Aug 10

The fog must have crept in on little cat’s feet because without any warning a few miles out of the harbor, we were in pea soup! We don’t really like to fly IFR but we didn’t have a lot of choice. So we watched our instruments closely & squinted out into the abyss. We took an easy one foot sea straight on the pointy end of our boat and that part of the ride was easy. Arrived in Meldrum Bay (population 48) around noon, the skies cleared & the sun shone.  We visited the three establishments that make up this town, the marina, the Inn & Restaurant, and the General Store/LCBO. I didn’t get any Verizon signal for broadband, so we walked up to the Inn for Wifi.  Tomorrow we will head to Drummond Island where we will clear customs and check back into the U.S. “There’s no place like home.” Click. Click. Click. Mary is fixing fresh fish we bought yesterday for supper tonight. I think I’ll grill some asparagus. Canadian Wilderness wifi not strong enough to download pictures today.  Will catch up with those later.

 

Aug 11

Fog has become a factor in our travel. We had to wait until 11AM to leave the dock. We said another goodbye today, this one to Canada. Back to the US of A where Brad will be happy to get 127 channels on the TV & I will have CVS & Walmart where labels are simplified by only using one language. No more converting to ounces, pounds, Fahrenheit & feet. My cell phone will work again! But it is bittersweet to leave such good times behind! I think it is because we are traveling in a way that has made us feel part of the community rather than tourist. Special times!

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HOME, SWEET, HOME! LAND OF THE FREE, HOME OF THE BRAVE!

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Aug 12

Lazy morning enjoyed by all, then to the business of provisioning back in the states. Just coming over that imaginary line out there in the water makes such a difference in what is available to us. Brad shouts “hooray” to be able to get Miller Lite again (you know they ARE an Official Sponsor of the “Life is Good” Tour)! We took a car in to tour the town, had lunch and shopped. Also went by the "Lodge" that was built & owned by the owner of "Dominos Pizza".  When we returned, “Final Decision” (our UK Looper friends) was on our dock. Their entry is not as simple as ours because they are not US citizens. We’ve decided to use the last of our crab tonight & have crab cakes. Tomorrow we will travel to Mackinaw Island. Some of the Sarver’s friends will be joining us there for a few days & we are looking forward to that. When we leave Mackinaw, we will be parting company with Good News. The four of us have spent so much time together in the last 7 months, it is difficult to think of going on without them. What a great time we have had. So many laughs!!!! I think we will be BFF!!

 

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Aug 13

Happy Birthday, Mom! We love you! We left Drummond Island at 8AM headed to Mackinac (pronounced Mackinaw) Island. It was pretty obvious from the large traffic in the shipping channels that we were in Lake Huron & back in the states. Today is a red letter day for “Good News”. When we came into the Mackinac Island Harbor, they “crossed their wake” and closed the “Loop”. We all laughed & cried! Mixed emotions!  We are already talking reunion this winter. Or as Deb & BK (Headquarters) say “I’m just sayin’, we really will need a Re Yoon Yun soon!!!!” Mackinac Island is awesome! So much activity like we have not seen in the last month in Canada. Ultra-fast ferries zipping everywhere bringing the fudgies (Day trip tourist) from the mainland. Remember the movie “Somewhere In Time”w/Christopher Reeves & Jane Seymour? It was filmed here at the Grand Hotel. No cars on this island, transportation is by horse, bicycle or foot. It’s a step back in time to the 1800’s w/colonial houses, cricket on the lawns, a historic waterfront & fort. It is very beautiful & we look forward to exploring for a few days.

 

 

 

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Aug 14

John, Karen & Ted arrived last night & we all had a great time & shared a fabulous BBQ dinner catered personally by Ted, the proprietor of “Rib City”! During the night we would awaken to the sound of horses clip-clopping down the street as the town employees went about their work cleaning up the town for another wonderful day. This morning we took a 2 hour carriage ride around the island and learned a lot about the town & its history. Also went through the state park, saw the Gov of Michigan’s summer residence, Fort Mackinac, and the Grand Hotel. It is really lovely here.  My turn to cook tonight so I thought I might treat all these yanks to a “Low Country Boil”! Hope they like it!

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Aug 15

It rained all night but we had clear skies & sunshine by 9AM. Cool breeze made it the perfect day to bike 8 miles around the perimeter of the island so that’s what the 7 of us did. There were literally thousands of cyclist with the same idea that made it feel a bit like the “Tour de France”. Half way round the island, we stopped & visited friends Dave & Lyn who have a home here & one on Amelia Island. What a gorgeous place w/water frontage & barn for their 2 horses. We all walked down to the Cannonball for lunch & enjoyed our visit. They joined us for cocktails later & Mary cooked dinner. We all thought that tomorrow would be the day that we would all head in different directions. Winds & waves are up, we all decide to sit tight & wait for better conditions! We are all happy with that. Parting will come soon enough. What a great evening with old friends and new! How did we get this lucky????

 

 

 

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Aug 16

We all slept in! The girls walked through town enjoying the gardens and shoppes. When we got back, the Lake Huron forecast had improved so Andy & Mary decided to head to their next stop. Lake Michigan still had winds up to 25 knots & 3-5 waves. We will stick here. John, Karen & Ted packed and caught the Noon ferry over to the mainland. The four of us had lunch at the Chippewa Hotel. We hugged goodbye. And then we were two. We will miss the Sarvers so much. We count ourselves incredibly lucky to have met them & to have had the opportunity to form such a close bond over the last 7 months. They will always be special to us for all we have shared. “We will not cry because it is over. We will smile because it happened at all.” Yes, I am back to quoting Dr Suess. Safe travels, Sarvers. May you always have fair skies & calm seas!

 

 

 

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Aug 17

Happy Birthday to me! We did a 5 hour cruise to Harbor Springs today! It is a darling town! Very artistic community with many galleries! I loved one of the T-shirts I saw in a shop: “Harbor Springs on Lake Michigan-No Sharks! No Salt! No Worries!” Catholic missionaries came here in 1691 to work with the Odawa Indians. By the 1920’s it was known as the “Naples of the North” with a dozen hotels that stayed busy with summer guest. My birthday dinner was at the New York Restaurant and the town was kind enough to have a band in the park beside the marina for my birthday enjoyment!

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Aug 18

We left Harbor Springs around 9AM with a less than perfect forecast, 2-4 ft seas/15-20mph winds from the west. As Andy always says, when they give you a range for wave height, add them together! Bumpy ride, but at least it was short, only 20 miles (2 hrs) to Charlevoix.  Fueled before docking taking on 400 gallons. What a lovely setting for this marina on Round Lake. From Lake Michigan you pass through a narrow channel & a low bridge that only opens on the hour & the half hour. Then you come into Round Lake. If you keep traveling inland you get into Charlevoix Lake.. Jim & Lisa Favors “Kismet” have many friends here (as this is their homeport) & several had been alerted to our arrival & came by to speak to us.  There’s a total of 8 Looper Boats here & we were invited to join them for cocktails this afternoon. Among them were Hallelujah, Restless Wind, Potest Fieri, Sterling Lady & Traveller! Dinner on board! Nice Day!

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