Half Way Between the North Pole and the Equator….45th Parallel.

Last week I was in one of my favorite states, Michigan, in order to visit one of my favorite families,  older brother Scott and his family.  They live in the Detroit area.  My niece (older brother’s daughter) is a sophomore at Michigan State University and plays hockey for the club team.  Fortunately, my niece had a few home hockey games last weekend and this offered us a great opportunity to see her play and also visit my alma mater.  I may have mentioned before, my niece became a freshman at Michigan State  University 30 years after I was a freshman…. as they say… history repeats itself!  I was excited when I learned she was going to be a Spartan.  I have nothing but great memories of East Lansing and MSU and my niece is also a very happy Spartan!  That brings up the fact that the Michigan State Spartans recently beat the number one ranked Kentucky Wildcats in basketball!  Oh and did I mention my younger brother and his wife are University of Kentucky alumni?  It gets better, the Spartans recently rolled over University of Michigan in football, and oh, my Mother is a University of Michigan graduate.  These two recent victories have given me plenty of bragging rights for weeks to come.

After a long-weekend visit to Detroit and East Lansing, I headed north to Traverse City for 3 days.  My Mother has a Summer home on a lake about 45 mins drive from Traverse City, so I have been coming to Northern Michigan since I was born, but usually only in the Summer months.  I wanted to see Traverse City in the “off-season.”  I was really surprised to see that the city was still busy and all businesses were open!  If you don’t know Traverse City, it’s definitely worth a visit.  The historic downtown area is just steps away from the Grand Traverse Bay, and Lake Michigan.  Every Summer the City plays host to the Cherry Festival and an International Film Festival.  The area is really a sportsman’s paradise.  There’s great hunting, fishing, boating and skiing minutes from downtown!  I took a morning drive out to the old lighthouse on the Old Mission Peninsula.  The peninsula is famous for picturesque views of the Grand Traverse Bay and dozens of wineries, not to mention thousands of cherry trees!  The lighthouse (pictured below) at the end of the peninsula is located on the 45th parallel, geographically halfway between the equator and the north pole!  It amazes me that after spending a few years on the Equator in different countries, most recently Equatorial Guinea, that here in Northern Michigan I am only HALF-WAY to the North Pole?  There is still a lot of real-estate to explore between me and Santa Clause’s hometown!

The Lighthouse on the Old Mission Peninsula near Traverse City, Michigan.
A sign shows the Old Mission Peninsula located on the 45th Parallel.