My 32nd Birthday Adventure

Family at Birch Lodge

Back row: Jon, Taylor, Tim, Brianna
Third row: Dad, Zach, Katy, Barb
Second row: Mom, Jenni and Trygg, Me, Lindsey and Harvey, Olivia and Fiona, Peg, and Dan
Front row: Grandma

7 Rogers; 5 Palomakis; 3 Quayles; 2 Jonkhoffs; 1 Kloosterman; 1 Rasumssen

Sunday started at the Double Dogleg at 9am and ended at the Birch Lodge in Trout Lake, MI. There were brief stops at Johan’s Bakery and the welcome center in Mackinaw City in between. The day’s main attraction was visiting Tahquamenon Falls, east of Paradise.

There is a brewery at the Upper Falls, where we filled our bellies and then, after the entire group viewed the upper falls, six of us (me, Lindsey, Harvey, Katy, Taylor, Dan, and Peg) set out on a four-mile hike from the Upper Falls to the Lower Falls.

We managed to get caught in the pouring rain for over an hour, which is what happens when you have cellphone-weather-app-dependent people in an area with no reception. (Woops!) We ended the hike soaked and exhausted. At least Harvey was a super sport and did great in the rain. Nothing like a little adventure to get the trip kickstarted.

That evening we went to the Buckhorn Tavern for great food and a good atmosphere. Also, it was the only one of two restaurants in town still serving at 8pm. I opened birthday presents – thank you! – and then we capped it off with Lindsey’s famous chocolate cake. It was a wonderful birthday day with close family that I will remember for a long time to come.

The transition between yesterday and today was a bit of a blur. Harvey was up his usual three times, and then suddenly it was 6am, which is “coffee time.” There was an ample supply of black gold in the Birch Bar, and, after Dad joined me a little later, we heard about the history of the bar, the Jukebox, and the lodge from the current owner, Deb. I highly recommend the Birch Lodge to anyone looking for a fun excursion to the eastern Upper Peninsula. It was a wonderful experience, and the dinner at Buckhorns and the breakfast at McGowan’s were some of the best meals I’ve had anywhere in a long time.

The temperature for the 56th Annual Mackinac Bridge Walk was 56* with at strong northwest wind as we crossed over Lake Michigan and Lake Huron. Harvey did great on the walk – insisting on being held in the beginning and end, while sleeping through the middle two miles.

After saying goodbye to the walkers from the UP, we set out for the City Park Grill in Petoskey before returning to the Double Dogleg to unpack our soggy clothing and two tons of baby gear. Thanks to all who joined in the weekend fun. Here’s a link to the photos from the trip.

And, Lindsey, always remember that the “journey is in the journey.”