We crossed the Mighty Mac Bridge fully expecting gale force winds threatening to hurl us off the roadway to the water more than 150 feet below. But no, the entire length was under construction (painting) so we crept across at about 25 miles per hour on the inside lane. At that it took almost 15 minutes to get across. It is a metal grate roadway, lots of noise and side to side wiggling. Pretty weird. We didn’t take any pictures but will turn on the dash cam on the trip north.
I 75 going south was under construction (not painting) so we followed the lake shore around to Petoskey and down to Charlevoix. Petoskey is a pretty big city with lots of big houses, big boats in the big harbor and lots of traffic. There was a bike trail along the highway that started before Petoskey and went almost all the way to Charlevoix.
Charlevoix is a much smaller town right on the shore of Lake Michigan on one side and Lake Charlevoix on the other side. There is a navigation channel from the smaller lake to the big lake. A lift bridge spans the channel and opens on the hour and half hour. There is a moderate boat marina, a busy main street with lots of tourist stuff. It looked pretty nice. When we first went through the traffic was slow but steady.
Just past Charlevoix we turned mostly south along Lake Charlevoix to Ironton where the South Arm of Lake Charlevoix branches off. The South Arm is mostly a big wide section of the Jordan River. Plenty big enough for sailing and lots of power boats. It reminded us of Lake Pepin, a big wide part of the Mississippi River about 60 miles downstream from us.
Ironton is at the narrowest part of the South Arm. There is a ferry that crosses to the central peninsula.
When we crossed one day we didn’t have to wait more then a few minutes. Four cars at a time, maybe 200 ft across. Back and forth. The ferry acquired nationwide fame in 1936, when Ripley’s Believe it or Not! listed it’s captain for traveling 15,000 miles while never being more than 1,000 feet from his home.
This day there was quite a wait.
The Tourist Park is run by the city of East Jordan and has about 80 RV sites with full hookups. Nothing fancy but right on the South Arm, a boat launch, boat slips, a swimming beach, ball fields, basket ball courts, tennis courts. And across the street Marty’s Dairy Grill. Kind of like a Dairy Queen but they had great burgers and KFC like chicken as well. The place is a walk up – eat out place, always busy.
Here we are ready for the day.
There were swans swimming.
And Flamingos floating.
And whirling things to ride on.
There were interesting skies every day.
And a friendly well stocked Farmers Market. We got great local peaches, potatoes, beans, some squash and zucchini and more. All local and fresh.
Our last day at East Jordan coincided with the annual Portside Arts Fair at Elm Pointe Park. This has been an annual event for more than 50 years.
There were several dozen local vendors showing and selling a wide variety of artwork and craft items. We always enjoy these shows just to see what people create. The Elm Pointe Park was the Munroe estate which was donated to the city of East Jordan by the Westgate family in 1972.
The original home is still used for special events. One of the out buildings is now the local history museum.
It must have been quite a grand place on the South Arm with trees and shade and lawns and beach.
Tomorrow we head further south to South Haven where it is time for the Annual Blueberry Festival.
While we were in East Jordan we also visited Petoskey and Charlevoix, two cities on Lake Michigan but otherwise quite different. I will post some on each of those coming up.
Last year I read a book by Pat Conroy which included many of his blog posts. It was very clear that the people in his life that made up the essence of many of his stories were among the key ingredients of who he was and what he believed. He ended each blog post with “Much Love”. It is what I feel sharing these adventures with all of you who are key parts of our lives. So …
More later with Much Love,
Roger and Susan