Theresa's Mixed Nuts: Why Michigan Shines In Autumn

Wednesday, January 13, 2021

Why Michigan Shines In Autumn

"You ever see how long it takes mom to post things up on her blog? Like, years and years!" Yeah, I'm guilty of what the girls accuse me of. I've been almost absent here the past few months with starting my business, dealing with the holidays, and the sore subject of working on this house still. But, I'm ready to come back to our regularly scheduled posts and try not to be a disappointment to my family about documenting our travels here. 

I was pretty lucky to do a west coast road trip last January. There were only whispers of the Coronavirus circulating at that time, so nothing was shut down yet. But, by the end of August I was going stir crazy and starting to feel a sense of Fernweh’. We've always done one big family trip every July/August, so when the virus put all travel plans to a halt, I was pretty disappointed knowing there would be no new adventures for the rest of the year. At the end of September, when it's still quite warm out but you can sense the changing seasons in the air, I was sitting on my deck thinking about how we've lived right on the Michigan/Indiana line for years, but we have never done the Michigan fall tour. So, I did a little research and found that the best time to take a scenic tour through upper Michigan is at the end of the first week in October. That's when the leaves are at their color changing peak before they start to die off. So, we made some spur of the moment plans for a little weekend road trip through Northern Michigan.

Of course, the pandemic was (is) still in full swing, but we figured since we were going to be in the car for most of the time (other than to sleep in the hotel for a night), it was going to be a fairly safe trip. We decided to drive up the Lake Michigan coast for a 6 hour car trip that landed us in Petoskey. Now, I think Michigan is a truly beautiful state year round, but having finally seen it in all of it's autumn splendor, I'd say Michigan truly shines in the fall. 


 
We woke up before the sun rose so we could be on the road as the morning light was just peaking on the horizon. The early morning sunshine lent such a beautiful glow to the crisp oranges, yellows and reds throughout the landscape. 




 
While we set off on our little journey without any specific destinations planned, I did know that I wanted to make it through the Tunnel of Trees if we could. Some of the  pictures I came across on Pinterest of the area made it look super magical, so that was the only stop we plugged into our navigation.

 
I wish I had some cool shots to share with you from our drive through the Tunnel of Trees, but sadly it wasn't all that spectacular for us. The leaves had just barely started to shift in color and most of them were still quite green. Not that it was a bad drive through the area, it just didn't hold the wow factor I thought it would have. Had we arrived a week later, I am sure it would have been way cooler. But, I will tell you, some of our best views came from driving down service roads. 
 

These unpaved dirt roads are not maintained by the city, but there's something to be said for the road less traveled. If you want a real tunnel of trees experience, take a trip down the service roads of Michigan. We didn't run into any other cars on these roads, but did pass a few 4 wheelers out enjoying the unpopulated areas.

We did stop by the water to stretch our legs, and Jason thought it was mighty handy that he always keeps a lounging chair in his trunk. He found himself a nice little unoccupied area of the beach to sit and relax for a bit.

 I couldn't resist backtracking when we passed by the World's Largest Cherry Pie! The crust was 14 feet across and 2 feet deep, weighing 7 tons, and the filling weighed 1,730 pounds! Talk about a huge pie!

While it didn't require a passport or lots of planning, I'm glad we were able to steal a little time away from the pandemic to take a short trip through Michigan in the fall. Again, if you're planning on an autumn visit, the best time to see the colors of the season are at the end of the first week through the end of the second week in October. 


 


Have you made any (safe) road trips this year?



30 comments:

  1. Hello, I loved this post, so I can travel through what you show us. ������
    I loved your post, I did not know your blog, do you want us to follow? you tell me. Cheers

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  2. Wow, those really are some insane tree colours! Imagine having a house at the border of those woods? Glad you made the trip, I know you've always planned it! It is especially nice to see the photos now that all trees around us are nekkid!

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    1. I would love to have that house with the woods in the background! It would be so quiet and secluded. That's why we were searching for property in Michigan. It's so cheap there for a lot of acres so you don't have to be surrounded by hillbilly neighbors, but their taxes are insanely high.

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  3. Beautiful pictures. I love the beach and water pictures.

