Friday, July 20, 2012

Summer in Charlevoix 2012

Rundown:  Summer adventures with family and friends in Northern Michigan!  

Locaiton:  Charlevoix, Mackinaw, and Marquette, Michigan!

Flew back into Charlevoix after not being home in the summer for too long.  Had plans to take full advantage of being on the water...

... see a few good friends...

... and spend time with my family.

Bought a motorcycle!  My new beauty is a 1985 Honda 450 Nighthawk.  Bought her in Traverse City with 4,000 miles on it, barely broken in!  Had to clean up the front calipers and give 'er a good scrub down, but she's a fantastic bike!  Rode her every day that I was home! 

Hit the Jordan River and also the Bear river.  The old van sure got a workout this trip.

Any time there was a hint of wind, we were out on Lake Michigan practicing with the windsurfer.  Didn't get the hang of the turn... but will soon.  Got out in some big wind and waves a few times, with a chase boat of course.

And for the days there was no wind we brought the board out and paddled around.  I forget how much I miss living on a big body of water.  I know the ocean is an hour away from Santiago... but it's not the same...

My dad got into road biking this year!  We ripped around Lake Charlevoix on a fantastic, hot day.  Being used to knobby-tired mountain bikes these felt like we had rockets strapped up our backsides.  

Spent a day on Mackinaw Island.  Hiked around to the forts...

...climbed on Sugarloaf...

...and at fudge in the park until I felt like puking.  Good times.

Hit the Straits of Mackinaw to get some diving in with my dad.  Had been a long time since I'd been diving up there!

Dove first on the Cedarville, a 700 foot freighter that sank after getting schmucked by the Topsdalfijord in heavy fog.  The wreck is almost capsized on the bottom.  Makes for a surreal dive.  Here's the almost inverted brow of the monster, complete with zebra mussels.

So great to hit these wrecks again.  I was weaned in the cold water... used to get nervous about diving on these, what with the depth and dark and cold.  But now it's like seeing my old friends again.

Speaking of old friends.  After surfacing to see a boat tied up to the stern buoy of the Cedarville I hear, "Pete!  That you?!?"  Apparently there's only one Michigan diver who wears a wetsuit so ugly if can be identified from 700 feet.  Me.  And there's only one diver who can bellow a coherent message from that distance.  Big John Miodowski.  Didn't get to spend too much time catching up, but was sure great to see him.

Hit the Sandusky on our second dive.  She's in a little more disrepair than I remember, but the scroll figurehead is still doing fine.

Also great to dive with my dad again.  It had been about a year since we dove in the Galapagos with reef sharks!  I still had Pacific sand in my BC!

Check out the video!  Make it full screen!

Marquette, MI

Shadowed Liza and Felix up to Marquette on the motorcycle.  She ran like a champ, even across the Mighty Mac.

Had to drive on the metal grating... a disconcerting proposition as it wobbles the front fork.  The whole thing feel like you're sitting on a washing machine.

Check out the video!  There's an error with the last 15 seconds of the video, but the bridge shots worked out just fine in.  Complete with awesome music (Motorcycle Driver by Satriani).

So fantastic to be back in Marquette.  We drove past all our old haunts, ate at our favorite places, hiked our favorite trails.  Felt like coming home.

People pulled their children close whenever we rolled in somewhere... like the gypsies showed up or something.  The canoe makes for a great drying rack though, provided you remember your underwear before driving off to another adventure.

And we had lots of adventures.

Really nice to be back in Marquette with Liza.  We never had a ton of time when we were both there together, so it was fun to revisit the things we did together and individually.  

Did some canoeing in Echo Lake, after the long portage in, that is.  The canoe keeps the rain off, but the bugs were well fed afterwards.

Paddled out to Partridge Isle from Presque on a gorgeous, sunny day.  Spent it bouldering above the crystal clear (and cold!) Superior water.

Although there are plenty of places to stay in Marquette we kicked it every night camping off Wetmore Landing in the woods, just like old times.  

Swam every morning after rolling out of my hammock.  

And with that I packed up the bike and cruised back to Charlevoix.  I could do that drive in my sleep but was all the better being on a motorcycle!

Spent a day unpacking and repacking.  Said goodbye to my really old dog, Gretta...

... then flew back to the Andes... and winter.

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