Kyle and Naomi, blessings as you start your life together!
Kyle and Naomi, blessings as you start your life together!
We experienced another Pure Michigan bike trail this week. The Sleeping Bear Heritage Trail just opened last year. It is about 4 miles long and there are plans to extend it 23 more miles in the near future.
Our ride took us from the Dune climb 2 miles south of Glen Haven to just past Glen Arbor.
The first leg of the ride quickly leads from the stark beauty of the massive dunes into a cool forested area. It is a fairly easy ride. There is some elevation change, but nothing a single-speed can't handle.
I was surprised to see so many people walking the trail. I think the foot traffic comes from the near by camp grounds. Campers hike to the dune climb via the bike trail. The combination of the hikers and bikers made for a lively ride at this point.
Two miles into the trail we came upon Glen Haven. The entire village is a museum now. Its history encompasses the lumber industry, shipping, orchards, canning, and even recreation. Mr. D.H. Day was a founding character and instrumental in the town's success. His name is well known throughout the area. Of course, the crown jewel of Glen Haven is its beautiful beach on Lake Michigan.
As we left Glen Haven we rode through a campground with a few paths leading to the beach. So we parked our bikes for a moment and walked through the trees to the water. The forested beach was striking.
The path got a little confusing after the campground. It hit a road at one point, which meant we were sharing the road with cars for about 200 yards.
We crossed M-109 and headed onto a very peaceful path. Here we met very little bike or pedestrian traffic.
We found the end of the trail at a parking area on M-22. It's very convenient and well placed.
The beach at the end of M-22 was worth the ride even if it was too cold to swim.
We hoped to enjoy lunch at Art's Tavern. Unfortunately, it had a very long wait. We tried out Boone Dock's instead and found out why they did not have a wait. The meal was just OK and it didn't hold a candle to Art's Tavern. Next time we will wait.
The blog has been a bit neglected lately. We've been remiss, slackers, cyber-bums, etc. But as usual, excuses are plentiful! Here are 10 reasons that the blog has been a bit slow:
10. We finally took the plunge and bought a Nikon D60 last weekend. For the first 24 hours we just stared at it. And the user manuals. It's been at least as distracting as a new puppy.
9. With our newfound equipment, we decided to enter the professional arena. We signed up for an account on Shutterstock. Then we snapped the required ten pictures and sent them off, confident in our photographic prowess. 48 hours later all ten pictures were rejected. Not one, not five, but all ten. Perhaps we'll keep our pictures within the confines of Bona Vita where we can rest comfortably, self-deceived about our abilities.
8. Elliot returned from college and then turned around and left on a mission trip to Nicaragua. The resulting laundry/unpacking/laundry/packing flurry was almost as distracting as the camera.
7. Memorial Day Weekend. Not as much a celebratory barbecue as a frantic pre-vacation three-day spring-cleaning plant-the-garden-in-an-afternoon event.
6. It's the last week of school. Need I say more?
5. Mom's slightly obsessive tendencies result in a desperate need to force her children to finish every single last page of every single textbook. The last week of school is both eventful and emotional as a result.
4. Seven National Piano Guild auditions, one SAT subject test in Latin, one freshman pre-registration, one senior piano recital, and standardized achievement testing all fell into the same fourteen-day period.
3. The family van is dying. After 220,000 miles, it's making strange noises. Groaning, grunting, grinding. It doesn't accelerate like it used to. It has also been attacked by rust, that malicious culprit that seems to take joy in destroying cars, especially those originating in Michigan. However, Mom and the mechanic are conspiring together to force one more year of miles out of the van.
2. Our first set of guests. We've been preparing our Michigan home for our first set of vacation renters.
1. Frantic planning and packing for summer vacation that solidified not a moment too soon. More on that coming soon. So what are your excuses? Why does preparing for a relaxing summer take so much energy?
This is a guest post by my eldest daughter, Emily. My disclaimer: Take everything with a grain of salt . . .
My mother's skills abound. She is an extraordinary cook, a charming hostess, and a tasteful decorator. However, I think the time has come for truth to prevail. Contrary to common misconception, domestic catastrophe is never far away.
For every Lucious Lemon Cake, there is a discarded disaster. To top this off, Mom holds tightly to an aggravating habit of remaining in sweats up until 30 minutes before guests are scheduled to arrive. I've tried to break this terrifying habit, but it's hopeless.
Her taste is generally impeccable, but there was that time that she painted tiger stripes on the living room bookshelf. It was awful. Fortunately, my brother's brutal honesty saved our reputation and decor.
Lately, she has, to the consternation of her already-intimidated friends and family, also discovered her love and talent for photography. However, the pictures which effortlessly grace the pages of Bona Vita, frankly, hide a dark secret.
Several dozen shots have been discarded for every lovely photo published. Mom, having never mastered the over-achiever within, is an obsessive editor. I have padded sleepily into the kitchen on many a dark and snowy morning to find Mom holding out a camera. "Emily, can you upload these really quickly?" Three hours later, we're still tweaking.
Fortunately, what works for my mom is Paint.net. Paint.net was designed by some brilliant undergraduate students. These students will have my (and my mother's) eternal gratitude. This program makes editing, tweaking, and enhancing photos enjoyable and simple. (For others, the process might even be faster). It has several attractive aspects:
How, exactly, does Photo.net enhance Mom's photography? The following is an example. Here is an unmodified picture, hot off the press:
And here is a modified version:
Here's another example:
Here is the "Photo-netified" version:
You see? The originals are really quite . . . . normal. The magic lies in the editing. For more tips, tricks, and secrets revealed, visit Works for Me Wednesday at Rocks in My Dryer. "No legacy is so rich as honesty." - William Shakespeare Emily Adams is the oldest daughter of Kathy Adams and a 2007 graduate of Belhaven College. She is a freelance writer and offers classes for homeschooled students through Alethea Academy when not uploading pictures for Bona Vita.