Wednesday, November 18, 2009

The Crystal River

After spending a few hours in Glen Arbor, we headed east out of town on Highway 22, then took a right at county road 675. The sun was just starting to peak out and I was looking forward to a pretty drive across the Leelanau Peninsula back to Traverse City. As we drove around a bend in the road this beautiful little river came into view. I quickly checked for traffic and veered off onto the shoulder, much to the delight of my fellow travelers (they like it when I do spontaneous things).

We piled out of the car and started exploring the river. Here Karin, Lori and Lisa are enjoying the scenery.

The Crystal River is a lovely, shallow, slow moving river that winds its way through the western part of Leelanau Peninsula. Karin said she has kayaked the river but that there are some parts that are so shallow you have to get out and drag your boat. Sounds like my kind of river!
The current was so slow moving there was barely a ripple on its surface.
The sunlight grew stronger as we dawdled along the riverbank. What a gorgeous fall afternoon.

So calm was the water that the opposite bank was clearly reflected on its surface.

The area is dominated by hemlocks and birch trees. I love these trees. They are both cool climate trees and so we don't see many down state. The birches especially are "north woods" tress and any sight of them makes me long for a cozy log cabin, flannel shirts and a hot cup of tea.

For me there is no substitute for clearing my mind like taking a walk in the woods. There's so much to see, so much to know, that it takes me right out of my head, erases stress, reminds me that my life is just a tiny part of the greater glory that is the world that sustains us. I cannot help but think that if people spent more time outdoors, exploring, learning, getting to know their world, that they too would be much happier for it. Our ever-increasing distance from nature is perhaps the greatest failing of modern man and our "civilized" world.


  1. enjoyed your photos, especially the reflections, and, yes, people need to get out more and enjoy much, so beautiful and so free to enjoy...i especially like walking thru a patch of woods near us and just stopping and looking...

  2. absolutely, we all need to spend more time outdoors. i believe it is not only good for us, but also makes it much more difficult to turn a blind eye to the state of the natural world.

    "In the end, we will conserve only what we love; we will love only what we understand; and we will understand only what we have been taught."

    Baba Dioum

  3. Nicely put, Lisa. And thanks, Kitty, I'm glad to see you're enjoying the posts.

  4. Yes, and more vitamin D!! Love that birch bark close-up photo. I'm gonna etch Lisa's Baba quote on my wall.