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Benzonia 2011

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S: Sleeping Bear Dunes July 19-23, 2011

FC: Sleeping Bear Dunes | July 19-23, 2011

1: This funny little place in Cadillac, Michigan, happens to have my most favorite water slide in the world. That green slide only lasts about 7 seconds, and it's best to just hold your breath the whole time, because before you know it, you will be catapulted out into that pool of water, so fast that you'll spin around upside down, and you almost can't help but come up laughing because of the sheer insanity of the ride. It's fun every time! Body weight matters; small kids just slowly fell out of the slide exit, but Matt and I happen to be a perfect size to maximize the fun and speed of the slide. We only bought a one-hour wrist band, which was plenty of time. Hauling oneself up those stairs gets tiring, even for a slide that is a BLAST! | Adventure Island | (Matt's feet)

2: We were happy staying at Hanmer's. We only used the indoor pool/hot tub once, but it was nice. $95/night got us our own cabin with a full kitchen, a pretty view, and a decent location. Not bad.

4: We took a walk on the gravel trail next to Crystal Lake.

5: We went roller-blading on the paved trail. As long as we kept moving, bugs weren't a problem, and that kept us motivated to keep up the pace.

6: In 1922 James & Dorothy Kraker opened the original Cherry Hut on the north shore of Crystal Lake | as an outlet for their orchard products. The smiling face of Cherry Jerry was cut into the crust of their pies and to this day it is the distinguishing sign of the Cherry Hut and its products. | but in 2004, it was completely remodeled, and in 2006, it opened for its 84th season on May 13th. It was voted Business of the Year by the Benzie County Chamber of Commerce and honored at the Chamber's Annual Dinner. For the 4th of July in 2011, the Cherry Hut sold 500 cherry pies! We tasted their cherry pie, and it's very good. | The Cherry Hut has undergone many changes over the years,

8: Petoskey stones were more affordable at jackleens Jems than anywhere else we shopped. | Shopping in Beulah

9: Downtown Beulah has some fun shops, my favorite of which is "Beading Frenzy." I found a wire-wrapped Petoskey stone necklace charm (among many other beads!), but when I went to try it on in the mirror, I dropped it, and it fell behind that crazy wall of wooden slats. We tried all sorts of things to get it out, like gum, a taken apart pen, a safety pin, etc. What finally worked was the paper clip that Matt had in his pocket. Regarding the yarn store, we were in awe that such a place even exists. And it sells only yarn. One of the stores is in an old bank; there's Matt in the vault/office.

10: Beautiful Crystal Lake and Downtown Beulah

11: Deadstream Road, | I don't think we actually HAD | to take this road, but we did, | just to enjoy the beauty. | between Platte Lake & Little Platte Lake.

12: Platte Point Beach

13: My Favorite Beach

14: Lake Michigan

15: Platte River

16: This is one of the few times our GPS led us completely astray. We programmed in the address of the Manitou restaurant on M-22. We should have headed north on US-31, then west around Crystal Lake, and north up M-22 a little ways; the Manitou is between Crystal and Platte Lakes. But we didn't consult a map, and the GPS took us west on M-115 to Frankfort, and then south on M-22. While the detour was frustrating (we got tired and hungry!), there was one bonus for the side trip. Had we not been misdirected, we'd have never come across this hilarious display of used toilets for sale (Seriously!). We turned the car around to check those out. And they didn't even look that clean up close. The best part was when the next door neighbor hollered out some comments, including, | "You wouldn't believe how many people stop for those!" (Oh yes, I would.) Somehow selling used toilets in your yard does not even seem that unusual in northern Michigan. Wonder where one collects used toilets for resale? Pictured below is Betsie Lake, which we also happened upon during our lengthy detour to the Manitou. The food at the Manitou was OK, but I think we were unimpressed simply because we were so exhausted and famished by the time we got there, and then there was a wait to be seated; it's a popular place.

