Thursday, June 27, 2013

Saugatuck, Michigan and our Dune Schooner Ride

Our tow car is a 2011 Honda CR-V and RV makes sure all the necessary maintenance is done on a timely basis.  It was time for an oil change so we made an appointment with Crown Honda in Holland, MI.  We had no idea of where we were taking our car but it turned out to be an excellent choice.  The waiting room was packed but we were out of there in less than an hour.  We decided to take the scenic way back to South Haven which would be on Lake Shore Drive and head south along the shoreline of Lake Michigan.
Holland, MI - H. J. Heinz Co.

Holland, Michigan
Douglas, Michigan

Lake Shore - Saugatuck Harbor
 There were several surprises along the way and many ooooo's and ahhhhhh's.  We decided to follow the Blue Star Highway south to the beautiful artsy town of Saugatuck for lunch and perhaps a dune ride.  We had an excellent lunch at The Butler Restaurant, a longtime favorite with locals, famous for its big burgers, on the beautiful Saugatuck Harbor, home to some 900 yachts and sailboats.   
Saugatuck Harbor - Saugatuck,, MI

The Butler Restaurant - Saugatuck, MI

Saugatuck Star - Saugatuck Harbor, MI
The Butler Restaurant - Saugatuck Harbor, MI

The famous dune rides in Saugatuck had been suggested by friends and there are several adjectives to describe this experience - wild  -  fun  -  exciting -  educational.  After having experienced the famous freewheeling dune ride on a converted diesel pickup truck called a "dune schooner", we can't imagine someone coming to this area and NOT going on a dune ride!!  The ride takes you to the highest point of the area so you see miles of sweeping vistas of the geographical area, and then you ride below the tree cover where the wildlife usually stay during the day.  The drivers are knowledgeable about the history of the area and explain how Saugatuck and a now nonexistent city, Singapore, were settled for lumber interests in the mid-1800's.  This area contributed much of the lumber used to rebuild Chicago after the great fire of 1871.  When the trees were gone so was their windbreaking presence and the blowing sand gradually buried the village and it lives only in legend as the "Lost City of Singapore".  

Dune Schooner - Saugatuck Dune Rides

Saugatuck Dunes

Saugatuck Dunes

Saugatuck Dune Rides

There is a deer in back of the tree!

Saugatuck Dune Rides

Saugatuck Dune Rides
We're back  - safe!
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