Musining MI is a nice small town. In the October cold rain, the streets were quiet. I could see this place hustling during the heat of the summer, but now it was bordering on total desertion with just a few locals tending to their business. One thing about cold, rainy, off season days...the parks should be empty! We planned on two days at Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore, day 1 exploring the west side and day 2 driving over to the east. One of the main roads through the park was closed, so we needed to make a big loop to get to the other end.
The first day was a bit ridiculous. Winds at 30-40 mph on the lakefront blowing cold rain. I've shot in the drizzle before but this was insane. There were periods of reprieve. In fact seriously, I find changing weather conditions more productive than bright cloudless days. Day 2 the rain let up but the wind did not rest. At Sable Falls we had a chance meeting with Nancy Rotenberg...what a nice surprise. Go figure, what are the chances? Nancy's work is very influential in my development and I experienced one of her great workshops at the Adirondack Photo Institute.
From Musining, we took H13 south to Lake Michigan, then east on H2 towards Mackinaw City and hook up with M119 (the famous Tunnel of Trees) between Petosky and Harbor Springs. Our goal was to reach Flint MI by dark. The rain seemed to follow us as we stayed slightly ahead of it. Along H13 we took a small side road which turned into an ATV trail. Some really nice foliage but I was wondering what we would do if an oncoming vehicle approached us...there was no room to turn around. After about a mile of getting totally lost we were deep in the Hiawatha Forest and decided to backtrack and eventually found our way out.
From here H13 runs into Lake Michigan. Going west on 2 to Manistique we stopped at the lighthouse, and then onwards to the Mackinac Bridge. There is a nice visitor's center at the base of the bridge on the south end, so we stopped for some photos. Then onwards to find M119. It's a bit of a haul to get to on backroads but worth it. Everything was still green and lush, the trees literally formed a tunnel. Traffic was somewhat heavy and we did not stop. The road is primarily residential and developed. We got to Flint well after sundown. From Flint it was on to Columbus OH.