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!

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Oooooh… now this is comfy.

More pretty. In the end it was about a 4 hour paddle. Didn’t see much in the way of wildlife; a few herons and other birds. I spotted some beaver-butt as it took off away from me, and we saw a couple of deer on the van ride to the put in, but that’s it. By the end of the trip we had caught up with all manner of irritating tube-riders and canoers, and I was ready to just git it done. Still, it was fun.

Back at Uncle Haw’s house. Clockwise from center; Uncle Buddha-Brad, Aunt Patti, Sumo and yours truly, obligatory beer in hand.

Out on the lake ‘Mander’s armed with Grey Goose and Vodka, and in danger of slap floatin’ away.

Uncle Bruce does a good job of holdin’ the float down, and his partner Tom finds new and exciting uses for an airbed.

Mom and Tom get their lie-down on.

Ummmm… Manda?

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What does too much alcohol do to family? Don’t ask. Left to right booty shout-out!
Tom, Bruce, Ummm… some hippie, and Cheri.

Now this is a little more presentable. Same roll-call as the posterior action. I’m curious as to what my sister is doing with her right hand there. Actually… my right hand seems awfully busy as well. Ummmm… errr…. Where’s my beer?!

‘Manda takes a picture of a grasshopper with a pedipalp butt. Niiiiice.

Here’s the mighty cabin.

And that there is Great Uncle Haw’s pad. The back of it, anyway.

Ummm… I found it.

We headed back out to do some more explorin’, and wound up behind the world reknowned Brad The Wild Hair.

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We headed on out to the Muskegon river to look around. Aww… siblings.

The south shall rise again, fool! And it’ll rise in… Michigan?! I’m lovin’ the “Jap Junk Sucks” bumpersticker.

Swampy goodness.

Wimmen. Hikin’.

Time to stop and find fun things to do. Love this sign.

Man… rebel flags… Livin’ The Cowboy Way… am I back at home?

Purty horsey with braids.

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Cheri hops a ride.

And Mander rematerializes… SeaBiscuit! SeaBiscuit!

And they’re off… me? I don’t ride horses. I’ll pet ’em, but I ain’t ridin’. They don’t like me. I think my butt’s too boney or somethin’.

Back at the cabin, and Mander and I are off gettin’ our canoe on.

Manda gets a pretty pic.


Another trip, this time on Haw’s pontoon boat.

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Mom enjoys herself.

Cheri’s knees, Uncle Bob, Great Uncle Haw and the Almighty Demanda.

Cheri, apparently striking the Stevie Wonder pose.

Back on the road… we dropped Cheri off at the airport with time on our hands, so we headed west so’s Mander could eyeball an official Great Lake.
Amanda wants one of these. Bad.

Welcome to Lake Michigan.

She likes it.

In Grand Haven we ran across The Kirby Grill. Alas, they wouldn’t serve me for free. Family indeed.

The Git ‘Er Done Truck Club… are you sure we’re not home already?!

And there you go. Fun was had by all.