The Adventure Continues…
A Tiger In Arcadia
I never get tired of cruising up and down the hilly landscape and maneuvering the corners of M-22. It traces the pinky region of Michigan and is an iconic highway that’s been voted the Best Scenic Drive by countless tourist publications and television shows. Locals enjoy traversing it as much as the tourist for the stay-cation appeal.
If you’re traveling north from downstate, the M-22 cruise begins in northern Manistee County and reconnects to US-31 in Traverse City. The highway flows along the Lake Michigan shoreline and weaves its way through charming villages, farmlands and the Sleeping Bear National Lakeshore to reconnects to US-31 in Traverse City.
On Labor Day I met two of my grandsons, daughter-in-family and her parents for a walk a new trail near Arcadia. The cool fall winds tussled our hair around and the skies threatened rain while we walked. It seems autumn blew in from the northwest a couple weeks ago and is here to stay with us for a bit.
Willie James and I followed behind my daughter-in-family’s car to Onekoma for late lunch at a small dinner with a partial view of Portage Lake. Afterwards we said our good-byes, and Willie James and I drove to Portage Lake channel to Lake Michigan. The cloudy skies had cleared up somewhat, and while I was in the neighborhood, I decided to take my time traveling home.
There’s no denying it – Willie James’ size and puppy disposition attracts a lot of attention. A simple walk across a parking lot now takes me 10-20 minutes as I am stopped, and asked the standard line of questions about my Chiweenie. Of course Willie James doesn’t mind, he’s loving all the petting and lovin’.
An older gentleman calls out, “Hey there, tiger.”
I thought he was talking one of the other dogs or maybe one of the children in the parking lot so I ignored his comment.
“Hey. I’m talkin’ about your small dog – Tiger,” calls out.
How wonderful, I thought. Willie James has a new nickname. I’ll be sure to add that to the list along with Precious (#1), Adorable, Puppy! (squealed by children under the age of three), and Doxie.
We finally made our way to the shores of Lake Michigan and found that, with the water table up so high, that there was very little beach to walk and a lot of people to walk around. With the desire to walk and not get asked the standard line of questions a million times (close, but not quite an exaggeration), I led our way back to the truck.
We continued down M-22 to Arcadia and stopped at the park to check on the condition of the playground and sitting area. With the water table where it’s at, it has eroded a lot of the sand away from the sitting area. We sat on one of the benches and watched another wind surfer cruise across the lake’s surface.
I hear a familiar voice say, “Hey there, tiger.” I know he’s not talking to me, but Willie James.
“I just saw you down at Portage Point,” the man stated.
“Yep. I remember.”
He leaned down and rubbed Willie James’ head again before we explored another area of the shoreline.
On our way towards Elberta, I stopped at the Lake Michigan overlook along M-22. There were too many people and dogs wandering around and a continuous flow of vehicles in and out of the parking lot. I chose to sit in the truck and enjoy the view. Willie James was asleep and I didn’t feel it necessary to wake him.
A few minutes later I saw the tiger-callin’ man walk to the wood platform on the bluff. I smiled, and thought, sorry, Dude, not this time.
M-22 has an array of spots to pause and enjoy the beauty. It was when we drove through the City of Frankfort on our way out of town toward home and I saw the gentleman again, I giggled. I reached over and petted Willie James, as I told said, “There they are again, Willie.” Looking in the rearview mirror, I said, “Enjoy your holiday drive, Sir. We’re headed home.”
Captured moments along the way…
Explore the adventures that got me here…
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