Wednesday, September 3, 2014

I Almost Died // Up North Day 1

Hey, everyone!  I hope you all ate a bunch of hot dogs and s'mores and sat around doing nothing and just generally had a great long weekend!

I got to spend mine up north* with a friend (remember Elise from here? Yeah, her.) and her family - so. much. relax.  Every Labor Day weekend a crowd of friends, family, and tag-a-longs like me make their way up to the cottage we stayed at, which belongs to a family that Elise has known forever and ever, amen. To help with crowd control in the cottage, we were volunteered to sleep in a tent right outside, which worked our really well because we had the comfiest sleeping bags ever invented   The cottage is right on one of Michigan's 34987 inland lakes and a 7.5 minute drive from Lake Michigan, there's a dock with several boats for cruising, tubing, and making trips to the nearby sand dunes, the hosts are phenomenal chefs and human beings in general, the weather was on point.  I was satisfied.

                     *Us Michiganders use the term "Up North" to describe any place that isn't in a city,                            regardless of whether it's actually north or not.  Camping, being near a lake, hiking?                            Mandatory.  Actually going north to reach said camping / laking / hiking location?                                Optional. 

Our first day's adventure began with getting the tent up, a task which my friend and I were able to handle all by ourselves, no big deal.  There's no photographic evidence, but we definitely set up that tent and did a darn good job, if I do say so myself. I mean, it didn't fall down or anything and no rain got in, so I'd say that's a W in the books.

That being done, we were rewarded for our hard work with a boat ride around the lake and a stop at Barnhardt's, where you can park your boat and walk in, barefoot, for some of the best wings I've had in my seventeen years.

When we had eaten as much as was humanly possible, our boat headed for the dunes, where our captain laid anchor and ordered us out into the cold water.  We weren't too sure about it at first ...

But soon enough we were in and heading for land as quickly as possible! 

Not that life actually got any easier once we were out of the water.   We headed across the first dunes, and I realized that walking in sand is really hard.  Like, my calves were on fire and I was having trouble getting words out. Don't get me wrong; I'm definitely not complaining, because those dunes were amazingly gorgeous and I immediately became obsessed with them.  Dune puns ensued. 

"Looks like a good day for boating. DUNE it?" 

That's all.  I'm not that punny. 

Once we'd reached our destination (AKA the world's highest, longest, steepest sand dune EVER),  we took a minute to check out the view and try to persuade our bodies not to go into cardiac arrest. 

The native inhabitants of the dunes apparently had other plans, which were made apparent when a giant flying, buzzing, and fatally poisonous thing started chasing me around.  And around. And around.  My running speed and makeshift stick sword had nothing on that beast, and I was terrified.  I screamed and ducked and did everything I could do get it to leave while my friend sat in the sand and laughed.  Until it landed on her.  

Eventually, what we later classified as a horsefly decided to mind its own business again and trucked down the dunes and back to the boat for a choppy ride home, where a bonfire, peanut butter s'mores, and retro Donkey Kong awaited.  More on that tomorrow, though! 


P.S.  What did you do this weekend?  Any exciting near death experiences?

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