AUGUST--Bozeman, Montana to Pentwater, Michigan

Still in Bozeman enjoying day hikes. Anne (Carl's sister), Carl and I hiked South Cottonwood Creek Trail.on August 1. Several options on this trail so that you can hike up to 12 miles round-trip depending on where you want to turn around. There are also trails that branch off and connect to other trails in the Hyalite Canyon. To start, you hike through a pine forest walking up switchbacks to quickly gain 500 feet in elevation. Next a gradual descent into a meadow that crisscrosses South Cottonwood Creek. At times we were in wide open meadows--only a few wildflowers because most flowers were long past their prime. Hoped to hike to a small Forest Service Cabin but turned around just short of our goal. Later in the afternoon we attended a concert at the Bozeman Library. The band, the Hooligans, played a tribute to the late Jerry Garcia on what would have been his 68th birthday. The concert was a great event for families---blankets laid out on the lawn, kids dancing to the music, everyone totally enjoying themselves. Lots of tie dyed tee shirts. Carl's niece, Jesse, brought her daughters Elle and baby Lucia to the concert. About 90 minutes into the concert a quick but nasty windstorm blew through--which included small hail .The crowd gathered up their belongings and ran for the library until the storm was over, the sun came out and the band started back up. Elle loved getting wet in the rain and then getting back outside to pick up the hail. Simple pleasures for a happy girl.

Below are pictures taken during the South Cottonwood Trail hike. On the left is Carl and I taking a break at the end of the trail. The picture on the right is Anne and I standing on one of the log bridges.

Monday was the traditional "Family Dinner Night". For the past three years when we visit Anne in Bozeman, we have sponsored a Family Dinner. Carl and I make dinner and invite family members who are in town for dinner. Two years ago, our nephew Eric, who works at Spanish Peaks came for dinner. Last year, our nephew Jerome was back in Bozeman from New York City so he attended Family Dinner Night. Jesse, Patrick and Mary (Patrick's Mom) have attended all three years. Carl grilled salmon which was served with mashed potatoes and red bell pepper sauce. Finished off dinner with a light orange yogurt dessert.

Family Dinner Night--on the left is Elle chasing the bubbles coming from a bubble machine that Anne bought at a garage sale. On the right is Jesse, Patrick and Lucia. Yes, Elle is in the background playing with her toys.

Tuesday morning, Anne, Carl and I were ready for another vigorous hike---the Emerald Lake Trail in the Hyalite Canyon (12 miles with an elevation gain of 2000 feet). The trail runs next to East Fork Hyalite Creek. 1.5 miles up the trail you find Horsetail Falls a beautiful site. Continuing on, you come to 10 switchbacks for an elevation gain of 400 feet in less than a half mile (at the second switchback is a 60 foot waterfall). There is a fantastic view of the canyon at the top of the switchbacks--great place to catch your breath while you take in the breath taking view! At this point, the trail levels for a short walk through an open meadow followed by four more switchbacks when you finally can see Emerald Lake. We passed Emerald Lake to walk another mile up to Heather Lake located in a cirque at the base of 10,000 foot peaks. Here we finally sat down to rest, rehydrate and enjoy lunch and swat nasty horseflies. What a beautiful hike---time to turn around and return along the same route with a brief stop at Emerald Lake.

The four pictures below were taken during the Emerald Lake hike all at the top which is at Heather Lake.

Looked for a moderate hike to take on Wednesday---needed our muscles to recover and had to be rested up to enjoy our Wednesday night activities. Selected Leverich Canyon---an outstanding hike. This trail has been redone---it is now a loop and the portion from 12:00 to 6:00 (on a clock) is now designed as a downhill run for mountain bikes with banked curves and numerous jumps. The views on this hike are fabulous. Met several mountain bikers and two day care center teachers with about 6-8 small kids. Would not have wanted responsibility for the safety of those kids.

The next set of pictures are from our Leverich Canyon Hike. Picture one shows just one of the fantastics views. Picture two is Carl and Anne when we reached the top of the loop. Picture three is Carl and I enjoying the downhill side of the loop. Note the well groomed trail for the Mountain Bikes. The last picture is a posted sign that I did not notice until we completed our hike. Remember those kids I mentioned with their daycare teachers. These kids are great pickings for mountain lions.


