It is time for another update to friends and family. Summer is well under way; we are packing for a trip to the West Coast which will end back on the Gulf Coast at our winter digs in October. The travel plans are in place for another adventure. For Larry it has been a bumpy summer starting off with a lung infection and ending with back problems. For Jan it has been a great summer as she accomplished getting to her goal weight by eating right and lots of walking, almost every day. Both of us are really looking forward to this trip and being back on the road for two months.
The countdown is on as August 14th is our target date to hit the road. Actually the RV is packed. The final phase is getting the house ready for Linda who will house sit for us again this year.
The summer has been picture perfect for us. Great weather, lots of sunshine and of course plenty to do. Larry managed to get out a lot with his camera and will share some of the results with you on this blog.
The sunrises from our vantage point are always fun, different every day and finding the right time to capture at just the right moment keeps it interesting. This picture was taken last Sunday morning before church…
We love coming back to Michigan. Alabama works well for us in the winter but Michigan and Traverse City is still home base for us!
In the spring a hen turkey took up residence in the woods behind the house. She called on us the other day with her new additions to the family.
Spring and early summer brought us lots of color especially with the old fashion roses. The lilac bush was loaded and this was the year for the apple tree to blossom. The mounding Catnip plant surely took center stage. With all the rain and cool weather, the displays lasted a long time.
The flower garden is a rewarding activity and it is always good to get your hands dirty once in a while.
The view calls us back every spring. Our patio and deck are the center of summer activities. It helps that there are very few bugs in this part of the world.
It seems like we cannot get through a summer without at least one project. The thirty-year-old Cedar retaining wall had been at end of life for some time. It looked very bad and was surely not making a good first impression. Even though we said no summer projects this year it managed to get on the to do list. It was bit more work than we bargained for but once completed determined it was a good call!
It was good to have Uncle Larry come for a visit. With his history of being in the Ice Cream business, a stop at Moomers is a must.
Larry and Aunt Laura had a day out. She is heading off to live with her daughter in New Mexico. We will miss seeing her here in Michigan.
Every spring we arrive back at the peak of the cherry blossom time. It is always a treat to walk the city streets when the flowering trees are in bloom.
This is now wine country. Had to take a picture of a new vineyard and one that is well established. There are over 20 wineries in our two county area.
Michigan is now third in the US for growing Hops. The number of Hop farms in the area is impressive. Coming on fast are the local microbreweries, there are over fifteen now.
One of the summer activities is to take on the TC Ale trail – WWW.TCaletrail.com. If you sample the wares at the ten listed stops, at the end you get a prize. This was our every Thursday afternoon outing. Here are some pictures of some of the stops… The motto is Two trails diverged, and I took the one with GREAT BEER!
The Blue Angels come to Traverse City every other year to take part in the National Cherry Festival. Their show is always impressive. Love those F18 and then there is Fat Albert a C-130.
The Cherry Festival gets bigger every year. It now boasts it brings over half a million visitors to the area. We personally like the festival and all it brings…well maybe not the traffic. We lived on the main parade route for over 25 years so got to know the drill very well…
In the past I have posted pictures related to the Old State Hospital. This was a mental hospital closed by the State in the 70s. It is said to be haunted. Today it is one of the largest restoration projects in the US. Consisting of 200 plus acres and a sprawling campus of old brick buildings dating back to the 19th Century. It is being developed for retail, restaurants, residential, medical. botanical gardens, hiking/biking trails and community center events. If you are looking for a different experience walk the grounds and take the tour. The hiking and biking trails are extensive and provide for many good experiences.
When we came through Savannah in the springs we saw a replica of a 16th Century Spanish sailing ship called the EL Galeon. Interestingly it showed up in Traverse City this summer at the Clinch Park Marina. The ship is on a world tour and we were surprised to see it here in Michigan.
The Boardman River flows through Traverse City. There were several dams built in years past to produce electricity. Those dams are now being removed to restore the river to its natural state. As a result, the back waters (lakes and ponds) no longer exist. One of the Snyder family favorite recreation areas was the Brown Bridge reserve where we hiked, biked, snowshoed, cross country skied and kayaked on the lake. It had been two years since we had been there so we had to check it out. The lake is gone and it is returned to its natural state. The plan is to visit there every year and see how it heals over time.
What is a summer in Traverse City without a stop at the Sleeping Bear National Park? We spent a day there walking the trails, trudging over the sand dunes, and taking a picture or two.
Every Wednesday and Saturday morning you would find us with basket in hand taking in the Sara Hardy Downtown Farmers Market. Only local grown produce and locally made farm products can be sold. No arts and crafts items are allowed. There are 115 farmers who take part and it is now one the three largest farm markets in Michigan.
The first couple of hours of the day you will find Larry working out at Anytime Fitness Center. The Traverse City location has a great hill top view of the City and the Grand Traverse Bay. Being there early morning it is interesting to watch the sunrises and how it changes from spring to summer.
One of the very sad events this summer was the loss of our dear friend Gordon. Gordon loved the cowboy world of being on horseback or in the many books he read. In a tribute to him there was a Cowboy/Irish wake around the campfire with lots of old cowboy songs being played in the background. There we said so long for now and wait for us on the other side…
One morning on the way to my workout the sunrise colors were awesome. I just had to stop and take a shot or two.
This shot was from off Copper Ridge…a nice start on one’s day…
Jan and I are looking forward to being on the road again. Here is an outline of our tour. Watch for the updates to our blog as we make our way west. This trip includes Glacier National Park, several stops in Washington State, travel down the coast through Oregon (with several stops on the itinerary), then six National Parks in California, checking out Tucson, and spending some time in Texas including Big Bend, San Antonio and the Padre Islands. The schedule has us back at our winter home base in Gulf Shores the 16th of October.
Larry and Jan