Our Saturday on Mackinac Island was full of rain, so we found some inside things to do, including the Butterfly House. As expected, the main attractions are the butterflies, and many were not shy about hanging out with you – or on you. Elena hung out with this blue guy for several minutes before he headed off to hands elsewhere:
We spent part of our Labor Day on our seats. Andrea, Elena, and I hit the Lansing RiverTrail for a sunny outing. We started at Crego Park, someplace you’ve probably never been to, but it sits on Mt. Hope between US127 and Aurelius. It has a large pond for kayaking, but it’s real appeal is a large parking area for the RiverTrail.
We headed west towards Potter Park, then turned south to take the trail through Hawk Island Park. This area is well-paved with copious amounts of shade, and enough curves to keep it interesting, and with the thrill that you could plow into somewhere around every wooded corner. We continued south, along the newer sections of the trail past Jolly, where the path dips under I96 on it’s way to the southern trail terminal, Valhalla Park. Fond memories of Valhalla – I was baptized there, and I would often walk the trails on my lunch breaks when I worked nearby at Pennsylvania and Miller. Don’t fondly remember the job, but the proximity to the park – that was nice.
Altogether, a good time with the family that ended with watching Back to the Future Part III and Death by Chocolate ice cream from QD.
Since I’m on the subject of cycling, I just wanted to show you the results of biking on Mackinac Island on a rainy day. I was a bit stir crazy from a day-long rain, and decided to hit the roads despite the wetness. The results of this is the shirt and shorts you see below. And since it was Mackinac Island, that isn’t just mud. I love my Rubaix, but sometimes, the lack of fenders gets messy.
My home for last weekend, the Hotel Iroquois on Mackinac Island:
The clouds give just a hint of what the majority of the weekend was like. Though Friday, our arrival day, and Sunday, our departure day, were beautiful, Saturday rained from sunset to sunrise.
Our first-floor room overlooked the Straights of Mackinac, with a balcony that could seat four. Not bad.
I got some of my best sleep ever in that room. It pays to be exhausted after a day of walking, hiking, and biking. Despite the rain, we still managed to see a lot of the island.
It’s really not that hard:
This is Loki, a wild and dangerous cat in the wilds of Barryton, MI. Where is Barryton? Exactly. It was where we stayed for a night after a kayak trip on the Muskegon River. Kayaking may sound strenuous, but really, but this trip, the most strenuous thing I did after getting the kayak off the boat was catch the Jell-O shots being flung my way.
What does this have to do with Loki? He was the resident wild animal at the cottage. He may seem OK, but he’d kill you as soon as look at you. If you’re in Barryton, watch your butt: Loki awaits.
I made it! That makes somewhere around fifteen years in a row. I’ll have to do some scholarly research to determine how many it actually is, but it’s been a nice streak.
My first ride of the day was Rougarou, last year’s new ride. Well, sort of. It is actually the Mantis with a new paint job and new trains. Instead of standing up, you sit down. It was a neat ride, and it saved Cedar Point a bunch of money by not actually building a new coaster. One of the buzzwords of our post-productive society is recycling, so now we have recycled coasters. Still, it was a walk-on, and a decent ride.
I’ll have more tomorrow. I know, your appetite has been whetted by awesome Cedar Point stuff.
OK, perhaps “the world” is not quite right. Perhaps “Champions of the Gier Park rec league” is more accurate:
Yes, we came, we saw, we managed to conquer. We saved our best games for the final day. We celebrated with beer, pizza, and popcorn at Zoobies. We would have done the same had we lost, but it just felt better having won.
We are spending a good part of July in parts north of home. Last weekend was at Andrea’s family reunion, bringing people as far as Tennessee. We didn’t operate too far from our home base in beautiful Beulah, our longest excursion being to Crystal Lake for some swimming and ice cream. But it was relaxing and rain-free, with lots of good food.
Our trip home involved going sideways to eastern Michigan, where Elena was safely dropped off at her home for the next week – summer camp. She was pretty excited to go there, and I was pretty excited about getting G’s Pizza, along with their awesome cheesy bread sticks.
I celebrated the Fourth of July with a 30+ mile ride on the Musketawa Trail, the section that runs from Marne to Ravenna. I actually started earlier because I exited the freeway before I was supposed to, but another trail system hooked into the one I was looking for, so it all working out, and I got a couple of extra miles in the process. I’d love to show you pictures, but I can’t get my new phone to connect to the computer.
Then it was off to Aman Park for a bit of hiking. As an added bonus, the bugs weren’t bad, and I hardly needed the head net I wear when off in the woods.
Finally, Founders in Grand Rapids was calling my name. And after 9 1/2 minutes, I actually had someone stop by my barstool to take an order. 10 1/2 minutes is my limit. I wouldn’t have sat there that long except Wimbledon was on, and it worked out because I had a decent American Pale Ale.
We had a great time at the Jimmy Buffet concert at Pine Knob (A.K.A. DTE) on Saturday. Though we missed out on a lot of the tailgating fun that the thousands of people there before seemed to enjoy, we had a nice picnic on the lawn with a good view of Jimmy and his opening act, Huey Lewis and the News, my favorite 80’s band. As soon as I can figure out how to get the pictures off my new phone, I’ll post a couple.
I took a recent hiking and biking trip to the northeast side of Michigan, and extravaganza that involved a trip to the Lower Peninsula’s only waterfall, Ocqueoc Falls, a trip to the lighthouse at 40-mile Point north of Rogers City, dinner at a premier Alpena burger joint, and hiking along the Au Sable river.
I spent the night at Oscoda, at the Lake Trail Resort. Though it will not win any premier travel destination awards, it met my needs. And it was right on the beach, where I was able to capture a nice sunrise over Lake Huron.