#7: North Manitou Island, August 2008, Part 2

North Manitou island is approximate 7-3/4 miles long and 4-1/4 miles wide. The highest point on the island is 1,001 feet above sea level and therefore 428 feet above Lake Michigan. That high point is somewhere on the northwest corner of the island and we would not visit it this trip we probably were not that far from the high point on the first day on our walk along the trail to the Pot Holes. The group would divide a couple times the first day with some heading straight to the campsite we had agreed upon near Swenson's Barn, the rest hiking along the Pot Holes trail to the overlook on the norhtern shore where we gazed down upon Lake Michigan and then divided once more with some retracing their steps and a group consisting of myself, Doug, and Andy scurrying down to the warm sandy beach and walking the 3-1/2 to 4 miles of beach to reach the campsite. We would have several hours to laze around camp, swim in the cool but not frigid, waters of Lake Michigan, relax, and just have fun. With the setting of the sun the bugs grew a bit more annoying but unbearable. We would spend some time watching the stars peak out as we sat on the cool sand listening to the waves of Lake Michigan lap against the beach. The last of us, Andy and I, would settle down for bed a little after 11:00PM—pretty late for a backpacking trip especially when you consider we hadn't slept much the night before.

Our full day would include exploration of Sweonson's Barn, a long lazy lunch near Fredickson's Place, and then exploration of lesser visited parts of the island by some of us. That would include some wonderful bushwhacking up steep sandy hills to gain great views by Old Mount Baldy. We wold also walk along beaches of rich sand and deep Zebra Muscle beds and through dense woods down by Dimmick Point. The day would end with the group re-united near the old cemetery near the old estate of the Bournique's.

The final day would go prety smoothly except for an accident Jim would have on the ferry before we even left the dock. While that would take some time to sort out and cause concern for us all everything would work out well in the end.

Sites of Interest

The National Park Service site for Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore is at www.nps.gov/slbe. Information for North Manitou can be found here. I have also written about previous trips I have taken to both the mainland portion of Sleeping Bear Dunes and North Manitou Island and you can find those journals on my main website.

Photos

Additional photos can be found at A Wandering Knight. (direct link)

Direct download: 7__North_Manitou_Island_August_2008_Part_2.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 3:34am EST


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