Katie here. I know you can hardly stand waiting to hear all about my adventure, but I had to wait until mama trimmed my paws. You know how hard it is to type when your nails are too long.
Plus, we got home from our trip way last Friday but this is the first time I’ve been able to kick mama off her laptop long enough for me to write to all of you.
Sometimes mama forgets I’m the princess.
But other times, like last week, she does things just for me, like taking me camping in my tent but way up north instead of in my own backyard. I just love doing that. This time we went up into the thumb of Michigan, and camped at a Michigan State Park called Port Crescent.
Mama reserved our site way back in January, so that we could have a spot right on Saginaw Bay. It was awesome. OK, yes when we first arrived on Tuesday afternoon it was a trifle windy. So windy that mama wasn’t sure she’d be able to get the tent up by herself. I told her I wasn’t about to help her, as a princess doesn’t do manual labor.
She got it up but was afraid to try to put up the rain fly. She said that would be like handling a giant kite in a tornado.
Eventually the wind died down a little, plus it looked like rain, so mama gave it a shot and, using the wind to her advantage, got it up and over the tent. Turns out this made the wind try to lift the whole tent up into the air.
Mama got out the heavy duty stakes and pounded them deep into the ground.
Then she and I got inside the tent to help hold it down. The wind was amazing, making the tent walls shudder and the waves, only feet away, roar. Then on top of the wind and waves the rain began to pour down. Rain on a tent can be pretty relaxing, but not when it’s coming down sideways!
It was a pretty noisy night, but I slept through most of it. Mama said she stayed awake shivering and finally put on more socks and long underwear and her winter coat and a hat and mittens so that she could get some sleep around 1 a.m.
Guess mama isn’t built for cold. I thought it was the perfect sleeping temperature.
The next morning the wind had died down, the bay was calm when we ventured out about 5:30. I don’t know why mama was so grumpy, it was beautiful! She should thank me for getting her up to enjoy it.
We walked down to a little beach and looked at the water for a bit, then mama said after breakfast we were going to go visit Grindstone City. Well, I don’t know what that is, but I’m always up for an adventure.
Mama said it was a tiny town up on the very tip of Michigan’s thumb that used to make grindstones, and lots of the old grindstones are still up there scattered around. She’d been there twice before, once with my dad about 10 years ago, and once with her dad so many years ago she can’t count.
She was confident she knew where it was.
So off we went. First up we visited the marina at Port Austin, the town just up the road. It was really pretty, which, from a princess point of view isn’t always a good thing, cause mama makes me pose in front of a bunch of stuff. All the time. Boring mama!
Anyway, while we were there the fog blew in, and it blew in really fast! By the time we left you could hardly see anything. Mama, however, noticed a few barns as we drove further north looking for Grindstone City. She was so busy looking at the barns that she sort of lost track of where she was.
At one point she stopped to look at a map. I don’t know why she had to do that. I mean, I asked her, how hard can it be to find the furthest northern point of a thumb? It’s like right there on her hand, right? (Joke mama, joke!)
Mama said she thought we had gone too far in the fog and needed to turn around. So she was looking for a place to do that when she saw a sign for this.
It’s Pointe Aux Barques Lighthouse, built in 1847. In 1849 Catherine Shook became Michigan’s first female lighthouse keeper when her husband drowned. The current structure was built in 1857. It began to rain as we were exploring, so we didn’t stay long, but it was fun to walk around and imagine what it must have been like back in the day. The fog and rain made our imagination even more vivid!
Still, we hadn’t found Grindstone City! Mama referred to her map again and set off confidently. And this time she was right!
We pulled into town and stopped at one of only a few commercial buildings. Signs said the best ice cream in the world was served there, but it wasn’t open.
I wasn’t disappointed cause I never get ice cream anyway. Mama said it was OK because she was too cold and wet for a frozen treat.
So we headed off to look for a particular peninsula where she knew there used to be some abandoned grindstones. Plus when she was there with daddy years ago she had thought that I would like to explore it someday. And there, just around another corner was the place she remembered!
We pulled up and she noted that there were lots and lots of families of Canadian geese, complete with dozens of babies. She told me maybe we wouldn’t be walking out to the end of the point after all, as geese can be pretty aggressive when they’ve got the babies around. But as soon as she got me out of the car they all slid noisily into the water.
Guess they know not to get in the face of a princess.
So off we went. Mama liked this one tree across the way and spent a lot of time trying to get a shot of it. There were tons of swallows flying and she started laughing cause she couldn’t get a shot of the tree without a bird flying into the image.
I was too busy sniffing the ground, looking for grindstones to bother with birds. And way out at the end of the point I found one!
We spent a long time out there, mama found all sorts of things to photograph. And I liked being out in the wind and the fog and the rain. Kind of made my fur curly, but I figure it’s a look. Right?
Anyway, by the time we got back to camp I needed to take a long nap. Unfortunately our campsite had a whole bunch of wood chips that liked to stick to my fur. It didn’t bother me, but mama spent a lot of time sweeping out the tent and muttering.
Wednesday night mama slept in all her clothes including hat and mittens again. She actually googled for nearby hotels but there weren’t any. I, on the other hand, slept great.
Thursday morning I managed to let mama sleep until about 6. It was a beautiful morning and she was happy to see what she thought might be sun touching the tops of the trees. And soon we had evidence that finally we were going to have a nice warm sunny day. Perfect for camping even though it was our last day there.
We went south a little bit and explored the Albert E Sleeper state park. Mama hadn’t wanted to stay there because their campground is on the other side of the main road. Mama says it’s more fun to be right on the water.
I reminded her it probably would have been warmer at night to be in the woods instead of on the water, but she said the sun on the water Thursday was worth all those nasty nights of shivering.
No one was at the Sleeper state park at all. There were lots of trees and it was pretty…
..but there were also lots of signs like this. Which we ignored since no one was there.
We walked down to the beach and I got my picture sort of on it…without really touching their precious sand. I figured I’d rather just hang out at my campsite and watch the water instead of worrying about being busted breaking the no dog rule.
So that’s what we did.
And Thursday night there was the prettiest sunset. The people in the next site brought their kayaks and went out to enjoy the sunset. Of course mama took their picture ( a few dozen pictures actually) and she sent them the best shots yesterday.
She took a few of me too.
And then it was Friday morning and time for us to head home. I was sad, it was going to be another beautiful day and I didn’t want to leave. But mama said camping in the state parks on the weekends is just not fun, too many people, too much noise, and besides, she was sort of missing her bed at home.
I didn’t understand that exactly, cause I was sleeping in my own bed. Mama brought it with us, per my demand. Doesn’t matter to me where it is as long as mama is nearby.
Anyway mama packed up Friday morning, and I supervised. Then we took the long way home and mama took pictures of a few more barns.
We made it home in time for dinner, and then mama unpacked the car and did the laundry and put stuff away. I took a nap.
I’m ready for us to go again real soon, but mama says she might need to take a little break. She says it’s nice to sleep without putting on four layers of clothes, and huddle under three blankets. She also enjoys sleeping without sand and wood chips in her bed.
I don’t know why she looks at me when she says that.
So that’s the story of my adventure. We had a lot of fun, that last day of sunshine sort of eclipsed all the rain and wind and fog and cold. Almost. I hope our next adventure is a little bit warmer, but not too warm. You know how a sheltie princess enjoys being cool.
Mama will just have to suck it up.