Happy Anne-iversary

Kudos to Jay for today’s blog post title and right back at you Jay and Carl, Happy Anniversary to you too. Throw in a Mark-iversary, while you’re at it. Today, is Anne’s and mine thirty-third anniversary. To celebrate it, we came up with this rather complicated plan for today’s activities. We formulated it last night, while we were watching 4th of July fireworks on the beach. The Bay Mills Indians were putting on the show across the water. The display was easily viewed, but was far enough away to leave the sight and the sound out of sync.

After last night’s relatively late night fireworks activity, sundown is still after 9:30, it was a dawn of the dead this morning, when Anne’s crickets began chirping. We got on the road about an hour after cousins Anne and Bill launched. The main aspect of today’s planning was for every one to meet at the Tahquamenon Brewery for lunch at 11:30. Cousins Anne and Bill were going to hike from the lower falls to the upper falls. Anne and I were to bicycle from Paradise to the upper falls and Dave was going to park the Prius at the lower falls and hike to the upper falls, like Anne and Bill.

We showed up first at the brewery, followed very shortly by Anne and Bill. Our ride up from Paradise was plagued with both fast traffic and flies. The traffic was mostly polite, willingly moving across the center rumble strip. The flies only buzzed about, seldom touching (icky fly cooties) and never biting. We saw two Sand Hill Cranes on the way up. Later we saw a weasel in Paradise and a fox on the way home. So, the four of us are sitting and waiting and drinking. Where is Dave? He showed up about an hour late, but made up some of the time by inhaling his lunch.

After lunch, cousins Anne and Bill and Dave hiked backed to the lower falls. We rode the four miles back, which was mainly downhill and with a tailwind. Bicyclists may enter Michigan State Parks for free. Plus, there is always enough parking for bikes. Dave had to pay for the Prius, but got there before most of the maddening crowd. Every time Anne and I rode in or out of either of the Fall’s front gates, there was a long line of vehicles waiting to get in. We just blithely rolled past them. Once a ranger was running down the line of waiting cars and I heard him on his walkie-talkie, “We don’t need more cones, we need a body.”

We were waiting for cousins Anne and Bill and Dave, when they arrived at the lower falls. Anne and Bill took off then, headed back to their cabin. My Anne had seen a fabric store in Paradise on the way up. We dropped her off there and then Dave and I adjourned down the road to the Yukon Inn. Years ago, we had stopped in this place after cross-country skiing Tahquamenon. Then there was a hand-lettered sign saying, “No Guns or Knives Allowed”. That was during snowmobiling season. Today, it was pretty quiet. Dave and I had a beer in the still dark of a mid-afternoon bar. The Yukon is an old log-cabin structure. The ceiling inside looks like the inside of a birch bark canoe. Interestingly, the whole building is covered in a car port like, self-supporting exterior structure.

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