An Impulsive Fourth of July

It is heating up outside. Of course, let me make clear that I am extremely grateful that it is not heating up outside my house to the tune of a Louisiana Fourth of July. Two weeks ago, we were grumbling about wearing sweaters in mid-June but secretly I was thanking the heavens for my living in a climate where wearing sweaters was even in the realm of possibility in June. But this morning a sweater is the last thing on my mind.

Highway M-22

I drank my 7 AM coffee on a bench overlooking the lighthouse in St. Joe, but by 8 AM I started losing the shade. These days breaking a sweat is way too uncomfortable to me. So we headed back home. Besides, I knew the beach crowds would creep in soon, and I prefer to celebrate my holiday in a quieter way. Perhaps I’ll make a visit to Forte Coffee or hike down a secluded trail or drive up to Grand Rapids for a Fourth of July sale. Whatever the future holds for me today will be unplanned and spur of the moment, and for that I am grateful.

Scenes from Leelanau State Park…

I decided on an impulse to take this week off, and Saturday I decided on an impulse to head north camping. July 4th weekend is amateur hour for camping, and I wanted to be home before the beer-guzzling, pot-smoking, music-blaring campers hit the woods. I thought I would go to the Manistee National Forest but I ended up literally on the shore of Lake Michigan at Leelanau State Park. Of course that was just the destination. Ashok and I made plenty of stops along the way.

A Cute Little Roadside Stand Along the Way….

The State Park had a beautiful hiking trail that meandered through the forested dunes and overlooked Lake Michigan at certain points. The high when we arrived was 64 degrees, and I think it reached 75 degrees before the day was done. After the hike, we spent most of the day sitting on the shore of the lake which was conveniently located about 25 feet from my tent. The water was crystal clear, and the waves were calm. It lulled me to sleep with a nap, and we had a long leisurely day doing basically nothing.

The next day we took the long way home on M-22, one of those iconic backroad highways dotted with quaint little towns, hiking trails, nature preserves and souvenir shops. In Glen Arbor, I got a sweatshirt and a dog leash adorned with the M-22 symbol. My sister and I had come through before and I wished I’d had a M-22 souvenir. Now I have two.

The foggy road back home…

I stopped for a burger at the Country Dairy farm where they serve burgers and sandwiches and bottomless glasses of fresh farm milk. They also have ice cream but I was too full to have any. The place was jam-packed, and since I had a cooler, I bought half and half and cheese for home. After that lovely stop, we hit beach traffic, and we inched our way south to home. The long, leisurely day at Leelanau was but a memory, but I was happy we had gone. I imagine I’ll be back when I have more time and there are less people about.

I ran a lot of errands yesterday, washed clothes and took care of some yard work. So, the next four days I have basically nothing to do but whatever I want to do. I’m looking forward to it. I made homemade yogurt yesterday, and I just made a big tall glass of cold brew (Japanese-style) laced with my Country Dairy half and half. A nap may be in order after lunch, or maybe I’ll catch a second wind and ride my bike or take a hike with my dog. Whatever I do, I hope I don’t sweat. But I do think the itinerary will include some creamy ice cream. That should be easy to find.

6 Comments on “An Impulsive Fourth of July

  1. Looks like a beautiful camping trip! When I was working full time I always loved having time off work just to spend at home too.

    I know what you’re saying about the cooler temps. We are getting so spoiled here in England to cooler, dryer temps. We are here in Cambridge until Sunday, then going to the Cotswolds, then to Cornwall for a week (Doc Martin country), and then to Dartmoor National Park in Devon. The national parks here are different from ours. Since they are so old, they have little villages that are grandfathered into the park and we are staying at a B&B in Postbridge, a village in the center of the park.

    Enjoy the rest of your holiday weekend!


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