Monday, June 30, 2008

Summer Solstice in Frankfort, Michigan

On June 20, we left Ludington and made our way up to Frankfort where we stayed for two nights.

When in Frankfort last September, it was cold and windy, the beaches were deserted (except for surfers flocking here for the big waves) and the town was empty.

It's now summer in Frankfort, and this is a completely different town. We were able to walk out the breakwater to the lighthouse this time - Bernie didn't even know you could do that because last fall the breakwater was always covered by waves and flying spray. The beaches are full of sunbathers and swimmers, and the town is full of summer tourists. It was great to see. Bernie even got to go to the Frankfort Farmers Market!

We took advantage of the nice weather and took a bicycle ride down to Beulah (pronounced "Byoolah"), which is on Crystal Lake about 10 miles from Frankfort. Unfortunately, Bernie has developed a habit of going back in time to the 1980s and "Ferris Bueller's Day Off" every time we encounter a place such as "Byoolah", Michigan or "Byoofort" South Carolina. Phil had to listen to her flat, monotone voice as she repeatedly chanted "Byoolah, Byoolah, Byoolah, . . . ".

Along the way to Beulah, we passed the old Elberta Municipal Marina, which has been abandoned due to low water levels. It looks like at least some of the slips are being used now by boaters . . .

Speaking of Elberta, they held their annual Summer Solstice festival while we were there. Elberta is just across Lake Betsie from Frankfort, about a two mile bike ride, so we rode over to participate. We expected to see lots of carousing around (maybe even pagan rituals with naked people dancing around bonfires . . . ) but, apparently we were too late. Looks like the party was pretty much over and the pagans were all "flat out" tired by the time we arrived.

While in Elberta, we also found the solution to our anchoring problems . . . if we could just find a way to get this on the deck of Meridian . . .

There's a really great art gallery/cafe over in Elberta called the Trick Dog. It sits on a steep hill overlooking Lake Betsie. The Trick Dog has a great view with unique and interesting art items scattered about the grounds and for sale inside. It's definitely worth a visit if you are in the area (and want a quick tasty sandwich, or just some ice tea).

Oh . . . we finally met another member of the Great Lakes Cruising Club while in Frankfort. When we first arrived, a very nice man came over and greeted us, complimenting Meridian and making the kind of pleasant conversation that often accompanies an arrival to a marina. We didn't notice until later that he had the "25 year member" Great Lakes Cruising Club burgee on his boat (the Marie Rae). Bernie thinks he was giving us the secret GLCC hand signal and, when we didn't respond, he just went away muttering "newbies, hah!" to himself!

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