It’s been a couple of weeks since I last wrote and I think that’s partially because there’s been a lot going on and partially because I’ve gotten into such a routine being here. The days are going by so fast and I’m really quickly running out of time. I have three work weeks left and two weekends until I leave Traverse City. I can’t believe how fast time has gone.
The most exciting news is that two weekends ago my mom came to visit and we managed to do just about everything in three days. I toured her around Traverse City introducing her to all of my favorite spots, exploring downtown and the waterfront, trying out restaurants, visiting the farmers market, seeing movies in the famous State Theater, and walking a lot. We also escaped out to the shore of Lake Michigan and the dunes for the day, riding the bus and taking our bikes with us. We did the Dune Climb (the sand climb that most who visit the dunes come to climb in order to catch views of Lake Michigan from the top) and hiked out across the tops of the dunes to reach the shores of the lake. It was a very exhausting hike with so many ups and down and the challenge of walking on sand, but luckily there was a strong breeze to keep the day from being too hot. And we swam in the lake despite the cold temperature of the water.
Sunday continued the adventures as we headed over the Straights of Mackinac and the Mackinac Bridge (one of the longest suspension bridges in the world) to attend a rally at a park on the Upper Peninsula side of the straits. We were there to raise awareness about the Enbridge pipeline that runs below the straits and to express concerns that they have increased the volume of oil running through it and are considering it as an alternative route for tar sands, despite the fact that it’s 60-years old and runs through water that connects Lake Michigan and Lake Huron and represents an invaluable resource. It was a pretty great day. We had perfect weather, a group of about 400, and inspiring speakers, including Bill McKibben of 350.org. My mom and I were beyond excited that he was going to be there as we had both arrived late to a Keystone XL Pipeline rally in DC earlier this year and missed him speaking. Now we got to sit 20 ft. away in a much more intimate crowd and meet him afterwards for a picture in front of the bridge. It was definitely one of the highlights of my summer so far and such a successful event for TC350, the Michigan Land Use Institute, and all others who helped to organize it.
Since that weekend life has been pretty normal here. I’ve been working on finishing up some big articles at work, trying to survive the recent heat wave even though the bay has warmed up so much that it barely provides relief, and enjoying the last bit of my time here.
I sat down with my boss last week and planned out the timeline for my last couple of weeks, which will include finishing up my last two big articles, and writing four more blog posts about local food adventures and transportation stories that I’ll be sure to share as I complete.