Missing Michigan

My first up close encounter with a Great Lake. Looking into Lake Michigan at Ludington North Breakwater Lighthouse.


 Missing Michigan

It’s a strange thing to drive two thousand miles through one state and expect to see it through the window of a GMC Yukon.  My traveling companions find this the safest of places, sitting in the back seat, not having to make decisions, or touch and smell the world beyond the safety glass. I feel claustrophobic watching Michigan fly by me at 75 miles an hour. 

I guess some people would rather drive around for an hour looking for a particular kind of ATM but cant’ take the time to visit one of the world’s most famous lighthouses. Or would rather drive around taking photos of park signs without visiting the park. Or think that the place you are in, so stunningly beautiful, looks better in brochures. And water, surrounded by the greatest of lakes, is just water not worth looking at. I’m told the birds are just “ordinary birds” but they don’t see the eagle soaring above us, the kingfisher diving just there off to the left, or the loon bobbing along to the right. 

They sit in the car rather than watching the sun set on the Pictured Rocks, stones telling stories of light as the seconds pass.

I can’t share in this callous regard for the world.

There were so many pictures not taken.
So many experiences not placed.
So many opportunities to just be in THAT place, that extraordinary place, missed.

There is no real travel unless you put your feet on the ground searching out its soul.

I was told not to wander. I had to steal moments, surreptitiously sliding the shackles off my shutter finger and dodging the chains they tried to place on my heart. 

I succeeded sometimes in cursory greetings like:

Detroit. I think I like you. There’s no there there but there’s a here there. But there are so many holes. 

Lake Michigan, it would have been nice to be better acquainted but one toe dipped in a pebbled pool isn’t much of an encounter. 

Lake Superior, your moods fit mine. 

Lake Huron, you are a study in contrasts needing to be dived into. 

And the Michigan woods, waterways, and wild creatures within, I missed you entirely. 

I’m the lesser for it.






Looking into Lake Michigan at Ludington North Breakwater Lighthouse.


Getting the briefest glimpses of a beach and sticking a toe in Lake Michigan, Glen Arbor

Lake Superior being bipolar. Near Marquette.

Raining in the distance. Lake Superior near Marquette.

Lake Superior shifting moods. Marquette.

Superior showing another mood. Presque Isle Harbor Light, near Marquette.

Bipolar Superior. Sorry about the bad merge. Near Munising.

Another mood shown by Lake Superior. Near Munising.

Lake Superior pretending to be the Caribbean. Traveling east through Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore.

Lake Superior, Whitefish Point

Lake Huron, from the east edge of Mackinac Island

Lake Huron, from the east edge of Mackinac Island


And finally some land. Michigan scenes whizzing by at 75 mph. There were so many farms I wanted to photograph.


Stay tuned. More Michigan is coming soon.

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