Tag Archives: Michigan

Out on the Open Road Ann Arbor Winter Style

Being “Out on the Open Road” can be a challenge in Ann Arbor, Michigan and the Midwest during the winter months. Road conditions and the resulting slow times in the car can get on my nerves like many at times. It is was worth it though when I’m able to see the beautiful snow scenes that this time of year produces. This was especially true on some recent drives on and around Huron River Drive in Ann Arbor. Well without further ado.

Huron River Drive in winter, Ann Arbor, Michigan

Out on the open road, Ann Arbor winter style.

Huron River Drive in winter, Ann Arbor, Michigan

The early morning brings with it the same scenic feeling.

Huron River Drive in winter, Ann Arbor, Michigan

Playing on the wintry road, to capture the scenes of winter.

Huron River Drive in winter, Ann Arbor, Michigan

Rinse, repeat. More Ann Arbor Huron River Drive beauty.

Huron River Drive in winter, Ann Arbor, Michigan

Huron River is a must Ann Arbor drive no matter the time of the year.

Huron River Drive in winter, Ann Arbor, Michigan

Blue winter skies. The warmer temperatures causing all the heavy snow and branches to start falling onto the road.

Pedestrian bridge over Huron River, Barton Nature Area, Ann Arbor

Out on the open Barton Nature Area pedestrian bridge.

Pedestrian bridge over Huron River, Barton Nature Area, Ann Arbor

Out on the open Barton Nature Area snow-covered trail.

Pedestrian bridge over Huron River, Barton Nature Area, Ann Arbor

The wet and heavy snow clings on to everything on the pedestrian bridge over the Huron River.

Pedestrian bridge over Huron River, Barton Nature Area, Ann Arbor

The wet and heavy snow clings on to everything on the pedestrian bridge over the Huron River.

Pedestrian bridge over Huron River, Barton Nature Area, Ann Arbor

The wet and heavy snow clings on to everything in the Barton Nature Area.

Huron River and snow covered hills of Ann Arbor, Michigan

Looking out at the Huron River and wintry hills of Ann Arbor.

Huron River Drive in winter, Ann Arbor, Michigan

Out on the open road true Ann Arbor winter style.

Bird Rd. - Ann Arbor winter scene

A new dirt road find, the hilly Bird Road in Ann Arbor.

Do you have a favorite drive you like to road trip on over-and-over again during the winter months?

Capturing a Michigan Winter Storms Beauty in the Moment

Having to be in Brighton, Michigan right in the middle of a winter storm (Mateo) randomly gave me the idea to capture the snowy scene the only way I know how.

I walked and laid down on Main Street and nearby Huron Meadows Metro Park and Hammel Road. There was ample white to capture without a sole around. I wanted to get out on the open roads before it was disturbed with salt, plows and lots of vehicle traffic.

This post was put together right in the moment as I captured some Pure Michigan winter beauty. Well without further ado.

Out on the open dirt road, Brighton, Michigan, snow covered roads

Out on the open dirt road, Brighton, Michigan, snow covered roads

Out on the open dirt road, Brighton, Michigan, snow covered roads

Out on the open dirt road, Brighton, Michigan, snow covered roads

Out on the open dirt road, Brighton, Michigan, snow covered roads

Tip: I recommend capturing Hammel Road, a dirt road just outside Brighton, no matter the season. Fall and winter though take this spot to an even greater level.

Downtown Brighton, Michigan, Main Street, Winter Storm Mateo

Downtown Brighton, Michigan, Main Street, Winter Storm Mateo

Downtown Brighton, Michigan, Main Street, Winter Storm Mateo

Downtown Brighton, Michigan, Main Street, Winter Storm Mateo

Downtown Brighton, Michigan, Main Street, Winter Storm Mateo

Out on the open dirt road, Brighton, Michigan, snow covered roads

Downtown Brighton, Michigan, Main Street, Winter Storm Mateo

Huron Meadows Metropark, Brighton, Michigan

Huron Meadows Metropark, Brighton, Michigan

Again to the Michigan beauty that winter and snow can bring. Cheers!

Huron Meadows Metropark, Brighton, Michigan

Has there been a scene you randomly decided to capture right as a winter or other type of storm was happening?

Lake Michigan Lighthouses in Winter: A Michigan Photo Gallery

Being part of a Michigan winter brings with it frigid temperatures and on-again off-again snow. Hanging out along the immediate Lake Michigan coastline takes it to another level. Lake effect snow and high winds off the lake make for a bone chilling experience.

I’ve gone over to various parts of such coastline over the years, in January usually, to capture winter’s rath. I’m fascinated with how it takes hold to the various lighthouses, piers and beaches which you will find plenty of each along Lake Michigan. Some of my favorite shots I’ve taken over the years, all bundled up, follow. So worth it! Well without further ado.

