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Published: August 7th 2008
The big gorgeous one on the left is the ship I got to stay on
I had a spectacular time in Michigan. There I said it. I started off on a positive note. So forgive me now if I sound a little negative about the state itself. Honestly, after spending a few days there I came quickly to the conclusion that the best thing about Michigan is Brendan O'Donnel and the Tall Ship crew in Traverse City. I will fast-forward through the hell-ish traffic around Detroit, the huge gas guzzling cars, the claustrophobic and expensive camping experience in a MI state park, the price-gouging touristy town of Traverse city, to the amazing time I actually had while I was there.
I checked into the B+B on the Manitou in the early evening on a Friday night. Basically, my friend Brendan is the 1st mate on a replica of a historic sailing ship. You can see more info on their website, as I am not an expert and cannot give more info about this ship: http://www.tallshipsailing.com/. The second day I was on the ship, Brendan was working and he put me to work with the rest of the crew who were gracious enough to explain things, show me how to tie knots, and generally let me
Traverse City, MI
A view of the city and some nice flowers from the TART bike trail that I rode 18 miles of on day 2 in the city
pretend to be a sailor for a day. It was amazing. And I have NO PICTURES because I was too busy having fun to think about taking pictures.
The next day two days were Brendan's days off so he and I packed up the car and headed out of Traverse City. We drove to Wilderness State Park, hiked a short but mosquito-infested 3 miles to a uninhabited lake where Brendan made a bonfire, I made dinner and afterwards we promptly went to bed with the sounds of mosquitos swarming outside the tent. it was awesome to wake up the next morning to the quiet deserted lake and forest around. We ate a little breakfast, packed up camp, and hiked as fast as possible through the swarms of mosquitos back to the car. Then we drove to the town of St Ignace and hopped a ferry to the historic Mackinac Island. THis island has bascially been a tourist attraction since tourist attractions were invented. When cars started making an appearace, they were banned from the island, so now its covered extensively in horse and carriage trails. Brendan rented a mountain bike and I brought mine along and we spent an
awesome day exploring the island, laying on the beautiful pebble beach, swinging on swings, and getting a little off the beaten track.
After taking the ferry back, we drove exhausted and happy back to Traverse City where I got to spend 1 more night on the ship before I got in the car and headed west to COLORADO!!!!!!!!!!!! Look for my next installment from the Rockies!
Thanks so much, Brendan, for letting me stay with you 😊
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