Personally, I like "Lillooet Silhouette". Not because it "moves" me, but because I find it refreshing in terms of approaching a subject.
I am sure that given the location, the majority would make the "obvious" photo, i.e. the one without the tree (just the vista of the lake). And I believe that Michael did too.
What I like about it is that it is a good example of coming up with new interpretations for mundane subjects. I also like trees a lot, they speak loads about a particular location. What strikes me most about the photo is the stark contrast between the naked tree and the water. So much water, and the tree looks like it is dead? This contrast is enhanced by the silhoutte effect, to good results.