Cruising on Last Dance

This blog archives the adventures of Glen and Jill Moore and provides a means of communication for friends and family. Exploration and adventure have been synonymous with boats and water for centuries. The joy of adventures shared while exploring new places and meeting new people has built a strong bond for Glen and Jill. Last Dance is the platform for the exploration.

"The world is a book, and those who do not travel read only a page." St. Augustine, 354 - 430

“Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn't do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.” Mark Twain, 1835 - 1910

"There is nothing -- absolutely nothing -- half so much worth doing as simply messing around in boats." The Wind in the Willows, 1908, Kenneth Grahame, 1859 - 1932

"I've never believed speed and ease are conductive to living fully, becoming aware, or deepening memory, a tripod of urges to stabilize and lend meaning to life." River Horse: a log book of a boat across America, 1999, William Least Heat-Moon,1939 -

The Great Loop -- The current adventure is a circumnavigation of the Eastern United States, cruising north up the east coast through New York into Canada, across the Great Lakes to Chicago, navigating multiple river systems south to Mobile, along the Gulf coast to the Florida Keys and back to St. Augustine. This trip by boat is commonly referred to as the Great Loop. Progress and current location are indicated by the red line on the map to the right. It was titled the Traceless Path in recognition of a German sailor we met in St. Augustine who published booklets of his travels with hand-drawn, detailed maps describing his travels across the water as the Traceless Path.

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Michigan -- Charlevoix

Charlevoix is a northern Michigan city located on Round Lake, connected to Lake Michigan by a canal.  It is a very protected spot, which turned out to be quite beneficial as a planned one-day stay turned into five days because Lake Michigan developed high waves. Charlevoix was a wonderfully entertaining place to be stuck. The marina is located on Round Lake along a park and the main downtown avenue.  A number of Loopers (people cruising the Great Loop) were also stuck in Charlevoix, providing an opportunity for sampling restaurants together and building friendships.

The park has large grassy areas and an amphitheater.  During our stay, a Canadian-country-folk group played at the theater.  

Mushroom Houses

Earl Young (1889-1975) was a realtor and insurance agent in Charlevoix.  He attended college to study architecture but dropped out after a year because he did not like the styles of architecture being taught. Young decided to build homes that fit the land, with the first stories being made of rocks.  His homes are known as gnome or mushroom houses.  The great depression and other factors limited the number of houses he built. They are a celebrated part of Charlevoix history.

From 1955 to 1959, Young constructed a restaurant and inn on the canal that leads to Round Lake.  It is still operating as such and is a popular spot.  After sampling the restaurant with Bob and Kemba DeGroot, from Spirit Dancer, we found that the food contributes to the success along with the architecture and location.

Charlevoix Library

One would not think that the local library would be one of the most interesting places to visit.  Charlevoix has converted the old school into an amazing library and park.  The library is in a beautifully renovated building with striking and functional spaces inside.

Shovel Bird

A sculpture garden graces the library grounds.

A Kaleidoscope using plants and flowers for the color source

Some of the sculptures had practical uses

Butterfly Garden

In a separate section of the grounds, a large butterfly sculpture anchors a butterfly garden.  Beautiful flowers fill the garden, attracting real butterflies.  The nectar does not discriminate, drawing bumblebees as well as butterflies.

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