Thursday, August 10, 2017

Northern Michigan week 2

I have gone back and re-read our July/August blogs from the last 2 years!  Last years trip and story about Petosega is just about the same as this year’s!  We are still in awe of God’s gorgeous landscapes that he calls Northern Michigan!  Every time we come rolling over a certain hill on the way to Petoskey and the agriculture quilt-block of farm fields open up before us, I catch my breath! Yes, I do get the camera out and ready but there is no chance of catching that vision on film.  First are the fields of dark brown horses, then the curve of the road in the sunshine. Past that are the fields of golden grain, perfectly straight rows of vegetables and the yellow tassels that top the ripening corn that stand calmly, surrounding the picturesque red barns.  Past all that are more hills and the first glimpse of Petoskey and the blue waters of Lake Michigan.  Once again we found ourselves strolling along the waterfront parks, admiring the harbor and expanse of blue beyond.
Petoskey Harbor
And once again we enjoyed a wonderful Polish dinner at the Polish Kitchen – this time with our hometown neighbors, C&T and their handsome son, Nate who was up visiting them from Georgia!

Harbor Springs is another beautiful, historic town that sits on the opposite bank of the bay and can be seen from the harbor in Petoskey!  Both towns have quaint tourist shops that line the downtown areas and manicured grounds and gardens along the walkways by the bay.  We arrived just in time to observe a sailing lesson for a handful of soon to be dare
Harbor Springs
devil sailors in their little white “bathtub” boats with their bright blue and white sails!  The little fiberglass vessels at first looked indestructible but the longer we watched – we realized they were tip-able after all!!  After many near misses and even more almost tips – one small craft did finally go bottoms up and the young crew ended up in the cold water!  Not to worry – everyone had life jackets on and the adult instructors were there quickly to rescue the crew and teach them how to right their upside down craft.  All ended well!

This north shoreline is it’s own protection from the west and north winds so  docks stretch on for the length of the town!  Some docks were lined with small rubber landing boats that serviced the many anchored boats that dotted the bay. Some docks had the average sized sailboats or motor powered runabouts. Then there were the docks that had the yachts pristinely moored to their chocks!  The  “Seaquest” is owned by the son of Dick and Betsy DeVos, the founders of Amway.   Built in 2008 and at 163 ft, it is valued at $40 million!  On another dock was the “Lukousarus” out of Boca Raton, Fl and is valued at $1.69 million.  Handsome young men in matching white attire were busily “swabbing” her decks and polishing all her chrome!

Our stay was drawing to an end and we still wanted to go find our “old” neighbors who had sold their home and moved up to Sault Saint Marie!  Thursday arrived and the forecast was for clouds and possible rain so we made a beeline for the Mighty Mackinac Bridge and the Upper Peninsula of Michigan.  The winds were kicking up and the precipitation was coming down but we got in line with the rest of the rain soaked vehicles and drove out onto the 5-mile long, famous suspension bridge.   At first we drove on the outside lane – the SOLID CEMENT outside lane!  Road repairs then moved us all to the inside lane – the OPEN GRATED METAL inside lane – where it felt as tho the van tires were wiggling from side to side and if you looked down you could see the white caps on the water - some hundred or so feet below! 
Thru St Ignace with a stop for pasties and then we were back on I 75 north - 60 miles to the “Soo”.   From memory we remembered part of their address and how to find their 3-story home near downtown and lucked out and found them almost right away!  A wonderful visit included the grand tour of their “work in progress” remodeling project before we bid adieu and headed out once more.

On Friday the sun was shining again and we “headed out once more” – heading south towards home – just “towards” home!  We still had two more nights out!  Wilson State Park is in Harrison Michigan on the NW edge of Budd Lake.  We vaguely remembered camping there in the past but it was way too far in the past to remember much – other than it is right across the road from the fairgrounds.  We arrived late Friday morning and the loop we were assigned was beginning to fill up with great groups of tents and Ninja Warriors on their little two wheelers!  By Friday evening we were surrounded!!  Green Ninja Turtle bike helmets with red sashes and orange sashes were zooming around and around the camping loop!  We were getting dizzy!

The boat launch to this lake is on the opposite side of the lake but we found it and launched quickly and easily.   On our tour around the lake we each caught 2 fish but H’s 2 could have passed for bait instead of supper!  Not a problem – we tossed them all back anyway and headed out to the local restaurant for their fish dinner!

Sunday came early and we headed home – retracing our journey back down the way we came.  It’s always fun to go but it is good to come home!  We’ll be doing this again so check back to see where the “tan train” wanders next!