Lake Michigan Rock Hunting

A Petoskey Stone. Photo from Wikipedia
A Petoskey Stone. Photo from Wikipedia

Today EJ, JJ, and I went hunting for Petoskey Stones along Lake Michigan, which is a very Michiganian thing to do. The Petoskey stone is Michigan’s state stone. They are very beautiful. They can be found on various beaches and inland locations in Michigan, with many of the most popular being those surrounding Petoskey and Charlevoix. It is said that the Petoskey Stone–and the city–was named for the Ottawa Chief Pe-to-se-ga (Rising Sun) because the stones pattern looks like the rays of the sun. When the stone is dry, it resembles ordinary limestone but when it is wet or polished the beautiful pattern of the six-sided coral fossils emerges.

Charlevoix Stone. Photo from Promote Michigan.
Charlevoix Stone. Photo from Promote Michigan.

We went to a beautiful beach between Petoskey and Charlevoix. We found a couple of rocks that are probably Petoskey stones, but not as beautiful as some. We also found a variety of pretty rocks, including many that almost resembled a Petoskey stone. We found out later that they are called Charlevoix stones. These rocks are “cousins” to Petoskey stones and were also formed from a once living coral. They can be found in many of the same places that Petoskey stones can be.

We had decided that rather than carry food along with us, we would stop at a grocery store when we were hungry and buy picnic “fixings.” So after spending a few happy hours at the beach, we drove into the city of Petoskey. After we shopped for our picnic, EJ and I went into a nearby Goodwill. EJ wanted to buy swimming trunks and shoes, and I also wanted to buy water shoes because the rocks on the beach hurt my feet. These days I really don’t like wearing shorts, but I bought some capris to wear in the future because even though I rolled up my jeans, they still got wet.

After lunch, we drove to another roadside park between Charlevoix and Petoskey and spent another couple of hours hunting for rocks. I also found some crayfish, which I pointed out to the guys–after I gave a startled scream. We had tons of fun. (You can click on a photo to make it bigger.)

Unique car.
Unique car.

Last year we drove through Charlevoix on a day they were having an old car show. I thought it was funny that today we drove through Charlevoix during their old car show. It wasn’t planned. They had a very unique car, which had two levels. EJ said that it could be driven from inside or on the top level. I thought it looked like a submarine. I took a video as we drove by the old cars.

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