Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

The End.... the end?

Here we are.  Our last travel day of the trip of a lifetime.  And it was a great day.  Our goal was to make it from Warren Dunes to Beverly shores in one go- 21mi.  The next day was calling for high winds that would cause waves, so we knew we needed to go as far as we could otherwise we would be having another weather day only 5-7mi from home.
 Makeba patiently waiting to leave.
First stop, New Buffalo, Rios.
There was no way we could pass New Buffalo without pulling over and going into town for some Rios.  Dressed in wetsuits, PFD and all, we were ready to chow down on some seriously delicious mexican food.  Rios is our favorite, and probably the best mexican food restaurant on the lake.  We've dreamed of this day the entire 93 days we were on the water.
 So happy to have you back in our lives!
 The pet we always wanted.  Might need a bigger PFD for ol' Bessy!
Here we're passing our favorite Long Beach stop!  Hi Kelly family!  See you at Beach Glass Cafe soon!
 Off to Michigan City!
The lighthouse we are most familiar with.
 We were moving so quickly under sail that we decided to stop and climb one of our favorite Beverly Shores dunes.  Here's Amy and Makeba in the distance.  She has a problem with heights... so she decided not to climb up with us.  The tree that's scared of heights.  Can you believe it?

Our beautiful lake.
Finally!  Chicago appeared in the distance out of the gloomy far away clouds!  Hello old friend!
And what is this?  Our wonderful friends from B&E Marine came to see us home!  They pulled up to us tooting their horn, displaying a huge sign reading "Welcome Back Mary & Amy"!  What a great surprise!  Thanks so much you guys!
 Passing our original starting line!  This is the official spot where our journey began!  We ended up going just another mile further to the public beach.
 So we got home a little earlier than expected, arriving at 4pm.  21mi sailed in an 8hr day that included walks into town and dune climbing.  Nice.  Hi everybody!  
 A few more people came to welcome us home.

 We made it!  High Five!
 Makeba pulled up in the perfect parking spot.  The boats saved a space for us like they knew we were coming.  Again, Makeba fits right in.

Have you heard that Wilderness Inquiry is in town?  The whole crew came to meet us while we were on the beach!  They're in Michigan City for the week taking school kids on canoe rides on Trail Creek. Sweet Voyageur Canoes.  What a nice smooth ride.  Open canoe ride to the public will be offered on Wednesday from 5pm-7pm if you want to check these out!
 Mmmm food, beverages, friends, and family.  Pass the veggies please!  After hanging around at the beach until 5:30, we went to Amy's Aunt Indre's house.  Thanks for the welcome back meal!
This is the end of our journey around Lake Michigan, but don't worry, it's not the last of its kind.  Amy and I have had a wonderful time on Lake Michigan these past 3 months/93 days.  We got to experience the entire lake's shoreline up close and personal, meeting so many wonderful people along the way.  We would not be where we are now if not for the kindness of so many friends and strangers.  Thank you!
To answer some questions:  No, Makeba will not be going on another similar trip on another great lake.  I think she deserves a break.  We have no regrets on taking her for this one though!  The next journey will hopefully be by a faster, sleeker means.  Yes, we took lots and lots of video and are looking to make a small video with the help of our amazing friend Kevin Weaver, video extraordinaire.  And yes, we might maybe perhaps possibly write a book and/or children's book about a tree that once dreamt of sailing in Lake Michigan.  A silly dream for a tree, don't you think?  Maybe even sillier for two girls to have the same dream.  Naw.

Monday, October 1, 2012

Life in Saugatuck.. and the Two Days After

We were weathered in Saugatuck, MI for 9 days.  The longest period of time we've waited out the lake yet!  And even though it was torture to be so close to home with only 74mi to go, we got to live on a boat, see the local towns, and hang out with some awesome people!  We can't complain too much!

Only down to a few folds on a Michigan Map we've been carrying around!
Playing around on the Phagawi.  Amy checks the weather outside, sporting some of our leopard print leggings.
While Mary explores the deck with Dave's retro exploration googles/glasses.
The Phagawi!  
Messy girls.  Our home in Saugatuck.  Sleeping on the boat got a lot easier after the first night.  We would have high winds and hail storms and would only wake up once or twice to notice what was happening before falling asleep again.
Here's a really big fish that swam up close to the yacht club docks one day.  Anyone know what kind?
Our time off the boat was spent exploring.  Here's probably the only ally in Douglas.  This way to Dave's house!
On our second day beached in Douglas, we were invited to join our friends Dave and Annie to Art Prize in Grand Rapids.  Art Prize is a huge art show where hundreds of artists come to display their work in hopes of winning some of the total $560,000 prizes.  The town is entirely filled with work from every medium.  We were there for one night, and probably only saw 1/8 of what was there!  Some pieces could have been easily overlooked if you weren't looking close enough.  Here is a piece that was installed in the Grand River near the foot bridge!  Segmented wooden horses running against the current!  Art was everywhere!
Here's an intricate mosaic made from stained glass.  We should have tried counting how many animals were hidden in this one.

