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Michigan Revisited, July 2017

Part 5: Arrival in Fort Gratiot

All photographs ©2017 by Mary Beth Stowe

            Thankfully it wasn’t raining when I started out, but it was pretty wet the rest of the way into Fort Gratiot!  But there were dry times:  I duly stopped at Seven Ponds to drop off Daryll’s book and map (he was bringing a tour group to the Valley and staying at the Alamo Inn), and we had a good conversation:  he’s quite energetic and enthusiastic, and I think he’ll be a good leader for the group (he said the trip filled up within an hour after he posted it)! 

            Didn’t stay to bird, as a) Dave was waiting on me to go to lunch, and b) it was raining anyway L, so I headed on in to the house (where the rain had let up), and got there just as the UPS guy was delivering something, so it was good timing to have the door open!  It was a great reunion; I guess it’s been 16 years since I’ve seen them last, and Dave and I had a good conversation about his change of diet that has miraculously improved his health!  (Something to keep in mind myself...L)

            After yapping for a bit we headed downtown to Kate’s for lunch, which was a bistro type place with wonderful sandwiches!  Then they gave me the grand tour and showed me the new Riverwalk (picked up Ring-billed Gull for the trip while I was at it) and what some of the old buildings are now being used as (e.g., Sperry’s is now a multi-plex dinner theatre).  I mentioned that the impression I had gotten years ago was that Port Huron was going downhill, but after my “tour” I sensed that things were actually on the up-and-up!  Dave confirmed that the city was trying to encourage people to actually move downtown to live (they’re converting the old Michigan National Bank into condos, and those will be nice!).  After cruising by the Edison Inn, I noticed these big, beautiful homes, and was told they were going for “only” $500,000!  Of course, they thought that was steep, but I’m still thinking in terms of San Diego property!  We even cruised by our Grandma Bear’s old house which is now an historic building!

Dave and Audrey at Kate's

My "gourmet" grilled cheese sandwich with locally made kettle chips!

Downtown Port Huron (our hometown)

Part of the Riverwalk (with Sarnia, ON across the way)

            A little later Laura (my niece) and the two kids came over; before they came Hagen (the three-year-old) told Dave over the phone that he “wanted to teach Aunt Mary how to fish,” J so Dave got the fishing pole and some hot dog meat ready (and Audrey brought out some bread to feed them; boy, they really went for that)!  Dave was right in that Hagen was a little shy at first, but it didn’t take him long to warm up; I gave the two kids their presents first, and Hagen seemed to like his bubble gun (once we got it to work L), so he had to get that out of his system before he was ready to fish!  And they caught a couple of bluegills, too! J  I tried casting the thing a couple of times but just couldn’t get the hang of it…  Oh, as an aside, I was getting ready to log my trip Mute Swans in their lake until Audrey told me they were all fake… L

Hagen has to get bubble-blowing out of his system before he's ready to fish!  (And you can see one of the fake swans in the background...)

Dave checks the bait...

...then gives Hagen some pointers...

...and Hagen catches a Bluegill!

            So after awhile we all headed to the Voyageur so Audrey and I could get frog legs J and Laura got crab legs (and I think we ended up sharing a lot of side dishes)!  The kids wanted me to ride with them, so after Laura got Dave to move her golf clubs J I hopped up front and we had a great conversation on the way over (and back as well)!  When I mentioned earlier that I should probably make time to meet Amanda (my nephew Chris' wife) and the kids seeing as we’ve been corresponding all this time via Facebook, Audrey announced that the whole gang would be coming over for dinner that night (and hopefully Dieter, Laura's husband, as well, as I had yet to meet him)!

Audrey helps Hagen crack his crab legs at the Voyageur!

One of the few places you can get sautéed frog legs!

Dave tries to entertain Mady as she spots something out the window...

View out the window (still Canada across the St. Clair River)

Hagen, Laura, and Mady

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