Here's a quick look at the most visited links, in order, at Midwest Guest in 2014:
Mysteries of twin bridges in Danville, Indiana (originally published April 25, 2013)-We arrived at this bridge near Danville, Indiana around sunset with just enough time to get a few images of the slightly Gothic-looking span before it got too dark to photograph. Researching the story a bit more after returning home left me with more questions than answers. I'm not sure who posted a link to this story but it got a lot of traffic and comments from Danville locals.
Foodie Finds: 5 Best Places to eat around Saugatuck, Michigan (originally published December 11, 2011) -This is a guest post written by Jessie Voigts of Wandering Educators. Restaurant round-ups sometimes become quickly dated as eateries come and go, but the restaurants here seem to still be in business judging from the Web and a quick check of current Yelp reviews (Su Casa's home office remains at the Saugatuck address, although there are nearby Su Casa outlets at South Haven and Holland). I love Jessie's emphasis on locally owned restaurants and deeply appreciated this post and others she did to help me keep Midwest Guest going in the wake of my dad's death in 2011.
The mystery of Benzie County's Putney Road (originally published October 28, 2010) -We'd always heard about this spot in northern Michigan where it appears that your car goes uphill and backwards when you put it into neutral. We finally tested out this mystery spot because who doesn't like finding free and family-friendly attractions in a popular area like northern Michigan?
Visit the Fiesta factory in Newell, West Virginia (originally published August 9, 2011) - I've always loved Fiesta dishes, and story is about our visit to the Homer Laughlin Company factory store in West Virginia. It includes a brief history of the company and the nineteenth-century pottery industry centered just across the Ohio River in East Liverpool, Ohio. Taking the Fiesta factory tour and exploring the pottery scene East Liverpool, Ohio are on my Midwest bucket list. This story topped the most-visited list in 2012 and 2013.
The mystery of Turtle Town USA: Churubusco, Indiana (originally published July 12, 2012)-This tale of Oscar, reputed to be a giant turtle weighing as much as 500 pounds that lived in a farmer's pond near this northern Indiana town, brought plenty of fame to Churubusco in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. The turtle I found during my visit to the city didn't confirm or deny the story, which is the inspiration for a popular festival and the town's identity as Turtle Town USA.
Canyon Falls and Gorge: The "Grand Canyon of Michigan's Upper Peninsula" (originally published June 29, 2010) -This pretty little roadside park just off of U.S. 41 near Baraga on the Sturgeon River in the Upper Peninsula features a short hike past a series of small rapids and waterfalls along the river that include the 15-foot-tall Canyon Falls and on through a canyon that is pretty impressive considering its location in a state not known for deep canyons or gorges.
Michigan's Grindstone City as Grindstone Capital of the World (originally published March 22, 2011) -My dad often brought spent grinding wheels home from his shop to use as planters or flower bed borders when I was a kid, so Grindstone City in Michigan's Thumb with its ubiquitous grindstone lawn decor always held a certain fascination for me. It's also worth noting that I also reported on our most recent visit the Grindstone City general store to sample the ice cream mentioned in this story as well!
Photo Friday: Motown remembers Michael Jackson (originally published July 31, 2009) -I wrote this story about a Detroit memorial to the multi-talented entertainer shortly after his death in July of 2009. Even as Jackson has been gone for more than five years, interest in this story remains strong. It was the fourth most-visited Midwest Guest post in 2012, the seventh most visited story here in 2013 and still hangs in on this list as Midwest Guest's ninth most visited story in 2014.
Indiana in a jar, Sechler's Pickles factory store (originally published April 30, 2009) - I've never quite figured out the appeal of this particular story about our accidental discovery of a pickle store along the highway in northern Indiana. It held the top spot for my most-visited story at Midwest Guest for a couple of years after I first wrote it. It placed at number 5 on this list for both 2012 and 2013. We re-visited the store early in 2013, the original story still sits as number 10 on the most-visited story list this year. Wondering if 2015 will be the year I'll finally newer stories place this story and my Michael Jackson story on the most-visited list!
Peterson Park is local gem near Northport, Michigan (originally published October 16, 2012)-We visited this out-of-the-way park near the tip of Michigan's Leelanau Peninsula (Michigan's "little pinkie") at the suggestion of Tim's sister who lives in the area. Not many tourists know about the park, but it seems to be a favorite location for at least one area wedding photographer who posted a link to this story it from their site.
The Top Ten stories for any given year seem to consist of evergreens written in prior years, so I like to include the most-read story from the present year and see if it eventually becomes an evergreen in years to come. The most popular story written this year finished just out of the Top Ten list, occupying the twelfth position on the list of most-read stories for 2014.
Grand Island East Channel Lighthouse in Michigan's Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore (originally published April 24, 2014)-This weathered lighthouse in the Lake Superior harbor near Munising, Michigan is s a favorite among photographers, and one of my favorite souvenirs from this area in Michigan's Upper Peninsula is a miniature wooden snowshoe with a stained-glass insert picturing this light. The light is on private property and you can only access it via boat. Getting a closer look at this light was a highlight of a recent Pictured Rocks boat cruise for us.
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