Rainy Day Recon

It rained lightly for most of the afternoon, but I can’t complain too much.  The whole region has had a bit of a drought, and frankly I don’t want to burn my woods (or house!) down when I get around to burning some brush we’ve cleared.  Determined not to waste some free time, we headed out after Tony was done working early this evening to scope out some places to go and take people when the weather is more cooperative.  After reading this blog, we drove west to check out some Platte River access.  Indeed, the section of river upstream of Platte Lake is swift and loggy.  I’m not sure I’d canoe it, but it looks fun for kayaking!

Now that I know what they are, I feel compelled to include one more shot of the flowers.  In case you missed it, and don’t already know, they are Forget-Me-Nots.  And I love them.  Especially when I can get a nice macro shot with the river in the background!

We came across these beautiful shelf fungi in the state forest campground.  While there, speculating on how mushroom-y the woods looked, it occurred to me that I evaluate all forests in this way.  That looks like a good ridge! I don’t know that I’d eat these mushrooms (if I could identify them as edible and tasty, I would…just to be clear), but the slugs were chowing down.


Being interested in a trip we might actually take in the upcoming week, we took off in the trusty GTI and located the canoeable section of water.  It’s still pretty quick.  The water is surprisingly clear, even for here, and very inviting.  We watched some kayakers dive into the river near its delta, and I would have been tempted, too, if it had been warmer or even just sunny.  As things were, I was just impressed by the natural beauty.

Doesn't it look like an ad? It also LOOKS clean. The Shawlers might guess that it isn't, really.

Being road trip masters, we took the long way home, and came across this little guy shortly after leaving the Lake Michigan shoreline.  It was big enough that I knew it wasn’t a squirrel (there are black ones up here, in case you didn’t know…look for future posts, because I think the rodents are adorable!), and it wasn’t walking like a cat or raccoon.  Then I remembered: we have porcupines up here!

The long road home was aimed at letting us check out a dam on the Manistee River.  We got there at about 9:30, with enough light to see that the dam does in fact seem to hold water.  There are a lot of steps down, but it was worth the effort.

I’m not sure that we’ll spend much time at the dam, but we’ll probably check it out again later in the year.  However, I bet we’ll spend more time a bit more downstream, below Tippy Dam.  The salmon run there in the in fall:)  Currently, I’m most looking forward to the Platte and Lake Michigan beyond.

Tumultuous Weekend

The past weekend was a huge roller coaster ride for everyone in the Brock side of our family.  Early Thursday afternoon, I got the house all shined up and for the first time since we moved here, we really felt like the move was “finished.”  If you talk to Mom for even a few minutes about her house, you’d quickly learn why the above is in quotes.  So, to celebrate our feelings of accomplishment, we abruptly packed up and left for Ohio for the weekend.  You see, we needed birth certificates, and friends and family were celebrating Steph’s successful journey through her RN program.  Congrates, Steph;)  We weren’t happy to be making the trip, but we cheered ourselves up with a brief visit to Goodale’s bakery in Grayling.  The cashier was super (perhaps even uber?) friendly, and the goodies were just that.  Also, it was good to have  a push to get us to Steph’s party.  She deserved it, and I’m glad we were there.

The weather threatened to ruin the party, but in the end decided just to sit heavily around.  I made sure to clear the memory on the camera card so that I could take pictures of the festivities, but then left the camera in our room at Shari and Phil’s.  Oh well.  Everyone seemed to have a decent time.  Jody made her amazing Hungarian pastry; Kim made an excellent cake; Shannon made mac-n-cheese with bacon (with which Steve was particularly impressed).  The boys promised Pappy a good soaking with their water guns, but he pulled out the garden hose and easily won that battle.  For the record, I’m not sure who had more fun in that match-up.  Addi alternately smiled her huge open-mouth smile and grumpled about the heat and humidity.  We got to catch up with some folks we hadn’t seen in a while.  Like I said, a good time.

We headed back North Sunday around noon, only to learn that Steve was having some health issues.  It’s his health, and his and his family’s business, so I won’t go into it here, but I’m sending all the power of positive thinking I can muster your way Steph and Steve.  I know you’re likely not out of the woods, but I’m still going to be hopeful!  We love you!

After being away for the weekend, we decided to take the evening to go adventuring.  Well, planning for adventures is more descriptive.  We headed east to the Manistee River to check out some landings for a possible canoe trip with Meg in the upcoming days.  We’re thinking about using this landing.

The water might not look like it, but it is clear cubed.  And cold.  It might look cold, though.  Or that could be the overcast-ness.  There were also some pretty flowers blooming along the bank.

After our scoping-out mission, we meandered back home.  (Un?)fortunately, we came out across from the Cone Corral (I’m being dishonest if I say it wasn’t planned…), so we had to get ice cream, and…you guessed it…go watch the sun set over Torch Lake again.

It’s a good thing there’s so much to do here, because this lake is trying to make me fat!