I was going through some pictures from last summer and found a few from our annual canoe paddle down the Crystal River in Glen Arbor, Michigan. This is the best river to paddle with small kids. It's shallow, slow moving, and there are plenty of places to beach the canoe and enjoy a little time in the water. A couple years ago the mosquitoes were terrible and one of us, to remain nameless, had to go to the bathroom pretty much the entire trip (which makes a three hour paddle a loooonnnnng paddle).
This year wasn't plagued with potty emergencies or swarms of bugs, thankfully. Although, there were a number of kayaks full of Ohio State Buckeye fans, so, yes...I guess there were some stinky pests on the river.
My own little floater!
And, more wildlife!
Later that day we headed into Leland for dinner and ice cream, and a wander through the shops and galleries in Fishtown. One of my favorite things about the peninsula is how little it seems to change from year to year. Probably this is hitting home to me more than ever at this moment because we're in the midst of lots of change at school, and this week two of my dearest friends here in Scottsdale told me, over coffee, they're both moving out of state: one to Portland, one to Philly. It's like a revolving door living here. (I think I'm going to refuse to have coffee with anyone else!!)
But the peninsula? Well, it's a little corner of the world where the change has been gradual. Of course, no place stays the same, but the peninsula weathers it better. It softens change in a way you don't really notice it's changing. Sure, there are more mega-mansions along the Lake Michigan shoreline and the Chicagoans seem more annoying every year, but....
Fishtown always smells like fish and the Janice Sue always floats gracefully in the mouth of the river.
And the river flows serenely through Leland out of Lake Leelanau and into Lake Michigan.
And the landscape always takes my breath away.
And sunrise over Grand Traverse Bay always gives me hope...that God willing we'll land here ourselves one day. And the revolving door of change will swing just a little more slowly, replaced by the cadence of our rockers on the deck, wine in hand, enjoying the slow, easy change of a Michigan sunset.
With love from The Valley of the Sun.