Michigan

Adventures with a Dragon

Adventures with a Dragon

Michigan's Dragon Trail at Hardy Dam Once complete, this ambitious project will feature 47 miles of professionally-built single-track trail around Hardy Dam Lake designed for mountain biking, hiking, or running experiences. Current status, 24 miles and rolling, that’s...

Beachy Backcountry (Sleeping Bear Dunes)

Beachy Backcountry (Sleeping Bear Dunes)

It was the first time in five years that we did not get rained or stormed on, huddled in a tent or hammock! This annual learning-journey tradition continues to churn out memorable moments. Josh and I (Uncle Josh and Aunt Laura) guide our nieces and nephews (ages 7 to...

Girls Go Golfing (Otsego Resort, MI)

Girls Go Golfing (Otsego Resort, MI)

What’s better than a guys’ golf weekend?  A girls’ golf weekend, in Gaylord, at Otsego Resort.  Sometimes, I put away my bike and padded shorts in favor of a collared shirt and matching skort, armed with a bag full of irons, wedges, and woods. You’ll need...

Dunmaglas, Pure Michigan Golf

Dunmaglas, Pure Michigan Golf

Dunmaglas is a Scottish phrase, the battle cry of a clan, in fact. The golf course in Charlevoix, Michigan, is aptly named and gives some indication of expectations. Pro Tip: Don't head into battle unless you are prepared for it. The naturally undulating and forested...

All Trails Lead to Beer (Michigan)

All Trails Lead to Beer (Michigan)

In Michigan, mountain bike trail expansion projects are in progress all over the state. The pandemic has spurred a rapidly expanding sport, and riders are eager to get outdoors and explore. Bikers have a thirst for adventure, so typically, they seek single track…....

Rope Swing and a Crime Scene

Rope Swing and a Crime Scene

Backpacking the Silver Creek Pathway along the Pine River (Luther, Michigan) We always emphasize the annual niece/nephew backpacking trip is a learning journey. It’s a weekend in Michigan to gain some backcountry and independent skills like setting up a tent or...

Spring Thaw Pedal

Spring Thaw Pedal

Drip…. Drip…. Drip…. I am in my office, tapping keys to the rhythm of the snowmelt dripping off the roof and soaking into the saturated ground. The birds are back, too, even Mr. and Mrs. Cardinal. Their calls mix in with the drip, and a chorus begins, announcing the...

Michigan (The Great Beer and Bike State)

Michigan (The Great Beer and Bike State)

Trail usage is on the rise for runners, hikers, and bikers of all levels… especially the mountain bike niche. Dirt shredders and their two-wheeled creatures have come out of their homes from the COVID coop-up ready to roll. Trail builders, DMO’s (Destination...

Rugged Luxury (Michigan’s Upper Peninsula)

Rugged Luxury (Michigan’s Upper Peninsula)

Lake Superior whipped up a September gale and slowed the RV down considerably as we made our way across the Mackinaw Bridge, to Marquette then to Copper Harbor at the tip of the Keweenaw Peninsula. Four important appendages (mountain bikes) were racked on the back of...

Poop in a Group (Backpacking the Manistee River Trail)

Poop in a Group (Backpacking the Manistee River Trail)

It was the first time in three years that we did not have severe weather to contend with on the annual nieces and nephews’ backpacking adventure. There were, however, plenty of other happenings that keep the drama and laugh meter high. We added another nephew to the...

Outside = OPEN (Learn to travel local)

Outside = OPEN (Learn to travel local)

Travel, road trips, and vacation planning have all taken a detour from our usual route. As May pushes into June and almost three months of the COVID Stay Home/Stay Safe order in Michigan, the travel pivot will continue. A staycation has become a bad word because we've...

Michigan Mountain Biking

Michigan Mountain Biking

Is Michigan one of the Midwest's premier mountain bike destinations? Yes, but only if you are willing to cross the bridge to the U.P. the much wilder peninsula. The U.P. is home to two IMBA (International Mountain Biking Association) ride centers, one in Marquette and...

7 Soggy Buns

7 Soggy Buns

We billed it as a "learning journey," so the kids would be exposed to backcountry camping, the kind where you hike in your gear and poop in the woods. We chose Nordhouse Dunes Wilderness with beach access to Lake Michigan just north of Ludington. Perhaps the excessive...

In the Mitten, Bike Beerventures

In the Mitten, Bike Beerventures

The Holmes & Watson Beerventure quest continues. Admittedly after hitting the 100 mark, the next phase seemed daunting. Michigan craft breweries pop up like springtime morels and it seems improbable to make a dent in visiting the almost 300 in the Great Lake...

BIKEpack Detour

BIKEpack Detour

BACKpacking = Strap 30 pounds to your back and go hike/camp in the woods. BIKEpacking = Strap equal amount of poundage to either you and your bike and pedal into the woods. Sounds like an easy transition right? Except for the gear that needs to fit in exceptionally...

Approaching 100

Approaching 100

A pint of craft beer is on average 200 - 250 calories. So there’s a pork chop in every beer, perhaps a club sandwich as a point of measurement. Despite the caloric intake, the Holmes & Watson Bike and Beerventures churn on. There is no chance we are going back to...

Finding Professor Pokey Peter Patterson on the MRT

Finding Professor Pokey Peter Patterson on the MRT

At the Upper River Road trailhead, the kiosk noted that the Red Bridge was closed to both cars and hikers. We set off hopeful an alternate would be available. A hard-hat clad worker informed us that hikers are not allowed to walk the beams that connected the bridge...

Close Encounters With Color

Close Encounters With Color

There are plenty of above 50 temps left in October (possibly November) to get on the bike and pedal this fall. My rule, although not scientific, is sound advice on when/how/where to bike. If it’s 45 degrees, it will feel like 40 on your road bike with more speed and...

Tourist In Your Own Town

Tourist In Your Own Town

Most people tell me they don’t travel because of time and money. My gut tells me the real problem is defining what constitutes travel. What is it? What’s considered a vacation and where do you have to go to find a break from the routine? Not far as it turns out. I...

Beercation II

Beercation II

Back in July, our beer research in Michigan totaled 30 visits of 205 breweries in the state. See Beercation in the Mitten blog. It’s now Dec. 1st, Josh and I have more progress to report traversing the Mitten in search of good suds. Our tally stands at 47 of 205, up...

Bike, Beer & a Bible Licker

Bike, Beer & a Bible Licker

A U.P. wedding was bookended by two epic days on two wheels, a successful waterfall hunt, Lake Superior views and visits to craft breweries. Josh’s friends, Leah & Chris tied the knot at Messiah Lutheran in downtown Marquette on a sunny Saturday afternoon in...

Beercation in the Mitten

Beercation in the Mitten

We like to bike. We believe in earning our drink. We both like to drink craft beer. We live 30 miles west of Grand Rapids, Michigan. Michigan’s third coast is a perfect beer and bike playground. Beer sales are on the rise in Michigan and the Brewers Association shows...

Hunting Elk

Hunting Elk

There are plenty of campportunities in Michigan for alone-time in the woods. There’s a gem in the heart of the lower-peninsula, called Pigeon River Country, just east of Gaylord. The area is home to an expansive State Forest of 105,000 acres and the Midwest’s only...

Superior Views

Superior Views

The view from the Rock Cut Cabin was pristine – Lake Superior stretched out beyond our sight, golden eagles soared overhead, thimbleberry bushes lined the driveway, a rock-face bordered the fire pit, with two perfectly placed Adirondack lounge chairs, while waves...