Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Beaver Island

We took a wonderful, busy family trip back to the midwest.  I say back, because I am originally from Iowa.  A midwest transport to California.  And I say busy because we were on the move for most of the vacation.  We flew into Milwaukee, where my brother and his two children and my mom picked us up in a large passenger van they had rented in Iowa.  We stayed a night in Milwaukee where I lived for 6 years and enjoyed lake Michigan.  It was however, far too cold to swim.  They were having a very cold, late spring in the midwest

Than off we went north, around lake Michigan.  We drove for 4 hours and made our first stop in Escanaba, MI.  The upper peninsula of Michigan is a truly beautiful place.

After one night we were of through the Upper Peninsula over Mackinaw bridge to the small town of Central Lake, Michigan where my lovely cousin Liz lives.

She has a son, Max who is one day younger than Imogen and she is pregnant with her second baby, due in October.  We rested a night or two with her and than we were off to the main attraction Beaver Island.  The lovely Beaver Island in Lake Michigan.

We woke up early so we could get on the ferry by 7am, with all of our gear, the van and all of those children. The ferry ride is about 3 hours, some of us slept, some just ran around.  It was incredibly cold when you were outside, so we all had to take breaks inside to warm up.

Beaver Island is a mysterious, wonderful place.  A fairly large island that hosts a year round population of 500 and survives on summer tourism.  My aunt once owned a restaurant on the island, where I waitressed for a summer in college and now owns a cabin on Fox lake, one of the small inland lakes on the island.

We stayed on the island for 3 days.  Enjoying the family, kids, water and other amusements of the island.  We fished, we walked among the legions of mosquitoes (they use 25% deet bug repellent) and visited some of the interesting locales in town - like the toy museum.

Than it was time to leave.  There is always a sadness when leaving Beaver Island.  Somehow, in only that short visit I felt connected again, wanting to stay longer.   When my aunt was telling the story about finding the island for the first time, she said that she cried when she left the island.  After that first visit, she was hooked.  I completely understand that feeling, there is a life on the island, something that I am so attracted to.

Despite my sadness, it was time to go.  So we boarded the ferry again, and waved good bye to the beautiful island that housed us for those three short days.  Bye-bye Beaver Island.

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