We left Indiana a little before 10 AM and almost 12 hours later we finally arrived at our cabin at Au Train Beach, Michigan. It’s always a bit of a step of faith when you rent a cabin through a site like air bnb or vrbo. We loved it instantly! Our cabin was so homey and comfortable- it be will a great home away from home for the next week.
Our cabin in Au Train beach is located about halfway across Michigan’s upper peninsula. With all the graduation preparation the week before this was not our best planned vacation ever. We hadn’t booked specific activity reservation or made a list of things we wanted to do. Last summer we visited the Pictured Rocks area of the Upper Peninsula and liked it so much we decided to come back this year. Our plan was to hike, bike, kayak, fish (for the boys), relax and have fun.
The best way to start the day when you’re on vacation is a walk on the beach. And that’s exactly what I did! The beach was right across the road from our cabin so I grabbed an apple and headed out. It was wonderful! I walked nearly a mile down the beach enjoying watching the surf and enjoying the sand beneath my feet. As I walked back, I noticed birds that looked like swallows flitting about in large groups. Then I noticed they made holes/nest right in the side of the sand cliffs! I was amazed and impressed. I also saw two fishing barges heading out for the day–something you never see in Indiana.
Joe, my husband, was really looking forward to a chartered sailboat trip on Lake Superior. They website was great , but when he called to book a trip he learned learn they no longer operated that business. Unfortunately, there wasn’t any other business like that in the area, so on to plan B….
So the sail boat trip was out. We tossed around hiking on the Grand Island, biking to nearby Christmas, Michigan, and finally settled on kayaking. We walked the short distance down our road and rented a third kayak for the week from Da Yak Shak, then gathered our gear to set out on a 3 hour kayak trip down Au Train river. The kayak rental place shuttled us and all 3 kayaks down the river to the launch point, gave us some tips from their experience and we launched.
It was so peaceful and beautiful! Nothing but the sounds of nature, surrounded by the beauty of God’s creation. As we began our trip down the river we saw a male mallard duck who flew ahead of us for a bit. The birds were chirping. Bullfrogs calling back and forth to each other on either side of us, made it sound like a symphony. Less than fifteen minutes into our trip and I said “I wasn’t driving, but the kayaks were so worth it!”
As we traveled on down the river we saw some turtles sunning themselves, a couple of huge ravens, that prompted a discussion of Edgar Allen Poe and high school literature, and maybe just a few tiny minnows. Joe expected to see a lot of fish, you know since we were on a river, but fish were surprisingly absent.
We also saw trees laying down in the river all along the way. The sandy soil slowly eroded and eventually the roots completely gave way. I wondered if the trees gradually laid down into the river or if the soil gave way all at once and they fell down with a splash. In contrast we also saw trees that had trunks growing out over the water and then up making an L shape. It made me think about how God has planted the will to live in all of His creation.
There were a few beachy areas along the river so a little over halfway through our trip we stopped for a much needed break and a picnic lunch. We climbed to the top of the sand cliff that faced the beach and sat down on the sandy soil of Hiawatha National Forest. After a restful lunch break we finished up our trip and headed home. To rest some more….
The guys wanted some of the UP’s famous pasties for supper so we set out on a quest to find some, which eventually landed us in Munising. I’m NOT a fan of pasties so we got creative. The boys got fabulous pasties at Miner’s Pasty Kitchen under the Interpretive Center and then joined me at Picture Rocks pizza. We ate out on the patio where they enjoyed their pasties and sodas from the pizza place as well as a slice or two of pizza.
After all the calories we’d burned kayaking and walking ice cream was in order. We went back to Miners Pasties and Ice Cream where they served amazing ice cream in amusing bowls. I highly recommend the Kitty Kitty Bang Band and Gabe loved the Mackinac Fudge ice cream. It was a very good day!
If you missed yesterdays blog post check it out here to learn about our oh so slow travels up north! We’re Off for a week in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula . The next blog post in this series will be Tuesday and include pictures from a boat tour and a lighthouse.
Au Train Beach
I was fascinated with the designs the water left on the sand. We lived near the Atlantic Ocean when I was five and that inspired and life long love of the water, the way it moves and shapes what it touches.
The view of Grand Island from Au Train Beach. More importantly, my guy! He’s the best! He’s wearing the camera bag and holding my sandals so I can shoot. Love hims so much!
The “nest” holes from the birds
My guys, missing our daughter who couldn’t make it this year.
I found it interesting how you can even see the ridges in the sand under the water.
Cell phone pictures from our fun in Munising. The Kitty Kitty Bang Bang was fabulous! Cheesecake ice cream with ribbons of raspberry and chunks of chocolate! The nutritional information on the bowl was hilarious!
Because the blog post has to end with a pretty picture. 🙂 The beach right across the road from our Cabin at Au Train Beach.
To help you plan your own visit to Michigan’s Upper Peninsula you can learn more about the places we visited through the links below.
If you’re a bride check out the Simply Seeking Photography Wedding Experience
Seniors check out the Simply Seeking Photography Senior Experience
More posts in this series: