John and I spent the last week of August at my family’s little cottage in Northern Michigan. It was nice to get away for a bit. The weather turned cold and rainy just after we got there, but that just meant we got to enjoy reading indoors by the fire instead of enjoying swimming.
We took our elderly cat with us again, since he seemed to enjoy his Michigan vacation so much last year. Again, I think he had a nice time, mainly because he had plenty of time with his people and didn’t have to sit at home alone. Plus then he can continue to receive his fluid treatments related to his kidney failure.
He does well in the car. Whoever isn’t driving is the official “cat wrangler”, although at this age (18 years in October!), he doesn’t need much wrangling.
The cottage is near Crooked Lake, which is part of the Inland Waterway in the northern part of Michigan’s Lower Peninsula. During our vacation, John and I got out on Crooked Lake in the canoe. There’s a large island in the middle of the lake and a little bridge to take cars to the cottages and nature preserve on the island.
Another day, my dad took us by boat further down the Inland Waterway. We went from Crooked Lake down Crooked River to Burt Lake where we ate a picnic. One of the highlights was going through the locks on Crooked River. They’re a very small set of locks in a clamshell design. The gates lift up for the boats to come and go. That means water drips all over your boat when you go under the gates, something that was infinitely exciting when I was a kid.
Here’s a video that someone else made of the experience:
There is an organized effort by the Little Traverse Conservancy to set aside much of the land in the region in nature preserves. Many of these preserves have very nice trails on them, and John and I enjoyed exploring both new and more familiar preserves. The terrain is varied and always beautiful.
We also revisited Sanctuary Island in Alanson. You get to it by traveling 20 feet on a hand-powered ferry. Once you’re on the island, no one can join you unless you use the ferry to pick them up. It’s a fun trip.
One day, John and I rode bikes along the bike path built on the old railway that used to carry vacationers north, including my great grandparents. We rode all the way from Ponshewaing, where our cottage is, to Bay View, Petoskey, and Bay Harbor–about 36 miles round trip!
Another day, we went to the Lake Michigan shore at Sturgeon Bay and stopped by an art gallery with a great garden and garden art.
We also spent plenty of time sitting in the cottage with the cat and enjoying peace and quiet by a warm fire. My grandpa built our cottage in the 50’s and has a great, classic cottage appeal.
And on our last morning in Michigan, we were treated to a spectacular foggy and still morning on Crooked Lake.