Sunday, August 9, 2009

Shore Line West Tour

This week was a pretty huge week for us. Ryan completed the Shoreline West Bike Tour where he biked from Traverse City to Mackinaw City. While he was biking, my mom, Keira, Soren, and I hung out at the Great Wolf Lodge and went to Sleeping Bear Dunes.

The fun/madness didn't start until Wednesday, so Monday was a fairly normal day for us, which meant shopping at the mall followed by an evening trip to Maybury.

On Tuesday, we went to see/hear Linda Day tell stories at Linda/Nana's school. Keira really enjoyed the stories, and Soren stood by himself for quite some time.

Keira and Soren also really liked these adirondack chairs. Soren looked much happier before the camera was around.

Additionally, I was able to squeeze in some "real" swimming with Cristina out at Island Lake thanks to my mom holding down the fort.

Wednesday was the day of our trip, and it started off for me at the doctor for a check up, but Soren had a horribly runny nose, so I dragged him along with me. Fortunately, my dr wasn't terribly concerned about him, so we were good to start the drive to Traverse City. My mom, Keira, Soren, and I all rode together while Ryan, Kent, and David came up separate. The drive was a bit stressful, with potty stops being a major concern. We had to skip Birch Run because everyone was asleep and we didn't dare disturb the silence in the car and pushed on until Midland. The kids were pretty loud, and we happened to be able to exit the freeway at a mall that had a play area. This was a great opportunity for both Keira and Soren to run around a bit and burn off some energy before returning to the car for another while.

One we arrived at Great Wolf Lodge, we wasted no time getting over to the waterpark. It was really fun, however Keira was fairly content to stay in the baby pool area. She did eventually decide to come on the lazy river with me, and really enjoyed it. Soren also really liked just floating along in the water. Neither would go near the bucket that dumped, but both like to watch it.

That night we met up with the guys for dinner at the Fresh Water Lodge for a great dinner.

On Thursday, the guys started their tour by riding 60 miles to Charlevoix. Charlevoix had these cool mushroom houses. This is the camp in Charlevoix.
Mushroom Houses:

Ryan and David

While the guys were riding, Keira and I hit the waterpark for a bit while Soren napped, and then we took the extreme scenic route to Sleeping Bear Dunes, taking an accidental tour of the Leelanau Penninsula. We made a quick stop at a beach in Glen Haven.

Next, we went to the Dune Hike which is part of the national park. It was amazing, but the dunes keep going forever. I think there are 7 dunes to hike over before you get to Lake Michigan. Soren and I hiked one dune or so past where you could see Lake Michigan, and then returned to sit with Keira who was "stuck" halfway up the first dune while my mom went ahead. Keira eventually decided to come down, but needed to be carried part of the way. I am sure I was quite the sight with Keira in my arms and Soren on my back.

After the dune hike, we continued on to the Peirce Stocking Scenic drive. We didn't stop at all the areas due to time constraints, but we were able to stop at a few and catch some amazing views of the dunes and Lake Michigan. We were also able to see the "sleeping bear", which doesn't really resemble a bear anymore due to errosion.

The "sleeping bear" is the dark area just to the right of Keira through the fence.

We got back just in time to catch the storytime in the lobby. Keira didn't like Wiley Wolf, but Soren didn't mind him. The animals around the clock sang and then a staff member read a bedtime story. We did this on two nights.

On Friday, the guys rode about 52 miles to Harbor Springs. They took a detour from the tour route to ride up a section of road known as "the wall". It started out at 6% grade and then shot up to an 18% grade. This is Kent coming up the wall.
Kent, Ryan, and David at the top of the wall.
Harbor Springs
The guys did a recovery ride around Harbor Springs and took some shots of the HUGE houses along the water.

Self Portrait of David and Ryan.

The camp at Harbor Springs.

We stuck around Traverse City today enjoying the waterpark and the city. We spent the morning at the waterpark. I was able to try out the slides today, and they were very fun. We couldn't get Keira to do any slides. I sent her down one on Thursday, and that was the end of slides.

These shots show the cool "Wolf Den" room that we stayed in with bunk beds for Keira in their own cubby. It had a TV and game controller, but we didn't use those.

We also walked around Traverse City where they were having a large sidewalk sale and then got dinner at North Peak. After dinner, we walked around one of the marinas.

Saturday was a rainy day, and the guys rode into Mackinaw City. We packed up and headed over there to meet them. It was quite the ordeal to pack up the vehicles, and it was amazing that we got everything in, considering that my mom had dropped off my dad and his friend Don earlier in the week and essentially had 3 carloads of people up there, but only 2 vehicles going back. Our car, which now contained me, Ryan, Keira, Soren, Kent, and David, had lunch in Mackinaw City at the Dixie Saloon while my parents and Don drove back in their car with most of our luggage and got right on the road. My Dad, David, Kent, Ryan, and Don.

We fortunately had an uneventful drive back. Unfortunately, almost as soon as I walked in the front door, Soren made a beeline for the stairs and of course fell down them, but this time bit his lip and bloodied his face. The poor little dude had such a puffy mouth! He just got his first of his 2 front teeth. Too bad that couldn't have waited a couple days. Fortunately, he wasn't seriously injured, but it added to the stress of the weekend.

Needless to say, Sunday was a restful day. I am not sure what next week will hold, but I am sure we will be doing some training for my upcoming tri and Maybury TT.

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