If you read my post the other day, you may have caught the undertone that I felt a bit weird that talking about cat puke behavior and discovering that it was kind of, well, normal. During the course of the next few days, I saw one coworker do a full-body impression of a salmon swimming upstream, another squat down in a deer-pooping imitation, and a third doing a perfect rendition of Prancercise™. For a staid conservative company, there’s been a lot of physical comedy lately, intentionally or otherwise.
I have a coworker who does brilliant physical impressions of cats.
Yes. We live in an era where cats and dogs blog, have their own Facebook accounts, and have become more expensive than children for some pet parents. For most, the personification of our pets has become standard fare over the last decade; when doggie sweaters became just one part of doggie apparel, it was obvious that Americans’ relationship with their pets was changing. One needn’t look at all the PetSmarts (STEVE!) and PETCO’s to reach that conclusion.
I departed Walloon Lake with a plan to visit all our favorite Sleeping Bear spots today on my way home. The backroads drive through Ellsworth and East Jordan was beautiful, and I started my day with my toes in the water at Good Harbor Beach, before passing through Glen Arbor and visiting Glen Haven Beach. The water was cold, so I only went knees-deep, but stayed for about 30 minutes searching for Petoskey stones (failure) and watching an artist paint a watercolor of the view.
From there, I headed through Pierce Stocking drive, beautiful as always, and then tried out the Windy Moraine hiking trail, which is right across the street from the entrance to Pierce Stocking. I chuckled at the “Cougars have been spotted in this area” note on the bulletin board, then spent the next 1.5 miles ready to whack any cougar with my tripod. Do cougars eat carbon fiber? Thankfully, I did not have to find out.
The hike was okay, peaceful and pretty, but not exceptionally picturesque, so I didn’t take many pictures. It wound through woods most of the hike, with one exceptional opening into a field of waving grasses (hence the pictures). I did not encounter another person on the trail, but I did hear lots of cars driving past along Dune Highway. Warmed up from the hike, I headed to North Bar Lake and swam in Lake Michigan for about an hour – fabulous. I left the camera in the car, because the sky was photographically crappy (that’s a science term, kids) and I knew there was no way I could get better pictures than the ones I took there last year.
I parked myself on a bench at the east end of the lake and waited for the sun to set, watching boats come in and out of the marina. It was worth the wait!
As part of my youth-revisiting time-warp this weekend, I headed out this morning to the town of Charlevoix, another frequent daytrip destination during the Walloon Lake visits of yesteryear. I found Charlevoix as charming as I remembered, but the drive between Petoskey and Charlevoix took my breath away. One roadside park in particular turned out to be worth the trip.
The Walloon Lake Beachfront Walking Path
While revisiting the summer paradise of my youth at Walloon Lake, I went out for an evening stroll along the street behind the cottage that we used to rent. I was also trying to locate something I remember from those early visits, but didn’t completely trust my memory on – the path between the houses and the lake. Living in a lakefront town as I have for the past decade, I couldn’t believe that such a thing could exist in modern times. After all, Lake Michigan beachfront homeowners went all the way to the Michigan Supreme Court trying to keep people from walking on the beach in front of their homes, so why would the homeowners along beautiful Walloon Lake have a path that was actually in their yards? The adult me could not reconcile the concept.
And not just because I haven’t been here in 30 years.
One of the funny things about being adopted is my parents talk about when they “got” me, as opposed to most parents who “have” kids. Not that it’s bad or anything, just a funny thing that pops up in conversation now and again. Just days after I was “gotten” in July 1974, the Goudie tribe headed up to Walloon Lake in the northern Lower Peninsula, for a two-week vacation with two other families, the Dunn’s and the Baker’s. This would repeat itself each August until I was 8 or 9 – I’ll get the exact year we stopped going sometime in the next year, because I’m about halfway through scanning all 10,000 of my dad’s 35mm slides, but that’s a story for another day. And many posts.