Fika, Fika, Fika…..

Coffee is always a good idea

Coffee, because it is too early for wine

I judge a restaurant by the bread and by the coffee – Burt Lancaster

Coffee: the favorite drink of the civilized world – Thomas Jefferson

I never laugh until I’ve had my coffee – Clark Gable


U.P. Michigan

From Traverse City we traveled north on M31 and over the Mackinac Bridge onto the Upper Peninsula. Several coffe recommendations from Erik at Planetary Coffee paid off handsomely. Dripworks in Petoskey and Veladrome in Marquette featured below were outstanding! We also stopped in at Superior Coffee Roasters in Sault Ste. Marie while in town to watch lake freighters move through the locks.

We have been able to take full advantage of the Hiawatha NF camping along small lakes each night.

Additional highlights on the UP included visiting the Whitefish Point Light on Lake Suprior, a 4WD drive out to the beach at Vermillion Point and hiking to the falls at Tahqueamenon Falls. 

Western Michigan

Arriving in Traverse City marks our completion of the 117 mile long M22 which follows the Lake Michigan shoreline of the Leelanau Peninsula. The M22 is a beautiful scenic drive offering great vistas of Lake Michigan and the Grand Traverse Bay. 0014,0015 

Traverse City Coffee Scene: Higher Grounds + Planetary Coffee. We have been disappointed with a number of the coffee roasters/shops in Western Michigan. Arriving in TC has brought us a couple of notables with Higher Ground Coffee Roasters and Planetary Coffee (serves Half Wit beans). Erik Harms owner and barista (pictured below) at Planetary is a long time roaster having previously roasted at Higher Grounds and the well regarded Dogwood Coffee in Minneapolis. Erik has provided us with several recommendations for the UP which we are excited to try over the next week. 0015,0016

Biking the Leelanau Rail Trail TC-Sutton Bay-TC.  0015

Hiking the dunes at Sleeping Bear National Lakeshore. Camping at Leelanau SP. 0014



Kayaking on the Pere Marquette near Lake Michigan. 0013

Biking on the Pere Marquette State Trail. 0012



Detroit: Museums + Coffee Part 2 + Baseball

We enjoyed our stay in Detroit. There is a lot to do and see in the Motor City. The local government and corporations are clearly working hard to revive the city but without a doubt the big “D” remains a gritty place with a long way to go.

Final day in Detroit; more museums + coffee; Maria and I spent the morning at the former Ford plant known as the Piquette Avenue Plant. This location was the very first plant Henry Ford operated as Ford. His previous two attempts to manufacture automobiles failed in quick succession.

Great Lake Coffee Roasting was our final coffee stop.

We are spending several days in Detroit before traveling north to the U.P. On Monday night we watched the home town Tigers make a nice comeback to defeat the White Sox 9-5. On Tuesday we ventured back into Midtown Detroit to spend the afternoon at the Detroit Institute of Art after sampling some very good coffees at New Order Coffee Roasters. The DIA has six Van Goghs of which five are currently on display as you can see below. Van Gogh produced 900 paintings so we have apx. 680 paintings remaining yet to be seen in person. The featured photo above is from a massive set of murals painted by Diego Rivera focusing on the massive industrialization manifested by the auto industry. The murals were produced after Rivera made hundreds of sketches inside one of Ford’s largest manufacturing plants.  They are considered both highly accurate in regard to the assembly line, yet they also symbolize the impact industry has on humanity and our environment.

The Diggers by Vincent Van Gogh