Let me confess right up front the only reason I'm writing this entry is cuz I have PICTURES TO POST! And that's such a rare occurrence for me, I just had to do it.
We travelled to northern Michigan a few weeks ago. If you ever want to spend an entire day driving a straight line to nowhere get on US 131 just north of Grand Rapids MI and keep going. Or get on US 127 south of Houghton Lake and do the same thing. These are the kinds of highways that cause hypnosis and put you to sleep. especially when it's in the upper 80s and there are no clouds in the sky and you don't have air conditioning. If you have a cat with you, barfing in the back seat, so much the better.
Once there, though, the trip became worthwhile. We checked into our motel and drove over to the public access site on the Au Sable to meet Johnny and Tony and Mary. Sadie was with her, of course. After the guys got out of their waders we headed over to the restaurant that had the Friday Night Fish Fry (read every restaurant in Michigan). Only Bill was hungry enough for seconds. I love it when you ask for "a couple more pieces and a few fries" and they bring you another entire order.
Out motel was not the Ritz. I am told that the motels in the area are frequented mostly by hunters and fisherman, less often by vacationers, like us. I am further told that hunters and fisherman are less inclined to concern themselves with amenities like clean showers and floors. They apparently care more about a fridge where they can keep their perishable bait. And their beer.
Bill and I were vacationers. We would have preferred cleanliness over fridgeliness (although we did have a bottle of capsules for Otis that had to be kept refrigerated). Yes, we brought Otis with us. We were unwilling to leave him kennelled at the vet for four days and could not find anyone able to give him his injections so he came with us (thus the previous reference to a barfing cat in the back seat).
Otis hated the drive to Mio. He did not seem to mind the motel. Being confined to one room, we heard him eating and drinking in the middle of the night, which he did several times. He had his pick of beds to sleep on and had the whole room to himself while we were touring during the day. It seems the only thing he did not like was the chair, which had probably served as a dog lounge to previous tenants of the hunter variety. In this picture, he shows his disdain in the way he knows best. Animals and children can express things we are often unable to say ourselves.
We drove over to Harrisburg where we stopped to walk on the shore of Lake Huron, site of many past camping trips and fond memories. In fact, Harrisville on Lake Huron may be the first place the Brents all camped together as a family, but I'm not sure. There are certainly family movies (Brentwood Productions with the famous Pink Privy logo) featuring a be-diapered Madeline toddling along the shore eating pebbles ("those aren't petoskey stones", dad would always say when we watched the movies). But I'm not sure - I think the family may have camped at Rollway's Resort, wherever that may be, the year before.
Sadie had fun trying to herd the ducks and geese swimming in the lake. We had fun watching her. Like most dogs, Sadie loves water. Unlike many dogs she does not lap up water from a lake or river. Instead, she wades in just until her chest touches the surface of the water, then she squats down until it's up to her chin and she "bites" the water to get a drink. Sadie is an awesome dog.
Mio is the place where the Kirtland Warbler makes his summer home (he winters in the Bahamas). This little bird nests only at the base of a tree called a Jack Pine which, as far as I know, grows only in this area of northern Michigan. The Kritland is sometimes called a Jack Pine Warbler. The pines are scruffy looking trees not unlike the pitiful example Charlie Brown chose for the pageant in the cartoon we all know and love. The pine cones will only burst and go to seed when the trees are extremely old, or under intense heat. Thus the forestry department stages controlled burns to ensure the pines continue to reseed and grow, and the warblers will have a place to nest.
Dad and the boy scouts did a giant exhibit on these warblers at one of the scout expos. Mack Lake in the Huron National Forest became our favorite place to vacation and we returned again and again.
It was fun to go back. We had a good time. I hope we'll do it again.
Quotable Quotes; In the category Damned if you do . . .
Camping is nature's way of promoting the motel business.