Tag Archives: lighthouse

Michigan: Back to the Grand Haven Lighthouse I Go.

Grand Haven is a small Lake Michigan town along the west coat of Michigan. It’s one of the many places I keep going back to over-and-over again because of its beauty. It was the second stop on a recent day of lighthouse, beach and park hopping along Lake Michigan after Muskegon.

I decided on this visit to grab some shots of things I hadn’t really before. Like the sand and…

Grand Haven Lighthouse, pier, Michigan, Lake Michigan

…dunes. Great views of the lighthouse, pier, Lake Michigan and Grand Haven channel from up-top the sand dunes.

Grand Haven Lighthouse, pier, Michigan, Lake Michigan

Grand Haven Lighthouse, pier, Michigan, Lake Michigan

Grand Haven Lighthouse, pier, Michigan, Lake Michigan

Grand Haven Lighthouse, pier, Michigan, Lake Michigan

What also caught more of my attention as I was walking on the pier this time was…

Grand Haven Lighthouse, pier, Michigan, Lake Michigan

…the catwalk that connections the lighthouse to the mainland. I walked underneath and alongside as I descended towards the lighthouses. The catwalk is one of only four left that you’ll find in Michigan.

Grand Haven Lighthouse, pier, Michigan, Lake Michigan

Grand Haven Lighthouse, pier, Michigan, Lake Michigan

Grand Haven Lighthouse, pier, Michigan, Lake Michigan

Grand Haven Lighthouse, pier, Michigan, Lake Michigan

Reflection shots of the water on the pier that came up from the lake. The winds always seem to be whipping up in these parts.

Grand Haven Lighthouse, pier, Michigan, Lake Michigan

Grand Haven Lighthouse, pier, Michigan, Lake Michigan

Of course I’m still going to grab more lighthouse shots, like this one of the red inner signal light.

Grand Haven Lighthouse, pier, Michigan, Lake Michigan

It was a great time as always hanging along the lake and channel in Grand Haven. To get more information on the lighthouses themselves, as well as photos from my previous visits checkout Michigan: The Lighthouses of Grand Haven.

Also checkout the fun I had at my first stop of this day again in Michigan: Coastal Muskegon on a Winter Day. It was off to Holland next. Stay tuned! πŸ™‚

Photo of the Week: The Lighthouse in St. Ignace, Michigan.

Just north of the Mackinac Bridge in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan is the Wawatam Lighthouse in St. Ignace. I hung out around the lighthouse just after sunset. It might look familiar to people who drive between Detroit and Toledo. The lighthouse was a travel icon at the Michigan Welcome Center in Monroe starting in 1998. It moved to St. Ignace and was repainted in 2004.

Wawatam Lighthouse, St. Ignace, Michigan

Michigan: Coastal Muskegon on a Winter Day.

The town of Muskegon in The Mitten sits along Lake Michigan. I’ve spent time there before, but never right along the coast. On a recent Saturday morning I decided to change that. The day turned out to be one of lighthouse, beach and park hopping along the lake. The early morning first brought me to Muskegon and Beachwood Park.

I stopped at the park because the road wouldn’t allow me to get any closer to the coast due to wind-blown sand over the road.

Muskegon, Michigan, Lake Michgan, Beachwood Park trail

That certainly wasn’t going to stop me. It was time to get out on the open trail, the Beachwood Park trail. I had sand, brush, the beach and Lake Michigan to my left…

Muskegon, Michigan, Lake Michgan, Beachwood Park trail

… and sand dunes to my right, with the trail turning into more of a boardwalk.

Muskegon, Michigan, Lake Michgan, Beachwood Park trail

Muskegon, Michigan, Lake Michgan, Beachwood Park trail

It was a good fifteen minute walk to the end of the boardwalk and on to the beach.

Muskegon, Michigan, Lake Michgan, Beachwood Park trail

I reached the opposite end of where the road was closed. No thru traffic? Does that include foot traffic? Haha.

Muskegon, Michigan, Lake Michgan

Checkout that sand!

Muskegon, Michigan, Lake Michgan

I could now see my end destination, the piers and lighthouses way off in the distance. It was an unusually warm January day in Michigan, but not along the coast. It was cold and the wind was really whipping up. There were only a few other people around.

Muskegon, Michigan, Lake Michgan, beach

I walked the beach, turning around from time-to-time to capture the scene behind. The early morning sun was rising and trying to peek through the clouds.

Muskegon, Michigan, Lake Michgan, beach

It was thirty minutes in and the hot coffee I had on-hand was consumed. 😦 The good news though was that the piers and lighthouses were getting bigger and bigger in front of me. A few fishermen were out.

Muskegon, Michigan, Lake Michgan, beach

I was within Pere Marquette park now…

Muskegon, Michigan, Lake Michgan, Pere Marquette Park

… and heading onto the narrower of the two piers.

Muskegon, Michigan, Lake Michgan, Pere Marquette Park

Muskegon, Michigan, Lake Michgan, Pere Marquette Park

The whole experience here felt unusual because the area is usually buried in snow this time of year due to the Lake Michigan lake effect snow machine. Darn global warming! πŸ™‚

Muskegon, Michigan, Lake Michgan, pier, lighthouse

Just me and the open pier straight ahead.

