Monday, September 7, 2009

5 Years and 40% Chance of Rain

We just got back from a great vacation in Toronto, Canada, but I'm still a trip behind, so more on Canada later, eh?

Two weekends ago we headed out to Traverse Bay and Sleeping Bear Dunes in northern Michigan for a 2 night, 3 day camping trip in celebration of our 5th anniversary. The original plan was to leave Thursday morning, but because I needed another vacation day for Toronto the next weekend, we made it Thursday after work. Even then, Thursday at 5pm found Abe frantically finishing a paper due that night that he'd been working on non-stop for 3 days. His eyes were glazed when I met him at the bus stop, and he said he felt like he was floating. With my editor's pen in hand, I helped him round out the rough edges and get it in by 6:30.

With a late start, we didn't make it to camp until about 11:30pm. Luckily, the camp manager was across the road from us and kept blazing Christmas lights around her camper all night, so we had plenty of light to set up our tent.

We were so excited to be on a getaway together, and to have actually gotten away, that we were determined not to let anything ruin the trip - including the weather forecast of rain until Sunday.

Despite threatening skies, we enjoyed beautiful hikes around the dunes off of Lake Michigan.

Four things to note from this photo. 1) Gorgeous water. 2) Sand you want to roll it. 3) Skyline that looks like we're on the edge of the world. 4) Steepness and length of the dune climb (this is only half of it).

Do we look like we've been camping?

We went on a 4-mile dune hike to the edge of the water. When Abe got there he gathered white and black stones and played a game of "Go" (Ancient Japanese game, still around today, supposed to be harder than chess. Note: I sat on a log and laughed at a piece of driftwood that looked like a bunny. And you wonder why our two family reunions were so different.)

If you noted the cloudy skies in above photos, then you won't be surprised that we hit a rainstorm in the late afternoon. Luckily it cleared long enough for Abe to start a fire out of wet wood (I don't know how he does it, but he can basically start a fire anywhere) and for me to cook up some tinfoil dinners.

It rained all night. This is our tent in the morning, after we cleared our gear out. Look at the photo again. See the water line by the disc? See how it goes all around our tent. It's dry in the middle because that's where our air mattress was. The air mattress and blankets soaked up the rest of the water. While we were sleeping.

It was still raining the morning and we were hungry. This was our solution.

They may have been the most delicious blueberry pancakes I've ever had. Bonus - I got to wear my baby blue jumpsuit, which I stuffed in a paper bag at a local thrift store a few weeks ago when they were having a Bag Sale (everything you can fit in a bag for $5 total).

We don't have any photos of us kayaking and swimming in Traverse Bay, because it never happened. The rain persisted until we drove home late that night. Instead, we showered, drove around admiring the wet scenery, bought blueberries (they were out of the famous sweet cherries), and went out to eat in Traverse City at a bay-side restaurant with a great view and even better white fish and balsamic vinagrette.

In the end, we were both surprised at how much fun we had.


amydear said...

I have memories of a very wet camping trip at the same locale. But we still had a great time. Glad you did as well!

Megan said...

Sounds fun! We too did not get any great kayaking or swimming pictures when we went to Northern Michigan because of the drizzly conditions.

Dawn said...

You have now visited one of my all time favorite places...Glad you did the dune hike. It's worth it, and a good workout as well! Sorry about the rain. Really, it doesn't rain up there all the time. Really.