We hadn't yet gotten to see any lighthouses. We were too late in the day to get a stamp at any lighthouses, but the only ones in the area we haven't already got stamps for were so far away they'd have to be full-day expeditions. But we could go to the Grand Traverse Lighthouse, at the north end of the Leelanau Peninsula, to at least see the building and go to the beach there and spend some time gazing upon a Great Lake. And here, once again, not to brag but I navigated there with only minimal assistance from the satellite navigator, since it reached that point where it had some weird idea about where we should go when just ``head north on the peninsula'' seemed like the better idea. The area also had a letterbox, but we had been completely unable to find it last time we went looking, and we weren't up to writing out the clues to try locating it this time. We'd just settle for setting our chairs up on the beach and maybe flying kites.
If we could find the beach since following the obvious path we weren't really getting past anything but bunches of bushes on rocky patches of land. The area has a lot of rocky shoreline, so, that's not too surprising. But we got to feeling like we'd spent enough time lugging stuff; here's a clearing, why don't we sit down here? And so we did. While taking out her parrot kite and trying to get that to stay in the air --- it wasn't doing badly, mind --- she found the actual beach, which was another maybe fifty feet down and completely obscured by the curve of the land. But at that point who wanted to strike everything and re-set it?
This is where we spent a couple of hours. Mostly reading, for my part. A lot of prowling around, examining rocks for fossils and finding so many fossils on bunny_hugger's part. She's got a knack that I just haven't. I kept picking up rocks that looked equivalent to what she had, only she had the shells of life that's from before ours, and mine were just rocks.
She had very good success with the parrot kite, which looked spectacular against the puffy clouds of the evening sky. She didn't try taking out the dragon kite at all, given the chance that its long mylar tail would get tangled up in shrubs. And she did have some small success with the tiny kite she'd bought at Toy Harbor the previous day, to our amazement. The thing works!
We packed up after a couple of hours, when the bugs coming out of the bushes got a bit annoying and we noticed the really threatening-looking clouds coming over the horizon. There was a gorgeous bright band of reflected light on the water, and a pitch black band right above that, just like someone drawing a horizon poorly. And above that, a band of bright clouds. And above that a band of dark clouds with, it sure looked like, curtains of rain beneath. This was good reason to get in before we were out in the state park in fading light with rain around us.
We did have enough time, we thought, to poke around the lighthouse grounds at least. And we saw something unsettling. One of the rock sculptures made by a then-lighthouse-keeper was tied to steel posts, the better to help it stand. We don't remember it needing such support in the past, and ... well, have to wonder what's changed since last year. We also noticed in some more elaborate rock sculpture fountains that they weren't all made by the same lighthouse-keeper. Apparently there was an unstated competition between successive keepers to make more elaborate sculptures with the abundant area rocks.
Back home we had a spot of excitement in the evening. In the twilight glow there was a rabbit in the yard. Not ours, but one of the wild locals. We raced to get pictures and wondered what Columbo would make of this smaller relatives of a completely different species. And what that one would make of our domesticated Flemish giant. No finding out, though; the wild rabbit was gone in a few minutes.
We played Mice and Mystics, the last night, with all five of us in attendance and playing all six mice in the final chapter of the basic game. It's an epic, the big battle against the chief villain of the affair, whom we beat in surprising rapid order --- the big blow going to bunny_hugger's brother who had created a startlingly detailed epic of how his mouse's life story had brought her to that point. But after that the struggle was to get out of the lair and escape as we're pursued by lots of the small and medium-level bosses. It's a big run to the outside and ... we didn't make it. Nor did we when we tried again, starting back from where we'd lost before. Maybe we made a third try. We didn't win, anyway. We still haven't won, despite playing it several times when visiting bunny_hugger's parents, and without her brother in attendance.
But then last year we played Mice and Mystics repeatedly until getting to a scenario we couldn't beat, and that kept beating us, for several months until right around Thanksgiving when we had our breakthrough. Maybe that'll come again. When we do, it'll end the game, one that's brought bunny_hugger's parents a surprising lot of delight in roleplaying. Or at least brought her mother delight; her father seems more interested in dice-rolling. There are expansion kits we can buy, and likely enough will, when we finally make it through this. Trusting that we do.
The storms we saw coming from the beach weren't there yet. And there was something more we hadn't done.
We walked out to the huge side yard, out of the glare of the houselights and away from anything, really, in the midst of the former orchard, and looked at stars. Many stars, more than we see from our city home. The Milky Way, clear and prominent. Meteors? A couple. None too prominent or large; we were there between meteor showers. We took in the light of years no longer ours, in the hint of cool air, until we were ready to spend a last hour with bunny_hugger's brother and prepare for bed.
Trivia: The first evidence of large-scale domestication of pigeons comes from Ancient Egypt. Pharaoh Ramses II is recorded as offering over 57 thousand pigeons to the god Amon. Source: Superdove: how the Pigeon took Manhattan ... and the World, Courtney Humphries.
Currently Reading: The History of the Calculus and its Conceptual Development, Carl B Boyer.
PS: Some more Frankenmuth!
Night picture of an illuminated fountain. It's got a couple statues of kids using the center as a maypole.
bunny_hugger (right) posing by the statue outside Cheese Haus.
Pasty Haus, offering for sale pasties, bubble tea, and ice cream, because focusing on any particular kind of item is for suckers anymore, right? Also for sale: stuff.