17: Dinner at the Manitou

18: We stopped in at the Sleeping Bear Dunes Visitor Center before starting our day in the dunes. It is a large place with a large gift shop. We got some free maps and info. I'm really glad that I did some online research before we left. That's where I found more detailed maps and descriptions of specific trails, so we knew which ones offered a view and how long and how difficult they were to climb.

20: Glen Lake and the Dune Climb

21: Pyramid Point Hiking Trail: 0.6 miles straight up a dune | We later read something about these little purple flowers actually being "Knapweed" that "threatens the dunes." Well, at least they're pretty, especially when there's a whole field of them. Some kids were taking the Staghorn Sumac plants to make jam or something. That's different.

22: We only did the part of this trail that goes to Lake Michigan and back. That was enough. We wanted to see the view of the lake more than the forest.

23: Pyramid Point | South Manitou Island | North Manitou Island

24: Pyramid Point

27: We stopped on a random road in Glen Arbor and ate our picnic lunch while we enjoyed the view of Lake Michigan. There's no shortage of beauty in this area. Pictured below is "Sleeping Bear Point," which is part of "Sleeping Bear Bay."

28: Sleeping Bear Plateau Trail

29: Sleeping Bear Bay

30: We only hiked a short way on the Sleeping Bear Point Trail, just to Lake Michigan and back. It was pretty, but it was on a plateau, so there was no breath-taking view-from-up- high, like we'd see at Pyramid Point. Then we went to visit the Glen Haven Village and Maritime Museum.

31: Glen Haven Historic Village & D. H. Day Park

32: We took these pictures in honor of the dune climb that we made last year. We made it to those top trees on the left, which was no small feat. I'm glad we climbed in the evening then. And I don't know if we'll ever do it again. Maybe. | The Dune Climb

33: The Pierce Stocking Scenic Drive was a real treat. Pictured here was our first stop, Glen Lake. We really liked the idea that Pierce Stocking designed a road through the dunes that is accessible to all people, regardless of age or physical ability.

34: Second Stop: The Dune Overlook

35: About Pierce Stocking (1908-1976) Pierce Stocking spent his youth working as a lumberman in Michigan's forests. He loved the woods and spent most of his spare time there, developing a self-taught knowledge of nature. He used to walk the bluffs above Lake Michigan, awed by the views of the dunes, Lake Michigan and the islands. He wanted to share this beauty with others and conceived the idea of a road to the top of the dunes. As a lumberman he had built roads in difficult terrain before. The planning for the road began in the early early 1960's, and in 1967, the road, then known as the Sleeping Bear Dunes Park, first opened to the public. Stocking continued to operate the scenic drive until his death in 1976. In 1977, the road became part of Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore. Several years later, based on public opinion, the drive was named the Pierce Stocking Scenic Drive. | Second Stop: The Dune Overlook. The Sleeping Bear Dunes cover an area of ten square km (four square miles). While this is a rather small area, it displays considerable diversity. A high, barren plateau to the south grades into a lowland to the north. The plateau itself is a glacial feature, in some places covered with a thin veneer of dunes. A sand dune is simply a pile of sand deposited by the wind. The prevailing southwesterly winds move sand across the Sleeping Bear Plateau toward the northeast. Here you are at the eastern edge of the sand dunes, standing on top of one of the tallest dunes, about 61 meters (200 feet) high. In some places the dunes are stabilized by plants and show no motion. This panoramic view encompasses North and South Manitou Islands, Pyramid Point, Sleeping Bear Bay, the Sleeping Bear Dunes, Glen Lake and the surrounding hills, the Little Glen Lake Mill Pond, and the historic D.H. Day farm with the huge white barn (in private ownership). | Here's what our GPS looked like on the Pierce Stocking Scenic Drive.

36: This overlook, 137 meters (450 feet) above Lake Michigan, provides a magnificent view of the shoreline. If the visibility is good, to the south you can see Empire Bluffs 6.5 km (4 mi) away and Platte Bay 14.6 km (9mi) away, both within the 275 square kilometer (106 sq mi) area of Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore. Still further south is Point Betsie, the farthest point of land, 24.2 km (15 mi) away as the crow flies. To the west, it is 87 km (54 mi) across the lake to Wisconsin. Lake Michigan is the largest lake completely within the United States and is the fourth largest fresh-water lake in the world. It has had a profound influence on the region, including the formation of the sand dunes. In recent times, the bluff has been wearing back at the rate of about 0.3 meter (a foot) per year. Waves wear away the base of the bluff and sand and rocks from above slide down to the beach. This process has gone on for many years, so we can infer that this hill once extended much further out into the lake. The shallow waters offshore also seem to indicate that a peninsula once extended from here about 3 km (2mi) out into the lake. This means that the site of this overlook used to be inland, protected from the strong winds off the lake. Plants took hold and, through decay, produced the thin layer of soil that we see here. As the waves wore back the old peninsula, this site got closer and closer to the lake. The resulting wind exposure produced an active dune environment. | Third Stop: Lake Michigan Overlook

38: 2011 View of The Sleeping Bear

42: Fourth Stop: Empire Bluffs & North Bar Lake The small lake pictured is North Bar Lake. The name describes how the lake formed; it is ponded behind a sand bar. At times, the sand bar builds up and separates North Bar Lake from Lake Michigan. At other times, a small connecting channel exists between the two lakes. North Bar Lake occupies part of a former bay on Lake Michigan. This ancient bay was flanked by headlands on both sides; Empire Bluffs on the south and Sleeping Bear Bluffs on the north. Shorelines have a natural tendency to become straighter with time. Wave action focuses on the headlands and wears them in. Deeper parts of the bay are often left as lakes when sand fills in the shallower parts. The same process that formed North Bar Lake also formed many of the other lakes in northern Michigan: Glen, Crystal, Elk, & Torch Lakes, for example. | These pictures inspired me to visit North Bar Lake, but we didn't have time in 2011. In 2012, however, we saw this same view again, and the next day, we found North Bar Lake. I'm so glad we did! It is even more beautiful up close.

44: Sleeping Bear Dunes Sunset Cruise

46: The Frankfort Dunes rise to about 300 feet and are made up of clay, gravel, and sand. You can see the Sleeping Bear Dunes from satellite images. True sand dunes are 100% sand and are always created by wind. These shore dunes are 80-90 % sand; eastern Lake Michigan has the largest collection of shore dunes in the world. | Lake Michigan, the 3rd largest of the Great Lakes, is about 307 miles long by 118 miles wide. The average depth is 297 feet, with the deepest point at 925 feet, which is near Arcadia Beach.

47: Point Betsie Lighthouse | The Point Betsie Lighthouse was first lit in 1858. The homes built around it used to belong to the people who ran it; now no one is allowed to build here. The lighthouse became automated in the 1950's. You can see it from 16 miles away. The red building was once the fog horn building, and the horn was used when they couldn't see the Manitou Islands. The horn was steam powered; there was a trap door beneath the building to let the lake water in.

48: The sand dune in the upper left is known as the "Mohawk Dune" due to its shape. Pictured to the left is the Crystal Downs Country Club (the yellow building on the top of the hill). From there you can see Lake Michigan, Crystal Lake, and their world renowned golf course, ranked 6th in the USA and 25th in the world. There is a 15 year waiting list to be a club member, and membership is granted by invitation only. However, anyone can build a home in this area, and most of the homes here are their owners' second or third homes. Since shore dunes can change weekly with the wind, some of these homes seem precariously placed. The Sleeping Bear Dunes National Park was established in the 1970's; it's 30 miles long, counting the islands, and it has 21 inland lakes. Recently people thought they saw 2 dogs swimming way out in Lake Michigan; the dogs turned out to be 2 deer, and they were a mile out. It was on this cruise that we learned the origin of the name of the town of Frankfort. Evidently one of the early settlers there was named Frank, and Frank fortified either his personal property or the entire settlement with such high walls and so many weapons that the place was nicknamed "Frank's Fort." And that name stuck. | Mohawk Dune and Crystal Downs Country Club

49: The photos above are of my favorite beach, where the Platte River empties into Lake Michigan. Our boat had to go way out from shore here, because the Platte River creates a giant reef of sand and silt that stretches far out into Lake Michigan, making the water only 3 feet deep in some places. Lake Michigan once had a serious problem with Alewives fish. Their population exploded, and they would spawn near shore and then die there, creating a disgusting shoreline and "a river of fish 10 feet across as far as you could see." So a plan was devised to reduce the population of Alewives, in which salmon played a key role. Salmon were once only salt water fish. The 1928 hatchery on the Platte River was intended to raise trout, but in the 1960's, millions of salmon were raised there instead. The salmon were released into the Platte River and then Lake Michigan, and they not only thrived in the fresh water, but they grew big by eating the Alewives, which solved the dead Alewives problem and put more large edible fish (salmon) into Lake Michigan. The Platte River still boasts an active salmon fishery, and it has a fishing weir to control the harvesting and spawning of the salmon that swim upstream. (Salmon usually live 3-13 years (depending on type) before they swim upstream to lay their eggs and die, typically in the exact same place that they were born.) | Platte Point

50: The wind swoops up the sand here at Empire Bluffs to create a "perch dune." This dune is called "Old Baldy" by the locals, and it's famous for its hang gliders. Lake Michigan is only 60 miles wide here, but the strong wind comes from the SW, from the Chicago area, which is 250 miles away. It shoots sand up from the bluff to the top. (The 3rd kind of dune mentioned on the cruise was the "fallen dune," in which wind pushes the sand off its perch inland.) Empire Village was named after the bluffs, which were named for a schooner that sunk here. Legend has it that the shape of a left hand in the dune is for the "mother ship" to see. The white round thing above the hand goes with the legend and looks a bit like a space ship. During the cold war, it was used somehow for ICBM's (intercontinental ballistic missiles), and now it assists aircrafts in some way. Pictured is the Manning Memorial Lighthouse in the village of Empire, known for its asparagus festival. There is a house nearby with a cable car to the beach; it's for sale for $1.6 million. | Empire Bluffs

51: The Legend of the Sleeping Bear A large forest fire in Wisconsin drove a Mother Bear and her 2 cubs into the lake. The 2 cubs were not strong enough to make the swim across Lake Michigan. Mother Bear wouldn't leave the shore, looking for them. God was touched by her perseverance and created the Manitou Islands in their memory, and the Sleeping Bear Dune for the mother. Petoskey stones are the Mother Bear's tears. The deck pictured is about 450 feet about the lake, and Matt and I were on that same deck earlier this day. You can see some crazy person climbing back up it. Once you go down, there's only one way back up. Later this summer, Bob Wachtor went down and up this same dune. He refused to crawl on his hands and knees, but made the whole climb upright. And then he said to his wife Annie, "That's the stupidest thing I've ever done." | Sleeping Bear Dunes Lake Michigan Overlook

52: It was on the Sleeping Bear Dunes Cruise that we first learned about Archibald Jones pulling the plug on Crystal Lake in 1873. Since shipping was a primary means of transportation back then (roads were rough in the wilderness and railroads weren't fully developed in Michigan), there was a big push to find and dredge rivers that led to Lake Michigan, to create inland waterways for travel and shipping. Thus Archibald attempted to create a navigable canal from Frankfort to Crystal Lake via the Betsie River. In late August of 1873, the Betsie River Improvement Company dug a channel that a storm helped to open early, destroying a temporary dam, which caused the level of Crystal Lake to be lowered by 20 feet in about 7 weeks. Rather than a connecting canal, they had a waterfall. Crystal Lake is a valley lake, and it's level is much higher than that of the Betsie River and Lake Michigan. Crystal Lake lost 25% of its water volume (76 billion gallons), reducing its surface area by 25% (3,093 acres). | It wasn't until October of 1873 that they figured out a way to dam Crystal Lake and stop the waterfall of water flowing out of it; either that, or the water level stabilized. Other lakes during this era didn't fare so well; some drained out completely due to similar projects. The location of the attempted connector canal was on the southeast side of the lake, near the present-day Betsie Valley Trail. "The Company's boat made only one trip downriver backwards. The "Tragedy" of Crystal Lake is forever preserved in the exposed terrace of sandy beach, the perimeter roads and trails, the deep water sediments, and the outwash plain along the outlet. The "Comedy" of Crystal Lake was the creation of a 21-mile perimeter of sandy beach and prime recreational area around the Lake where about 1,100 cottages and the Village of Beulah are now located." So Crystal Drive and the town of Beulah were once underwater. As you drive around the north side of Crystal Lake on 704, you can actually see where there is a ledge for the road and cottages and then the north side goes straight up a tall hill. | When you look at the telephone poles, you can imagine where the waterline once was, 20 feet up. Crystal Lake is still a beautiful valley lake. "Three permanent markers commemorating the "Tragedy" were located near Crystal Lake in downtown Beulah, at Warren Road, and in Bellows Park. They were unveiled in ceremonies on August 27, 1978, a date falling coincidentally near the 105th anniversary of the recently rediscovered date of the actual event" (August 23-27, 1873). The first annual "Archibald Jones Day" was celebrated on August 27, 2010, in downtown Beulah; the "tragedy" was re-enacted and the story was told with food, fun, and games.

53: "The upshot of the Crystal Lake channel is miles of sandy beaches — over the first three weeks of the 1873 incident, a quarter mile of sandy beaches surfaced. Now very valuable real estate surrounds the 8.1-mile long and 2.5-mile wide (formerly 8.5 miles long and 3 miles wide) Crystal Lake." "I would say it was one of the defining incidents for the whole region," said Louis Yock, director of the Benzie Area Historical Museum. "It's basically what created the west end of Benzie County as a resort area."" | I thought that these clouds that sometimes shaded my dunes pictures were going to mess up my sunset pictures. Little did I know that these clouds were about to contribute to one of the most beautiful sunsets I've ever seen in my life.

58: Lake Michigan Sunset | July 21, 2011

61: The Frankfort Lighthouse is currently for sale, probably for about $1. The catch is that if you buy it, you are then responsible for the very expensive maintenance fees, which the city no longer wants to pay. | The Frankfort Lighthouse

63: "Sleeping Bear cruises on hold after grounded boat towed to Frankfort for repairs" | "The tour boat Pictured Rocks sits on the beach in Empire before it was towed back to Frankfort on Tuesday. The vessel's captain intentionally grounded the boat Monday evening after a wave reportedly blew out a window, causing the electronics to malfunction and the vessel to begin taking on water. Most of the boat's 59 passengers had to wade or swim to shore while others were rescued by the Coast Guard." (mlive.com) | We rode this same boat on Thursday, July 21, 2011. On Monday, July 25, it sank! We learned more about the story from the Benzonia Visitors Center lady in 2012. The boat actually was not big enough to handle Lake Michigan's ever changing, potentially harsh conditions. The large wave (probably 8 feet?) that blew out the glass in the front of the boat and caused the boat's electronics to malfunction and the vessel to take on water, also really injured the captain and first mate. "The captain radioed for help and later told the Coast Guard that he steered the boat to the beach to get the passengers off. Most of the boat's 59 passengers had to wade or swim to shore while others were rescued by a Coast Guard helicopter crew from Traverse City." (As glad as I am for an uneventful trip, this fiasco would have been memorable to see. And if I were a Rosher or a Matazel, I'm sure that big wave would have hit on July 21 instead of July 25!) "The boat that was damaged Monday, named Pictured Rocks, is the sole boat the company has in Frankfort for 2 daily tours of the Sleeping Bear Dunes area. The company, Pictured Rocks Tours Inc., also runs tours of the Pictured Rocks national Lakeshore in Lake Superior." The boat had 500 gallons of fuel on board, but there was no report of any leaks or pollution. "A salvage plan was required before the boat could be moved, including plugging fuel vents, pumping out water and securing equipment, according to the Coast Guard." In 2012, we still saw ads for this cruise around Benzie County, but the boat has actually not yet been replaced. Hopefully a bigger, safer boat will be up and running in 2013. It really was a very nice cruise, and I'm glad we had a chance to safely enjoy it before that opportunity abruptly ended. | We did a little shopping and browsing in Benzonia.

64: Lighthouses were originally designed with signal bonfires, & the ruins of one such lighthouse dating back to 280 B.C. were found near Alexandria, Egypt. In the 1700's, coal burning fires were used in lighthouses, and then candles made from whale oil (enclosed by glass), and then oil lamps. In 1810, the Lewis Patent Lamp used a reflector and a lens, and then came the Fresnel Lens, with multiple sides surrounding and magnifying a single lamp. It took a small light and made it visible miles away. By 1850, this lens was used in lighthouses all over the USA. Matt is standing next to a rotating Fresnel lens (vs. a fixed lens), which works based on the principles of reflection and refraction of light. Light rays are captured by the prisms, and the beacon appears to flash each time a bullseye rotates past the observer's line of sight. The lenses were rotated by a mechanism similar to that used in a grandfather clock. | The Rotating Fresnel Lens

66: Matt & I were surprised by the huge size of this baby's breath plant's root and by how damaging it can be to sand dunes. | "One of the most heroic and challenging rescues in the history of the United States Life Saving Service took place in October of 1880. Paradoxically, to some, it was also one of the most scandalous in history, as well, because all males aboard the sinking boat were saved when the lone woman, a cook named Lydia Dale, was left on board. Presumably she was already dead, or so said her rescued shipmates, but was not and subsequently was drowned in the stormy surf. The story involves a schooner, the J. H. Hartzell, which ran aground in front of the Elberta bluffs, just south of Frankfort. It was only through the extraordinary efforts of the Life Saving crew stationed here at Point Betsie and great assistance supplied by the local townsfolk that many lives were saved that night. In the film you will see actual artifacts used in similar rescues, such as the Lyle Gun and the Breeches Buoy. All you see was filmed on location, and features many of the local residents of Benzie County as actors." --The Friends of Point Betsie Lighthouse, Inc.

67: Matt & I went to check out the red fog horn building, which had a video playing of the re-enactment of a real shipwreck near the Betsie Lighthouse in 1880. It wasn't high quality, but it sure was interesting. The boat was pushed by high waves or a storm) into a sandbar; the waves were too high and the water too cold and the distance to far to swim it or to take a rescue boat out into it. The life saving team used a horse cart and several strong men to haul that Lyle gun (mini cannon) over a sand dune to get it across from the boat on the beach. It took them a couple attempts to hit the boat with the monkey ball, which was attached to a long rope, which was specifically wound up in the "faking box," so that the rope would not get stuck or tangled as it flew out to the boat. The crew - most of which was tied in the riggings on the mast - got the ball and rope and attached it to the mast. They tried using a bucket swing to carry people to shore, but it was too windy and dangerous. So they switched to the "lifecar," which to me looked like a scary mini metal casket. The one female on board, the cook, was sick, and the rescuers on shore were quite angry when all of the male crew members arrived safely on shore without her. They said that she died in the ropes from her fever, but later her autopsy showed death by drowning. The whole process took many hours, more than one day. The whole town was involved in the rescue.

68: Inside the Point Betsie Lighthouse

69: The Fog Signal Building | There is an apartment for rent on the second floor of the Point Betsie Lighthouse. It has a kitchen, one bathroom, and it sleeps six people. One week's rental fee is $2,000 during peak season (summer) and $1,500 during the off-season.

70: Crystal Lake | After hearing the story of Archibald Jones nearly draining Crystal Lake in 1873, we took more careful notice of the ledge he accidentally created around the lake, and we imagined where the old shoreline used to be. His blunder became quite beautiful and beneficial for the area.

71: Platte Point Beach | I remember the first time we stumbled upon this beautiful place. In 2010, we took our first trip "up north," and we stayed at Crystal Mountain. It was near the last week of summer, so their rates were low. We rented kayaks through The Trading Post, and they sent us down the pretty and calm Platte River. I remember seeing a zillion orange butterflies. The nice man who helped us told us to walk down the beach around the corner, after we'd dropped off the kayaks, because "it's real pretty there." He wasn't kidding! I'm so glad we followed his advice. I remember standing there with my jaw open in awe, just taking in this scene, and thinking, "Where am I?"

72: Platte River & Platte Point Beach

74: We enjoyed this view of the Platte River while we ate our ice cream cones.

75: Dinner at Betsie Bay Inn | This was a cute little place in cute little downtown Frankfort. We ate a delicious meal and then someone gave us a tour of the wine cellar in the basement. They would have shown us a room, too, from the bed and breakfast, but all the rooms were occupied. (We tried to eat here again in 2012, but it was under new management, and the restaurant wasn't yet open for the season on June 19, 2012.) Then we walked around Frankfort a little and watched the sunset from the Frankfort pier.

76: Frankfort Sunset

80: I got to ride in this glider! | This whole operation was pretty funny. All of the glider people were super nice and super laid back, as one might expect northern Michigander pilots would be. I tried to do this last year in Frankfort but the weather never cooperated. That's actually why the whole operation got moved from Frankfort to Cadillac, because the weather in Cadillac is much better for gliders. Frankfort gets too strong of winds off Lake MIchigan. Anyways, pictured to the right is our yellow tow plane and pilot, a generally friendly old man who chatted with Matt in that tent while I was flying.

81: I think this was the eject button, which I was warned not to touch. | They used to have a little cooling flap out of the window, but it kept breaking off. So what's been working even better is to just tell people to use their hand. It diverted the cool air in really well, and without it, I'd have been hot! | The Cadillac airport was pretty small and easy to miss. We wandered around a bit before we found someone who directed us through a code-locked gate to the glider people. | I was a "booster member" of the Northwest Soaring Club of Frankfort for one day (7-23-11). Carol D. (below) was my "enrolling member."

82: They towed the gliders around this field with their cars. | Box 88, Frankfort, MI 49635

83: Cadillac, Michigan

84: Northern Michigan

85: Lake Cadillac and Beyond

86: "Do you like roller coasters?" -Yes. So we had a bit more fun with the clouds' air pockets. You could feel the G-forces press down on you, with the spins and dips, much like a roller coaster but without any track. | Once the tow rope was released, it was very quiet up there, except for the wind. | My nice pilot was from Germany. I can't remember how he met his wife, but she's American, and they live here with their child. He is a charter pilot in Traverse City. I think the glider is just for fun. He seemed to enjoy what he does.

87: Crystal Lake

88: The Piping Plover's fenced-in nesting area takes up a lot of space at my favorite beach. We've seen a few of these little birds, but not many. We took this trip in the third week of July, which is probably near peak season of "Up North" summer travel. We saw tons of campers and boats like these on the way home.

89: We got these awesome photos at State of the Art Framing in Beulah in 2012. They're so pretty that I wanted to include them in this book, too. | I did some rock collecting at my favorite beach, where the river rolls the rocks nice and smooth. I had a specific project in mind. I spray painted the rocks (with clear glossy paint) to give them a nice wet shine before placing them in a large glass vase with decorative sticks. It turned out even better than I'd hoped. I also made some jewelry with the smaller rocks. | (I put this book together in the summer of 2012.)

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