So where is this famous, one of a kind tree, that I used to represent the theme of “one?” I kind of already gave the answer away on the original post, but some folks wanted to know more about the picture, so here it is. I took the photo at the top of Empire Bluff, Empire Michigan, located in the Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore area. To get to Empire Bluff, one must hike a fairly easy, though mostly uphill trail, about 1 1/4 miles I believe. My family and I have done this trail multiple times, the last with our very fit daughter-in-law carrying her two-year-old most of the way!
When you reach the top, there’s a great view of Lake Michigan, South Bar Lake, Empire Beach and the Sleeping Bear Dunes coastline. The summit is a popular place for watching sunrises and sunsets, and a popular jumping off point for hang-gliders.
The “one” tree in the photo is no longer there. This tree has been dead for many years, but stood for years beyond it’s death, despite the harsh winds and soil erosion, hastened by the visitors who insist on leaving the assigned trail to walk in the delicate dune landscape. It finally fell a couple of years after I took the photo. I’ve been told that this tree has a famous photographic history, including a stint in National Geographic, although I’ve never seen said photo myself.
The photo is taken from the bluff, looking north. Lake Michigan is on the left, the Sleeping Bear Dunes coastline is in the background.