A Little Slice of Heaven
My dear friend, Jani, asked if I would like to drive to Northern Michigan to wish her Dad, Jim, a Happy 87th Birthday. It was to be a 7 hour drive, a great time to catch up with Jani since I haven't see her in a long time. "Why not," I said and we were off the next day. Little did I know that their little "Ark" as they called it would be the little slice of heaven that Jani has always told me about.
We arrived just barely in time for the sunset. I didn't think it would be much to see as we had had a torrential downpour with hail on the drive up, but I was mistaken, the view was captivating with the wildness of the clouds.
After arriving at the Ark we celebrated her Jim's 87th birthday with a fine bottle of Trinity wine from South Vineyards Winery in Ashtabula County, Ohio and a mouth watering blueberry pie from Uncle John'sCider Barn roadside market.
The night had a great deal of rain and wind and I was anxious to see the lake in the morning. I was rewarded with a calm, peaceful greeting from the loons.
Later, Jani took me to the "mouth." That is the mouth of the Platte River as it drains into Lake Michigan. If there is a body of water around, Jani is in it. She kept telling me the water was warm...I didn't believe her as I pulled my hoodie over my head. Jani reminded me that in our youth we swam in Jenny Lake near Jackson Hole, WY. I reminded her that the key word was "in my youth."
She told me one of the reasons to go to the mouth was because the salmon were running. I have always wanted to see salmon running so I was watching the water closely but there were none to be seen.
After picking up Jim we took a drive to the Homestead Dam on the Betsie River to see the Coho and Chinook first hand. I giggled like a school girl when they jumped right in front of me. All the observers there cheered when a fish would make it up the dam to the river beyond.
Dinner at the Cherry Hut, a classic there and then another breathtaking sunset.
Jani decided we need to go blueberry picking, at a blueberry patch off Esch Rd, in the early morning to have her Dad's famous bluecakes. So off on the frosty morning with frozen fingers, we picked.
A southerly breeze and Lake Michigan flattens out. A beautiful morning for fishing.
Later in the day, Jani decided to get their pontoon boat running and take Jim and I for a swing around Platte Lake. Her Dad was thrilled to get the boat running and told me all about the people who live on the lake.
A quick trip to visit the home of artist Gwen Frostic, http://www.gwenfrostic.com and then to visit the lovely town of Frankfort, MI and the outstanding lighthouse.
P.S. I did go swimming the last day we were there and it really wasn't so cold once I was in. Very refreshing and fun.