A Weekend Up North


Luke and I packed up the car late on a Friday afternoon, got Patronus ready, then headed out for another trip to northern Michigan.

Both of us were ravenously hungry after a long day of work, so we made a pit stop at Burger King along the way.  Luke got his usual order, and I finally got to try the Impossible Whopper.  (For the record, I approve!)

While on the road, we watched the sun set over the treeline while listening to the “Road Trip Mix” we made together before setting out for our honeymoon trip to Banff.

After a couple more hours of driving in the dark and getting blasted with light from other people’s high beams, we finally made it to Matt and Amanda’s cottage.

The four of us sat up late talking, snacking on cashews, and having a couple of drinks while our dogs ran around the house and played.

Eventually we decided to get some rest.

The next morning our friend Chris arrived, and we all made the drive to the Upper Peninsula to visit Luke’s parents for a party.

In addition to some of Luke’s family and their friends, several of our friends were also there.  We sat outside, soaking in the summer sunshine, talking to one another and enjoying kabobs, chips, salads, and cupcakes.

The sun was beginning to set just as we made it back to the cottage.  Luke, Patronus, and I were the first to arrive, so we decided to let the dogs outside to play for a bit.

Patronus, Fezzik, and Freya frolicked around the yard, chasing and tackling one another until the last of the mid August sun dipped behind the treeline.

Eventually, Matt, Amanda, and Chris made it back.  We cooked ourselves a quick dinner and sat up for a couple hours talking, reading, and playing board games.

In the morning I decided to get another hike in and explore a new section of the North Country Trail before the rain made its way in.  This time, Chris joined me.

The trail took us through an area of trees, ferns, and wildflowers to a small lake.

As we hiked, the skies grew more and more cloudy.

After skirting the lake, we made our way into the woods and up a hill for another mile or so.

As we reached a clearing filled with ferns, wildflowers, and raspberries, the wind began to pick up.

Eventually, tiny sprinkles led to harder rain, so we decided to turn back and head to the car.

As the rain started to pick up, we joked that it would be a total plot twist if the car didn’t start and we just walked into a horror movie.

It was pouring rain when we finally reached the car.

As I removed my pack and folded up my trekking poles, Chris started the car…only the car didn’t start!

After messing around with the car for a bit trying to get it started, we came to the conclusion that the battery was dead.  And I had no cell signal.  Fortunately, the cottage was only a few miles away.

Just as I was about to suggest giving up and walking back in the rain, Chris realized he had a tiny bit of cell signal, so we called Luke to come and help us get the car started.

The clouds finally began to part just as Luke made his way down the long dirt road to the tiny lot in which Chris’ car was parked.

After Luke finished helping Chris charge his car battery, I led him down the short path to the small lake we’d found.

Once Chris’ car was finally charged, we made our way back to the cottage to meet back up with Matt and Amanda.  By this point all of us were pretty hungry, so we all decided to head to a nearby restaurant and devoured a huge lunch.

Finally, it was time to head home.

The skies were completely clear by the time we packed up the car and made our way back to the freeway.  The late summer sun hung low and golden in the sky for most of the drive home.

As we got closer to home it was nearing sunset, and more thunderstorms rolled in.  We watched flashes of lightning against a sky painted with bold shades of purple, pink, and blue.

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