Monday, November 20, 2017

A Glimpse of Saginaw Bay

It was a bit chilly, 
but the touches of blue sky 
would occasionally allow the sun to warm me.  

I ventured out of the rental car and walked along the water's edge. 


The ground was squishy with water from the recent rains.  
I managed to keep my feet dry despite the puddles. 

Walking the path to the bay, 
I was glad I traveled out of my way - 
north from Bay City, Michigan. 

I do love being by the water, 
even on a chilly day. 

And I love capturing it all with my camera 
so I can review the images later while sitting by a fire in the warmth of my home. 

Most of the bay front in this area is privately owned. 
Thankfully, this recreation area provides others with an opportunity to enjoy the bay as well. 

Bay City Recreation Area 
3582 State Park Dr, Bay City, MI 48706

More of my images of Bay City Recreation Area are here

Thursday, November 9, 2017

Blue Waters

When we were in Michigan we visited the oldest lighthouse in the state. 
We only had to drive 1 1/4 hrs to see it and
since we couldn't find anything closer...why not?  

The lighthouse is located at historic Fort Gratiot which is open to the public. 
A small fee will give you a guided tour and a climb up the lighthouse steps.  

As far as lighthouse climbs go, this one is not too strenuous at 64 steps. 
I loved the ornateness of the steps - 
I think it made climbing them easier. 

I learned something interesting from our guide. 
No two lighthouses were built alike on purpose - 
that way each lighthouse is an individual and can serve as a location guide to ship captains. 
It's kind of like using the stars for navigation. 

Fresnel Light Reflection. 

Don't let those beautiful blue waters seen from the top of the lighthouse fool you. 
They look tropical, but they are cold. 

The Azure Blue of Lake Huron

In fact, it was so cold we were glad the tour had some inside stops 
where we could warm up. 
(Back home it was 70 degrees.)

Fort Gratiot Light

The area around Fort Gratiot has some things to do. 
If you have your passport you can take the Blue Water Bridge to Canada. 
There is also a River Walk with some small museums and places to eat nearby.  
In summer, there are also sightseeing river cruises. 

The Blue Water Bridge
#1 attraction in the area. 

It is significant the the top rated thing to do here is cross that bridge. 
There really is a lack of things to do in southeastern Michigan -
especially off season. 

If you go off season, check the hours
They might not be open. 

2800 Omar Stat the East end of Garfield Street 
Port Huron, MI 48060-2961

See more of my pictures from Fort Gratiot here

Monday, November 6, 2017

Ghost City

It was eerily desolate, 
a perfect place for a pre-Halloween haunt: 
Detroit, Michigan. 

I'm a backseat photographer....35th and Michigan. 

In our quest to find something for tourists to do in Michigan 
(there isn't much, believe me,) 
we ventured toward Detroit. 

Just another boarded up building. 

Driving into the city was like driving through a ghost town. 
We hardly saw a soul. 
But we did see a lot of abandonment. 

Sunday afternoon and the visitor center was closed?
I guess tourists don't tour Detroit on weekends...or in October...or ever?

One of our searches was for the  Boston-Edison 'historic district.'
We thought that sounded promising. 

Most homes in the Boston - Edison neighborhood were built between 1905 and 1925. 

What we found at the Boston-Edison historic district was 
some really cool home architecture in various states of repair.  

Probably the most famous home is the one time home of Henry Ford and his wife, 1908-1915. 

A gorgeous home might be right next to something completely deteriorated. 
Home sale listings here range from over 1 million down to $175,000, 
that's quite a span in one neighborhood. 
I'm not sure how that works socially. 

Welcome to Detroit

We visited some other sites that sounded promising - which weren't.  
And we only felt safe exiting the car at one location - 
it was the one place we found a handful of other people doing Sunday afternoon things:  
The Detroit Waterfront. 

GM World Headquarters  - Those 3 peeps are with me. 
General Motors invested in a nice waterfront walk here 
just outside their Renaissance Center - 
 a group of 7 interconnected skyscrapers. 

The Renaissance Center, Detroit

My second impression of Detroit after 'Ghost Town' 
was how small it was in comparison to Philadelphia. 
In Philly, overall the skyscrapers are taller and tightly packed in. 
But I guess land is cheaper here so there is no need to build high and tight. 

Just across the bridge is Canada, 
but we didn't think to bring our passports along. 
In post research I learned that Detroit has lost over half its population! 
1950 1.8 million people, 2016 672,000 people. 
That explains the Ghost Town effect 
and the label of worst US city to live in. 

Bagley Pedestrian Bridge

It really is a sad situation. 
With little industry there is no tax base 
to help pay for maintenance of parks and streets 
and of course...people!  

The only tourists in Detroit. 

If you are into abandoned photography - get yourself to Detroit, and pack some heat. 

More of my images from Detroit can be found here.