Posts Tagged ‘Lake Michigan’

It was a date with a girlfriend that brought me out to the big lake (that’s Lake Michigan in case you were wondering) in mid-July. That day, the big lake seemed endless, the color of the water seemed vibrant and the air was light. There was a sense of calm to the day. 

When I woke up that morning, I already knew it would be a great day. I was greeted on my morning walk with a stunning early morning sky- brilliant pinks and purples-and wished I had a camera. As I walked with the dog, gazing at the sky, I smiled. I felt privileged to be awake. The next clue that the day was off to a supreme start came with a completed crossword puzzle during my morning coffee-and-the-paper routine. Just like I do each time I complete a crossword puzzle, I remarked, “today is going to be a good day,” then I put my pencil and puzzle down and am off to shower with a little extra bounce in my step. Next on tap, I had a big meeting in the morning followed by a drive to Glen Arbor to spend some quality time with a friend I’ve known since kindergarten. I had been meaning to catch up with her for months.
It was there, sitting on a beach towel, mulling over life with a dear friend and gazing at big blue that I got the news- a new job! I had interviewed with the City of Traverse City that morning and received a call the same afternoon with a job offer. It was a thrilling feeling, the onset of change, diving into a new work life chapter. At the same time, the natural surroundings gave me a peaceful, serene confidence in my next steps. We then waded in the water and dove in. It felt like I was taking the plunge, embracing my new job, and it was refreshing.


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Two weeks ago, I went fishing on East Bay at 5:00 a.m. It was an early morning, but rewarding. We saw a stellar sunrise. My friend Jim is a regular out on East Bay during salmon season and has a boat that is decked out with fishing doodads- fishfinders, downriggers, lures, depth sounders, rods and more.
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Basically, all I had to do was show up and reel ’em in. When we got out on the water, it was dark. The moon and stars were on full display. We drank coffee and enjoyed fresh pastries from Potters (yep, they open really really early and we stopped on the way out to the boat launch and picked up a few pastries for the road boat.)
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Well, the 4:20 a.m. alarm was all worth it when I reeled in two salmon including the 15-pounder below. The salmon was amazing! We grilled it on a cedar plank. The plank needs to soak in water for about an hour, then brush the plank with olive oil on both sides, place the salmon on the plank, season the salmon with lemon pepper after drizzling with olive oil (just enough so that the lemon pepper has something to stick to.) The entire plank goes on the grill for about 15-20 minutes depending on the size of the fish. We paired it with potatoes on the first night. For dinner number two, we had a salmon salad. I mixed my own dressing- a lemon vinagarette- which complimented the light meal very well. Fishing

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Ahhh… nothing like a hike up the dunes to Big Blue! The 3.5 mile round trip trek is quite the climb but worth the effort!
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We went on the hike when David’s brother and niece were in town. It was a chilly 60 degrees with a slight drizzle here and there, but we toughed it out and made the climb.
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We were all smiles heading up the steep climb…Dune Climb (9)
And I wasn’t kidding when I said steep!
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The view of Glen Lake (both Big and Little) is worth the climb even on a dark dreary day.
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David makes the climb representing the Cubbies and the Wolverines. Ugh. (Can I get a Go Green Go White holla?!)
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We keep climbing higher and higher. When you turn around, the view of Glen Lake becomes even more awesome!
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Before we reached Lake Michigan, we kept thinking “just over this dune” and we’d crest the dune and see more dunes and more dunes. We knew we were getting close when we could hear the sound of waves crashing.
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Ahhh… makes journey suddenly worth it! Lake Michigan is just so stunning!
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A quick self-portrait to memorialize the trip (I need longer arms!)
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Of course, what goes up, must come down. You have to run down the dune. It’s just no fun to walk. How can you not leave this enchanting hike without a smile on your face.
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Do the dune climb!

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Camping (2)We enjoyed campfire, food and great conversation when we went to visit my parents at Platte River Campground in Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lake Shore. There’s something magical about a campfire. It’s mesmerizing glow and warmth allows for the stories and dialogue to linger longer than usual.

The campground is located the Lakeshore in Benzie County. It’s right on Lake Michigan and the Platte River. My parents stayed in the park for a week. They came with their ‘triple threat gear,’ which means that they brought bicyles, kayaks and golf clubs! Fun.

Camping (3)David looks guilty in this picture. I’m not sure why.

Thanks mom and dad for letting us crash your party for a night!

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West Bay boatrideSaturday morning brought sunny skies and an excuse to drop the boat in the water for a little spin. We put in at Clinch Park downtown which is only 1.5 miles from our house. When we put in, we noticed that Backcountry Outfitters was having a kayak demo on the bay.

Kayak demos

Anyone could stop by to test drive a kayak in the Bay. Representatives from Wilderness Systems, Hurricane, Native, Current Designs and Wenonah were on-hand to answer questions and provide the latest models to paddle.

Traverse City skylineAs we took off, I snapped a picture of the Traverse City skyline. The Park Place hotel towers above the rest. We did get sprayed with water when we took off and the bay is COLD!

A view of our house from the waterOf course, since we were going by, I made David drive slow, so I could snap a picture of our house from the water. How fun!

We only were in the boat for about a half hour and decided to get home to get back to the installing hardwood flooring project. Good thing we seized the morning because thunderstorms and high winds cropped up in the afternoon.

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The Empire Bluff Trail hike is short in length, but tall in stunning beauty. I feel so lucky to have already made my inaugural hike in the Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore this season! If you need a reminder as to why so many of us choose to live here, then by all means, hike the Empire Bluff trail! It’s only 1.5 miles round trip, but the view can’t be beat.

I hiked this trail on a sunny day in early April. Temperatures were nearing the upper 50’s and it seemed like winter was in the past. However, deep snow lined the trail in the wooded areas . I’m sure it is the remains of the large snow drifts.  Despite some soggy feet, I trudged along. I’m glad I did. I left inspired and renewed by the scene.   

Empire Bluff

This image was taken along the hike where a clearing in the foilage offers a peak-a-boo views of Lake Michigan, South Bar Lake and the Village of Empire. From this vantage point, the green-blue water and sandy dunes make for a postcard-perfect picture! So snap away!

Empire Bluff HikeOnce you reach the boardwalk section, the trail takes you along a phenomenal overlook atop the dune. From there, I snapped this image with a pretty clear view of South Manitou Island.

So go for a hike and be renewed by the power and beauty of Mother Nature. It’s worth it.

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