Some of Life’s Pleasures

A couple of our good friends (and excellent people all around, I should add) visited over the 4th, and we enjoyed a typical menu of northern Michigan’s offerings: kayaking over clear waters, fishing a couple rivers, antiquing, and eating delicious food.  Also we did some chemistry and played cards.  The cards were admittedly more fun.

By Wednesday, much of the Independence Day hoard had left, and so we met the Clifton’s for a little wreckage.  To be clear, Jess and Jackson went to the beach to swing while Tony, Jim and I swam out to the Albatross schooner wreck submerged on the banks of the Elk River as it dumps into Elk Lake.  As we were suiting up in our sexy wetsuits, a family of geese swam ashore.  Delighted, we pointed them out to Jackson (who is a bit over 2 years old) and wondered where they were wandering.  Directly to us it seemed.  Bemused, we watched as the whole lot of them curiously ventured closer.  Curiously, ha!  The pugnacious giants were demanding food.  I – being a terrible influence – rummaged around in the car until I found some Veggie Straws.  Satiated, they took to the water again, and refrained from scaring us further.  (Ask Jackson what a goose says…”Hisssssss!” he’ll answer.)  In the water, clarity was excellent (for the setting) and the wreck was teeming with fish.

Belligerent geese

Ship wreck makes a nice fish habitat

More fish hiding in the weeds below the wreck

When we finally got cold, we undressed and redressed and met up with the other half of the Clifton family in Elk Rapids.  After perusing a Wednesday night festival and some shops (including Java Jones where I got a decaf! s’mores mocha), we meandered back to a mostly deserted beach just in time to watch the sun sink below the horizon.

Edge of the sunset over the Elk River

I love this Mackinac Bridge playground replica 🙂

Sunset over Old Mission as seen from Elk Rapids

Following up a night full of activity, I got all domestic-like and prepared a calorie-laden meal of ribs, cabbage casserole, herbed potatoes, and white chocolate ganache frosted cake with local fruit.  Yum!  (Recipes upon request)  After you eat that much good food, there isn’t a whole lot to do besides bask in the stupor of a food coma.  Which we did. (But not alone.  We are not the heathens you take us for!)

But today we worked it off.  This evening after work, Tony and I checked out a new-to-us access point on the east side of Torch Lake where we played skip ball for over an hour.  We were the only people there and frolicked childishly in the water the entire time.

Crown vetch adorning "our" private beach

The view down under the tree and down the shore

Dancing sunlight

Sparkling water

The serenity, the fun, the views, the run during sunset tonight, the whole feeling.  Life just doesn’t get much better.  Ask my nephews who will be joining us tomorrow 🙂


8 thoughts on “Some of Life’s Pleasures

  1. That is absolutely beautiful. Are you able to share where this hidden access point is on the east side of the lake?

  2. I realize this is a little late, but just coming across the descriptions of the shipwreck hike. Have those been visible the last couple years, and are you able to share their locations?


    • Hi there! This shipwreck isn’t actually accessible via a hike. You’ll need to paddle or swim out. We’ve done both – it’s a short distance from the shore regardless. The remains are just about straight across from the kayak launch point north of the big swan on US31 in Elk Rapids. Hope you get a chance to check it out!

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