Saturday, February 18, 2017


It's been a gorgeous few days with lots of sunshine, blue skies, and temperatures reaching near fifty degrees.  It was a great day for a road trip and I decided it was time to explore that other peninsula:  Old Mission.

Right away I noticed many similarities between Old Mission and Leelanau Peninsulas.  They both have lots of hills that open up to beautiful water vistas.  There also are lots of orchards, vineyards, and several new hops farms.

A friend told me there were painted barns on the peninsula so I plugged that into an internet search engine and found that there was actually a tour of barns that had quilt patterns painted on them.  While I wasn't going to take the formal Quilt Tour on this first exploratory trip, I decided to keep an eye out for them.  I almost immediately saw this one, which had a Halloween theme with a flying witch in the center and pumpkins at each corner.

This barn had a stunning North Star pattern, a traditional design seen on many quilts.

While it wasn't a quilt pattern, I was struck by the rainbow design on this metal-roofed barn.  I wondered if it was painted on or the metal came in vari-colored strips.

When I drew even with Power Island, I was struck by how little ice and snow dotted the shoreline.  In a more traditional winter, Grand Traverse Bay is considered frozen over when the ice reaches Power Island.  Hard to imagine that happening on this lovely, spring-like day.

Continuing on, I saw another traditional star pattern on this weathered, yellowish barn, the first one that wasn't red.

This barn displays a Celtic Cross, which I imagine honors the family's ancestry.

I reached the endpoint of my trip when I arrived at Old Mission Lighthouse.  The park was vibrant with people exploring and walking their dogs.  This light reminded me of Grand Traverse Lighthouse in style.  Both have a homey design with the light rising from the roof as a cupola.

On my return trip to Traverse City, I noticed yet another beautiful barn.  It seemed like for the barns I saw on my Old Mission jaunt, all but one were red.  I wondered if there was some kind of zoning requirement that made that happen.  While there are red barns on the Leelanau, red barns aren't in the majority on that peninsula.


  1. Love these cheerful barns and their quilt designs. Especially the one with the Celtic Cross! Colors are great.

  2. Thanks, Jackie. It was a fun drive and photoshoot. Lots of beautiful things to see.