Go See Do Photography

A Lot of Travel, A Little Bit of History, and a Whole Bunch of Photos

Point Pelee National Park

While visiting Canada a few weeks back, we decided to make the trip to Point Pelee National Park. Point Pelee is the southern most point on mainland Canada, not to be confused with the American Southernmost Point, in Florida. It was a chilly, windy day and the waves on Lake Erie were so big it was easy to forget you weren’t looking at the ocean. As the name implies, Point Pelee juts out into Lake Erie like a peninsula with water rushing towards it from both sides. It was unlike anything I had ever seen before (below). Despite the frigid temperatures and unrelenting wind, it was easy to imagine how popular this place is in the summer. The beach would be perfect for relaxing by the water and listening to the surf under the warm sun.

Point jutting out into Lake Erie

At 5 square miles, Point Pelee is smaller than the smallest American Park (Hot Springs National Park is 8.6 square miles), but is still full of things to do. From beachgoing, as I mentioned above to kayaking and hiking, Point Pelee has something to do in every season. The park also offers a unique camping experience called oTENik, which is kind of like a yurt or small cabin that houses groups up to six. I would like to return in the summer and stay in one of these tent-like structures. I don’t believe that traditional camping is offered within the park, although I’m sure you could find a place nearby.

Even though it is a small park and it was so cold, I enjoyed exploring Point Pelee National Park and hope to return in the future. For more information about the park, visit Parks Canada.  I am very glad that we took a weekend to discover nearby Canada. It was closer than many places in Michigan and the international hassle was not nearly what I expected it to be. I really do think, weekend and even day trips to Canada will become more of an occurrence for us now.

Thanks for stopping by! To read about some of our previous trips, click here. If you like my photos be sure to “like” my Facebook Page, follow me on Instagram! You can purchase prints on Etsy and Fine Art America. To see inside my camera bag, check out my Gear Page. For information about our new Guided Photography Tours, visit GuidedPhoto.com.

Wordless Wednesday: Portland Head Light

Weekend in Canada

The view out the window at our AirBNB in Essex.

A few weeks ago we took a getaway for a weekend in Essex, Canada. Only half an hour from Detroit, Essex is on the shore of Lake Erie and is known as Ontario’s wine country. We rented an AirBNB right on the water. Even though it was too cold to spend time on the beach, it was nice to sit in front of the fireplace and hear the waves crashing out the window. It was a very relaxing winter weekend.

We chose Essex because of the location. It was closer than most of our favorite places on the water in Michigan. Houses in Essex were much cheaper than equivilant homes on Lake Michigan. Factor in the exchange rate that the American dollar currently gets you about $1.25 Canadian, a weekend in Canada can be a really good deal!

Windsor Sculpture Park makes for an interesting view of the Detroit skyline.

Of course, going into Canada, you have to worry about border crossings. We crossed the border so late we were the only car in line and it couldn’t have even taken 5 minutes. Coming home on Sunday was a little busier, but it was pretty quick too, maybe ten minutes. If you time it right, crossing the border isn’t too bad.

Probably the hardest thing about taking a weekend in a foreign country is having to worry about customs. Normally, when you’re on vacation its not a big deal to bring leftovers home, but crossing the border makes that tricky. We had to buy the smallest quantities of food to cook so we didn’t waste too much and tried not to have leftovers from restaurants because there are stringent rules about what you can and cannot bring across the border. I don’t know how strict they are about enforcing those rules, but I didn’t really want to find out. To find out more information about what can be brought back from Canada, visit Customs and Border Control.

Detroit Skyline from Windsor

This was the first time I had been to Canada since I was an adult. Even though it is only an hour away, the border crossing was something that intimidated me. Now that I have done it, it really wasn’t a big deal. We will probably go to Canada more frequently now that we’ve done it and realized how easy it is.

Thanks for stopping by! To read about some of our previous trips, click here. If you like my photos be sure to “like” my Facebook Page, follow me on Instagram! You can purchase prints on Etsy and Fine Art America. To see inside my camera bag, check out my Gear Page. For information about our new Guided Photography Tours, visit GuidedPhoto.com.

Wordless Wednesday: Sunset Clouds

Camping Sleeping Bear: D. H. Day

I have always heard people talking about the D. H. Day campground at Sleeping Bear Dunes, but it has always been first come first served. I have heard stories of people lining up for hours just waiting for someone to leave. So, when I heard that National Park Service announced that they were going to begin accepting reservations for this popular campground, I began checking weekly to see if the website was up. After several months of delays, the website was up and I was able to secure a campsite for a weekend in August.

D.H. Day is the rustic campground at Sleeping Bear Dunes. There is no electricity and there are outhouses instead of bathrooms (just as camping should be, in my opinion). Because of when I booked, all of the loops were full, except the generator loop, meaning campers are allowed to use generators in camp during the day. Since we don’t spend a lot of time at our campsite during the day, this wasn’t a problem for us, but I did notice this seemed to be the loop with the bigger rigs.

