Thursday, September 6, 2012

The Long Home Stretch

We've got some updating to do, huh? Here's what's happened since arriving at Cross Village. Our friend Patty took us to the famous Legs Inn for a Polish dinner. The food was great, and so was the atmosphere! Can't beat that view.

The whole restaurant is decorated with crazy wood sculptures, animal trophies, and other funky memorabilia.
This canoe fit right in - a giant fish!
We had a weather day in Cross Village, so we went into Harbor Springs to explore and try to pick up our next post office package. We had no luck at the post office - our package still hasn't arrived according to local friends. Luckily these friends have been feeding us well. We stopped in a local bookstore and found this great card - we've loved meeting new friends along this journey, but luckily none of them have been bears. (Though they do look helpful, eh?)
Leaving Cross Village! Bye Patty! Thanks for a great stop :) Into the wind we go!

Literally got about 2 miles in 2 hours leaving Cross Village. The southwest winds were directly in our faces and we were getting worn down by portaging over so many rocks and paddling around them. So worn down in fact that Mary decided to get out and walk Makeba for awhile. This was a 2 hour process - she's a champ! Thanks for the break for our arms :)

Meanwhile, I was walking along the shoreline parallel to Mary. I was having to walk over some pretty big boulders. I was about to step on this boulder until I saw it move...giant snapping turtle!
We eventually got back in the boat and started paddling. After such a long and unproductive 8 hours we were getting ready to just stop in Good Hart. Then the wind decided to die...and then switch in our favor! It would be a shame to miss out on some good sailing so we decided to keep going. To Harbor Springs we go! We arrived at 7pm to find the Baker family leaving the harbor as we were coming in. We had met them the day before at The Outfitter. Congratulating us on our successful day, they gave us pizza, beer, and a call ahead to the marina to give us a space on the dock. What great people! Thanks guys!
We made it! We then connected with some extended family in Petoskey. Steve and Kathy came to pick us up and brought us across Little Traverse Bay to their beautiful log cabin home. Fit with showers, food, and a hot tub of course.
The next morning we planned on having a short day - we would only go across the bay to the Petoskey Marina. Here was Steve's great reaction to seeing the boat for the first time! Pure amazement - "Oh my gosh, you guys!"
We made it across the bay before some stronger SW winds picked up. Off to explore Petoskey for the day! First stop was a bookstore. We bought the book Kontiki after being referred to as Kontiki by numerous onlookers throughout this trip. Neither of us have read it, so we figured it was a must read. Then we stopped in a little coffee shop and found ourselves occupying our time with haikus.
Mary's first try.
Mary's second try.
Amy's first try.
Amy's second try.

One about the trip. Pretty great, right? This last one's Amy's.
Next stop - Boat Building School! There is a boat building school starting up in Petoskey. We got a tour of the work space and were pretty jealous. This place is awesome! Here is a phenomenal wooden sailing rowboat. Check out that sweet rudder!
Leaving Petoskey the next morning. Thanks for everything Kathy and Steve!
Passing Charlevoix we saw the huge ferry leaving to go across to Beaver Island. We tried to go see Lake Charlevoix, but the walkway didn't lead all the way there. Next time! We needed to get to Fisherman's Island State Park to set up camp!
We arrived and asked a fisherman about where to reserve a site. He told us, but also said that he saw that the campsite was full for the night. We walked with our heads hung pretty low, expecting to be turned away. When we arrived we were ecstatic to find out that they were indeed full, but keep an empty site for long distance bikers, backpackers, and they were pretty sure dugout canoeists applied!

Beautiful sunset. We just wish these rocks would go away!

