business meets pleasure

I just love it when I get some new work that involves a bit of everything I enjoy: spending time with my family, exploring something new in northern Michigan, photography, writing and design. Bonus: riding bikes!

I was hired recently to create a brochure for the new Sleeping Bear Heritage Trail and I wanted to share some of our family’s first afternoon on the trail and at the Glen Haven beach. We spent some time in Glen Haven this past spring flying kites, but it’s also one of our favorite beaches. Far enough away (25+ miles) to feel like we’re on vacation for the day, but close enough to remind ourselves that this IS really home. And to be trite (because someone’s got to excel at it), there’s no place like it.

We spent most of the early afternoon at Glen Haven’s rocky beach, beating the heat in Sleeping Bear Bay and collecting rocks for Wren’s growing “cool rock” collection. When we thought we had enjoyed enough of the sun and collected enough sand in the little birdie’s swim diaper, we embarked on the second leg of our afternoon adventure. We (well, Chris) got the bikes and Chariot set up for our exploration of the new paved trail.

And off we rode! It was a beautiful late afternoon to explore the trail. First we headed north out of Glen Haven toward Glen Arbor. This section is mostly shady and forested and goes through the DH Day Campground, which we hope will be the spot for our first family camping trip later this month (eeeek!). Ahem.

It felt so great to be back on bikes. It was our first real family-of-four bike ride now that I think of it!

After we hit the northern end of the trail, we headed back south out of Glen Arbor. I enjoyed the southern piece of this leg even more. The trail meandered through forest, an open meadow-meets-dunes area and ended at the Dune Climb, aka Sand Mountain.Then we turned around and headed back to Glen Haven. The trail is about five miles, but with our traveling style it was more like a ten mile ride. Plus a bit more with me yelling, “stop there so I can get a shot,” or “turn around and come back toward me.”

My favorite part? Chris repeating, “I’m so inspired! This is so cool!” Indeed.

When completed, the trail will be 27 miles long and will go from south of Empire to the Port Oneida area of the Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore. Can’t wait? Me neither. Help support the expansion of the trail by contributing to the community-supported campaign here.

I know you think I might be cursing us by saying this, but I can’t wait to ski it this winter…

How ’bout you, northern Michigan lovelies? Have you explored the trail yet? What did you think?

Love where you live – Glen Haven

In May we spent a beautiful afternoon flying kites and playing in the sand at the top of a dune near Glen Haven, one of our favorite close-but-feel-like-you’re-far-away kind of places. We drove home and asked each other, “we get to live here?” Grateful to call this “home.” Thank you, Sleeping Bear Dunes.