Saturday, April 26, 2014

Searching for sand dunes

A moment of happiness: I had finished my run and my shower and we left the Inn in search of clear lakes and dunes. Unlike the day before, the sun was shining. Surely the beach would be prettier now than the bleak whiteness of the day before. Just as we parked, one of my all time favorites came on the radio. I told Steve to go ahead, my hair was wet and I had coffee to drink. Besides he had the good lens needed to identify those mergansers. He has the better camera but I believe I have the better eye. Brahm's Horn Trio was playing. I waited patiently for my favorite part, the 4th movement ( Back in college, my friend Soulmate was a French horn player and I learned from him all things French horn.  There is a piano part to the trio (and violin). I somehow got the music and tried to play the piano part. My piano is now gone and the music is somewhere(maybe) in a box in the garage. Have I heard this since then except in my mind? It was being played so much faster than in my pathetic attempts or in my memory. Pure Beauty.

As soon as the sun was up, I snuck out for my run. As I drank some coffee to wake me up, I could see how beautiful Round Lake was in the early morning light. I wanted to run on the Little Traverse Wheelway that we rode our bikes on last summer but I wanted to go on the stretch outside of town thus I drove.

My path included this very long boardwalk covered with ice crystals

Pretty birches

running into the sun

The path. I had to park far from the trail. I know where to go if there is a next time

Off to see Torch Lake in the sun. Amusing sign from the DNR where we stopped: how to tell a muskellunge from a pike. They are pretty much identical except one might have darker spots. Why would one have to know this? The size difference for catch limits is greatly different. If you are caught with an undersized fish, curtains for you.

To show you how clear the lake is

There was ice on Torch Lake too

Cherry orchards all around

Steve on the 45th parallel
Our Inn experience was great but the breakfast was not stellar. I was hungry. We pulled into Elk Rapids, a place I went to years before in the rain on The Dalmac (400 miles in 4 days: when I was awesome). Cute feature of our coffee shop? Fettuccine used as coffee stirrers. I had a wonderful cinnamon bun (did I say I ran for almost 90 minutes?) and some mushroom, cheese concoction. Yum.

Cool light fixture inside coffee place

Town clock

I liked the crab tree against the green roof

A lady painting the ice floes of Grand Traverse Bay
On along Grand Traverse Bay (Charlevoix is at the edge of Little Traverse Bay), through Traverse City and up the same hill Naomi and I barreled down on a bike ride 10 years ago across Leelanau County. On to Sleeping Bear Dunes, where the road I wanted to go on was blocked off.
Open in Spring
Hasn't it been spring for more than a month? Aside from the gate, huge piles of snow blocked our way. So much for those dunes. Well the Michigander will go right by them this summer with an overnight in Leland, another of my favorite towns. On to Frankfort, a very pretty town that has its own dunes though much smaller dunes than Sleeping Bear. The Michigander will also have a stay there along with Traverse City. We had lunch on the waterfront at an Asian fusion restaurant that although cute, was expensive and not all that good. A group of retired ladies ate next to us offering us birthday cake. Surprising to us was a Jewish deli, closed. We walked on the beach for a while. By then, it was almost 40 and then on along Crystal Lake before our long ride home.

A good birthday trip.
Closed deli

Lighthouse on Frankfort waterfront

Crystal Lake also still frozen

Sign on our way back

Frankfort stores

floating ice balls


The beach

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