Camping in Traverse City

We’d left cool temperate Oregon and returned to double the temperatures (104 degrees!!!) in Chicago. Thankfully, we were back only for a day, before we escaped up north to Traverse City for the weekend – camping with E, M, and C! Happily, we had the perfect summer weather up north: 70s to low 80s in the day, and a very comfortable camping temperature in the 60s.

For a short weekend getaway, we sure crammed it full of activities! We arrived at the campsite around 1am, but were up and ready to go by 830am the next day.

First order of business – grab brunch at Eric’s favorite restaurant, Chez Peres (he likes it so much, we went back again on Sunday). After which, we went on a short 5km hike east of the city, through some forest. In the winter, it’s a great x-country skiing trail; definitely something to consider if we ever want to go to TC in the winter.

After, we headed, at Eric’s recommendation, to Pyramid Point, the sand dunes from which we could look out to Sleeping Bear Dunes. The weather was phenomenal. It was so relaxing to stare out at the turquoise lake below, and pretend that we were in the Caribbeans. But the waters looked so inviting, and tantalizingly close, that we just had to slide down the steep dunes to its edge.
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Eric, trying to avoid the sunburn

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The hike up the dunes was painful – it felt like we were slipping and sliding down a step for every two steps we took. But we made it. And to reward ourselves, we drove out to Old Mission Hill for some amazingly refreshing cocktails and dinner at the Jolly Pumpkin. A wedding had just taken place on the lawn facing the lake, and we had a jolly good time goofing around the white chairs.

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After a filling dinner, we hastened down to the old lighthouse to see the sun set – 9pm!

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Jeff and M practicing some yoga moves by the beach

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By the time we returned to our campsite, it was 10pm. Everyone was exhausted, but what was camping without a campfire and marshmallows? So we threw some wood into the pit, and because it had been so dry, quickly got a merry fire going. It was Jeff’s first time toasting marshmallows, so he had a ball of a time trying to get them nicely browned without catching on fire.

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In the morning, we headed back to Chez Peres for another big but delicious meal before heading down to the beach for a bit of paddling. The others took out the kayaks and relaxed on the water watching the air and water show, while Jeff and I attempted paddle boarding for the first time. It’s waaaay harder than it looks! It took us a better part of 20 minutes before we were able to comfortably maneuver around without splashing into the waters. What a fantastic way to end the weekend trip. 🙂

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