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Tuesday, June 25, 2013

As Promised....

all photos Sherry Crocker
Many moons ago I promised you some pictures of my home town. There is a lot of information that goes along with it that I don't know would interest anyone besides me and a few die hard historians. But the views are stunning.

The first thing that you have to know about Traverse City is how to pronounce it. I know that it is spelled traverse, emphasis on the "verse". But anyone who lives here, has ever lived here pronounces it TRAVerse, like TRAVis. Sure ol' Dan Webster would be grinding his gears in his grave over this one, but it's just what we say. I suppose in part to separate us from the rest of the world and to make the distinction between the city and an actual traverse, which we all still pronounce correctly, and just because. I hate to admit it, but it may simply be a result of the rest of the immigrants to the north mispronounced it just to piss off the French who were first here. They fought alongside of us in the American Revolutionary War but seemed to run amok claiming resources afterward. Most of the northern portion of the United States from New York to Minnesota was harvested by French traders and lumbermen. The Menards home improvement chain is just another incarnation of the Menard company that started cutting down the forests almost the second the war was over.
And with the way the French ran over their own people, I can imagine the snubbing that French citizens would have had when they got here. My dad had an irrational dislike for them that carried from his dad. And I don't imagine he was alone. There is almost nothing left of any sort of French heritage evident in the place names or traditions. In fact the only real connection that springs easily to mind is the fact that we live in the Pere Marquette national forest. I imagine once the French Revolution happened a lot of the world lost respect for French policies even though French philosophers influenced Jefferson and the way he helped to shape our constitution.

Traverse City itself sits at the base of the Grand Traverse Bay and the Old Mission Peninsula which bisects the big bay into two smaller bays, the West and East Bays. The Boardman River whose headwaters begin deep in the Pere Marquette National forest and run to the bay diverge south of the city well outside it's geopolitical limits. The main river, the Boardman, runs through town and widens into Boardman Lake fairly well in the middle the city and empties into the west arm of Grand Traverse Bay in two places. West Bay is a very small delta, not even sure a geographer would consider it a delta. This first water photo is where the Boardman empties into West Bay. Mitchel Creek empties into East Bay on the other side of the peninsula. The overpass in the photo is a main artery running along our shoreline alternatively named Grand View Parkway and US 31 North.
The Boardman is popular for fishing, boating, kayaking and paddle boarding. Sadly the water is overrun by zebra muscles and lamprey eels. A river walk runs most of the length of the rivers' course through the city itself though it ends before the mouth.

 West Bay is large with faster moving water as the Boardman deposits more volume into it and it is not protected from the westerly winds from Lame Michigan to our west. This is the tall ship Manitou which sails the bay on a regular schedule for pleasure trips. It is docked in Geilickville which is only about 2 miles from downtown Traverse City. Behind the sails is the long finger of Leelanau Peninsula which protects our city from the big lake. Storm watchers love the west coast of Lake Leelanau. When the wind whips across the lake conditions can rival any ocean, drawing surfers out onto the water.

I took these photos yesterday which was hazy from a long spell of humid weather sitting on us. Normally the colors are much brighter, rivaling anything you would see in NatGeo of the Croatian coast or the Bahamas. I am feeling much more adventurous these days so more photos should come soon.

In the meantime I have an art blog to update with reshoots of some work and some more moving to do.

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