Traverse City & Empire Bluffs, Michigan

This week, I headed north to the fingertip of everyone’s favorite mitten shaped state. A brutally cold week, left me inside far more than I would usually be. Luckily before I arrived at my destination, I had the time to check out a beautiful scenic overlook just off the road as well as a lone shack miles from anything else.


Tuesday morning, I began my day with a trip to the Old Mission lighthouse where M37 ends. The wind was blowing and the spray from the lake left icicles all over my car, beard and my lens. With the icicles that were once my fingers, I was able to take a couple photos only to realize later on that the snow and ice on my lens had obscured most.


On a quiet country road, I was lucky enough to stumble upon a small group of buffalo grazing. I’d never been this close to a buffalo before and just found myself marveling at the sheer size of them. As I approached, the herd glanced briefly at me, then went right back to grazing. The littlest one was the most intrigued by me up against their fence, but was quickly discouraged by his companions and nosed back in the direction of the pile of hay.


Far off the beaten path, I discovered an old wood covered bridge. Joshua’s Crossing was once the gateway to a small resort community built by some of the more prominent families of Lake Ann. Now, the covered bridge is only noticeable by a small sign. The bridge’s wooden skeleton looked harsh and aggressively angular in relation to the natural lines and curves of the trees surrounding it, but within the bridge all the sounds outside softened to an eerie silence with my footsteps being the lone sound.

bridgebridgewindowThe Bluffs of Empire, Michigan lie just south of the Sleeping Bear Dunes on the southern edge of the lumber city. What was once called America’s Third Coast, is a stunning combination of sand dunes, forests and beaches. A short mile and a half hike, will take you from the forests, up to the hills and up to the edge of the bluffs where the wind careens into you unimpeded off the Great Lakes.




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