Our site at D.H. Day

After camping at D. H. Day, I totally understand the hype. It is a gorgeous campground, right in the heart of Sleeping Bear Dunes. The sites are good sized and have a separated from each other. The campground also has a beautiful beach (top). My only complaint is that our site was very close to the outhouse (left) and it did not appear that way on the map, or I wouldn’t have booked it. If you are a camper, I highly recommend D.H. Day campground as a home base for exploring Sleeping Bear and all the Leelanau Peninsula has to offer! If you are thinking about camping at D.H. Day, I highly recommend booking in advance at recreation.gov because sites do fill up fast!

Thanks for stopping by! To read about some of our previous trips, click here. If you like my photos be sure to “like” my Facebook Page, follow me on Instagram! You can purchase prints on Etsy and Fine Art America. To see inside my camera bag, check out my Gear Page. For information about our new Guided Photography Tours, visit GuidedPhoto.com.

Wordless Wednesday: Canopy Walk

Hiking Sleeping Bear: Alligator Hill

View from the lookout on the Alligator Hill Trail

This past summer, we took a weekend camping trip to Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore. Located on Lake Michigan, just south of Traverse City, Sleeping Bear Dunes is one of the most beautiful places in the state! Usually, when we visit the dunes, we head for the Empire Bluff Trail, which ends in one of the best lookouts in the state. This time, we decided to try something different and hike the Alligator Hill Trail, one of the most popular trails in the park.

Although longer than the short Empire Bluff Trail, Alligator Hill was an easier hike. It was a gradual uphill for most of the 1.3 mile hike to the lookouts. By avoiding the intermediate and advanced trails and stopping at each of the lookouts, this hike is 4.1 miles round trip, but much less strenuous than climbing to the top of Empire Bluff. The view from the overlooks was nice, but it didn’t compare to the striking sand cliff at Empire Bluff.

After hiking Alligator Hill, I have some recommendations for hikers at Sleeping Bear Dunes. If you are looking for a fairly easy day hike, with some nice views, you can’t go wrong with Alligator Hill. If you’re up for something a little more strenuous with absolutely amazing views, hike Empire Bluff. I was glad we hiked the Alligator Hill trail, but the next time we’re at the dunes, we will go back to Empire Bluff instead!

Thanks for stopping by! Be sure to come back next week to read more about our weekend at Sleeping Bear Dunes! To read about some of our previous trips, click here. If you like my photos be sure to “like” my Facebook Page, follow me on Instagram! You can purchase prints on Etsy and Fine Art America. To see inside my camera bag, check out my Gear Page. For information about our new Guided Photography Tours, visit GuidedPhoto.com.

Wordless Wednesday: Autumn Reflection

National Museum of the United States Air Force

Astronaut at the National Air Force Museum

This summer, to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the moon landing, we took a trip to Ohio to visit the Armstrong Air and Space Museum and The National Air Force Museum. The Air Force Museum is located at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base near Dayton, Ohio. The museum is absolutely huge and after starting our day in Wapakoneta and driving over an hour additional to Dayton, it didn’t leave us with much time to explore. At first, we didn’t realize how big the museum is and spent too much time in the Civil War to World War II exhibit. Yes, the museum has artifacts dating back to the Civil War! Before this visit, I had no idea air travel played a role in the 19th century (below)!

Unfortunately, we didn’t have time to explore the exhibits dedicated to the Korean War, Southeast Asia, or the Cold War as we made a mad dash to check out the space exhibit. We were there to celebrated the moon landing, after all. The space exhibit reminded me of visiting the Kennedy Space Center and exploring the missile garden. If you are looking to go in-depth in the space program, The Air Force Museum is not the place to do it. They do have a cool flying astronaut (top), but it is much more set up to tell the story of the Air Force, not NASA. If you are looking for that, definitely check out Armstrong Air & Space or head down to Florida and the Kennedy Space Center.

Early army pilots flying a blimp

I will have to plan another trip back to this area to see the parts that we missed! I really wish I could’ve explored the Presidental Air Craft and the uniform exhibits! I’m not in any way a military fanatic, but it was interesting to look into a very specific part of our history. We will probably pair a return visit with visit to the nearby Wright Brothers National Museum. If you are in the Dayton area, The National Museum of the United States Air Force is a huge museum and not to be missed! The museum is free to visit, although since you are entering an Air Force base, you do have to go through security.

Thanks for stopping by! To read about some of our previous trips, click here. If you like my photos be sure to “like” my Facebook Page, follow me on Instagram! You can purchase prints on Etsy and Fine Art America. To see inside my camera bag, check out my Gear Page. For information about our new Guided Photography Tours, visit GuidedPhoto.com.

Wordless Wednesday: Fall Bridge

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