My adventures in the woods, streams, rivers, fields, and lakes of Michigan

Two more weeks

Just two more weeks, a long 14 days, and I will be spending a week of vacation in God’s country. I mounted the kayak carrier on my vehicle this afternoon, and I am taking a break from making a list and rounding things up that I want to be sure not to forget. Little things, like the brochure from the Little Traverse Conservancy that lists some of their major reserves, so if the fly fishing isn’t good, I’ll go exploring. Heck, I’m going to do that anyway, I always do, and the LTC has several preserves on the Pigeon River, so at least one or two days will be spent fishing the Pigeon in those preserves. That’s farther downstream than I normally go, but it is still God’s country, and I’ll be worshiping at the Church of the Clear Flowing Water.

I hope that no one is offended by that, because I am not trying to be funny or disrespectful, it is the way I truly feel. There is no time that I feel closer to God than when I am in and part of this wonderful world that He created for us. As Tony Blake said, “Some go to church and think about fishing, others go fishing and think about God.”, you can put me in the latter. The Church of the Clear Flowing Water has no walls, no ceiling. That’s part of the beauty of it, it has no boundaries, it is limitless, it is everywhere I go. The Church of the Clear Flowing Water does have a choir, hundreds of birds singing from the trees and bushes on the river banks. And, they are accompanied by the wind in the leaves, and the gurgling of the river itself, the most beautiful music one could ever wish to hear. And the minister at the Church of the Clear Flowing Water is God Himself, ably assisted by His son, Jesus Christ.

Despite that, it will be a bittersweet week for me, I will be staying at Round Lake State Forest Campground, the week before it is scheduled to close. I sure hope that the closing is temporary, it is my favorite campground in the state of Michigan. It’s funny, the state can spend $50 million on the Pure Michigan ad campaign, but they can’t spend $300,000 to keep the campgrounds open that are being closed, so there will be a place for people to camp if they’re drawn here by the ads.

Enough with the negativity, I am getting pumped! Packing will be fairly easy, everything for camping, kayaking, and fishing is stored in the closet of the 2nd bedroom in my apartment, and the gear is all packed for the most part. All I have to do is lug it down three flights of stairs. I’ll start that the week after next, taking some of the stuff down with me everyday when I go to work. All I really have to pack is food, and this time I am going to do it right. I say that every time, and end up with too much food. When I’m up there, I don’t have time to cook or do dishes, so many places to go, so many things to see, so many fish to catch, and release.

That may be the most remarkable thing about the time I spend up there, I am always on the go doing something, but I never feel rushed, never feel pressure. I do what I want, when I want, and at my own pace. I’ll be up at first light, fire up the stove to make coffee, and while it’s brewing, I’ll begin to get a feel for the day. While I’m drinking my coffee, I’ll decide what I am going to do that day, depending on my mood, and the weather. While I am finishing the second cup of coffee, I’ll clean the coffee pot and get it ready for the next morning, and then I am off. If the fish aren’t biting at the first place I try, I’ll try somewhere else. If the wind is making fly fishing impossible, I’ll go exploring parts of the Pigeon River Country I’ve never been to yet. If I feel like a nap on a warm, sunny, spring afternoon, I’ll find a nice mossy spot and snooze for a while. I normally get back to the campground just as it is getting too dark to see anymore, and I’ll make a sandwich and listen to the owls, coyotes, and whippoorwills as I drift off to sleep. That’s what I call living.

I may not see another human being for the entire week, but I will probably run in to the town of Wolverine one or two evenings to grab something to eat at Muldoon’s Saloon, check my Email and voice mail, and download all the pictures I have taken onto my computer. I have to go into town, there is no electricity, and no cell phone service, anywhere in the Pigeon River Country. That way I can keep track of time at least somewhat. One year I came home a day early because I had completely lost track of what day it was, and I was worried I would miss a day of work.

This year will be a little different anyway, as I will stay in a motel the last night I am up there. Some friends are going to meet me on the last Sunday to kayak the south branch of the Au Sable, so I will stay in a motel where there is a shower, I am sure my friends will appreciate that. The kayaking trip will be the perfect way to close out a perfect week.

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