Great Lakes 2005

Ludington Lighthouse

My 2005 trip to the USA led me around Lake Michigan with a short detour to the shores of Lake Superior. The reason we chose this trip as the first to be transferred to Quilt around the World is the next QuiltZeitReise which will take place in June 2012. A lot of what we will do and see next June is covered in this travel diary and we thought you might like to read a revised and updated version including some useful tips for travelling quilters.

The QuiltZeitReise 2012 is geared towards German speaking travellers, but if you are interested none the less, please contact us at and we will do our best to accommodate you, if at all possible.

My 2005 trip around Lake Michigan was simply great from beginning to end and surely one of the best holidays I have ever had. I saw so much and there wasn’t one single boring moment. This is also reflected in the number of pictures I took and in the length of this diary, as you will see.

There was something of everything: long walks on more or less deserted beaches, lighthouses, huge sand dunes, even a sun set, impressive waterfalls, a lot of quilt shops, many beautiful, large and small, well-known and less popular museums, small town America and big city flair and, of course, many, many lovely people.

I started in Chicago and drove north along the western shore of Lake Michigan. I made one detour to the area of Madison to visit Frank Lloyd Wright’s Taliesin. In Door County, which is already quite far north, I changed my meticulously planned itinerary for the first time. Door County is simply wonderful and I wanted to stay longer than the two days I had previously allotted to this peninsula. After that, I continued my trip northwards mostly along the lakeshore.

Almost exactly at the northernmost tip of Lake Michigan, I left this lake behind and drove right through Michigan’s Upper Peninsula to the southern shore of Lake Superior. The area is notably less populated even than northern Lake Michigan and the landscape is breathtakingly beautiful. Sadly, I didn’t have nearly enough time to also explore the western part of the southern shoreline of this, the largest of the Great Lakes. Too soon, I turned the car east towards Canada and then south to “discover” the Lower Peninsula of Michigan.

After crossing Mackinac Bridge, an unforgettable experience similar to crossing the Mississippi River in 2004, I was able to say a brief “Hello” to Lake Huron. By the way, since this trip, the northern part of the Lower Peninsula, as well as Door County, are on my list of all-time favourite places on this planet. The dunes on the eastern shore of Lake Michigan are fantastic! I walked for hours or just sat contemplating and admiring my surroundings.

Ludington Lighthouse

Coming back to the hustle and bustle of southern Michigan and Indiana was a slight shock in comparison to the peace and quiet of the more northerly areas. However, after a brief moment of adaptation I was able to jump right into the next of the many highlights of this trip. During my stay in Lagrange County, Indiana which is the third largest Amish settlement, I learnt some more about their interesting and for us quite unusual way of life.

And of course I saved the best for last: Chicago!


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Jutta Hufnagel