Huge Petoskey stone!
The next day we pulled up in Norwood. This beach was covered in mucky algae that smelled absolutely awful! It was thick enough that we couldn't pull Makeba up, so we anchored her for the night.
We set up our soaked tent to dry. Luckily the main wet spots were in the middle of the tent.
What is this? No idea.
They're pretty nonetheless!
Looking at our tanlines the last few days and they are getting more and more noticeable. Glove tanline!
Looking pretty gloomy the next day. These are the mornings when it is hardest to peel ourselves out of our warm sleeping bags and tent. We were trying to decide what to do about crossing Grand Traverse Bay. This  specific morning it was so foggy that we couldn't see the tip of the Leelanau Peninsula, so we weren't willing to try crossing it. This was a bummer, but we realized that we have been telling people that we are only skipping Green Bay on our circumnavigation so we basically had to go down into Grand Traverse Bay. (way to rationalize our fears of large open water crossings, huh?) So we headed down the coast and then made the shorter open water crossing to Old Mission Lighthouse. This put us right on the 45th parallel - hello wine country! The maps say that there is a public campground on Old Mission, but there is not. Luckily the lighthouse keeper told us that we could just pop up our tent next to our boat on the beach.
There were many spectators for the gorgeous sunset. We heard one woman say that the water level used to be right up to the stairs we were standing on while taking this photo!

Just catching up on some jounaling, rehydraing, and re - Nutella- ing (This should be a thing, if it isn't already.)
The next morning a strong north wind was blowing. We wanted to do the last open water crossing to Sutton's Bay, but first we had to portage Makeba about 1/4 mile over rocks. "Living the dream, living the dream," we kept saying as we struggled with the weight of the boat. Once we started sailing into the open water we quickly realized that the swells were to large and it wouldn't be smart to attempt the crossing this morning. We headed back to shore and beached the boat once again on rocks. Enough with the rocks already! Luckily we were on a strip of shoreline by some nice people who let us camp out for the night. Thanks Sara, Brian, Danielle, and Brandon!
When we woke up at 6am we heard nothing at all...yay, flat water! It was completely calm, allowing us to get on the water at sunrise and make our last open water crossing of our trip. One we were across to Sutton's Bay, a southwest wind started blowing, allowing us to quickly get to the tip of the Leelanau Peninsula. Mary's relatives live in Leland and offered to pick us up. Hot tub, great food, even better company, and comfy beds! The next day was a weather day - 20-30mph southwest winds - so we relaxed and explored the adorable town of tandem bike of course! This was a blast and we even joked that our next adventure should probably be by tandem bicycle ;)

This huge tree stump is down by the marina - this could be the next dugout if anyone is willing!

Windy, windy down by the beach. Good thing we called a weather day. The next morning we were able to use a northeast wind to get from the tip of the Leelanau Peninsula to Pyramid Point. We started to go past some large sand dunes!
When we made it to Pyramid Point Bob came to pick us up again since we were so close to Leland still. This often happens - we'll have a great day of about 20 miles, but we are still an easy drive from where we left in the morning :) Thanks for everything Bob, Arden, Amy, and Andy!
The next day was busy. We left Pyramid Point at 7:30, stopped in Glen Arbor at 9 for our next post office box, then made our way past the mammoth sand dunes. We had to stop and climb Sleeping Bear Dune! so tiring! 
But the view was well worth it! Can you see Makeba way down there?
North and South Manitou islands in the distance.
Point Betsie in the distance - where we were headed soon!
Eventually the waves and winds picked up too much for us. The wind was pushing us so that we were moving about 2mph when we weren't even paddling! Here's our nice private beach camp for the night.
We tried to clear a flat plot of sand up in the dune grass for our tent. We obviously weren't too successful.
Look at that moonset! This is what we get to see lately when we wake up in the mornings. Moonsets on our right, sunrises on our left! Today was the day that we were aiming to meet our great friends Jon and Lydia in Arcadia. We had a goal and we were determined to get there! We knew that best buds, beers, and beds were waiting for us. We paddled and paddled and it took forever....but we made it! So happy :)
It was great to see our friends - buds, beers, bonfires, and beds - all great things :)

We even received a parting gift. The newest addition to Makeba is a pink blow up dolphin. Click-click-tsk-tsk, Click Clack, Mr. Cluckles, etc. He responds to a variety of names. We are happy to have him on board to brighten our days! :)

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