. Our next stop was Leand, or Fish Town, where we picnicked on the beach, looked at all the beautiful items made of Petoskey stones (fossilized coral) and Leland Blue stones (impurities from ore processing), and bought cheese curds (they squeak when you chew them, if they are at room temperature). We next hiked to an absolutely stunning lookout point over Lake Michigan, where you could see blue water and sky for miles. Our last bit of Lake Michigan scenery before actually getting to swim in it, was an amazing scenic drive through the Michigan woods to lookout points not only of the water, but also of the huge sand dunes. At the town of Empire, we swam! We flew right in; the water was cold, but not glacial and the bottom was nothing but sandy ripples. A relaxing way to end a great day.
Today we got to be Fudgies, aka tourists in Michigan. We packed a picnic lunch and headed out to explore Traverse City and the surrounding areas. Our first stop was downtown Traverse City, where we walked around the farmers market; while small in comparison to the Pike Place Market, it had it's own charm, including a Mennonite or Amish family selling their homegrown honey, maple syrup, and vegetables. We also did some window shopping along the main drag, saw the theatre that Michael Moore revamped, and walked along the Open Space, which included a little train engineered by a Vietnam vet/retired gynecologist. From there we headed up to an old lighthouse in Leelanau State Park, which included a lego version of the old lighthouse, some really neat garden sculptures, a beautiful rocky shoreline, and a new lighthouse(?). After a stop at a completely unmarked random building along the side of the road, which we could only assume was some kind of small airport because of the room full of bicycles labeled "airport security," we proceeded south along the Lake Michigan shoreline