Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Manistee (with an "S") Michigan

We had a nice trip up from Pentwater to Manistee. It was a sunny day, and the lake was relatively calm as we pulled out of Pentwater. Not as flat as some of our earlier days, but very comfortable.

Bernie made up a great little lunch while underway – a fruit plate with cheese and crackers. She put so much into the visual aspect of it, that we had to document it.

The highlights of the trip were going around Big Sable Point and seeing our first real freighter of the trip. As we are rather inexperienced freighter spotters, we first thought it was two ships … then two ships that must be connected to each other … finally, it became clear that it was a very large freighter with two pilot houses or deck houses or whatever those things are called.

As we entered the Manistee River, we had to move aside for a cruise ship. Not quite as large some of the big ocean going ones, but an honest to goodness cruise ship nonetheless.

In Manistee we stayed at the Manistee Municipal Marina. It is not far from the channel entrance and has fairly roomy slips. The slips can be a little unnerving for the inexperienced as the front of the slips are very rocky, where the water gets shallow quickly. You can’t see that from the helm. Well, at least not from ours. But the marina sends out dockhands to assist with all boats coming in and the dockhands know how deep the slips are and position you according to how much you draw.

One of our cruising guides mentioned the river current as something to watch out for. But we found it to be very slow, almost unnoticeable at the marina, and since we were moving upriver, it actually helped with the turn into the slip.

When we pulled in, the dockhands that helped us were both females. It’s nice to see that there is equal opportunity employment out there in what you normally see as “man’s work”!

The marina has free wi-fi.

Manistee, itself, seems to be trying (rather successfully it appears) to transition from an industrial town to a more tourism-focused town. The Port of Call book that we use mentioned that the town was quaint without being a tourist trap. And that truly is what we found. The downtown area is well kept. It is full of independent shops (almost no vacant storefronts) with interesting architecture.

The notable feature of the town, we thought, is the Riverwalk. It runs the entire length of the Manistee River with easy access to the main street in town (River Street) at least every block. Portions of it are REALLY a river walk as it extends over pilings. It meanders out to the channel, past all the marinas and the public boat launch. Bernie ran her morning jog/run along the Riverwalk this morning and saw a beaver. It looked odd because it was on land but the characteristic big flat tail gave it away.

The Riverwalk also has markers that point out historic information about the town’s lumber and shipping history. And there is a lot of history here. The markers were so interesting that we stopped by the Manistee County Historical Museum. As it turns out, the Museum is worth a separate blog post – because we took so many pictures while at the museum.

There is enough to see and do in Manistee that we could have stayed another day.

1 comment:

snowiscool said...

Oh, with an s. Disappointing.