I started a couple of books while we were at family camp last week, but didn’t get far before people or activities pulled me away.
I left my book bags leaning against Adirondack chairs near the lodge as I conversed, kayaked, hiked and snapped photos.
The family camp we attend is simple, with minimal programming. They feed us, offer waterfront activities, host a square dance, and organize a campfire singalong with s’mores. It’s a week where a person could do next to nothing, or spend hours on the water or in the woods.The flexible schedule builds in two days to explore the area. We chose to visit Mackinac Island the first day.We rode on the ferry alongside some sailboats finishing the annual Race to Mackinac (Chicago to Mackinac Island).Motorized vehicles are not allowed on Mackinac, so people rent bikes to explore the island or simply stroll around town. Due to the influx of visitors associated with the big race, sidewalks were packed with people, and horse-drawn carriages were loaded down with tourists. What a relief to escape the crowds.We headed out on the eight-mile perimeter “highway.”I randomly lifted the camera to snap shots along the way.We cut inland halfway around, fighting to make it up steep hills.High on the island, we parked the bikes and walked out on a platform attached to Arch Rock for some lovely views.The bicycle rental dude told us that Sugar Loaf, a big limestone rock (the information sign called it a limestone “stack”), was a spot that the ancient inhabitants of the island believed to be the center of the universe.”Really?” I said. “Wow. Must be amazing.””You’ll see when you get there,” promised the dude. “It’s my favorite place on the island.”Intrigued, we wound our way through woods and struggled up inclines, following signs to Sugar Loaf.We finally found it.We stared at it for a moment, then looked at each other and shrugged.”Looks like a big rock,” one of the kids observed.”Let’s investigate,” I proposed.We ran up the little path and circled around the stack. On the back side my daughter discovered a little ledge where she climbed up to perch for a few minutes. Sadly, Sugar Loaf did not inspire a spirit of sharing or generosity, as she sort of kicked her brother away when he tried to join her.He and I continued around Sugar Loaf, leaving her at the perch. Three-quarters of the way around we spotted this guitar-shaped hole.If only my son could have made it to that little keyhole and squeezed through…who knows what he would have found?Alas, he is not a skilled climber, so we left Mackinac Island without unlocking the secrets of Sugar Loaf.The other day away from camp, we drove to “The Soo,” or Sault Sainte Marie, where locks control water levels between Lake Huron and Lake Superior, allowing ships to pass from one lake to the other.Back at camp, the simplest things delight.
Write? Sometimes you just have to live.And L-O-V-E.
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All images by Ann Kroeker. All rights reserved. You may “pin” in a way that links back to this post.