Tag Archives: Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore

Wildflowers and the dunes

A wildflower in the spring is an announcement of the approaching summer…

Saturday evening, I took Diana for a ride through Wild Cherry Resort on the golf cart, as she had not seen the outer reaches of the property.  Towards the back of the golf driving range, we discovered a sea of wildflowers blooming.

We saw this trillium, one of the first to open.  There are hundreds more that are ready to go.

The Dutchman’s Breeches were everywhere.  Notice how they look like they are hanging on a clothes line.

While the trees have yet to show their leaves, the weather is outstanding!

From the back of the range, you can literally see for miles.  This vista is looking to the south.

The setting sun in the leafless trees is a mid-spring treat in Northern Michigan!

Afterwards, we drove down into the lower woods and checked out the tent sites and the yurt.  Along the way, we spied more flowers.


I am fairly certain that this is Bloodroot that has not fully opened.

We headed back up to the office to drop off the cart.  We have to be careful pulling into the cart storage, as a robin has found a nice place to build her nest.

Good thing the resort owns more than one ladder!  Momma robin has 4 eggs in there.

On Sunday, Diana and I took a drive down the Lake Michigan shore to the town of Empire.  That is where the visitor’s center is for Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore.  We were in need of our annual All-Access Pass, which gets the two of us into any national park for the next year.  At $80, we feel it is an amazing bargain.  After securing our pass, we headed back up the shore to our destination for the day: Pyramid Point.  This particular dune forms the western arm of Good Harbor Bay.

The 1 mile crushed gravel trail starts out fairly level through a grassy plain.

Further into the woods, the trail steepens.  This photo is deceiving, as the temperature was 79 degrees!

Diana spotted Yellow Trout Lily blooming along the trail.

Once at the top, this sign gave ample warning as to what lay ahead….

Per my iPhone compass, we were 420 feet above the surface of the lake.

Diana found some firm footing for a photo….

….as did I.  🙂

While we were there, the Philip R. Clarke steamed by.  This ship is a sister and fleetmate to the Arthur M. Anderson, which was the ship that was following the Edmund Fitzgerald when it sank in Lake Superior.  Both ships are 767 feet long and can haul 25,300 pounds of cargo.  We are able to follow ship passages on the Great Lakes Seaway and Shipping website, making vessel identification a breeze.

This area also is home to many shipwrecks, and there are several lighthouses that aid in navigating the waters.

Here is the Manitou Passage Crib Lighthouse….

…and the South Manitou Lighthouse further in the distance.  We hope to further explore this sentinal later this summer.

After leaving Pyramid Point, we headed east along the shore to the beach at the end of Bohemian Road on Good Harbor Bay.

This is a wide, sweeping bay that faces due north.  

Even with the prevailing southwest winds clocking in at 30 miles an hour on Sunday, the water at the shore was dead calm….hence the name “Good Harbor”. The rocks extend a few feet and then the bottom is sandy.

As you can see in this distance shot, the water was a bit choppier farther out.

From this point, we were able to see northward along the western shore of the Leelanau Penninsula.  The town of Leland is up along there somewhere.  That is where we saw the sunset from the other night in our previous post.

For the first few days of May in this area, the weather has been marvelous. As the wildflowers have announced, Spring has definitely arrived in Leelanau County!