A Michigan Memorial Day with Mountain Bike Beginnings
This is really delaye, but... Over memorial day weekend I traveled up to Hubbard Lake, Michigan to meet up with my friends Pat and Amy. We were fortunate enough to stay in Bruce, Pat's future father-in-law, and Ang's beautiful home up there, in a little cabin off to the side of the house. The house, being right on the water, was a perfect retreat for the long weekend. Pat and I have long talked about eventually getting land together "up north" and building retirement homes there... Being there in the woods of Michigan right by the water was another step in solidifying that desire.
Over the course of the weekend there was a lot of boatin' and boozin' on Bruce's twin engine pontoon - he promised it could pull people, but didn't prove it. Instead we just soaked (fried) in the sun and cruised the calm waters along the Hubbard Lake perimeter. So Bruce, you owe me a tow next time I'm around!
In addition to bountiful boating, Ang was constantly cooking us up amazing feasts. There was always plenty of food and even when offered, she wouldn't allow us to help. Thank god cooking is one of her passions, for I was assuredly a beneficiary. Most meals carried good conversation with them as well. Pat and I had several conversations about where we are in life, the things that are changing, what we're nervous about, and what we're excited about.
We also had storms over the weekend where we settled in for some Netflix and board games. But because of the storms, we wanted to take advantage of any good weather we were given with our new mountain bikes we'd both recently purchased. We were itching to take them to task. So on Saturday, when we had an all out perfect day, we took them on some trails (which were privately owned... sorry for doing illegal stuff) through the woods behind Bruce's house and discovered a few hills, this being the first:
On Sunday we had a smaller window for good weather and went over the same trails again. The first was one of our favorites, but this last hill was a long ride, which we enjoyed as well:
Overall it was a decent introduction to mountain biking since it was really my first time. Since then I've gone on some more difficult stuff, but I'll always remember my first time with Pat...
Over the course of the weekend I was also able to take a few van projects on, installing a new radio/Bluetooth receiver and getting my solar panels attached. But there will be more details on those in the van conversion blog.
On the way home I got to stop in Traverse City and the Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore for the first time. My realization that there's so much to explore in our own country, lending to my van journey, definitely extends to my home home state as well, something I'm a little embarrassed by. The dunes were incredible though - like something from another planet, these mountains of sand and tall grass rise up out of nowhere and seem to have no end. Over time a lot of the area has grown vegetation, so it created this beautiful gold and green landscape. Being there for sunset was beautiful as the light brightened the colors and made them more vibrant. I would have loved to spend more time on the dunes, chasing them to the waters edge, but since it was on the way home I wanted to try and to stick to a reasonable schedule.
Overall it was an awesome weekend with one of my best friends where a lot was done, but all with a relaxed mind.