Our flurry of visitors has passed, and we’ve been relaxing, enjoying the summer doldrums. We haven’t spent all our hours lazing on the couch (though I did read books four and five in the Harry Potter series in about four days), but we have definitely been taking it easy. Strolls around our acres, evening walks around the (four-mile) block, trips to isolated stretches of beach.
Activity followed by inactivity; life is marked by balance. After a long (for us) stretch of not doing much, we rode up to the Tip of the Mitt yesterday. On our way we stopped along Walloon Lake, because like so many things up here, we had heard/read about its beauty, but never witnessed it. I didn’t take pictures, because the views – spectacular though they were – were largely found only in smidgens over rooftops or tightly squished between vacation homes. Walloon definitely lived up to the hype, though, and if we lived closer, we’d stop by frequently.
We spent much of our afternoon yesterday turning around. Apparently I left all my map-reading skills at home. We went the wrong way – a good ten miles each time – at least three times yesterday. That’s what I get for glancing at a map and then assuming I’d remember.
We eventually arrived at our destination: the International Dark Sky Park in Emmet County. The park offers a wide-open view of the sky along with some long benches presumably for group programming. Tony and I picked our way along the rocky shore, eventually settling on a concrete slab with our toes in the lake.
Having thoroughly checked out the shore, we headed back inland to see what the park’s trails were like. I carried my camera on this excursion, hoping to catch a good view from the advertised overlook. I’ll have to go back in the winter. The overlook provided smaller glimpses of the lake than the crowded homes along Walloon. Sections of the trail were picturesque at least:
We had a chance of Aurora, so we had kinda-sorta planned to stay for nightfall, but the sky was hazy so that even if we had solar activity, viewing conditions would be poor. Instead, we began the journey home. We stopped at a beach on the west side of the Mackinac Bridge – a nostalgic place for us, since we found it by chance on our pre-move road trip up here in 2008 – but it was full of people, so we left. And by full of people, I mean there were a couple of well-behaved families awaiting the sunset. But I was feeling incredibly people averse…so we left. For the nth time, we unwittingly took a wrong turn (or didn’t turn when we should have?), and ended up on an empty beach.