I write this note far from home, on a not unenviable expedition which involves wandering round other people’s gardens.
August 17th, 1947
In Your Garden
This summer we have done our usual expeditions. We have gone to the family cottage a couple times on the East side of the state, and also to my Mother’s condo retreat on the West side. Some have their preference. Each side offers different things. First, if you’re a sunset and wine person, the west side is where you’ll likely go. If you’re an early riser and the sunrise is your thing then you’ll want to be on the Lake Huron side. But you can get amazing sunsets on the east side too. Our cottage on the east side of the state faces the west on a small inland lake.
It’s very laid-back, very fisherman friendly. It’s very affordable so you’ll get people from all walks of life. Every restaurant up there is a total dive, but that’s why we love it. You can relax as no one puts on airs.
There are numerous scenic outlooks and secret places…
Foote Dam ^ Oscoda, MI
Lumberman’s Monument ^ People climb this sand dune. I prefer to sit at the top in the shade with a wine and cheese picnic watching everyone’s struggle. It’s a fun show. This looks over the Ausable River which is the river used for the World Famous Ausable Canoe Race. The race includes participants from all over the world.
And my favorite spot in this magical place…Iargo Springs. To see the natural springs one must climb down hundreds of steps. Deep under the canopy it’s amazing. Pictures do not do it justice. I always wish this was my back yard.
Indian Pipe^ the only place I’ve seen it growing. It’s just dark and moist enough for this strange plant. It lacks chlorophyll and instead gets its nutrients from decaying plant matter.
Now, the west side of the state…
Every night we would walk down the beach with a glass of wine and watch the sunset. People gather for the big show. I want to move up there just so I can see this every night. It’s all I need.
The wineries are also spectacular and I wish I would have taken my camera to get some shots but I was too distracted by the wine itself to think about it. One must live without remembering their phone constantly, yes? When it comes to wine, Michigan excels in two varieties, Riesling and Cabernet Franc. I will go head to head with any snobby wine connoisseur that wants to argue this fact. One can actually taste Michigan earth in these wines. The peppery flavor of the reds is our signature.
Also Cherries are huge, Balaton is my favorite cherry wine from The Cherry Republic in Glen Arbor, MI. Glen Arbor has been featured in Country Living magazine and Food and Wine Magazine for its quaint artsy vibe. It is indeed one of my favorite places on the planet.
The west side is also known for its sand dunes that look over the turquoise Glen Lakes and Lake Michigan…
I dare not venture down this one either. It can take up to two hours to climb back up!
Rocks are amazing along the beaches. Petoskey stones and Leelanau Blue are the most coveted.
(Photo courtesy of Meggen Watt Photography)
People have vacationed here and stayed. One of these days I’m going up there and never coming back. It’s really the most beautiful place, you should come and see for yourself. I consider myself very lucky to live is such a wonderful versatile state.