The Wednesday night activity we needed to be rested for was "The Bite of Bozeman" on Main Street. Food and drinks available from about 40 vendors. Anne, Carl and I met Eric and Kate who drove into Bozeman for the event from Spanish Peaks (Big Sky). Eric is Carl's nephew and also our god child. Oh he is such a handsome and sweet kid. Kate is Eric's girlfriend---she is a wonderful person. Main Street was packed and the lines for the good food were too long so we went to Starky's for beer and food. By the way, Starky's has great sweet potato fries. At Starky's, we called Jesse to tell them her where we were. Mentioned to her that it was quiet at Starky's and we were enjoying some great conversation so Jesse, Patrick, Mary, Elle and Lucia joined us. It really was too bad that "The Bite of Bozeman" is so successful that the lines are too long to wait for the food.

Pictured on the left is Carl's nephew, Eric, and Eric's girlfriend, Kate. On the right is one of many bands playing during "The Bite of Bozeman". Don't know the name of the band but they were great. The drummer had huge mutton chop sideburns and the lead singer/lead guitar player was a little kooky but very good.

Thursday would be our last hike in the Bozeman area for the year. Going back to last year, Carl said the hike from Sypes Canyon to the M on the Bridger Foothills National Recreation Trail was his favorite hike. Well----the best hike was saved till last! The trail starts with a climb up the north wall of the canyon above Sypes Creek until you reach a ridge where you finally descend a rock wall into the forested canyon. Next you cross the creek to the south side of the canyon and hike up the nicely shaded series of switchbacks (greatly appreciated on a hot sunny day). At the top of the switchback is a saddle where we sat on the log for a view of Bozeman and the Madison Mountain Range. After our rest, we hiked a mile to reach the junction with the Bridger National Recreation Trail. At the junction, we started the descent into the Lyman Creek Canyon. This part of the trail has been named "The Goat Slope" by Anne and me. The Goat Slope has pitches of 20 to 30%.Carl and I used our hiking pole to stop us from slipping down the slope while Anne decided to walk down the Goat Slope backwards. Relieved when the goat slope were behind us but not fully relieved because we had the "Bear Pit" to get through. At the bottom of Lyman Creek Canyon the trail passes through tall grass and shrubs which is exactly where I would hang out if I were a bear that wanted to stay away from people. This trail is not well traveled. Anne and I talked real loud as we passed through the Bear Pit. After the "Bear Pit" we started our ascent up the canyon with 15 to 20 % grade. At the top south side of the canyon we finally begin the easy descent to the parking lot at the base of the M. This is a fun and exciting trail!

Below are pictures from our favorite hike--Sypes Canyon to the M via the Bridger Foothills National Recreation Trail. Carl and I are studying the topography map at the junction. Take a close look at the second picture, the junction point is close to the first peak you see on the left in the back canyon. We traveled down that wall--it is the goat slope. The third picture is Carl after we reached the top of the Lyman Canyon wall where we start our descent to the end of the trail.

The Sweet Pea Festival Musical Performances started Friday night with Carrie Rodriguez as the opening act for Big Bad Voodoo Daddy. Carrie Rodriguez is an Austin, Texas based singer and songwriter. In 2008 and 2009 she was named Roots Music Association's Folk Songwriter of the Year. She was good but not outstanding because her sound system did not deliver. The main act, Big Band Voodoo Daddy was outstanding---jazz, swing and big-band music with lots of showmanship.

On the left is Carrie Rodriguez and her band. She was a mean fiddle player. On the right is Anne enjoying Big Voodoo Daddy (I did not get pictures of the band--too dark and too far away).

Saturday morning went to the Sweet Pea Festival Parade. The Sweet Pea Children's 1K run leads the parade. At the start gun, hundreds of kids start running down the street. Every child has a number pinned to their clothing and all children under 5 are accompanied by an adult. At about 0.8K, some kids are crying, some have red faces, some are smiling while others have a determined look because they are serious about winning. When I saw kids that were struggling on my side of the street I'd yell out their number, give them the thumbs up and words of encouragement. Everyone of them would smile or at least acknowledge me. The parade was long and fairly typical of a small town with one exception---no marching bands.What was that about?? I have to admit I did not get into the parade because I was holding Lucia who had fallen asleep and slept through the entire parade.

Saturday night we went to hear Curtis Salgado---a fantastic soul singer. In 1979, when John Belushi was in Eugene, WA filming Animal House, he caught Curtis' act and liked what he heard and saw. Curtis took the actor under his wing and schooled him on blues and R & B history, which Belushi soaked up like a sponge, and used a good portion of Curtis' show as the basis for the Blues Brothers act he and Dan Akroyd put together. The first Blues Brothers album was dedicated to Curtis. Carl and I enjoyed Curtis so much we left our seats on the lawn to stand in front of the stage. Curtis was voted 2010 Soul Blues Male Artist of the Year (Blues Foundation's Blues Music Awards in Memphis, TN). Loved this guy and his band.