St. Joseph North Pier Inner Light, lighthouse along Lake Michigan

All smiles at the St. Joseph North Pier Inner Light.

St. Joseph pier along Lake Michigan

Gingerly walking on what amounts to be the largest ice block I’ve ever seen.

North Pier Outer Lighthouse in St. Joseph, Michigan

North Pier Outer Lighthouse in St. Joseph, Michigan.

Icue formations along side White River Light in Whitehall, Michigan

Mounds of ice on the pier alongside the White River Light.

Beach along Silver Lake Sand Dunes in Michigan

Snow and ice cover lakeside beach along the Silver Lake Sand Dunes.

Out on the open iced over pier in Muskegon.

Ice fishermen and I are out on the open iced over pier in Muskegon.

Capturing Michigan pier cat walk iced sculptures up close.

Capturing cat walk iced sculptures up close.

More iced over photography happenings in St. Joseph, Michigan

More iced over photography happenings in St. Joseph.

Holland "Big Red Lighthouse" in Michigan along Lake Michigan

Holland’s “Big Red” Lighthouse standing tall.

Little Sable Point Lighthouse near Mears, Michigan

Little Sable Point Lighthouse near Mears, Michigan.

Snow creeping up the Muskegon Breakwater Light

Snow creeping up the Muskegon Breakwater Light.

The frozen channel between White Lake and Lake Michigan

The frozen channel between White Lake and Lake Michigan.

Iced over bridge alongside Holland lighthouse and Lake Michigan

Iced over bridge and pier in Holland State Park.

Icy pier alongside White River Light, Michigan

Anyone up for skating down the Whitehall pier to Lake Michigan?!

Grand Haven pier and lighthouse in Pure Michigan

The Grand Haven Lighthouse is playing peekabo with the large ice formations.

Grand Haven State Park, Grand Haven, Michigan

Lighthouse from up-top the sand dunes of Grand Haven State Park.

A sunny winter day along Lake Michigan, capturing St. Joseph's two lights

A sunny winter day along Lake Michigan, capturing St. Joseph’s two lights.

South Haven beach, Lake Michigan

Out on the open South Haven beach at dawn.

New Buffalo Public Beach in Michigan

Winters view from New Buffalo Public Beach.

Lake Michigan from South Haven, Michigan

Panoramic, snow covered views of Lake Michigan and the South Haven lighthouse.

South Haven Lighthouse in Pure Michigan

Climbing my way toward the South Haven Lighthouse.

Iced over Muskegon's South Breakwater Light, Lake Michigan lighthouses

Muskegon’s South Breakwater Light is iced over.

Iced over Muskegon's South Breakwater Light

Love how ice sculptures can form, like on Muskegon’s South Breakwater Light.

South Haven Lighthouse along Lake Michigan during the heart of winter.

South Haven Lighthouse along Lake Michigan during the heart of winter.

Frozen over South Haven, Michigan lighthouse

Lakeside view of the lighthouse in South Haven. At least I think it’s a lighthouse.

Where is the pier catwalk? From St. Joseph, Michigan

Where is the pier catwalk?

Taking in the wintry blue waters of this Great Lake., St. Joseph. Michigan

Taking in the wintry blue waters of this Great Lake.

Grand Haven State Park Beach along Lake Michigan

Who is up for a walk on the windy, wintry Grand Haven State Park beach?!

Grand Haven, Michigan

Grand River, light poles, railings, and everything else frozen over in Grand Haven.

Pere Marquette Park in Muskegon

Snow filled view of both Muskegon lighthouses from Pere Marquette Park.

Have you had the chance to capture any lighthouses and/or coastlines in winter?

An Updated Ten Travel Tips for a Day Road Trip

It’s almost time to get out on the open road on a day road trip. Have you planned ahead? Spontaneity and just getting into the car and going can lead to some great trips no doubt. However there are some things that you should take into consideration before and during your roadie.

Day road trip tips - The Adventures of elATLboy.com

It’s been five years since I wrote my original post on this. The basics have stayed the same. A lot has changed though in terms of technology and in me getting more perspective from additional time on the road. Below is an update on my post and the day road trip tips I have found helpful.

1. Check the weather. The days leading up to a road trip and/or right before you get in the car, head to The Weather Channel website or app and check the forecast. You could also do a simple search like “Charleston weather” in Google, quickly becoming informed. Hmmm let’s see… winter storm? Maybe I should venture there tomorrow instead.

