Headed up to Mecosta, Michigan by way of Grand Rapids to hang out at my Great Uncle’s place (and the now family cabin owned by my late grandparents). Good time for the wife to finally see the area my family comes from. The state, anyway. We didn’t make it to the Upper Peninsula (Sault Ste. Marie) where my folks grew up and met. Still, she got to see much of the exciting wildlife rural Michigan has to offer; turkeys, deer, pasty, bearlike folk and the Amish.

An old theatre in Mount Pleasant, built in the ’20s. Showing ET for free! They had a timeline posted outside listing all the known acts that had played there (Cheech and Chong in ’72!) and requests for newpaper confirmation for others. Why the picture? I thought it was cool. So there.

We headed out to the Chippewa River to do a spot of paddlin’. Hardly a rough trip (class 0-1, anyone?) but pretty and fun all the same. We figured we’d go do this sort of stuff early, as the weather predictions weren’t looking to hot for later on in the trip.

Mander and my sister, Cheri; mighty river navigators! This river was shallow.

There’s Cheri again. It’s a bit deeper here. Very pretty, but a lot of deadfall lines the banks.

Bottom of the pic; invasive species! The dreaded Georgia Funky Toe!

See? Shallow. Cheri’s gotta tote her ‘yak. Portage, baby! At this point she’s wondering just why the hell she followed her little brother out here when there’s cold beers and warm sun back at the cabin.

Aarggh! You shall pay dearly for this unnecessary exercise!