We went into Mackinaw City yesterday afternoon to see what we could see. It's like a Jersey or Delaware shore town. Lots of t-shirt shops, places to eat, and hotels, but no boardwalk. We strolled down the streets and alleys and even went into a few stores, but bought nothing. After about an hour we went back to Winnie. I needed a nap because I was planning on staying up late to attend a show at Headlands Dark Sky Park. An astronomer from Eastern Michigan University came to talk about the moon, which was in the waxing crescent phase that evening. He brought some graduate students and telescopes to look at the night sky. Headlands was designated a Dark Sky park several years ago by the International Dark Sky Association. It’s located in an area shielded from artificial light.
The lecture by the professor was entertaining and lasted until the sunset. Afterwards we went outside to watch the moon and stars. I took a few pictures from the viewing area before heading to the lake’s shoreline away from the Event Center. It was definitely dark, but surprisingly the light from the crescent moon provided some light to be able to see along the shoreline. Looking back toward the wooded area you could see hundreds of lightning bugs (aka fireflies). I tried to include them in some of the pictures, but was not very successful. The Milky Way was rather faint, but I caught a couple of shooting stars in some of the images.
Before heading back to Winnie, I drove to McGulpin Point Lighthouse. Unfortunately its an old light house and is secluded in the trees now and I couldn’t get a good shot. I drove to the shoreline to see McGulpin Rock, a navigation landmark used by sailors in the 1600’s. It was so dark on the lake that I couldn’t locate the rock. I guess the sailors didn’t sail at night. From McGulpin Point you could see the Mackinac Bridge though. After a few shots I decided pack it up and go to bed. I eventually hit the pillow at about 2AM.
Today is our last day here. We’ll start driving south along the coast of Lake Michigan in the morning. We’ll be staying near Traverse City for about a week. Lots to see and photograph in the area. Stay tuned.