Lake Michigan

Lake Michigan, the 3rd largest of the five Great Lakes, is the only one located entirely within the United States.

As it has many beaches, it has earned the nickname, “the Third Coast” of the U.S.

Lake Michigan, Hayes Township
Lake Michigan, Mackinaw City
Sunset over Lake Michigan, Wawatam Township

 

Before We Got Busted

We were having such great fun at the dog beach.

But all good things must come to an end and for us, the finale was prematurely ended by a Division of Natural Resources representative waddling over the sand to inform me someone had reported dogs were running loose on the beach.

Yes, they were, INSIDE the DESIGNATED DOG BEACH.

Obviously, I am not quite over this experience. Please note, we were the ONLY occupants in that section.

Aslan
Granger, Zoe, Aslan
Granger’s Side of the Story

Tunnel of Trees

Although I drove the “Tunnel of Trees” stretch of highway, the image that I have chosen to post isn’t from that area. ūüėÄ

“One touch of nature makes the whole world kin.”
Р William Shakespeare

Tunnel of Trees

No, It’s Not

What you think it is.

My cerebral matter was scrambled for hours after I drove past this structure not that far from Indiana Dunes National Park. I kept thinking there was no way there was a nuclear power plant RIGHT IN THE MIDDLE OF A CITY but the shape and emissions stoked my imagination until I was able to do a bit of research.

This is Michigan City’s NIPSCO gas-and coal-fired power plant – ¬†“a landmark of its own, since its huge¬†hyperboloid cooling tower makes it look like a nuclear power plant straight out of “The Simpsons.” It is actually scheduled to be decommissioned by 2028.

Perhaps not so ironically, there actually were plans to erect a nuclear power plant in the area but common sense (and a significant amount of public outrage) ensued so the project was cancelled back in 1981.

NIPSCO Plant

Attitude

Sometimes the clouds were just so phenomenal it was necessary to find some reason to stop. Interstate rest stops are perfect for such desire.

Howe Interstate Service Area

Stretch Your Legs

Traveling with 3 K9s = 4 sets of bladders and bowels which require regular maintenance regardless of geographic location.

Our favorite “duck into the woods” pit stops are those with an area sufficiently shielded from the road allowing leashes to be unhooked and if by chance, there’s a watering hole, well that just makes it perfect.¬†Thus far, I’ve been pleasantly surprised at how many “off road vehicle” roads there are available for our needs.

And then we found Bow Wow Beach in Stow, Ohio. ūüėÄ

Bow Wow Beach

Cuyahoga Valley National Park

Ohio’s National Park is relatively new, officially designated in 2000, but it has been categorized as a national recreation area since 1974 and remains the only National Park originating as a national recreation area.

I must admit, I drove right through it, only stopping to photograph the bridge. After turning around, I found a modest visitor center and the M.D. Garage, a restored 1940s gas station, which was originally built in 1946 by Marjan Dzerzynski.

Brandywine Falls was worth the (one-way) 90-stair steps.

Turnpike Bridge
M.D. Garage
Brandywine Falls

‚ÄúAt Last, Fortissimo!‚ÄĚ

It is likely, regardless of which “side” you choose to view from, Niagara Falls will impress and drench you.

I experienced the Canadian version and came away duly impressed and wet. ūüėÄ

And I must agree with the Austrian composer Gustav Mahler whose quote resulted from his visit to Niagara Falls, Mother Nature can roar.

Double rainbow across from Niagara Falls
Canadian “Horseshoe” Falls
Crossing the border back into the United States

Fort Stanwix National Monument

The Fort Stanwix National Monument caught me by surprise as I did not anticipate finding a fort in the midst of city traffic.

According to the National Park website,¬†Fort Stanwix was known as “the fort that never surrendered,” for its role in protecting the “Oneida Carrying Place, a six mile portage connecting the Mohawk River and Wood Creek, (which) served as a vital link for those traveling by water from the ocean to the Great Lakes.”

–¬†Fort Stanwix National Monument,¬†National Park Service

Fort Stanwix
Curtain Walls of Fort Stanwix