apple orchardIt’s apple picking time in Northern Michigan and on Saturday I visited a local, organic apple farm to get a taste of some delicious, fresh pressed cider.  Blackbird Farm owned by Don Smeltzer invited the public to come and enjoy organic apple cider at his farm in Frankfort, Michigan.  His farm is located right on Upper Herring Lake and is situated in a beautiful location just a couple of miles from M-22.

The morning started with snowflakes and I wasn’t sure if the day was going to pan out for the apple farm or not.  By noon the snow showers had stopped and the sun was shining…for the most part.  I was looking forward to getting out and enjoying the fall colors by coming home along M-22, the most scenic highway in North America, especially this time of year.

quilt layoutBefore I left for the apple farm I laid out my quilt that I pieced at the Quilting retreat this past week.  This pattern is called “Summer in the Park” which I found on Missouri Star Quilting’s YouTube channel.  It is made from jelly rolls and was a very easy pattern to put together.  I waited until I got home from the retreat in order to starch the blocks since they were cut on the bias and were apt to stretch.

Initially I was trying to match up the colors for each colored block but that didn’t yield me a full size quilt and it left 2 of the 6 blocks from each tube I’d made as “scraps”.  I couldn’t stand the idea of wasting that many blocks and decided to get over the “matchy matchy” and used all the blocks and let the colors be more random.  I got all my rows marked and stacked and ready to sew…later.

Frankfort lighthouseMy afternoon drive started with a trip into Frankfort to pick up something at the drug store.  I decided to swing down by the beach and took this peaceful shot of the bench looking out over Lake Michigan and the lighthouse.  It was windy and cold enough that I didn’t linger very long at the beach but headed on over to the orchard before I missed out on the cider.

I’ll be visiting Frankfort again soon and share more pictures in the weeks ahead.  There’s a very special person who lives in Frankfort and you’ll want to meet.  But it’s to early to tell you about him now.  I can tell you his house is very popular on trick or treat night…he estimates he will see 1,500 goblins this year if the weather holds out.

Joyfield Rd lookoutMy drive home along M-22 was absolutely spectacular and I couldn’t resist showing you the beautiful scenery I enjoyed.  I stopped first at the scenic turnout along M-22 at Joyfield Road.  You can see Sleeping Bear Dunes in the distance and just a hint of Lake Michigan along the shore.  The fall colors were just starting to “peak” in intensity of color but you never know if a snowstorm or wind will blow them off early.

Just west along Joyfield Road is “Gravity Hill” which is one of the many wonders in Mystic Michigan.  Have you ever had your car go uphill when in neutral?  It will if you visit Gravity Hill.

Sleeping Bear Dunes from Inspiration PointNext stop was Inspiration Point or also known as Lookout Point, just north of Arcadia on M-22.  The views from this scenic overlook are awesome to behold.  Sleeping Bear Dunes lies to the north and Arcadia Dunes lies to the south.  Lake Michigan stretches as far as the eye can see.  Supposedly Wisconsin is over there on the other side of the lake.

The first picture (left) is looking north towards Sleeping Bear Dunes.  You can go up further to the higher observation deck but that many stairs were to much for me to climb with my heart condition, so I enjoyed the view from the street level deck.

Arcadia from Inspiration PointThe second picture (right) is looking south towards Arcadia Dunes, that features one of the most picturesque golf courses in the country.  From Inspiration Point the turn to take me home is only about a mile or two south.  I live less than 10 miles from this breathtaking view of Lake Michigan.  I’ve traveled and lived all over the United States and I must admit this is one of the prettiest places I’ve ever lived…except in winter.  I’m still a southern girl at heart when it comes to long, Michigan winters.  But I’m getting more acclimated as the years go by.  Now I think it’s warm if it gets over 65 degrees.  When I lived in Florida I used to think that was cold.  My how times have changed….

field across from our drivewayThe last two pictures are taken on the road where I live.  The open field is right across our road from our driveway.  This hill blocks the western winds that blow in the winter.  Back behind those trees is the “Sugar Shack” where maple syrup is made in the early spring by the neighbors.

I live within 10 miles of many beautiful locations.  Ten miles to the west is Inspiration Point (shown above).  Less than 10 miles east is Crystal Mountain Resort which features golf in summer and skiing in winter.  Less than 10 miles south is Bear Lake and less than 10 miles north is Crystal Lake.

Cermak Rd looking towards Glovers Lake RdI’m one lucky girl to live in such a beautiful area of the country.  I wouldn’t trade my dirt road for anything in the world.  Home, Sweet Home…..




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