We skipped stones into lakes Huron, Michigan, and Superior. We rode bikes through the Tunnel of Trees. We rode a tandem around the perimeter of the car-less vacation destination of Macinac Island. We flew in a sea plane. We hiked 44 miles in four days across Isle Royale. We ate whitefish for breakfast. We kayaked in Lake Superior for three days. We spent the night on an island all by ourselves. We admired maple, birch, helm, and countless other tress. We saw bald eagles, bears, snakes, and everything in between. We ate amazing meals and not so amazing meals. We camped six out of eleven nights. We hiked in the sand dunes. We contemplated life while staring at the calm Lake Michigan. We traveled from Wisconsin to Michigan in the last operating coal powered steam ship in the country. We visited with family, we danced at a wedding, and we got bored in nature. Most importantly, we loved every minute of it. We cooked twelve meals from a camping stove aptly named a “Pocket Rocket”. We read, we talked, and we sat in silence. We drove nearly 1500 miles passing hundreds of lakes.
Amanda and I skipped a foreign destination for this year’s big vacation. We instead opted to explore Amanda’s own backyard. The great lakes are an incredible, if not underrated, region of our country. We encountered endless miles of beautiful farmland set amongst dense and healthy forests. It is a region that while heavily populated, still has a lot to offer in the way of solemn serenity. Our Great Lakes vacation may not have been our most scenic or interesting destination that we have embarked on. However, what it lacked in these qualities it made up for in other ways. We loved the hospitality and immaculately manicured gardens. We loved the clean trails and litter-free highways. We gawked at the endless miles of vacation homes lining hundreds of lakes busy with vacationers from further south. We engulfed ourselves in the nature and aside from one violent thunder storm, never worried about a thing. Everything went according to plan, including the weather.
We ended the trip in Amanda’s hometown of Ann Arbor for her dad’s birthday. The only thing Amanda and I enjoyed more than the trip itself was each other’s company.