Day 122, August 27, 2012 (Saugatuck/Douglas, MI): On the weekend we backtracked to Grand Haven mostly to visit a friend. At the right, meet Evan and Terri aboard Pearl. Evan is two months late of Tiara Yachts, the mothership in Holland. He supervised the restoration and refit of Sequel in early 2011. Evan and Terry were also our harbor hosts at Holiday Isle on the Grand River about a mile inland from Grand Haven.
Evan loaned us his truck to go into town. Grand Haven can be called hectic. We tried the Municipal Marina at the foot of the main drag. Forget about it. However, we did run into the crew of The Zone, Laura and Ross, whom we haven’t seen since Deltaville, VA, having traveled with them from Oriental, NC. At one point we could have walked across the river from deck to deck. The Manitowoc was a cork in the river as it backed out of the channel for a mile because there was not room for it to turn around. At the right is a more tranquil part of the town dock.
Grand Haven is “Coast Guard City USA.” The old railway station is a museum of Coast Guard history and a collection of relevant memorabilia. The museum is directly adjacent to the Municipal Marina. Walking Washington Avenue, the main street, we came close to crashing a wedding, not like the one in Montreal, but the more trad kind. The waterfront fountain attracts flocks of children. This young man seems to be enjoying a fountain enema.
In threatening weather we moved to Saugatuck this morning. We chased a squall all the way but never got rained on. I guess Captain-Pilot Blackthorn is a skilled pilot
If you walk the wrong way along the waterfront you might think that Saugatuck is close to being schlock city USA. Lots of shops I would consider junk but interspersed with some good artwork and homegrown ceramics and stoneware. The Saugatuck Center for the Arts next to the Eco-Garden also thrives. Tonight, we heard Peter Mulvey, a singer/song writer, whose rhythmic steel guitar and lyrics would make good “locking” music.
The restaurants here, unlike those in many other towns we have visited, have diversified menus and varied culinary styles and themes. We tried Pumpernickels for lunch, today, but the homebaked pumpernickel was only so-so. I do a better pump, myself. Saugatuck sports handsome homes on the sandy bluffs. Marinas line both sides of the river in between it and Douglas.
We walked over to Douglas on the other side of the Kalamazoo River, about a mile and a half away. Douglas is about the same only a much smaller “downtown.” Both towns, we have come to believe, are typical Western Michigan shore communities; clean, neat, friendly, and welcoming. Unique to Douglas is the Old School, which now houses a small museum. On display was artwork from students of the Oxbow School of Art in Saugatuck. Some of the work was remarkably mindful of nineteenth century impressionist style. But a snowplow in summer? Who woulda thunk it.