick tour. This is a primative facility. There is no running water, electricity, flush toilets or showers. Needless to say, no computer portals are available either. I honestly don't know what fat kids and teenage girls do while here with their families.

For those who prefer some creature comforts, there are three units like this that can be used, for an additional premium over the going rate for a regular campsite.

This is an example of the typical "vault" toilet you'll find here. They are now "unisex", rather than the old "his" and "hers", or "outboards" and "inboards", or "stags" and "does". (heh, heh, heh, a little Northern Michigan humor there)

Most of the camp sites are not on the shore, but a few are like this one. There is no sandy beach here....its swampy, and then leads to a very rocky beach. Its not the greatest for swimming here, but there is another unit to the state park that has a beautiful sandy beach. We'll take a look at that another time.

This is the site of the original lighthouse. Its hard to tell from this photo, but there is a pronounced depression beyond this barrier, which was excavated a few years ago to confirm that this was indeed the original site.

Now lets move on the the existing Grand Traverse Lighthouse and take a quick look.

Its hard to get a good picture of the lighthouse and the water, but this gives an idea of what it looks like. The GrandTraverse Lighhouse is located on state park land, and is leased to, and maintained by, a separate non-profit group. We'll visit the Grand Traverse Lighthouse a little more closely another time.

Now, its time to pedal on back home....its mid afternoon, and another hot and humid day here on "The Leelanau".

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Comment by Quinn on August 2, 2010 at 5:55pm
So, where we going next?
I'm living vicariously through you now...
Comment by Stir Young on August 2, 2010 at 4:28pm
Hi Quinn. Yup!
Comment by Quinn on August 1, 2010 at 1:06pm
Is this the lighthouse where you cut the grass?
Comment by Stir Young on July 29, 2010 at 3:13pm
Hi All! Thanks for your nice comments. I just got back from another bicycle jaunt, and will be reporting in again soon. Yup Robbie, we sure do get frost heaves. That portion of the road is pretty high though....it doesn't seem to take a real bad beating in winter.
Comment by CWO3ROBBIE on July 29, 2010 at 1:29pm
Stir, The road looks like it is in real good shape. Not like the ones around here. Guess you don't have any huge heavy oil drilling rigs running back and forth. Do you get "Frost Heaves"?
It was a good tour.
Comment by D. D. Olson on July 29, 2010 at 5:52am
I enjoyed the tour, Stir. (I laughed at the line about how to tell if the cherry tree owner had a good year!)
Comment by Chez moi on July 29, 2010 at 1:36am
Thanks for the ride, Gary! Your pink saddlebag is very comfortable.

I like the nice solid, foursquare look of the lighthouse.
Comment by Bull on July 28, 2010 at 6:21pm
Very Cool.
Thank You



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