Leelanau Peninsula

Kayak Jack

Well-Known Member
Aug 26, 2003
Okemos / East Lansing Michigan
Just returned from a 5 day weekend. Started out in Grayling, Michigan - the original home of Bear Archery. Milady and I were guests of Bud & Sharon Hart. Next day, after a sumptuous breakfast, we meandered up to Omena on the Leelanau Peninsula. Omena is a small coastal town of about 50-60 acres on Grand Traverse Bay. Miles of fresh water coast line, wineries, small towns, bicycle trails, wineries, good restaurants, sod air strip, more small towns and more wineries.
Traverse City is the cherry capital in Michigan, and of the USA, if you like good cherries. If you're not too fussy, then other areas grow cherries too, but not as good.
We stayed at the Omena Sunset Lodge, a four building collection of last century (actually, 1800's), 2-3 story, wooden frame homes where vacationers from Chicago used to travel by sail and steam boats to reach. Now, cars bring us all to the area.
On Saturday, we toured the Traverse City Wine Festival. I estimate that at least 25-40 wineries were set up at tasting tables, vending their wares. Raucous "music" blared out for a few hours, and then was replaced by quieter, but equally unappetizing music. SIGH
Sunday, we rode over 16 miles on trails, toured towns, air fields, state parks, light houses, and a roadside cookie stand that had oatmeal cookies with cherries embedded. Monday, we rode towards Traverse City, and visited Gwen's brother's widow, and her son and grandsons. Her son, Jack, is an airline pilot, and we have plans to fly together. We had a family picnic on the shore of West Bay of Grand Traverse Bay in the (another) little town of Greilickville. It was hot and sticky, so we rode only about 13 miles.
Tuesday, we started home after another really great breakfast. What a great "weekend"!


Well-Known Member
Sep 10, 2003
Oscoda, michigan
Jack: Nice to hear about your trip to the Leelanau peninsula. Mary and I were there on some of the same days as you and your lady. We attended a cancer fund raiser at the Black Star Ranch on Saturday, the 19th. All the ladies were dressed in their most elegant finery. Wow you should have seen the glitz. All (or most) in pink. We stayed overnight at the Leelanau Sands lodge and casino, run by the Ottawa and Chippewa Indian tribe from Peshwabishtown. The function lasted most of the afternoon and they had a contest for the most beautiful outfit, most beautiful hat, etc. Mary won a couple of the prizes so she came away happy. The Black Star Farm is a working farm and has a gourmet restaurant on the grounds, riding clubs, cherry orchards, vineyards, and you name it they have most of them. After the Cancer function (about 150 ladies) in their main dining room at the farmhouse we went to the motel, changed into play clothes, and went to Omena. Walked the short beach, oggled the sunbathers, and drove to Northport, the end of the peninnsula. I've put my boat in there a few times. It has one of the most beautiful marinas on the entire Great Lakes. Sunday we looked over some properties South of Traverse City. We have our house for sale and may move our home to that area. Our son and daughter-in-law are researching the area by internet. They live near Mojave, Ca. He is my oldest son and recently retired. Paula, his wife, is in Nuclear medicine and she will retire later this year, and they both want to get back to Michigan.

Question. Did you or any of the geezers that canoed the Manistee this spring ever post a trip report on that expedition? I've poured over the sources I'm aware of in search of a report on that trip but haven't found any reports . How was that trip? Who participated? Who won the fishing contest, etc., etc.?

Dapper Al.


Well-Known Member
Feb 22, 2011
Jack--- I've grown two varieties of pie cherries in Atlanta, Ga. Tasted great, but smaller than Michigan cherries.

While camping on the UP, south of Pictured Rocks, we met a couple from Atlanta, Michigan.

You mentioned Jackson, Michigan, on another flight. Back around 2000, I drove from Atlanta to Jackson in a day, to buy a nice Bluewater canoe at a big discount. Bluewater was then going under, to be absorbed by Scott. Now, Scott is going under. People better order some good plywood, glass, and epoxy and start building their own paddlecraft.