After our trip to Mackinac Island, we returned to the family cottage on Rifle Lake. While Dave and Elisabeth enjoyed the day with the twins, Pat and I drove to Detroit Wayne County Airport to pick up our other granddaughter, Katrina.
At the cottage, the girls wanted to spend as much time on the lake as possible. Being towed on a tube behind the boat was their favorite activity. From the cottage we went back to Bad Axe. The girls loved playing with the dogs, picking berries in the garden, and getting rides on Geri’s four-wheeler. Of course we had to go back to the Grindstone City General Store so Katrina could have a “Kiddie Cone.” She wasn’t able to finish it.
The highlight of the trip was being invited by Pat’s cousin, Rosemary, to come to their place for horseback riding. Rosemary has three horses that we could ride. It is a much better experience than riding at a stable where the horses only follow the one in front of them. Here we were able to ride our horses all around her place. After the ride, we went to dinner and blueberry picking. Blueberry pie was definitely in our future!
We would have enjoyed spending more time in Bad Axe, but we had plans to go to the Detroit area for my 50th high school reunion. We camped in an RV park near Ypsilanti, the Detroit Greenfield RV Park. It was a convenient location, but a bit of a disappointment with the sites being pretty cramped and the office staff nickel and dimed us with charges for most of the park’s amenities, such as the water slide. They had a nice lake but wouldn’t let us use our own kayaks, they had kayaks for rent.
The reunion was a great time and I was able to see classmates, some of whom I had not seen in twenty years. The dinner was great and the conversations better. On Saturday one of our classmates, the former high school principal and district superintendent, took us on a tour of the upgraded high school, complete with a new 650 seat auditorium. A big improvement from 1967!
Sunday we drove to Lansing to stay in the Cottonwood Campground. Cottonwood is a great park with a swimming pool and pond. The girls enjoyed the pool, went kayaking on the pond trying to catch turtles, and generally had a terrific time. We especially like the fact that it is close to the Lansing River Trail. This bike, walk, and running trail goes from the south end to the north end of Lansing as well as east to East Lansing and Michigan State University. It’s a great place to exercise and bike ride to events downtown and on the MSU campus.
It’s not possible for us to visit Lansing without going to dinner at DeLuca’s. DeLuca’s has the best pizza in Michigan, if not the whole USA. At least that is our opinion! The leftovers made a perfect lunch for the girl’s last day in town.
One night we made pie iron pizzas for dinner and with my special Dutch oven, pineapple upside down cake for desert. I may have burned a couple of the pies, but the cake came out perfect.
All good things must come to an end and on Thursday, August 10th we had to take the girls to the airport for their flight back to Washington. Fortunately everything went without a hitch and we got a text message from their dad that they had arrived safely.
Saturday Pat and I rode our bikes on the Lansing River Trail to East Lansing for the Great Lakes Folk Festival. This event began years ago as the National Folk Festival through a grant from the National Council for Traditional Arts. The funding was for three years and the organizers were able to draw big names like Gordon Lightfoot; Peter, Paul, and Mary; Amy Grant, Hootie and the Blowfish; and Peter Cetera. Although the national funding ran out, both the City of East Lansing and the MSU Museum were committed to continue the festival tradition. The festival continues as the Great Lakes Folk Festival. While the performers are not the big name shows of the past, the Festival continues to attract great performers. Between ballad singers, country-western singers, and Celtic bands we had a wonderful time. A new addition was the street performer tent where local performers can entertain whomever walks by for 30 minutes. I wish I had known about this in advance, I would have brought my guitar and given it a try!
During the next week we simply relaxed, finished doctor appointments, seeing old friends, and preventive maintenance on the truck and trailer – a very easy week. Monday, August 21st, we headed up the road, back to Bad Axe. There we will make our final preparations for our next adventure – a trip to Germany. Next stop, Amsterdam where we will board a ship for a cruise on the Rhine River.