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  4. I'm sorry that the tunnel of trees didn't hit it's fall foliage peek when you got there, but it still looks pretty cool! The largest cherry pie is something I'd want to see too. We did our annual upstate adventures where we rent a villa and enjoy the Catskills. We also did a 4 day road trip to Rhode Island to help ease the burn of cancelling Disney. You got some beautiful shots as always!

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    1. Yes, your road trips this summer also looked so fun! I enjoyed living vicariously through your Instagram pics, especially since you seem to enjoy the silly momuments like I do :) I haven't been to Rhode Island, but it's one state I really want to drive through some day.

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  5. Wow, these colors are spectacular! I love Fall so much and I hope to visit States one day😊

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    1. I hope you are able to as well. I think you'd really enjoy a road trip here and all of the food you'd be able to sample as well!

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  6. I have also used my blog for travel logs and am really glad I did because there are details I wouldn’t have remembered. Those pictures are gorgeous! I’ve been to the west side of Michigan twice, to Sleeping Bear dunes and to Muskegon. I always spend January planning our summer vacation. Last year was supposed to be the Rocky Mountains and CO Springs. I’m not planning anything this year because I don’t want to be disappointed again.

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    1. Yeah, we aren't planning anything for this summer either. Probably do a few small in state mini trips though to check out areas we haven't visited yet. My daughter will be moving to Indianapolis after she graduates in May, so we'll probably stay a few days down there after getting her settled in to her new place. If you head back up to Michigan ever, make sure you check out Mackinaw Island. It's so pretty there and the fudge is amazing!

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    2. My nephew moved to Indy recently after his college graduation. He works for Eli Lilly. We took a trip there a few years back and loved it! My parents stayed at the hotel on Mackinaw twice and raved about it. It’s on our list!

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    3. Eli Lilly is why she is looking forward to moving to Indy! What a small world! She'll be graduating Purdue with her degree in biochemistry this year and had originally wanted to move to the west coast until she got a reality check on how much it was going to cost living in Portland. Indy is so much cheaper and will give her time to plan and save for bit before heading out that way. Does you son have good things to say about working for Eli Lilly?

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  7. Those are definitely very good autumn colors

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  8. what beautiful pictures Theresa, hugs to you!! xoxo

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  9. lol well at least they give you motivation to blog and get your trips up there, even if kinda behind.

    Sometimes just a good adventure near home is a fine way to be indeed, saves money too haha great shots as always. As for those side roads though, I've gone down sooooooooooo many of those things that I turn and go the other way if someone wanted to willingly go down. In the winter, they aren't so nice and fun. People who live in no mans land. Pfft haha

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    1. They want me to blog about it because they know that I'll need more material to post here later and that means another free trip for them LOL.

      I can't imagine trying to go down one in the winter. We almost got stuck in the mud in October. We'd surely get stranded in the snow and probably resort to looking for crumbs on the floorboard to survive until someone came along to rescue us LOL!

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  10. WOW it's so pretty! We have less color on the trees here. It seems like we typically have a winter day that happens too early, and takes all the leaves off before we really get a chance to enjoy. We haven't been like A.N.Y.W.H.E.R.E. It's very depressing.

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    1. It's the same here in Indiana. We get like a week of cool colors, then boom. It's all over :(

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  11. Great pictures of the fall leaves. Very pretty! I'm behind on posting for my blog too, so some of my posts are also from things that happened months ago.

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    1. I really do still have stuff from years ago to share. Great stuff that's a bit dated, but still might be worthwhile to share LOL

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  12. aww.... beautiful photos..... the second from top is the most lovely photo for me.

    Have a wonderful day

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  13. Michigan is THE best for leaves. We had big, beautiful trees that changed colors and it always made me so happy. The cold weather after didn't, but that's another story, lol. The pics of the trees are great!! The picture of on the beach is awesome too. Hurrah for a chair in the car. :)

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    1. You definitely know all about MI leaves. I remember some of your fall leave posts, but I think they were more of the kids playing in the raked fallen ones. I bet you don't miss that chore!

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  14. p.s. I had to look up 'fernweh,' Then, I had to listen to the pronunciation, lol.

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