Cottage at Grand Lake – Michigan

September 3, 2010

If someone were to ask me my favorite place, I would probably say that it’s my family’s cabin in the mountains. So when Eddie told me that his favorite place was his family cabin on the lake, I could relate. And when he told me that it was in the direction I was going (which was Washington D.C., by the way) and that he’d be honored if I stayed there on my way through, I was both touched the gesture and excited by the opportunity.

Their place is located near Eddie’s hometown of Roger’s City, on Grand Lake, about a mile from Lake Huron. Grand Lake isn’t exactly tiny, it’s a few miles across, but “Grand Lake” seems like an odd name given that it is right next to the 5th largest freshwater lake in the world. Then again, Trout Lake, where I just came from, doesn’t have any trout in it. I think people around here like to mess with travelers … kinda like the Iceland/Greenland thing.

Anyway, to get to Grand Lake, we drove south across the Mackinac Bridge, which meant that we were officially leaving the Upper Peninsula (“the U.P.”) of Michigan. Eddie says that you need to live in the U.P. for 8 years to officially be an Uuuuper – pronounced Ewper. I only have 8 years less 4 days to go!

We arrived at the cottage. Sometimes Eddie and Brenda would call it a cabin, sometimes a cottage. Now that I’ve been there, I can say for sure that it’s a cottage. It was small and low to the ground, it had a sagging roof, and, here’s the clincher, it was red.

The inside was quaint and comfortable, the outside pleasant and picturesque. The porch looked out onto to the lake and a little dock. I loved it so much. It was storybook.

For the first time this trip, I wished that Kettle was a girl.

(and human)

(and not named Kettle)

But that wasn’t going to happen, so at night I did yoga on the porch and got all hot and sweaty that way.

I spent two days at the cottage getting caught up on work. (When I say work, I should really say “work” because I’m developing a computer game with my friend, Bill, and there’s very little that’s work-like about it.) On the first day, Kettle and I watched ducks. On the second day, we watched the weather change.

I did take a bit of time to play tourist and visit the nearby Lake Huron lighthouses and the county fair. My hope was that, by doing so, I would have something interesting to tell you about.

It didn’t work.

So let’s get back to the cottage.

While at the cottage I received emails from my friends in Houston and D.C., both politely waving me off for a week. So instead of having a week to get to D.C., I now have two weeks.

Then, completely coincidently, I got an Instant Message from Bill, who had been viewing my Michigan location on Google Latitude.

“You should go to Montreal.”

Bill is not just my friend and programmer – he’s also my quasi travel agent. He says he likes seeing my picture on the map and trying to make it move a particular direction.

“Great idea,” I said. I pulled up a map. The shortest route to Montreal would be to keep going down towards Detroit, then cut across past Toronto.

But Bill was on a roll …

“You should go through Sudbury.”

This would instead mean going north and crossing the border up at Sault St. Marie. Although that path would entail some backtracking, it did look like a nicer drive, and it was not much longer, and I wanted to let Bill move me around …

So, as it turns out, the cottage wasn’t in the right direction after all.

But it was totally worth it.

Even though I went with a dog.

Pondering the Mackinac Bridge

Now that's a cottage.

Our arrival

My porch

Kettle's dock

A lighthouse with a real house.

Alpena County Fair

AK and the Outlaws

Not so sure about the purple sky.

Storm Watch

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