Giant worm made from found materials.  A creature based off of Icelandic folktale.
Crazy wooden sculpture!  12ft tall and all one piece.
Our friend Tim came to meet us while we were in Grand Rapids for the night too!  Here's the three of us playing with an interactive mirror and floor display.  Pressure on the floor would cause the mirror to shake and quake more and more as you got closer to the wall.
Here's a wooden bicycle displayed in one of the restaurant venues.  Notice my amazement.  
Can you imagine trying to make that bike chain?  Wow.

Mary and Tim looking at a beach glass and copper tree in another restaurant.  We had fun walking around the different venues though some people were actually there just to eat!
Lawn art.  It Will Be.
Word on the street was that there was to be a chinese lantern display after dark that night.  After searching the town a while we found that they had decided the wind was too strong (why we called it a weather day) and were then going to try to set up a small demo in a one story stairwell.  After receiving permission to do so from the security guard, they started setting up the 18 or so lanterns.  "Do you guys want to help?"  "Yeah!"  We each got a lantern to light and babysit while it filled with hot air.
Here's the silent moment when everyone fell quiet and slowly babied their lanterns until they could float on their own.
We were told that the paper wouldn't catch fire, but we could, so it would be good to leave once your lantern was steady.  Okay.
There they go!
Slowly the stairwell caught a draft and the lanterns began bumping into each other and burning their neighbors' strings.  Uh oh.
Oh geez.  Catch those lanterns!
The beautiful scene that once was, soon became a smoke filled well with stomped out paper bits strewn about.  Soon after the security guard came out from the building...  Before we could begin to worry this was trouble he came out saying "Ah man!  Did I miss it?!"  I was able to show him the video I shot and the guys said they would send him some pics :)
The next few days brought weather like this...
Red sky at morning, sailor take warning.
Mary and Dave looking over the lake after another attempt to maybe leave.
Another day owned by the lake.
A lot of zebra mussels were washed ashore that week.
Butterflies and moths too!  We were finding one or two every 20ft right along the waters edge.  Their wings buried in wet sand.  Don't worry!  We'll save you!  Take my finger!
Be free!  Not wanting to let go we blew them off, they would catch a breeze and fly into the dune grass or a tree.
In douglas, the houses sit across the street from the shore line bluff.  Each, however claims a beach for its private use, staircase included.  Come on, guys.  You all live together.  You can share a stair, right?
We also got to visit the Holland Farmer's Market with Dave and a friend.  So many delicious things to eat!
Before that, Dave let us ride along as he delivered this beautiful boat to the marina lift down the channel.  Meet Ashley.

I want this boat.
He even let me drive a while.  A little slower keel response time than Makeba!
In the lift to be put away for winter storage.
Amy's brother Erik came to visit us too!  Are you sneaking aboard with Dave's googles on, Erik?  Yes.
That Saturday we went home for a few days since the weather wasn't going to get better for a while more and Amy's birthday was coming up.  Oh the perks of having family nearby who have cars.  So much faster than a canoe.
It was nice to be home for the first time in 84 days, but we were more than happy to get back on the water when the weather did finally turn for the better.  Thanks so much for your help Dave and Annie! We'll see you on the slopes come winter!  Well, we'll cheer you on from the bunny slope as you do double diamonds!  ;)
Makeba looked pretty deserted by the time we were ready to go again.
Quite the cavern you've made, girl.
Oh, and look at all of the sand you've collected!
How long has it been??  Makeba had 5in of sand through the entire length of her.  Girl was a mess.
So after some sandy, wet, paddling and sailing, we eventually got to Van Burren State Park.  Just south of South Haven, the building waves determined our stopping point for the day.  
Soon after landing Mary got a call from her aunt and uncle saying they were driving down the shoreline from Sleeping Bear.  It was so great to see you two!  Thanks for the beer and burritos!
The next morning we got off to a cold and early start, tackling Palisades Nuclear Power Plant.  Look at that steam coming up off the water!  Our goal was to aim some where just beyond St. Joe- as far as we could get.
Here's Click-Clack happily passing St. Joe's lighthouse.  We could see it the entire 18mi distance from Van Burren!
Some funny little A-framed houses all facing the same direction at an angle off shore.  A more direct sunset perspective?
We were finally able to find and "install" our cup holders.  Had a nice cool beer with lunch that day!
Coming up to our second plant for the day- Cook Nuclear Power Plant.  We were traveling entirely by wind at this point in the day.
We decided to pull over eventually since it was about 5pm (getting cold) and WE MADE IT TO WARREN DUNES!  30mi trip!
Oh so happy!!!  and cold.
Look for these tracks if you find our boat and wonder if we've just arrived.
Another beautiful sunset over the water.  We just wish the clouds would let up on the west side so we can see chicago on the water again!

We can see the beautiful, grand, southern curve and Michigan City in the distance!  We are so close to home now- only 21mi from Beverly Shores!  Where it all began!  Starting Monday, we will get back in Makeba, and perhaps finish this crazy journey Monday or Tuesday.  Can you believe it?