We received an email from one of our followers, who had recently been on vacation in Michigan. She share her story about some unexpected events and sights that she encountered. and was wanting to know more about what we saw and enjoyed the most during our "Shores of Lake Michigan" workshop last summer. Amanda and I have learned that, in spite of all our planning, sometimes serendipity presents us with amazing opportunities. We try not to let our schedule blind us to "happy accidents!"
After I replied, I thought my message would make an interesting blog entry for the website, so here it is! One of my New Year resolutions is to write more blogs, so check back occasionally.
We had a great time in Michigan! We had a full house, and stayed at an historic camp lodge near Silver Lake. We traveled north and south along the coast of Lake Michigan. We were there for a week, and ran the workshop for four days.
In my mind, the two highlights of our trip would be our visit to Big Sable Lighthouse and to the little Oceana Historical Park Complex in Mears. We had an almost two-mile hike from the park out to the lighthouse, but it was a great walk, with opportunities for detail shots of the trees, dunes and more. We arrived at the lighthouse and spent a couple hours composing images of the lighthouse and surrounding property and beach...so many differing views. As the evening approached, we found positions to photograph the lighthouse with the sunset featured in the background. It had been a somewhat clear day, and we really had our doubts on getting anything striking. However, just in the last 30 minutes or so before sunset, a cloud layer moved in, the color began to grow in intensity and we had a magnificent view! We wrapped it up with a return walk in the dark, with lots of laughing and comments on the day.
Rain was forecast for our last workshop day, but we had planned to stop at the nearby community historical complex. Mears is just a small town, but they are very proud of their history. They have several building in which they have collected and preserved various articles from their past. They have a transportation building, with several antique vehicles, including an open tour car from a local beach. They have preserved the home of a local writer, who I believe was the editor of the newspaper and was also well-traveled, with lots of memorabilia. In addition, there was a small church on the property where we entered, photographed, and one of our workshoppers even played a hymn or two on the piano. We completely forgot about the rain!
We had plenty of other stops during the week, including several lighthouses during the day, mornings and at sunset; the boardwalk on the lakefront at Holland; the USS Silversides Submarine Tour & Museum; the elk ranch in Ludington (we got to touch their velvet antlers!); and the historic White Pine Village, preserving the memory of one of the earliest settlements in this part of Michigan.
We had a great time and I'm sure we will return, although I don't know when. We have some exciting locations selected for 2020, as you have seen in our newsletter. Amanda and I have already started on planning spots for 2021, and will be making several scouting trips this year in addition to the workshops. 2021 will be our tenth year offering workshops, so we are hoping for some special attractions!