Below are four pictues taken on Saturday. Top left is Elle running in the 1K race along with her mom, Jesse. Top right is Jesse, Elle, and Lucia enjoying Curtis Salgado and his band while eating their favorite Sweet Pea food. The last two pictures were taken when Carl and I walked up to the front of the stage for a closer look. This guy is so, so good.

Sunday morning we left Bozeman early, early in the morning headed for Jamestown, ND. This drive is so easy---interstate with 75 mph speed limit! Stopped only for breakfast, fuel and one or two rest stops for bathroom breaks. Stayed at the Holiday Inn Express. Bill Scoville who went to graduate school at North Dakota State University met us for dinner. Bill's wife, Wanda, could not join us because she was attending her Mom's birthday (celebrating her 90th birthday). Bill drove us around Jamestown showing us the local industries, his place of business and the local sites. Bill, Carl and I had dinner at a Mexican restaurant and then went to Bill's house to visit. Bill had old annuals from NDSU which were fun to look at.

Pictures taken in Jamestown. On the left if Carl and Bill outside the Mexican restaurant. On the right is the world's largest buffalo. It is 26 feet high, weighs 60 tons, is made of concrete and was finally named Dakota Thunder in 2010!

From Jamestown we drove up to Rock Lake to visit my parents again ---but this time for only a couple days. My Mom wanted help finding a dress to wear to her grand-daughter's wedding. So the next day we drove to Minot where we found a dress with just 20 minutes of shopping. My Dad was relieved that he did not have to help with that task. On our way back to Rock Lake we stopped at the Dairy Queen in Cando where I ran into two of my cousins, Karen and Diane.

Below on the left is a picture of me with my two cousins, Karen and Diane. We happened to run into each other at the Cando Dairy Queen. The picture on the right was taken during our trip to North Dakota State University--Wanda Roden and I. Wanda helped me find fill-in jobs in the Fargo area when Carl and I were first married. She works at the College of Pharmacy.

From Rock Lake we drove to East Grand Forks to stay with Carl's brother, William. William's wife, Shelly, was in Nevada visiting some of her brothers and sisters. While in East Grand Forks we hiked along the river, did some shopping, went to the Farmers' Market and relaxed. One night we took William out for pizza at Rhombus Guys. Ordered one pizza--- half was "Girlfriend Diavolo" and its sad but I don't remember what the other half was. The Girlfriend Diavolo was delicious. So many pizza choices on their menu that it is staggering. This pizza costs a lot--roughly 20 bucks per pie but worth it. One day we drove down to Fargo to visit the North Dakota State University campus. Shelly returned on Saturday but had to work so Carl and I made dinner (ribs, salad and fresh corn on the cobb) so she could relax and visit after work.

Next stop---Cottage Grove and Woodbury, MN to visit more of the Thoreson family. Carl's sister, Beth, and her husband, Erling, live in Woodbury. We stayed with them for two nights. Beth's daughter, Kari, lives in Cottage Grove with her husband, Mike and two delightful kids--Erik and Sonja. Sunday afternoon we hung out at Kari's along with Beth and Erling visiting and playing with the kids. Made plans for the next day before heading over to Beth and Erling's place for the night.

Below are pictures of Erik and Sonja in their new cowboy hats compliments of Grandpa and Grandma (Erling and Beth).

Monday's plans---take Erik and Sonja to the zoo in St. Paul. Walked through the indoor flower gardens and then went to specific animal areas. I wanted to see the polar bears. The kids like the wild cats. My favorite stop---the rides. Fun to watch the kids have a blast . Back to Kari's to order and pick up pizzas. Both the kids are growing like weeds and have great personalities.

Below are pictures taken at the Como Zoo in St. Paul. On the top left-- Sonja and Erik watching the koi fish. Top right is one big polar bear resting in the sun. Bottom two pictures are the kids enjoying the rides.


Thought this gate would make a great beackground for a family picture. This was late in the afternoon when the kids were starting to get tired. Little Erik would not get in the picture at first but then finally complied. The last picture is Sonja relaxing with great uncle Carl.

Last stop on this land cruise----Bruce and Jo Johnson's cottage south of Sheboygan, WI. The Johnsons have made progress on their renovation project since our visit last year. The new roof is on, the skylights are in, solar panels up and generating power for hot water and heat. The huge side deck is almost complete. Stayed here for three nights. Carl helped Bruce assemble and then fill the gabion baskets with rocks. Gabion baskets are used as a retaining wall for erosion control. I like to help out while visiting so I made the lunches but only prepared one dinner because Bruce and Jo had to return to Milwaukee for prior commitments. The four of us went out for dinner in Kohlers before we left on Friday night.

