Journal Categories
Journal Tags
« They're ready | Main | Making a big splash »

You really can go back

It was umpteen years ago on beautiful Walloon Lake in northern Michigan, and my family, consisting at that time of parents, sibling, cousins, and grandparents, was lazing at the end of a white dock stretching into the turquoise lake with its rocky edges and sandy bottom.  It's a memory that  has always lived vividly in my mind, and will do so even more now that we have been back and made good on the belief that it is possible to reclaim those times from the past.  The key to success in going back, of course, is understanding that it doesn't mean erasing time, but embracing it.  We missed those who are no longer with us, but enjoyed seeing each successive generation step into their waiting roles.  The baby sleeping upstairs was not Curtis, it was Calvin, and the man enjoying scotch and cigar at the end of the dock wasn't our uncle, it was Curtis.  Oh how time does fly.

Our time there was limited by work demands at home, but we thoroughly enjoyed the four days we had by packing them as full as possible (For the photo journal of our trip go to the Lake Vacation album.  Click on thumbnails for bigger pictures, and now you can click on the bigger pictures for even bigger pictures):

Saturday, August 9:   9am Meet at the Hiller homestead, pack cars, load people, head north.  10am Hit construction, slow to a crawl, realize that construction is an enjoyable diversion when traveling with a 2 year old.  11am  Make obligatory stop at Birch Run Outlet Mall, buy  sunglasses and Osh Kosh clothes, enjoy lunch and floats at the A&W.  3pm  Arrive at cottage on Walloon Lake in high winds but beautiful sunshine.  Unpack cars.  Enjoy watching the whitecaps on the rough lake from the dock while getting soaked by spray before going back inside to read before dinner (kabobs on the grill).  8pm Make last minute after dinner decision to dash into town to view the sunset over Little Traverse Bay from Sunset Park in Petoskey.  9pm  Return home to watch the Olympics.

Sunday, Aug 10:  8am  Wake up to sunny but still slightly windy and chilly weather.  Grandpa, Curtis, and Cortney all go running (the hills are killer).  Curtis and Cortney end their run with a jump in the still wild lake to the backdrop of boaters wearing sweatshirts and ski hats.  10am  Calvin tries the lake, but the air is just a bit too chilly, so we play in the hammock and with the toys and books we brought while Gram attends a high school reunion style luncheon.  1pm  The whole entourage makes a shopping trip into town, followed by naps (mostly) all around.  4pm  Extended family (cousin Polly, her husband Justin, Uncle Smokey, and Godmother Lonnie) begin arriving for dinner.  6pm   we all enjoy a dinner of steaks and corn on the patio.  7pm  Curtis, Patty, Calvin, Jon, and Cortney go with Polly and Justin to their nearby ranch and enjoy some ring riding time.

Monday, Aug 11:  7am  Cortney runs alone and opts out of the post run plunge though the day has dawned sunny, calm, and warm.   9am  The whole entourage packs in the van and heads to Alanson for a relaxing boat ride through the Crooked River and into Burt Lake (we had originally planned to motor through the locks on the river, but the locks just happened to be closed that of all days for maintenance).  11am  After said relaxing ride we enter Burt Lake and motor straight across toward the very small public dock that is our landing for lunch at Hoppies, our favorite  "local" frequented bar that happens to be easier to reach by boat than by car.  12pm  Finally locate said dock (it's practically unmarked and you have to know what you are looking for) and descend upon Hoppies for beer, burgers, and video games (and a view of the race winning outhouse) before heading back out onto the lake to enjoy the sunshine.  2pm  Locate sandbar and anchor for swimming and sunning.  3pm  Weigh anchor and head for home, with Calvin assisting the captain (Uncle Curtis) as soon as the boat is moving at a snails' pace in the river.  It was also about this time that Calvin discovered the "slow no wake" signs and also discovered how funny people thought he was when he read them as "sloooooooow     noooooooooo    waaaaaaaaaaaaake."  6pm  Arrive back at the cottage to enjoy a relaxing evening and sunset on the dock.

Tuesday, Aug 12:  7am  Cortney and Grandpa go out running but again opt out of the post rung plunge.  The day is even warmer, calmer, and sunnier than the day before even though the forecast called for incoming clouds and storms.  9am  Cortney "sights" said incoming storms and calls for everyone to get out and enjoy the day while they still can.  Most of the entourage grabs some coffee and heads for the dock while grandpa cooks  bacon for breakfast (yum).  11am  Still sunny and now much warmer, the whole entourage dons suits and grabs towels to take further advantage of the beautiful weather before the storms come in.  1pm  Still sunny, everyone, now including Lonnie, grabs margaritas, chips, guacamole, crackers, and pate for lunch out on the dock in order to take advantage of the weather that is still holding, believe it or not.  4pm  Not a cloud in sight so we all  decide that enough sun is enough sun and head in for some naps and Olympics.  6pm  Now refreshed we head back out for a relaxing dinner on the dock, followed by a sunset swim in the warm lake.  10pm  Back inside we watch the Olympics before bed.  What a wonderful (stormy?) day!

Wednesday, Aug 12:  7am  No running this morning, instead we get up to pack and enjoy one last walk out on the dock, one last swing in the  hammock, and one last vacation style breakfast.  9am  We spot two mink, possibly juveniles, running and playing on the dock.  One leaves, but the other stays to eat a crayfish.  He is not too worried about us and allows Cortney to get close enough to grab some good pictures, even giving her a quizzical and photogenic look from only five feet away on the boat lift when she ventures out to the dock end.  10am  The storms that never came yesterday  suddenly arrive with thunder and rain just as we are carrying things out to the cars.  11am  We hit the road, headed for lunch in Gaylord before making the rest of the trek home.  Again we say it has been a wonderful trip!  Thanks to Gram and Grandpa for the wonderful idea, for securing the cottage and the boat, and for all the wonderful food and drink.  Thanks to Aunt Patty and Uncle Curtis for taking the time to be there.  Thanks to Calvin for some pretty phenomenal behavior.

PrintView Printer Friendly Version

EmailEmail Article to Friend

Reader Comments

There are no comments for this journal entry. To create a new comment, use the form below.

PostPost a New Comment

Enter your information below to add a new comment.
Author Email (optional):
Author URL (optional):
All HTML will be escaped. Hyperlinks will be created for URLs automatically.