Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Finally Back on the Lake!

Well I've finally made it back to the Third Coast!  After living in California for nearly a year, it's great to see Lake Michigan again!  It was hard to leave the west coast, especially with the birth of my first nephew being just 2 days fresh, but I knew I needed to come home to the lake I love.  My time in San Jose was fantastic.  I surfed in salt water for the first time, walked through the mountains, hugged giant sequoias, and ate delicious fish tacos.  I hungrily took in the scenery of foreign plants and animals and my appreciation for the west grew tenfold.  This place became my home.  With that, felt a constant split with myself and my longing to return to Lake Michigan.  Even when I was living in this new exciting place, I spent the majority of my time preparing for this summer's trip.  I was obsessed with it.  I am STILL obsessed with it.  My last few months there were especially focused on the lake.  Between training at the gym and building campaign gifts, I kept myself pretty busy.  I was at Techshop, San Jose constantly working on our Indiegogo perks.  I did feel a bit out of place making a bunch of stuff etched with Lake Michigan's face in the west coast, but this workshop was perfect for helping to raise money and build my portfolio.  Here I was able to learn about and use CNC machines and develop some new craftswoman skills.  I was able to finish constructing our contribution gifts here as well as shape another lee board for Makeba and sew together some costume made trampolines for the outriggers.

Packing up these items in my little Ford Focus made the drive back home a little more cramped this time around.  Since my brother Kurt and I planned to camp the whole way home, we were packed to the max.  We could barely fit in the extra gear my Aunts and Uncles lent for the boat trip when we passed through Albuquerque.  Thanks to them, Amy and I now have some better functioning and lightweight equipment.  My uncle, Mike, is a geologist who has spent almost all his life traveling and seeking out the less traveled dirt roads of the world.  When Kurt and I were in New Mexico he shared a great Lake Michigan story with us.  When he was in his mid twenties, he and some friends decided to visit Poverty Island.  They didn't know it when they set up camp, but a big storm was headed their way.  He said the wind blew so hard that night they thought they were going to lose the tent.  When they got up to check on the boat the next morning, they were in for a surprise.  Their little boat had completely severed its bowlines and capsized bow over stern in the slip.  They spent that morning searching the shore for parts and supplies, including the little boat's motor itself.  They were stranded until a passing boat spotted them.  The guys had been able to flag down a nearby sailer who called in the coast guard for them.  They left the island completely boat-less.  Hopefully, that won't be the case when Amy and I pass through Michigan's islands.  Lasting between one and two days, we'll need to time that leg of the journey just right to account for currents and winds.  My dad will be shadowing us then too, so we'll have a little more support than the boys did.  Also, we'll be sure to pay our respects to Uncle Mike's lost little boat when we pass Poverty Island's abandoned shore.

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