Wednesday, September 21, 2011


Friday we drove to Holland. Zachary grew up in Holland a number of years, and enjoyed showing me some of his old haunts. Friday evening through Sunday we hung out with Ben and Amanda. Ben and Zachary reminisced about the old days growing up. Ben and Amanda also taught us a bunch of games, including Dominion and Settlers of Catan. Ben brought us to his local game store and we bought our own starter set of Dominion cards. (Thanks for the crash course and getting us hooked :-) Sunday morning we left and headed home. By Sunday afternoon, we ended our trip, by completing the loop around Lake Michigan. 1200 miles around.  Many memories to cherish.

Dune Climb

 After dinner at a local pizzeria, we thought a leisurely dune climb sounded good before setting up camp for the night. The Dune Climb was pretty quiet.

Wow, this thing is steeper than it looks.

 And sandier too. :-P

Zach realizing that the top is still over there.

 Ah, there it is. The parking lot down below and the view overlooking Glen Arbor lake.

And much to our chagrin, Lake Michigan wasn't just on the other side of the crest. More like a few crests yet.

Finally, after about 1.75 miles of trudging up and down loose sand dunes.

 Zachary may have been holding me up a little more in this picture. My legs were already terse with me at this point, wait till they have to carry me all the day back across the rolling sugar sand dunes.

By the end of our hike, it was dark and my legs and I weren't speaking to each other anymore. On the walk back, I offered Z to leave me behind and just bury me in the dunes. It would be a beautiful place to be interred. :-) Needless to say, our trek back was slower than trek in. A beautiful ass kicking hike indeed.

 Since our evening dune climb lasted longer than expected, we ended up setting up camp in the dark. (I took this pic the next morning)

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Platte River

After our scenic drive, we headed to the southern part of the park to look for a campsite for the night. We picked out a site at the ranger station and ran across a sign for canoe rentals. Ah yes, perfect way to kill time before dinner.

Zachary, happily paddling away.

The Platte River, opening up onto a lake.

Crossing the lake.

Back on the river, making a portage around a fishing weir. After passing the weir, we saw a few salmon running up river, doing their fall run. I believe they were Cohos and Steelheads.

River running up against dunes, meaning Lake Michigan is not far.

The Platte River emptying into Lake Michigan.

Pierce Stocking Scenic Drive

On our trip in Michigan, went spent some time at Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore. We took the Pierce Stocking Scenic Drive around the park. It is about a 7 mile drive, but it has several lookouts to explore. The sights were amazing.

One of the larger bluffs, about 450 feet down the lake shore, darn near straight down too.

We did tackle the famous dune climb later in the day, pictures to come.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Road Trip: Mackinac

Zachary and I got back from a 6 day road trip, making a loop around Lake Michigan. Zachary's insane work schedule lately paid off with a stretch of vacation days. We started off Tuesday night after work driving north, into the Upper Peninsula of Michigan, staying in St. Ignace.

Wednesday we crossed the Mackinac Bridge and explored Colonial Michilimackinac in Mackinac City. It is a reconstructed fort and trading post of colonial times. Originally created by the French, it was taken over by the British, then later destroyed and abandoned by the British during the Revolutionary War. Loving early American history, we had to see the fort.

The curators recreated the fort as it would have been under British rule, so it had the Union Jack flying high. For a couple hours, we were King George III's subjects.

The buildings were open and several reenactors around simulating daily colonial life.

Two Redcoats outside the guard house, on watch. I wanted to swipe one of their hats, but I am sure I would have been tossed in the Hole for being an unruly subject of the crown.

More pictures and adventures to come. :-)