Duck Lake State Park

I remember my first visit to Duck Lake State Park like it was fifteen years ago. I stopped there after a trip to nearby Michigan’s Adventure, looking for a little time in the woods after some time amongst the crowds. The sole purpose seemed to be a place to park so you could walk to the Lake Michigan beach nearby. Duck Lake seemed like an OK lake, but when you have the greatest of the Great Lakes a few hundred feet away, well, you go to it. I went for some brief hikes, too. There weren’t any marked trails, but I found a few paths that worked.

Duck Lake Map
Duck Lake Map

On this trip, I was cruising down West Michillinda Road, looking for the entrance. And, to paraphrase The Pretenders, my entrance was gone. The entrance had, in fact, meandered down a few miles to North Scenic Drive. Huh.

Duck Lake State Park
Duck Lake State Park

The park still seemed like its primary function was to be a parking lot for Lake Michigan. A walkway ran between the park and Lake Michigan, with space to walk underneath the road to get to the shore. With the water level high this year, people were in nearly every conceivable space, and I had to walk through the channel to get around the hordes.

If you have kids and live nearby, this is probably a decent destination. It was a little crowded, though you could escape the groups that hovered near the channel between lakes – the beach did run far enough north and south to do that. And the scenery was nice, with large dunes and lots of grasses and trees. For my visit, there was also a dune fire, which was exciting. Hopefully on your visit, you will not have that kind of excitement.

Fire!
Fire!

Cat 1, Cake 0

At one point, this cake read “Happy Birthday Mom”. That was, until the cat decided to flip it upside down. It is things like this where sometimes, having cats sucks.

Cake
Cake

At least it still tasted good. Next time, keep the cake in the microwave until use. Or get rid of the cats.

My Minion Twinkie

Someday, you just want to turn your Twinkie into a Minion. No, that isn’t some kind of code for something dirty. I actually turned my Twinkie into a Minion:

Minion Twinkie
Minion Twinkie

Someone at work brought in a box of Twinkies complete with little stickers to turn them into Minions, as in from the movie “Minions”. I chose to make mine look like a French-soldier minion, then put him in front of a background on my computer for Andrea and my trip to Paris a couple of years ago.

Magical, non?

 

Skip

I was blessed with two wonderful fathers, and I lost one today. Skip Losey made my life, and the lives of so many others, better for his being here. When I think of him, I think of camping in the Upper Peninsula, of him taking an old, abandoned house and making it home. A Fourth of July cookout. Family Christmas parties.

When I think of Skip, I won’t think of cancer. I will think of how much he loved and was loved. He was truly an unforgettable man.

Skip
Skip

Because they’re jerks, that’s why

I read an editorial on the Detroit News about bringing back the limits on fireworks. I completely agree. And not just because an errant firework burned down one of our bushes while we were out of town. No, it’s because many people are inconsiderate and will shoot off fireworks at random times, or late at night, without concern that perhaps people are sleeping.Living in a subdivision of about 100 houses, we have seen this behavior for years. “Hey, it’s 11:00 on a Tuesday in June. Let’s shoot off fireworks!” Maybe their kids are awake at 11:00, but ours is not.

I support limits on larger fireworks because of a lack of faith in the ability of other human beings to be nice.

We’re on fire!

For the first time this season, we won a volleyball game! In fact, we won all three on Tuesday night. It was a cause for celebration, so it was off to Zoobies we went. A couple of beers, a couple of bowls of popcorn, and a pizza is what I call a good night. I didn’t even know I was filthy because of the wet sand clinging to my body.

But that’s not the only fire! While we were up north for the 4th of July weekend, we came home to a burnt bush:

Bush Fire
Bush Fire

According to a neighbor, whose daughter was the one that spotted a fire, a bottle rocket shot over our house and landed in our poor bush, who didn’t deserve such a fate. RIP.

The final fire was one I saw during my trip to the Muskegon area. I took a stroll on the beach at Duck Lake State Park, a terrible place for a walk on the beach, BTW. But while I was there, I saw a dune fire that had the rangers and the fire department out there working to put it out:

Duck Lake State Park fire
Duck Lake State Park fire

We are the champions

Our third week of volleyball was a success – we lost 0 games. Of course, we had a bye week, but this was still our best showing. We did practice, though, and we are ready for next week’s victims.

The highlight of volleyball night is Zoobies. Tonight’s beer was Twist of Cain from Short’s in Bellaire, a brewery which I remember fondly from doing the DALMAC a few years ago. Free popcorn is also a highlight. To set expectations, it will not be free for you if you don’t have a I’m a Beer Hound card, so I suggest you get one.

Weird Al goodness in Windsor

Friday night, it was time to cash in my birthday present from Andrea – tickets to the Weird Al Yankovic concert in Windsor, Canada. Yes, we left the country for the third time this year! That may be a record for me.

After stopping off at the Renaissance Center in beautiful, completely safe and happy Detroit, we made the arduous tunnel crossing to Canada. It shouldn’t have been arduous, but it was – at least half an hour to go a mile or so. Ah, US border policy.

Having successfully escaped Detroit, we immediately went to South Detroit. No, we didn’t return to our native land, we went to a bar named South Detroit, after “Don’t Stop Believing” by Journey. Friday night was not the time to visit this bar if you are interested in having a conversation. So loud that what I ordered wasn’t actually what I got – “Atomic burger” sounded too much like “Atomic balls” in the deafening bar. Oh well, they were still tasty, as were the poutine, gravy and cheese-covered fries. Oh yes they did.

The concert was at Caesar’s where center 10th row seats awaited us. As you should imagine, Weird Al was fantastic. It was all awesome, from the first song (“Lame Claim to Fame”) to the last (“Yoda”). I didn’t think it was humanly possible to change into a fat suit for “Fat”, but he did it. Magic.

And with another unnecessarily long wait to get through customs, we were back in the bosom of Michigan, getting to bed only 1 1/2 hours from leaving Canada, less than two miles away.