Below are pictures of Carl and Bruce assembling a gabion basket and then a picture of a filled basket. Lots of work.

Crossed Lake Michigan onboard the SS Badger. The Badger left Manitowac at 12:55 AM (CT) and arrived in Ludington at 5:55 AM (ET). Had a cabin where we slept comfortably most of the voyage. So much easier and faster than driving all the way down to Chicago and then half up up the lake again.

Below is a picture of Carl at the back deck of the Badger coming into Ludington where our land cruise came to an end!

The cottage renters left by 11:00 AM. Later in the afternoon, the car trunk was empty and our belongings unpacked. It is wonderful to live out of a drawer and closet after living out of a suitcase for over two months. Cleaned our bedroom and the master bath before going into Pentwater for dinner. Sunday I went to the grocery store so that we can eat at home and continued cleaning the cottage.

Tuesday our friends, Ron and Jackie, drove up to Pentwater. We met them for lunch. Lots to talk about especially anything related to boats and cruising. Wednesday we drove to Muskegon where I had a doctor's appointment (annual physical). While in Muskegon we looked at new phones---it is time for us to start moving with the new technology plus the keyboard on my phone sticks making it difficult to dial. Boy were we overwhelmed by all the phones with high tech whistles and bells. Did not buy a phone but left with a better idea of what we want. Had planned to shop at my favorite store, Kohls, but we ran out of time so we went home.

Thursday, Carl helped Brian move IRISH EYES from Pentwater down to White Lake (Crosswinds). While the guys moved the boat, Pam and I had a leisurely lunch and then drove down to Crosswinds to handle the lines when IRISH EYES arrived. Pam and Brian drove us back to our cottage where I made dinner for them before they drove back to Crosswinds.

Friday we drove again down to Muskegon. I dropped Carl off at Ron and Jackie's boat so that Carl and Ron could talk about boats while I shopped. My trip to Kohls was disappointing. No summer shorts or capris for me but I did find two nice button up shirts for Carl. Stopped at Torreson's Marine Store to buy Fleets Wax. On our way home, we stopped at Crosswinds. Had wine and snacks on IRISH EYES with Pam & Brian and Pat & Craig (ISLAND TIME). Later Al and Laurie arrived from Grand Rapids--went for dinner at Wayside (Pat and Craig could not join us).

Saturday afternoon we drove back down to White Lake but this time to Ellenwood to visit Al and Laurie on FINALE.. Pam and Brian were off attending a family reunion but returned to White Lake in time to attend the Pig Roast at Montague Marina. Carol and Larry (Third Bird) extended an invitation to us through Pam and Brian. All that was required was a "dish to pass" and a BYOB bag. Saw boaters we knew from years ago when we cruised Lake Michigan. Good food and a fun, fun band--Stagger Bush. Thanks Larry and Carol for the invitation. Had a blast on a beautiful August night.

Top left is Carl talking with Larry (Third Bird) at the start of the Pig Roast. Top Right is a picture of Laurie, Pam and I getting this party started. Bottom left is the roasted pig and chickens--yum, yum. Bottom right is the "roaster and his assistant".

The guitar player from Stagger Bush liked to come out into the crowd and rock with the dancers. Top left is Carol with the lead guitar player. Top right is me. Almost looks like I got goosed. Bottom left is the gang discussing one of two subjects--boats or Michigan State sports!

Sunday, Pam, Brian, Al, Laurie, Carl and I rode in two dinghies up the White River---an afternoon adventure. Packed a lunch and a drink bag. Found a nice little sandy beach along the river where we had lunch. Simple pleasures on a beautiful summer day. The weekend's weather was outstanding for outdoor activities. Returned to the cottage late afternoon. Invited over for a glass of wine on the deck at Paul and Chris Kramer's where we were entertained by their grand-daughter, Maiai.

Pictures from the river run. Top left is the guys waiting for their lunch on the right is Pam and Laurie getting lunch ready.

Started the month of August in Bozeman---- back in Pentwater at the end of the month which ended our land cruise. A great month of hiking and visiting family and friends. Had a good time traveling but it feels so good to return to our home near Pentwater. Trying to spend as much time as we can with friends here in Michigan before we head back to DISCOVERY in Deltaville.

Submitted by:
Marilyn Thoreson
September 1, 2010