A day far away

We went driving, hoping to catch some local flavor.
But I just can’t remember where we went. I think it was north from Petoskey. Maybe more pictures will help.
Oh yeah, big bridge. Pretty area. Lotsa trees & greenery. Nice day.
Oh yeah, a big car show! And that big bridge was everywhere. Where did we go?
Wait, wait, wait….it’s coming back to me. Big bridge, dogs chasing ball into the lake, all-you-can-eat fish fry.
That bridge. Ohhh, that guy leaving the car show in a hurry! Ohhhhhhh yeah, Ryan’s new friend….the big, quiet guy. Don’t tell me….I’ve got it….
I think it mighta been St Ignace….yeah, I think we were Yoopers for a day!

Artists, boats, cairns, and cookies

Petoskey sits in the middle of a fertile crescent ripe with tourism.

A good tourism, not endless lines of cars & campers inching toward gas stations and bait shops.

Robyn’s bike path, the Little Traverse Wheelway, runs the length, skirting the large bay with sweet stops to savor the view and stay comfortable with cooling breezes.

Shoreline temperatures so far have been in the very low 70s, and the breeze has kept the coach from becoming an oven in the constant sun!

There are numerous parks for casual stopping….next to marinas, beside creeks and rivers that flow into the bay, interrupting the endless woods with a spot for a picnic….

Most of the restaurants and stores are locally owned and operated, with local taste reflected in their offerings.

We’re lovin it, and don’t want to leave!

The boys had fun one evening this week jumping on the masonry floor of the bandshell in Charlevoix (imagine the sounds!), then we had fun eating fresh fish in one of the nearby shops.

The next afternoon we went discovering in Harbor Springs, and hit paydirt: sailboat art, artists painting sailboats, homemade cookies by Tom’s Mom, an entire peninsula owned by a private association that keeps the rest of us from even walking along their streets!

And back home in Petoskey, always an entertaining sunset on the bay….

Day and night

We’ve said before that our excursions in the Lil Taxi often don’t do justice to our destinations.

That would be particularly true of yesterday.

Boyne Mountain.

I learned to snow ski here….back in the day of black-and-white television, I think.

Turns out it’s a happening place even in summertime, because they have an indoor waterpark!

They keep the grounds around the condos and hotels at the base looking lovely in fresh green growth. It would have been great to run up the mountain and shoot from there….

Here’s some trivia about Boyne: it has current use of the first ski chairlift erected in the world! The lift was originally located at Sun Valley, Idaho in 1936, but was later moved to Boyne. Parts of it operate there today.

The two daytime photos below were taken with a new camera we have, with a super-wide lens that is cute but lacking in detail for outdoor panorama shots. Its claims to fame are that it’s tiny (2.25 x 1 x 1.5 in), can do action video in HD (no focusing), and it has an underwater housing with a remote trigger! We’ll have fun with some novel shots in the coming months….

We had some fun around sundown and later, as the Super Moon rose in the eastern sky. If only I had Roger’s 400mm and teleconverter….

We’re overdosing on fun

We noticed a trolley drive through our park this afternoon, and found out it made an hourly loop through town.

This was the first evening of its season, and ridership is always free!

Turned out the driver is Kyle, a lovely lady who teaches school the rest of the year. Her husband even joined the ride at a stop along the route.

Both are long-time Petoskey residents, and we received a wonderful description of the town features as we passed.

It helped to be the only riders. Kyle even stopped so we could take pictures!

Tonight was Gallery Walk, with art galleries open late and artists displaying their work and talents everywhere we went.

The stained glass window below is in the town cultural arts center.

As we finished the loop, Kyle’s husband offered to take our picture to commemorate the event!

What a place! We’re having so much fun in the town of Petoskey and with the great people who live here!

Just plain fun

Wmph mummph ummn wha?

Robyn woke me before 6am.

No, coach not on fire. “Killer sunrise,” she said.
Okay, maybe. You be the judge, I’m going back to sleep.

Just kidding. We got going earlier than usual today, and spent the day doing stuff right around town.

Thought I’d share a couple of the oddities we pass every day.

The music equipment store:
The vacation house furnishings store and its pair of fish chairs:
Nothing odd about a brief race between friends on their sailboats:
We’re back in the Taxi watching the sunset out the front windshield….to end another day in paradise.


Around every bend in the road

When we were up this way two years ago, we took the Big Taxi through the Tunnel of Trees.

Sheesh, we were brave.

It’s 20 miles long, over pavement so narrow they don’t even paint a center line, past trees that grow so close to the road and so tall that they meet over the road.

With constant twists and turns as it endeavors to follow the bluff along the coastline above Lake Michigan.

Ahhh, but this time we have the Lil Taxi.

We’ve driven it several times already, and even have done some exploring of side roads.

One dirt road goes for several miles below the bluff, seemingly almost in the surf!

As you come around a corner, this lovely little church bursts into view:
What a delightful discovery!

However, a quick look at the lake caused us to gather up everything and everyone and get moving again, because we had left some windows open in the coach:
Shucks, no need for alarm, around the next bend the downpour stopped almost as soon as it started…..and we were greeted by this sight:


Gerald “Jerry” Herdman, 1929 to 2004
history professor, bricklayer/mason, fly fisherman, husband, father to two sons….my Dad:
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Dad in Erie_a

Claude Fell
lover of nature, creative, wonderful dad to three children, husband, grandpa….love you Dad! Robyn:
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By Robyn for Jared, Ross, and Ryan:
Doug Herdman
the best driver for this journey, awesome photographer & storyteller, caring dad for our three boys:

A day away….far, far away

We spent yesterday on Mackinac Island, and it couldn’t have been more perfect!

The morning had fog so thick we drove with headlights on, and the ferry navigated by radar and feel….

But within minutes of landing on the island, the fog burned off and sun shined brightly the rest of the day! Very light breeze, 69 degrees.

We took Ross and Ryan’s push chairs, and so could cover more ground smoothly. Or maybe grandly.

The focal point of the island seems to be the Grand Hotel. It works hard to live up to its name.

It occupies the high ground. Its front porch is the longest in the world. The fanciest carriages in town say Grand Hotel on them. The place is exquisitely maintained.

It’s just grand.

We spent time on its porch, ate lunch in one of its restaurants, and shot photos of its views…it was all grand!

But there is a lot more to the island….how best to see some of it?

We found the best way….a buggy and driver for the four of us!

We were able to tour just where we wanted, stop any time for a photo, and find out all we wanted from our pleasant, young driver. He’s been doing this for 6 years and lives year-round on the island.

Despite the slow pace of life on this island with no cars or trucks, the day flew past….we saw more than we could recall and enjoyed more than we could fully appreciate!

We arrived back in Petoskey right at sunset….and even it was grand!