Saturday, June 29, 2013

Michigan M119 Tunnel of Trees

Part of our trip to Michigan was retracing some of the places we went when I was a child. A child of a father who loved to go for a drive. Who taught us to camp and enjoy sitting by the campfire.

The section of road I especially wanted to drive is Highway M-119 (Lake Shore Drive) north of Harbor Springs - probably the most scenic road in the State of Michigan. It is narrow and runs along a bluff overlooking Lake Michigan - called the Tunnel of Trees, which stretches for 20 miles.

Along the way you glimpse the Lake, the shore is rocky part of the way and sandy the rest.

One of the images from my memory from 55 years ago is the old church at Middle Village, on the shoreline below Good hart. As a child I was fascinated by the fact that we could see the roof below us (I grew up in FLAT southern Michigan).

To get there follow US 31 north of Harbor Springs turn left on M119. Soon your start to sense the tunnel with trees on both sides, close to the road. Along the way you can see Beaver Island from some of the view points on a clear day.

There is a real sharp turn on a hill I remember too from my childhood and got a thrill this time too going around it.

M119 ends at Cross Village. Somewhere between there and Macinaw City there is a bottle fence, or was a bottle fence. I asked everyone I saw about it and no one knew until we, by chance, met someone later in the trip  that remembered it as well, but he too could not remember its location.

In Cross Village there is Legs inn, a Polish restaurant that we went to on one of the many trips with my folks.

For more about the Leg's Inn's history follow this link
Here are a few of my photos from along the way.

We then spent the night in Charlevoix where I used to do art shows in this very spot.
This was a very special part of our trip to Michigan, it brought back so many memories.

There will be a few more posts from the trip, like our visit to Berea, KY and up through the Leelanau Peninsula which included a visit to our newest artist Steve Palmer! Who I'll do a post about as soon as his work arrives. He does very funky fish sculptures and fused glass.

I will have to say I do not miss how overcast Michigan usually is, don't miss the snow and cold (I don't think there is as much snow as there used to be), and don't miss the fact that pretty much all industry is connected to the auto industry in one way or the other but I realize after being gone for 30 years how beautiful it is and how much I enjoyed being around family.

Next in series - Quilt Barns

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