Michigan Road Trip

This summer, I was fortunate to escape the oppressive weather in Houston by taking a road trip in Michigan and Canada. I’m quite fond of road trips, and so when I found out I needed to be up there, I started planning my route. 

I have familial ties in Michigan, and I have been numerous times. For this trip, I wanted to try somewhere new. My last trip north I had done a road trip around Lake Michigan. That trip was enjoyable. I knew I wanted to do something similar. Having done the west coast, the obvious answer was the east coast. A road trip along Lake Huron. 

I researched sights and points of interest. Started with reviewing highlights on maps, then general search engine searches, and finally, for the first time, I tried searching on YouTube. I was a little surprised in that there was less content than I was expecting. I did find some cool videos from Felicia Fullwood (https://www.youtube.com/@feliciafullwood). I also enjoyed the live cam in Port Huron of the Saint Clair River (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6F1ABQXtCmI). I found my desired subjects, I mapped them out, calculated times and mileage, and then searched for viable hotels, and my itinerary was set. 

All in all, this road trip spanned 5 days and 1,300 miles. Below are my maps and select images from my trip. 

Day 1

My first day was really a preface to the road trip, I had to be in Traverse City, but I had flown into Detroit. The people I was visiting weren’t going to arrive until late, so I used the day to get north, and see some sights.

The below images are from Old Mission Peninsula, just north of Traverse City.

Sony Alpha 7R IV | Sony 24-70mm GM II | 24mm | ISO 100 | f/8 | 1/400 sec
Sony Alpha 7R IV | Sony 24-70mm GM II | 24mm | ISO 100 | f/8 | 1/250 sec
Sony Alpha 7R IV | Sony 24-70mm GM II | 24mm | ISO 100 | f/8 | 1/160 sec

This is the Grand Traverse Lighthouse.

Sony Alpha 7R IV | Sony 24-70mm GM II | 24mm | ISO 100 | f/5.6 | 1/400 sec

Scenes from Frankfort, MI.

Sony Alpha 7R IV | Sony 24-70mm GM II | 70mm | ISO 100 | f/5.6 | 1/400 sec
Sony Alpha 7R IV | Sony 100-400mm GM | 400mm | ISO 160 | f/5.6 | 1/4000 sec

Charlevoix, MI

Sony Alpha 7R IV | Sony 24-70mm GM II | 58mm | ISO 100 | f/2.8 | 1/1000 sec
Sony Alpha 7R IV | Sony 24-70mm GM II | 24mm | ISO 100 | f/2.8 | 1/1000 sec

Day 2

The second day was getting from Traverse City up to Mackinaw City. My main goal was to get the Mackinac Bridge for sunset & sunrise. The first pictures are from Boardman Lake in Traverse City.

Sony Alpha 7R IV | Sony 100-400mm GM | 100mm | ISO 100 | f/4.5 | 1/60 sec
Sony Alpha 7R IV | Sony 100-400mm GM | 226mm | ISO 100 | f/5.6 | 1/250 sec
Sony Alpha 7R IV | Sony 100-400mm GM | 400mm | ISO 100 | f/5.6 | 1/250 sec
Sony Alpha 7R IV | Sony 100-400mm GM | 224mm | ISO 100 | f/16 | 8 sec
Sony Alpha 7R IV | Sony 24-70mm GM II | 42mm | ISO 100 | f/16 | 6 sec

Day 3

The third day was from Mackinaw City to Tawas City.

Sony Alpha 7R IV | Sony 100-400mm GM | 148mm | ISO 100 | f/16 | 1/6 sec

Cheboygan, MI

Sony Alpha 7R IV | Sony 24-70mm GM II | 70mm | ISO 100 | f/2.8 | 1/1600 sec

Ocqueoc Falls

Sony Alpha 7R IV | Sony 24-70mm GM II | 24mm | ISO 100 | f/11 | 10 sec
Sony Alpha 7R IV | Sony 24-70mm GM II | 46mm | ISO 100 | f/8 | 1/320 sec
Sony Alpha 7R IV | Sony 24-70mm GM II | 43mm | ISO 100 | f/8 | 1/400 sec
Sony Alpha 7R IV | Sony 24-70mm GM II | 24mm | ISO 100 | f/8 | 1/320 sec

Day 4

Tawas City to Port Huron.

Sony Alpha 7R IV | Sony 24-70mm GM II | 39mm | ISO 100 | f/8 | 1/500 sec
Sony Alpha 7R IV | Sony 24-70mm GM II | 24mm | ISO 100 | f/8 | 1/500 sec
Sony Alpha 7R IV | Sony 100-400mm GM | 400mm | ISO 100 | f/8 | 1/400 sec

Day 5

Port Huron to Windsor.

This was the last leg of the road trip, but I did have one more day of photography in Detroit. The drive wasn’t long, so I went up the coast a bit to catch some lighthouses.

Sony Alpha 7R IV | Sony 24-70mm GM II | 70mm | ISO 100 | f/5.6 | 1/160 sec
Sony Alpha 7R IV | Sony 24-70mm GM II | 70mm | ISO 100 | f/5.6 | 1/800 sec
Sony Alpha 7R IV | Sony 24-70mm GM II | 69mm | ISO 100 | f/5.6 | 1/800 sec
Sony Alpha 7R IV | Sony 24-70mm GM II | 24mm | ISO 3200 | f/4.0 | 1/50 sec
Sony Alpha 7R IV | Sony 24-70mm GM II | 24mm | ISO 100 | f/11 | 15 sec

Final Day

Images from around Detroit.

Sony Alpha 7R IV | Sony 24-70mm GM II | 24mm | ISO 100 | f/2.8 | 1/1000 sec
Sony Alpha 7R IV | Sony 24-70mm GM II | 55mm | ISO 100 | f/2.8 | 1/1000 sec
Sony Alpha 7R IV | Sony 24-70mm GM II | 58mm | ISO 100 | f/2.8 | 1/1000 sec
Sony Alpha 7R IV | Sony 24-70mm GM II | 24mm | ISO 100 | f/2.8 | 1/1000 sec
Sony Alpha 7R IV | Sony 100-400mm GM | 100mm | ISO 100 | f/4.5 | 1/640 sec
Sony Alpha 7R IV | Sony 100-400mm GM | 218mm | ISO 400 | f/5.6 | 1/1000 sec
Sony Alpha 7R IV | Sony 100-400mm GM | 400mm | ISO 200 | f/5.6 | 1/500 sec
Sony Alpha 7R IV | Sony 100-400mm GM | 196mm | ISO 200 | f/5.6 | 1/800 sec

Final Thoughts

Given I had family time, having a week to drive around by myself and get my along time in was appreciated. This had been a rough summer for me from a photography perspective. The heat in Houston was unbearable, so I wasn’t out taking pictures. The few times I tried, I was going to the usual spots, and I just felt very uninspired. When I found out I had to go to Michigan, I was quick to extend the trip to and take some pictures.

I’ve always enjoyed nautical themes, the trip along Lake Huron was pretty empty, but nice scenery, many lighthouses, I really liked Alpena, Tawas, and Port Huron. The ship activity on the lakes is also something I enjoyed watching.

Michigan is a beautiful state. I enjoyed my trip and taking photos. If you haven’t been, I can’t recommend it enough.


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