Day road trip tips - check the weather

Follow the weather on your phone throughout your adventure as well. You’ll increase the chances of not running into a sheet of ice (been there), high winds or getting caught up in a deluge of rain. You might change course on the spot. Who knows that could lead to an unexpected adventure and you’ll be safer.

Additional Tips: While you are at it check for major construction along with Googling “<NAME OF DESTINATON> traffic”.

2. Get a good night sleep. A day road trip could last a full 24 hours or more. I look at it like this. The longer you make the day, the further you can travel away from home and double back, meaning the more you can see. I love taking advantage of the extended daylight hours in the summer. If the sleep thing doesn’t work out then you are going to need…

3. …fuel, I mean coffee! Bring some from home. If desperate grab some at a travel center or truck stop ha-ha. As the day goes on make sure to refuel at indie, mom and pop coffee shops along the way. At least that’s my philosophy. I love experiencing something new, sometimes getting tips on things to do from bulletin boards or the locals sipping java inside. Drip Drop Drink in Muskegon is my-go when exploring the beach towns along Lake Michigan in Pure Michigan.

4. Charge, charge, charge. It’s not just you that needs to be fully charged. Make sure your Galaxy 7 or iPhone X and camera are ready to go. You will want to have enough juice to take pictures, post to Snapchat, Instagram live stories, ask for advice on Twitter, etc. Have those chargers and spare batteries, along with a portable power pack or two handy. A lot of people have USB ports in their vehicles these days. Bonus for getting extra juice while you are driving!

5. Fully stock your vehicle. Learning from experience, I make sure to have a blanket, bottled water, extra clothes, wind-shield washer fluid, flashlight, jumper cables, spare tire, emergency snack food, etc. Also check your oil and other fluids, along with your tires.

Day road trip tips - have a spare tire, windshield washer fluid, jumper cables

6. Have navigation help. Some people use Gladys (GPS), but many more gravitate to Google maps on their phone these days. The key is to have them available. Back to the word spontaneity. Make sure to put all navigational aids away at times for adventure sake. When I personally seek help I still like having my trusty, old-fashioned atlas alongside. The Waze app can help here as well.

7. Bring cash including change. You never know when you’ll need it for tolls and parking meters. When you call for help to fix a flat tire or for general road-side assistance, a lot of the time cash is the only payment option.

8. Hit the road on an empty stomach. You can snack and have your coffee, but be hungry and ready to eat so you can try some local cuisine. It’s not a day for McDonald’s or hitting up the vending machine at a rest area. How about a stop at Skyline Chili when road tripping through Cincinnati along I-75?! As far as chains go I will allow stopping at a random Waffle House ha-ha. Some of my best day road trip memories started or ended there.

Day road trip tips - stop at a Waffle House

9. Wear comfortable clothes and walking shoes. Hopefully there will be lots of getting out of the vehicle to explore. Some jogging, hiking and climbing could be in order. I once traveled fifteen miles on foot while in the heart of Chicago. With the cost of parking in a big city it’s better to centrally park and use public transportation or walk to everything.

10. Even with planning as described in the tips above make sure to have semi-plans. In other words be out there on the open road with an open mind. There it is yet again, my word of the day, spontaneity. Of course there will be places you marked to experience. You must also be willing to get sidetracked with random finds. The unexpected can be the most gratifying.

day road trip tips - lake mead, las vegas, nevada

Checkout my original day road trip tips post.

Any other day road trip recommendations? I can’t wait to see all of you out on the open road.

The 2017 Coffee Moment(s) for Me

Happy Holidays everyone! We have almost reached the end of another calendar year. 2017, as with every year before it, brought a lot of coffee consumption and time in coffee shops. Siphons, Ethiopian V60 pour overs, flavored lattes, coffee cocktails and a lot more coffee was consumed from all around Ann Arbor and Michigan, Northwest Ohio, Atlanta and Las Vegas.

The year in coffee is highlighted in the short Flipagram video below. I love the song I used last year, “Coffee Shop” by Gorilla Zoe, so it is making another appearance. The cover photo honor this year says it all. “Coffee” is spelled out front-and-center on the building upon approach. I get goosebumps every time I see that magical word like I did here at Milan Coffee Works in Milan, Michigan.

As I mentioned a lot of time was spent in Ann Arbor drinking coffee. This year to go along with The Adventures of elATLboy Instagram, many of the photos come from Coffee Ann Arbor. I started this venture on January 1st. The goal is to highlight everything that college town Ann Arbor and the surrounding area has to offer to terms of coffee.

Too many more coffees in 2018! I look forward to seeing you all in Ann Arbor and out on the caffeinated open road. Cheers! Aaron

Check out the great coffee moments from last year in The 2016 Coffee Moment(s) for Me.