Well, we are back from Drummond Island and we didn’t get killed by a bear. Vacation was fun, relaxing, interesting, and beautiful. I loved the area, although I would go stir-crazy if I lived up there so isolated from everything. I didn’t really keep a log of everything that we did, so as near as I can remember, here is what went down:
Day One: Take off. Stop by Meijers to return bottles and we are on the road in earnest by 11 AM. Drive north. Cross Mackinac Bridge! Haven’t been over the Bridge in years! See familiar sites that I haven’t seen since I was a kid and had almost forgotten about. Arrive at De Tour, MI (yes, that’s the actual town’s name) at about 2:30, just in time to see the ferry to the island pull away from the dock. Wait at ferry dock for about half an hour. Get on ferry. My first time on a car ferry! It is weird to be in the car and on a moving boat. See sister and brother-in-law two rows over. Cannot get their attention. They see us and wave while they disembark. The Man and I drive right past them as we get off; we do not notice that they have waited for us. We get to Arnold’s Landing — WHEE! The whole resort is ours! There are five units and six couples. Twin stepsisters and their husbands will share a unit. Unpack. Look around. We are in Scott’s Bay, on the western shore. Looking out from the dock we can see another island before us (We find out later that this is an Indian burial ground). Once everyone arrives, we all load on the pontoon boat for a tour of the bay and surrounding islands. Too many people in front of the boat — nose dives UNDER WATER. Water rushes in pontoon. Much screaming, and everyone runs to the back. Crisis averted, the rented pontoon does not sink. We soggily head back to shore and giggle over our mishap. Attempts to light a bonfire that night with logs and motor oil fails miserably. Stepsisters’ attempts to roast marshmallows over smudgy fire a failure. We all retreat to our respective campers to sleep.
Day Two. The Man, Sister, Brother-in-Law and myself head out to the Maxton Plains. Beautiful! This is what is called an “Alvar Plain” — I don’t really know what that means, but I look at the ground. It looks like someone got a little crazy when paving the road — the pavement extends out in spots like there was extra cement. Then I realize that the road is not in fact paved at all. It is natural limestone. The “extentions” are where the topsoil has worn away. We return to the resort. Stepdad and various others go fishing. I sit on mom’s deck, which is closest to the water with The Man and sister. Soon, stepdad’s boat comes in to dock, dragging ass. Everyone on board is wearing a life-jacket (this is most unusual). For some reason, the boat began to take on water and stepbrother did not mention it to anyone until the water was almost to his knees! Stepdad tells us that he radioed frantically for help — stepsisters and their husbands in the other boat responded slowly. However, the bilge pump and the bailing efforts of stepbrother’s wife save the day. I begin to wonder if we will all die in boating-related accidents before the week is out. Tonight The Man lights a roaring blaze down at the firepit. We cook hot dogs, and there is much eucre playing in the screened in grill area. I dislike euchre so I sit by the fire with mom and sister, occasionally visited by other family members. Yum — Captain Morgan and Vanilla Coke is consumed. I go back to our camper and fall asleep. There is a bunny outside.
Day Three. The Man and I take the pontoon out alone — very nervously. The Man has never driven a boat and I have never driven a pontoon. . . plus the last time I drove a normal boat was when I was 13. We spend a lot of time looking at the depth gauge because the water is awfully shallow and we have been warned against destroying the prop. We make it back with no mishaps. Sister and I decide that today we will bust out the kayaks. Mom, Sister, Brother-in-Law, and myself head out in to the water. Kayaking is fun! Why didn’t I ever do this before? We stick close to the shoreline because Mom and I are not used to kayaking and fear that we may tip over. After about an hour we head back — arms are tired. Food and fire again tonight. Beer is the beverage of choice.
Day Four. It rains. All day. The Man and I stay inside watching bad, bad Canadian television (Canadian waters are about three miles from us). We pity the people in Canada who get this pathetic programming. Time to bust out the books — The Man digs up “The Fifth Sorceress” and I start “The Pillars of Creation”.
Day Five. Rain is gone! There was a bear in the campground last night — a stump has been shredded. In the afternoon, The Man, Mom, Sister, Brother-In-Law, and myself tie two kayaks to the pontoon and head for the Indian Burial ground island. There is a beach there. Everyone else is out fishing. We sit on the pontoon for awhile and read. Mom and Brother-in-Law take off in kayaks. When they come back, we have been joined by twin Stepsisters and their husbands. They are going to try to waterski. Sister and I take the kayaks and head out — discover another little beach across the bay on a different island. Oh, crap, it’s private property. Turn around and come back. On the way back, boat buzzes by — The Man is being towed behind on a tube! Didn’t know he liked to tube. . . Stepsister is trying to waterski but the boat does not have enough OOMPH to pull her up. Trolling motor is taken off to lighten the boat. Various other things are done. Stepsister gets up on skis. . . and boat promptly runs out of gas! Switch to reserve tank and she is up! Many cheers from pontoon crew who is watching. We head back for food, drink, and campfire. More beer. Tonight, while The Man and I stand on our deck smoking, we see a deer! She comes right in to the resort grounds to eat the corn that the owner has left. She must be used to people — she looks at our noise and just goes back to eating. How pretty.
Day Six. More kayaking. This time, The Man, Sister, Brother-In-Law and myself head to the Potagannsing Flood Project. This is a series of rivers and lakes that feed into one another, and that ends at a dam. We start at the dam and go upriver. The wind is blowing HARD and against us. Kayaking upriver and against the wind is hard work. We pass four beaver huts and then we are in the first lake. Sister and Brother-in-law have been here on a different day, but were unable to find the outlet into the next river. Today, we search and search and are finally successful. However, we have been out already for two and a half hours and still have to go back. The rivers and lakes are crowded with weeds and weed beds. It is kind of strange pushing through the reeds. I cheer when we finally get to the dam — my arms are ready to fall off. Back to the resort. Tonight is a fish fry! Yum! We deep-fry walleye, potatoes, and onion rings and feast. Afterwards we start another bonfire (The Man has been designated Official Fire Starter) and drink and roast marshmallows. When we go back to our camper we see the deer again.
Day Seven. Another bear has visited in the night — the trash cans have been overturned. Today The Man and I head back out to the Maxton Plains so I can take some landscape pictures. We head up to Four Corners (an instersection that has a scattering of shops) so I can pick up a nice Drummond Island hooded sweatshirt. However, I am feeling ill and so we go back to the resort. I laze about, then begin packing up. Tonight we do the fire thing again, but The Man and I retreat early — we must be up at seven AM.
Day Eight. Time to go home. Get up, shower, load the bags, and head down to Mom and Stepdad’s camper. We miss the 8:10 ferry because we need to get pictures taken. Hugs and goodbyes and we are on the road. We are the last car on the ferry and as soon as we are on the are up ramp and away! We settle in for the long drive home and are in our driveway before 2 PM. Cats are happy to see us. I begin doing laundry and we sit down on our own couch, happy to be home.
Well, there ya go. Hopefully I will post pictures, if any turned out. I plan on getting them developed tonight.