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Elk Viewing, Fall Colors Make for Memorable Dinner Trip

MLive

Elk Viewing, Fall Colors Make for Memorable Dinner Trip

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MLive | Elk Viewing Fall Colors Make For Memorable Dinner Trip | Kim Schneider | August 22, 2010

You won’t soon forget the background music that punctuates an autumn dinner wagon ride at the Thunder Bay Resort.

The haunting cry of a bull elk in heat isn’t your typical dinner music.  But the piercing, high-pitched mating call is the ultimate accompaniment to a gourmet dinner notable partly for the profusion of antlers everywhere you look.  It’s also a rare experience that you would need to travel to Colorado’s Rocky Mountain National Park to duplicate – one reason for the success of the ride and rustic dinner combination that attracts about 4,400 people a year.

Combining the dinner trip with lodging also makes a memorable base for an unusual autumn getaway to Michigan’s northeast side, one that best features a special combination of shipwrecks, sinkholes and scenic drives.

Each season holds its own allure at Thunder Bay in Hillman.

Winter sleigh rides have an edge in the romance department, and spring leads for the “awww” factor, thanks to the preponderance of elk calves, said Jack Matthias, the resort owner and brainchild behind the elk dinner rides.  Fall, though, is the most spectacular tour season for the memorable way in which bull elk seek to attract mates.

“it’s bulging and bulls fighting,” Matthias said.  “They wallow in mud and coat themselves with it.  In terms of action, it’s the most exciting time of the year.”

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