Muskegon, Michigan, Lake Michgan, pier, lighthouse

Starting to walk on the pier, looking to the right you can see the South Pierhead Lighthouse and the wider and more popular pier for tourists.

Muskegon, Michigan, Lake Michgan, pier, lighthouse

I was on the pier to the South Breakwater Light.

Muskegon, Michigan, Lake Michgan, pier, lighthouse

There it is off in the distance. It’s the tallest of three at 70-feet and they all mark the channel connecting Lake Michigan to Lake Muskegon.

Muskegon, Michigan, Lake Michgan, pier, lighthouse

The waves were blowing up onto the pier and the cold wind continued to blow hard.

Muskegon, Michigan, Lake Michgan, pier, lighthouse

Both the South Pierhead and Breakwater lighthouses were completed in 1903.

Muskegon, Michigan, Lake Michgan, pier, lighthouse

There is the Pierhead light again.

Muskegon, Michigan, Lake Michgan, pier, lighthouse

With the wet narrow walkway, big rocks on both sides, the lack of people around…

Muskegon, Michigan, Lake Michgan, pier, lighthouse

…and the wind, it was best not to get any closer to the lighthouse or to walk onto the other pier.

Muskegon, Michigan, Lake Michgan, pier, lighthouse

I did see the third light, the North Breakwater light, which was green and white and kinda looking like a cigarette.

Muskegon, Michigan, Lake Michgan, pier, lighthouse

A zoomed in shot of the South Breakwater Lighthouse.

Muskegon, Michigan, Lake Michgan, pier, lighthouse

I turned back and started the long cold trek back to the car. The sun was still trying to peak out.

Muskegon, Michigan, Lake Michgan, pier, lighthouse

The walk took me on the other half of the Beachwood Boardwalk Loop back to Beachwood Park. It was inland so there was less wind and it had the Autumn and woods look going. When there is snow on the ground make sure to hit up the sledding hills within the park. πŸ™‚

Muskegon, Michigan, Lake Michgan, Beachwood Boardwalk Loop

It was a great first time here along coastal Muskegon. A warmer day will bring more pier, lighthouse and beach exploration. πŸ™‚ It was now on to two of my favorite spots along the coast, Grand Haven and Holland, on which I’ll write about soon.

What lighthouses have you come across in your travels that you would recommend visiting? Any along the Great Lakes?

Photo of the Week: A Little Bit of Everything in Grand Haven.

A little bit of everything standing on top of a sand dune in Grand Haven. Straight ahead you have Lake Michigan, the beach, pier, waves, two Grand Haven lighthouses and the end of the Grand River. From this spot at Grand Haven State Park you also have the dunes themselves, wind, cold air, and beauty.

Grand Haven State Park, Grand Haven, Michigan, Lake Michigan

California: Pigeon Point on the PCH.

On an early afternoon day I was cruising south on the open road on California’s PCH (Pacific Coast Highway) towards Santa Cruz when I saw signs for a lighthouse straight ahead. I knew where my next stop would be. I pulled off of Highway 1 onto Pigeon Point Road and found myself at Pigeon Point Light Station State Historic Park.

Pigeon Point, PCH, California state park

Right away within the park I saw the Piegon Point Lighthouse. The 115-foot lighthouse, one of the tallest in the country, was built-in 1871 and first lit a year later. Unfortunately the lighthouse itself was not open to tour, as it’s currently in the middle of a major restoration, but your allowed it walk around it. I did though catch a lucky break. The fog and clouds started to break along this part of the coast.

Pigeon Point, PCH, California lighthouse

Pigeon Point, PCH, California lighthouse

The lighthouse is still in use today, using one flash every ten seconds the past 125 years, to uniquely identify itself to ships from other lighthouses along the coast.

Pigeon Point, PCH, California lighthouse

Right alongside the lighthouse is the The Pigeon Point Hostel. It was the first hostel I’ve been around, that I can recall, in the United States. πŸ™‚ Lot’s of their guests, as well as tourists, were hanging outside along the wooden look-out deck that extends past the lighthouse to the edge of the coastline.

Capture the open waters of the Pacific…

Pigeon Point, PCH, California state park

…and the scenic and colorful immediate coastline. I didn’t see any on this day, but you can see whales and seals along the shoreline.

Pigeon Point, PCH, California state park

You’ll notice picnic tables and grills available as you walk along the deck. Relax, unwind, and barbecue along the ocean.

Pigeon Point, PCH, California state park

Checkout the coastline to the east from the various trails and other lookouts within this California State Park. One beautiful shot after another! πŸ™‚

Pigeon Point, PCH, California state park, lighthouse

Pigeon Point, PCH, California state park, lighthouse

Pigeon Point, PCH, California state park, lighthouse

Pigeon Point, PCH, California state park

Stopping at Pigeon Point was a highlight during these PCH travels. For picturesque views of a historical lighthouse and the coastline and ocean add this spot to your itinerary. Tip: To make a weekend out of it and stay at the hostel, make a reservation months and months in advance.

What other lighthouses would you recommend checking out in California? On the West Coast?