As a (very late) anniversary celebration, Mr. M and I treated ourselves to a night away in Two Rivers, Wisconsin, a delightful fishing town. Poised on the shores of Lake Michigan between a flourishing port city to the south, and a state forest to the north, Two Rivers has something for everyone: fine white sand beaches, trails for walking and cycling (no, we didn't bring our bikes), kayaking, fishing, historical sites, and great restaurants.
Our first destination was the lovely Point Beach State Forest, home to the historic Rawley Point Lighthouse, one of the largest on the Great Lakes and still in operation. The waters near Rawley Point are full of shipwrecks that occurred before the lighthouse was built (though apparently none have occurred since).
We park in the tiny parking area and follow the path through the woods...
...which open up shortly to reveal the lighthouse and the original lighthouse keeper's residence.
(The lighthouse is now operated by the Coast Guard, and the house is a private dwelling, so this is as close as we could get.)
A charming boardwalk leads over grassy dunes...
...to where Lake Michigan stretches away to the horizon.
Just here the water is full of mossy bits, and looks for all the world like pea soup. (Water clarity is determined by wind direction. Later we will visit another beach a few miles away where the water is crystal clear.)
The immensity of the lake, and the long stretch of shoreline, assuage some of the sea-longing buried in our Californian hearts.
There are even shells in the sand....
...and tide ripples like finely etched drawings.
We sit on the sand to look out at the lake, but after a few minutes, sand flies appear (out of nowhere it seems) and show an uncomfortable appetite for bare ankles. So up we get and head back towards the lighthouse and the trail to our car.
Back in Two Rivers, we stop at the historic Rogers Street Fishing Village (the buildings of which have unfortunately closed for the day). Along the boardwalk fly flags of Quebec, in honour of the French Canadian fishermen who helped found the city.
Looking back at the fishing village through the bridge railing:
Next we head back to the beach - this time the public beach in Two Rivers. Evening is coming on - the sand is covered with resting gulls, and a white sail catches the rays of the sun.
A powered parachute buzzes overhead:
Not all the gulls are resting - some are still playing in the water and poking about for food:
Full of fresh air and lake breezes, we head back to our B&B. The next morning we bid a fond farewell to Two Rivers, deciding that someday we'll come back with our bicycles to take advantage of the many scenic trails.
In no particular hurry to get home, we stop in Manitowoc (just south of Two Rivers), for a look at the breakwater and some of the miniature shoreline gardens planted along the Marina Trail:
Far out on the lake, a plume of smoke can be seen as a ship heads our way:
Boats at rest in the silver-watered marina:
Flourishing plant life borders the trail and the various inlets:
Among the flowers can be seen woolly burdock...
...and bitter nightshade:
All this time the plume of smoke has been drawing nearer. It turns out to belong to the S.S. Badger, a car and passenger ferry which crosses Lake Michigan daily from spring through fall.
The ferry enters between the breakwaters, sounding its foghorn (which echoes back eerily from the port buildings):
The ship turns very slowly, then backs (even more slowly) up to the dock.
Meanwhile, we follow the footpath to the North Breakwater Light:
Looking back from the lighthouse to shore:
The day has grown very humid. We walk back down the breakwater...
...where a sailor dog waits patiently for his ship to come in...
...then back to our car to begin the drive home.
A very pleasant break from routine, with lots of lake views, beach walks, good food, and plenty of trees and flowers. :)
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