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Back on Walloon

August for me is a calming time of self gathering and contemplation. It's the time of year when the garden work is done and the most beautiful flowers are blooming, the most delicious foods ripening. The beginning of the month is also one of the hottest times of the year and as such has historically sent many a family headed to cooler, more relaxing climes. I remember Jon's dad once referring to the Zilwaukee Bridge as the place where, when headed north, he leaves all of his worries behind. Although for me that drop point is probably farther north, in Westbranch, I completely understand the sentiment, and for the past week my worries have lived in Westbranch while we took in the turquoise waters of Walloon Lake.

Saturday saw us up bright and early, headed for north of the forty-five, our spirits weighted only by concern for what we may or may not have forgotten. Good thing they have a Meijer up there now. One thing we didn't leave behind? The caterpillars. By the time we left only one of them had strung himself to a branch and was preparing to go into chrysalis mode.

We arrived in time to share in the beautiful sunshine and warm water (78 degrees!) with my cousin's family before they headed back south. It's hard to believe that thirty years ago we were those little kids, our parents were the "kids" and our grandparents were the parents. 

Two kids in a hammock. I think our grandparents would have loved to see this.

Sunday dawned bright and windy. Did I say windy? I mean batten down the hatches kind of windy. The sun was warm, the water was warm, the wind was windy.

The caterpillars were happy. And just look at the color of that lake.

Wind just means having to work up a sweat before getting in the water, for whatever that's worth when you go to get out and you're wet all over.

Look at that churned up water.

Monday was sunny and windy and slightly less warm and we headed to Charlevoix for some entertainment and some smoked fish. Because you can't go north without enjoying smoked fish and smoked fish dip.

Tuesday, after breakfast in Petoskey, we spent the morning on the farm of an old friend (of Gram's) who was kind enough to invite Calvin for the morning chores. We met pigs, fed chickens and collected eggs, drove out to count cattle (who were elusive in the woods, of all places), and bottle fed a calf.

Wednesday dawned bright but chilly, so half the crowd headed to town for Pirate's Cove golf.

But it turned warm and sweet by early afternoon and we ended the day in the beautiful lake as the sun dropped lower and lower in the sky.

Thursday, after breakfast in town, we were lucky enough to meet Ada, the newest member of our extended family, who was born to Polly and Justin just the day before. I can certainly say she's a beautiful baby. I can also certainly say that Calvin was glad to be leaving her there.

Calvin seemed to greatly prefer these babies, which we passed on the way home, to the human one.

Thursday afternoon was almost as beautiful as Wednesday afternoon and we spent the time relaxing on the dock and in the water, but ended the day in town at the aptly named Sunset Park. Every year, it must be done.

 Friday morning I took my coffee out on the dock and watched the storms rolling in, by, and beyond.

With weather like that predicted all day we headed into Mackinaw City for fried fish at the Key Hole and fudge from Murdick's (what you don't know is that we'd gotten fudge in Charlevoix, too...)

And would you believe, by the time we got back to the lake the sun was shining and the storms were blowing just north of us, close enough that we could visually enjoy the line of contrast between the storming clouds just north of the lake, and the wisps of vapor sporadically obscuring the sun shining over us.

What a beautiful afternoon with which to bring up the rear of our vacation week.

And the storm that came after we were already inside for the night was like a final farewell, a reminder of the baggage waiting in Westbranch for pickup on our way back down.

We don't give in easily, though, so on our way home we made a stop at the Huckleberry Railroad for one last bit of vacation (the touristy kind), but that's for another post.

There's another 44 pictures from throughout our week at the Lake in the Walloon Lake 2010 photo album. Enjoy. We did.

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