Thursday, May 29, 2008

Great Lakes Shipwreck Museum

If you are interested in maritime history, then the Great Lakes Shipwreck Museum is a great place to visit! It is located in Paradise, Michigan in the Upper Peninsula - surrounded by Lake Superior shoreline. Within the complex, there is the museum, the Lightower at Whitefish Point which is still in operation, gift shops with great nautical treasures and a sandy beach to feel the breeze of the Lake.
In the museum, there are exhibits and artifacts from the Lake Superior shipwrecks, including the legendary Edmund Fitzgerald. I had always been intrigued by the tragic story of the Edmund Fitzgerald shipwreck (November 10, 1975) and wanted to see the memorial bell. Prior to visiting the museum, they have a "movie house" where they show a documentary about the Edmund Fitzgerald and has family members recounting stories about their lost love ones. One of the most touching and emotional parts about the documentary is when the expedition group (Nat'l Geographic Society, Canadian Navy and Sault Sainte Marie Tribe of Chippewa Indians) bring the 200 pound bronze bell up from the shipwreck site at the family's request in 1995. They then sent a new one down into the water inscribed with each of the lost crew member's names. The documentary is a great prelude to seeing the actual bell. When I saw it, it was a very emotional and powerful experience. Say a prayer for all who work on the sea.

To visit and for more information:
Great Lakes Shipwreck Museum
18335 N. Whitefish Point
Paradise, Michigan

Sunday, May 18, 2008

Hunting for Morel Mushrooms in Michigan

It is that time of year to go hunting for Morel Mushrooms in Northern Michigan! My friend E.B. who is located near the Thompsonville vicinity - found about 2 lbs worth this past week. (I am not allowed to reveal the secret location - per E.B. there are a lot of mushroom poachers.) Look how beautiful his Morels look in the photos above. Typically between the months of March and April is when the northern Michigan Morel season begins and May is when it peaks. E.B. found most of his mushrooms near the Ash and Cherry trees. His advice "best to walk slow and look all around you. If you find one, stay in that location and look good, usually more. The dark ones come out first and in a couple of weeks the white ones pop out!!" E.B. likes to bread and fry his in butter.
If you've never hunted for Morel Mushrooms before, it is extremely wise to go with someone who's a seasoned hunter. You do not want to get mushroom poisoning as it can be life threatening! Two great web sites I found with loads of information on Michigan's Morel Mushrooms are and . Happy Hunting!

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Afternoon in Petoskey

Greg & I spent a great afternoon in Petoskey this weekend. Petoskey is a quaint small town located on the shores of Lake Michigan's Little Traverse Bay. We ate at Whitecaps restaurant and had the best fish and chips I've ever tasted in my life. The whitefish was encrusted with this cornflake batter and was just very tender and flavorful. From our table we had a great view of Little Traverse Bay, I could have sat there all afternoon looking out at the sparkling blue water.
Petoskey is a great place to shop as well - Grandpa Shorter's was my favorite to pick up things for our log cabin. Another great find was Valerie Thomson's studio and fine art gallery . There were many impressionistic paintings - quite a few of the local scene in Petoskey. Additionally we found out she paints from photographs for customers. I am so excited about having something so personal painted so beautifully. I will be shooting "across the lake" shots of our log cabin for a painting. After our great finds, we went for a walk at Bayfront Park - the perfect place to view the bay. Petoskey is a great place to spend a Saturday afternoon walking, eating, shopping and enjoying the views.

Monday, May 5, 2008

Images from Hartwick Pines State Park

I know I've posted previously about Hartwick Pines State Park in Grayling, but I just think it's a wonderful place to experience. I went this past weekend, and even though it was a little rainy, we were still able to do a 2 mile hike. I've included images from the walking trails and the logging museum. Some of these trees are over 300 years old! When you are walking down the trail, the smell of the trees just fills your senses. And when you look up the full length of the towering trees, you realize how small you really are. On July 19 and 20, Hartwick will be having their Woodshaving days. For more information on Hartwick Pines State Park: