Manistee National Forest

A few weekends ago my family convened on the west side of the state for a little mid-summer camp trip. The weekend was filled with a lot of laughs, and even more mosquitos. Here in Michigan people have been talking about how this was going to be a banner year for mosquitos because of all the rain and melted snow – and they’re not joking around. I’ve never experienced anything like it. Yikes. The beach was the only respite. But the weather was gorgeous, complete with exciting thunderstorms at night. We ate like kings, and were re-introduced to the magic of pie irons. Oh, the possibilities! I felt like Bubba Gump listing out all the ideas for what to concoct in the pie iron over the fire. (Forrest Gump? Not a timely reference, I know.) It was fun to camp with my brother and his family, something we’d never done before. Lake Michigan never disappoints, that’s for sure. It’s always a little different, which is always good in my book.
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A Traverse City Memorial Day

As part of our whirlwind Memorial Day weekend, Ryan and I decided to spend the day in Traverse City after the music festival.  Half because it’s awesome, and half because it was practical, and a little bit of needing cross-country flight hours for his next rating, Ryan decided to fly.  So, we got up early, put the dog in the car, and drove to the airport.  I texted my parents that we’d be there mid-morning, and that was that.  We flew into the Traverse City airport, my parents picked us up, and we had a magical day.  Then in the evening, after a delicious BBQ chicken dinner fitting of Memorial Day, we took off for home.  The flight was quick and easy, and Ruby did awesome in the plane – I even caught her looking out the window.

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Kayaking on the Platte

Bday Kayak 2
It would seem from my posts that I’ve spent a lot of time up north this summer.  And while it hasn’t felt like I’ve made a hefty number of trips, my photographs and calendar might suggest otherwise.  Well, add one more to the list.  Last weekend was my birthday (my birthdayyyy!) and I wanted nothing more than brunch, Mexican food, and kayaking.  I also have a tradition of spending birthdays with my parents, so north we went!  I didn’t take any (decent) pictures of brunch at Beggar’s Banquet or my Mexican fiesta at Union Street Cantina, so I’ll just assure you they were fantastic.  Now, to the kayaking. Continue reading

Photography Sea Legs – Up North

Frankfurt Downtown
In the name of travel and adventure (and visiting family) we headed up north last weekend to Traverse City and Frankfort to see my parents.  My dad is on the mend everyday, and we took a fantastic bike ride around downtown Frankfort and on the Betsie River trail. My family has their priorities in order, however, and our first stop was lunch – at Dinghy’s in downtown Frankfort. I am something of a French Dip connoisseur, and theirs was out of this world.

Dingys Frankfort

I made sure to take my “good” camera on the bike ride, and everyone was pretty obliging as I kept making us stop so I could get good shots.  There was just so much cool stuff to see.  I’m enjoying how much closer I look at things while wondering if it will make for a good photograph or not.  Before things could get overwhelming “Ah! This is all so beautiful/neat/picturesque/cool!”  But with the camera in tow, I’ve (mostly) stopped trying to get the entire view in the frame, because you know, it will never do the experience justice.  The best thing to do is just get a glimpse, a corner, a piece of the action so you can remember the whole thing later.

Bike Betsie Trail BridgeView from Betsie Trail BridgeThere are a lot of great nooks and crannies in Frankfort – and while I’ve been there before, I never realized how much was in the little downtown area. We rode our bikes past a cute bed and breakfast, which Ryan and I decided would be perfect to come back to, just to have a weekend completely without driving, filled with eating, drinking, and poking around.  Not to mention a BEAUTIFUL beach.

Al Ryan Frankfurt Beach
You’ll have to excuse the helmet hair and outfits – hey, we were biking!

Frankfurt Lighthouse
When we got down to the beach, the weather was oddly humid with the overcast clouds on their way out. But farther out on the lake it was still foggy, so you couldn’t distinguish between sky and water, which was kind of eerie.  Everything was completely still.

Mom and Dad Bikes Frankfurt Beach
How cute are my parents?  And how much would you love to live in that house right there?!

Betsie River Mouth Frankfort
There is so much history in Frankfort, I don’t even know the beginning.  Like much of northern Michigan, Frankfort used to be very industrial, and with the Betsie Lake and River right beside Lake Michigan, it seems the city used to be a major shipping port.  This is what adventure does for you – makes you ask questions.  I picture Frankfort in it’s hey-day of the mid-to-late 1800s (or even the 1940s or 50s!).  When we go back, I’ll make sure we stop by the library, which is right on Betsie Lake and see if I can’t find some answers to my questions.  (Sure, there’s the internet, but how much more fun is it to learn the story in the actually setting?)