Friday, November 6, 2015

St. Ignace, Michigan (10/9-10/13)

Leaving Sault Sainte Marie, I made the short drive south to the town of St. Ignace, located on the Straits of Mackinac, where Lakes Huron and Michigan join.  My campground once again was almost directly on the lake shore, with only a road separating it from Lake Michigan.  I had a great view looking directly over Lake Michigan. When checking in, I asked for advice about good spots for foliage photography and was told of the Cut River Bridge about twenty miles west.  Later that afternoon, I drove to the bridge and enjoyed the view into the Cut River Gorge from the bridge.

Several nearby roads also gave me some nice fall color.  It was especially nice to have a sunny afternoon for touring this area.

Later I went out for the sunset and saw lovely pink clouds in the east, behind the famous Mackinac Bridge.

Here is the view to the west when the sun finally went below the horizon. 

After dark, I took a picture of "Mighty Mac"  with its lights on.  

I really enjoyed spending time in St. Ignace, partly because of its favorable location, where one can see the sunrise over Lake Huron and the sunset over Lake Michigan.  I tried to do both every day, although the weather was not always cooperative.  One morning there was an outstanding sunrise when I was at the marina right downtown.


As the sun came up over Mackinac Island, I took a shot of Wawatam Lighthouse, named for the SS Chief Wawatam, a ferry that shuttled trains across the Straits of Mackinac for many years.  The ferry had been named for a chief of the Odawa tribe which resided along Lake Michigan,  The lighthouse was built at a Tourist Information Center in 1998 but moved to St. Ignace in 2004.  It is now officially an aid to navigation and even stays lit in winter to help guide snow mobiles across the frozen lake. 

There is also a statue representing the Indian Chief Wawatam standing near the lighthouse.

The town made a spectacular view,  bathed in the golden light of sunrise.

This is Wawatam Lighthouse at sunrise on a different day. 

Another view of the Mackinac Bridge, also taken at sunrise.

While exploring St. Ignace, I stumbled upon a moose at long last.

Another drive on back roads produced more colorful foliage.

One morning I got busy with some computer work and lost track of the time.  When I happened to glance out the window, I saw a wonderful sunrise going on.  Too late to drive downtown, I simply took a shot over the nearby trees, just to capture the color of this beautiful sunrise.

Then I ran down to the lake shore to get a picture of "Mighty Mac" with the sunrise behind it.

St. Ignace, like Sault Sainte Marie, was founded as a mission by the Jesuit priest, missionary and explorer, Father Marquette.  He died at age 38 while on the way back to St. Ignace and was buried on the shores of Lake Michigan in 1675.  The people of St. Ignace had such great admiration for him, they exhumed his remains and re-buried him next to his mission.  An Ojibwa museum now stands on the site of the mission, next to Father Marquette's grave.

I drove across the Mackinac Bridge one evening to visit two lighthouses on that side of the strait.  The first one is the Old Mackinac Point Lighthouse, built in 1892 and deactivated in 1958.  It's now a museum.

McGulpin Point Lighthouse served from 1869 to 1906, when it became privately owned.  The county bought it in 2008 and restored it for an historical site.

Being on the south side of the bridge, I decided to make one more photograph of the bridge at night.

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