Ok, so the Big News......we have gone to contract on the house on Long Island! I didn't want to say anything before the papers were signed, but that happened yesterday, after about three weeks of back and forth, having two bidders at the same time, inspections and much discussion. We're excited and sad at the same time. Its hard to let go of the home you've lived in for over thirty years. Yes, we've already pared our actual possessions down since we're already on the road, but its now reality that when we go back to the island the end of September, it will be the last time that it is our house. So our visit will be very busy with the final packing, and moving our possessions and family to their Florida destination. There will also be a lot of visiting to be done, and of course, fishing for Al! I will be very happy to see my pussy cat again I miss him terribly!
What have we been doing here? Not too much, besides working and living :-). We're kind of hitting the dog days of August, its on the quiet side during the week, and busy on the weekends. Al did have an encounter with the "ghost of the Cromaine" late one night when he was working. The motion sensor alarms went off in the Cromaine Hall where the weddings are held late one stormy night. He went down to investigate, and found everything locked up tight, but when he walked in and flipped on the light, it flashed and blew out. He continued walking through the hall, checking windows and doors, but everything was all locked up, and he said he started to feel a tingling on the back of his neck, like someone was watching him, but when he whipped around, no-one was there. There is a old-time rumor that the building has a ghost, so as he re-locked it and left, he told the empty space to stop the nonsense and behave itself! Apparently it listened, there were no more alarms that night :-). Later in the week, however, I think it was Friday night, they got a call to come down to the wedding, there was a bat dive-bombing the dancers on the dance floor! I imagine the "ghost" may have been the bat in there, and he decided to join the revelry during the wedding. he was rounded up and sent back outdoors. Those kids will have an interesting story to tell about their wedding :-).
Thursday was our day off last week, and after Al played a round of golf with Bill and Shirly (workampers in the housekeeping department), we took a ride to Grand Ledge, about an hour west of here. The Grand River, which starts in Detroit and winds its way across the state to its terminus in Grand Rapids, created an interesting geological feature in the area of Grand Ledge. The river cut a path through the ancient sandstone, and left behind ledges of rock that rise 60 feet above the shoreline. There's a park, Fitzgerald Park, right along the river, with several walking trails, one along the river called The Ledges Trail, and then a network of trails through the woodlands.
The trail runs along the river with the stone face to your right as you walk down the trail
It was a cloudy day, but this exposed cliff shows the colored striations in the rock
The rocks are covered with mosses and lichens. It's very shady and damp along here
I thought it was interesting how these huge trees grew right along the rock, with their roots spread out across the ledge
This barn was built by spiritualists who settled in the area in 1894, drawn to the ledges and their supposed spirituality. It remains here in the park, used as a playhouse for the local theatre company now.
Chelsea is having a good roll on the grass after going for a swim in the river. She loves to flop and roll in the grass!
It was still early in the afternoon, so we drove another half hour west to the town of Lowell, where there's a county park called Fallasburg Park, with a covered bridge that is still in use. The GPS took us there via quite the interesting route :-), but we made it to the bridge and drove across it.
The sun was finally starting to peek through the cloud cover, so I was able to get a very nice picture of the bridge
The truss work inside the bridge
The view down river from the bridge
We continued down the road a bit, and came to the entrance of the day use area. The town of Fallasburg is actually a "ghost town". Immigrants from upstate New York had moved to the area in 1837, and set up a saw mill, a grist mill, and a chair factory. A whole settlement developed, but when the train depot was put in several miles south in Lowell, business dried up and the settlement died out. Today, several of the old buildings are still standing, and the township is purchasing them as they raise money and restoring them. The surrounding lands are a very nice park, with beautiful grounds, picnic areas, a ball field, and several spots to put your canoe or kayak in the river for a lovely paddle.
One of the creek off-shoots of the Flat River, which flows through the park
Casey and Chelsea enjoying a wade through the creek
This dragonfly was very obliging for me, sitting still on one of the leaves in the creek, and opening up his wings for display. It isn't often that I've seen the dragonflies sit still!
That was pretty much all the adventure we had last week. This week we both have all day Wednesday and Thursday off, so we are packing up the pups and taking a short road trip to Silver Lake and Ludington State Park over to the west on Lake Michigan. There will be more sand dune pictures coming up, and perhaps some water adventures with our boat on the canoe trail in the state park. Stay cool, wherever you are, and we'll see you soon!