- October 20, 2020
- Posted by: Phil Block
- Categories: Maritime, Photography
Mid-October brought my second trip to Michigan in two weeks. Following last weekend’s Upper Peninsula Solo Odyssey, this trip took me to Michigan’s western shore for a weekend at Grand Haven State Park. Originally scheduled to cross Lake Michigan on the Lake Express car ferry from Milwaukee to Muskegon on Thursday, October 15th, I ran into trouble. When I got to the Lake Express terminal in Milwaukee to check in, I found out my ferry trip had been cancelled due to high waves on Lake Michigan. I rescheduled for Friday. However, I later decided to cancel the Friday Lake Express trip completely and drive 300 miles to Grand Haven instead, which I did.
After hours of driving through Wisconsin, Illinois, Indiana and western Michigan, I arrived at Grand Haven only about three hours later than if I had taken the ferry. That preserved a whole day of my highly-anticipated weekend in Grand Haven. On this trip, I stayed with a friend in a camper near the foot of the Grand Haven South Pier. This location offered fantastic views of the pier and its two lighthouses.
From my vantage point near the foot of the pier, I was able capture various images and videos during my three-day stay. Friday morning, I was treated to the unexpected passage of two Great Lakes freighters, the Calumet and the Michipicoten, through the channel past the lighthouses. Both were Canadian vessels. As the weekend progressed, the winds increased to gale force, creating tremendous wave action crashing against the pier (see video links below).
Grand Haven YouTube Videos
Holland and Saugatuck
Saturday featured a side trip to the Lake Michigan port cities of Holland and Saugatuck, south of Grand Haven. The highlight was visiting the Holland Harbor Lighthouse, popularly known as “Big Red.” We had lunch Saturday at The Butler, a waterfront restaurant in Saugatuck. While waiting for a table, we walked around downtown Saugatuck, checking out the various shops.