Wednesday, August 29, 2007


From the marina, you immediately notice the large Victorian-style houses along the hill. Charlevoix is probably the first town we've visited that was originally a resort and vacation area. And there are examples of the Victorian architecture throughout the town. But, there is also some very unique architecture here as well. While at the Chamber of Commerce, always a first stop, we picked up a brochure on "The Earl Young Tour of Charlevoix". Victorian is nice, but the Earl Young houses are really interesting. Back in the 1930s, Mr. Young had bought a lot of property on the west edge of Charlevoix, which he developed with winding roads and several houses. Eleven seem to still exist in the area and there are a few others scattered in town. The pictures to the left are two that are along the river.

This is the front and back of the same house. You have to look closely but even the birdhouse is stone with the cedar roof. The brochure says that he designed the house to fit the space. We'd love to see what the inside of these homes look like. Phil thought that we had wandered into Hobbit-town.

This is called the Mushroom House.

The Woolly Bugger Roasters of Fine Coffees and Internet Cafe has free wi-fi. It also has the "Lake Effect", a White Chocolate Coffee drink, that is rather addicting. There's a Woolly Bugger in Harbor Springs (which we'll write about soon). Phil thinks Bernie just likes the name, which refers to a type of fly fishing lure. But she also thinks that all the fishing related quotes around the wall, free internet are pretty neat. Did I mention that the Lake Effect was tasty? And Phil really liked the Ethiopean and the Inn at Crooked Lake Blend.

A quick mention of the Great Lakes Whitefish and Chips Co. is necessary since we ate there both nights. You can't be up here without enjoying the whitefish. Oh, and Murdick's Fudge shop also fulfilled our "Ice cream in every port" rule. They have Sleeping Bear Supreme Ice Cream.

Charlevoix has a good bike path, too. The Little Traverse Wheelway is an old railroad path that runs from Charlevoix all the way to Harbor Springs (about 19 miles one way). It's all paved but there are some pretty steep hills (that were definitely NOT part of a rail road line). But, hey, every now and then you should go through each of your 24 gears to make sure they all work. Or as Phil says "You got 24 gears - use 'em".

Along the way, we passed through a few roadside park/lake access sites. At one of them, they were dedicating a new Historical Marker for The Big Rock Point. This was also the site of the Consumers Power Big Rock Nuclear Power Plant. We'll spare you the side of the marker that talks about the power plant as it is written in fluent UtilitySpeak.

We didn't get to the Historical museum, this time, but we did check out some of their historical markers. We live along Lake Michigan but coming up here gives you an entirely different view of the lake and the history that goes with it.

Also while in Charlevoix we met another couple who have a Chris Craft, too. (Actually, they were our neighbors -- we've noticed that the harbor masters tend to put us next to other Chris Crafts if possible.) They live in Florida during the winter and live on their boat in various Michigan harbors the whole summer. They store their boat for the winter in whatever port they are in when the weather "turns". That doesn't sound like a bad plan to us at all!

"Looks like we got us a convoy" as we left Charlevoix for Beaver Island.

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