We've been wanting to go kayaking for quite some time now and after a little bit of research, I discovered a neat little place on the Manistee River up in Manton, just north of Cadillac. So, last Friday night after I got home from work, we loaded up the car and headed north. The drive is just under 2 hours so it's a perfect distance for an over night trip.
Cadillac is apparently a hoppin' place during the summer because we had a hard time finding a hotel room on such short notice. But, the day before we left, I was able to book this little room at the Rodeway Inn. Definitely not a 5-star hotel, but it was clean and provided breakfast so it worked for me.
After we checked in at the hotel, we decided to explore Cadillac a bit and find some pizza for supper. It has been quite some time since I had been to Cadillac and Rob was just a kid the last time he was there. After we drove around for a bit, we found a Hungry Howie's, ordered some pizza and found a beautiful park to eat at. We couldn't have asked for better weather. The sun was shining, there was a nice breeze and the temperature was in the mid-70s. AWESOME. There was even a band playing music at the park while we were there.
After we ate dinner, we spent a long time walking around Lake Cadillac. It isn't a big lake, but it's definitely beautiful and provided a perfectly relaxing evening for us as we wandered the sidewalk around the lake and found a nice little bench to sit on and watch the sun start to set.
The thing that I love most about Cadillac is all the memories I made there as a kid. My very first best friend, Rachel, moved to Cadillac the summer after we finished 4th grade. It was probably the worst experience of my young life at the time. I remember laying in bed multiple nights in a row, crying myself to sleep after they moved. So thankful to have had such a wonderful friend during my childhood. After Rachel moved to Cadillac, I spent many weekends and a couple of weeks throughout the summer at their house with their family.
I made Rob go on an adventure with me after we walked around at the lake to see if I could find my way back to their house (Rachel is now married, has a beautiful baby boy, and the rest of their family has moved to Washington State after taking a call at another church). Surprisingly, I knew exactly where to go to get back to their house. It looked a bit different then I remember, but only in color. We sat in the car in front of the house and I told Rob story after story of the time I spent there (the house is for sale and no one is living there currently so we weren't being too creepy or anything). I even found the path that led to a small wooded area near their house where Rachel and I built a tree fort one summer.
After our little trip down my memory lane, we headed back to the hotel to play Phase 10 and eat Skittles. We watched a show about logging and fell asleep early. It's a good thing, too, because we had a BIG day ahead of us on Saturday. We got up early on Saturday and packed up, had some breakfast and headed about 20 minutes north to Manton to find Chippewa Landing Canoe and Kayak Livery. It was back in the middle of nowhere and we only found it thanks to signs posted occasionally on the side of the many, many dirt roads we were driving on (I admit I was slightly paranoid that we were driving ourselves into a terrible situation - but that's just because I watch too many episodes of Criminal Minds).
And that is Part 1 of our weekend away. I'll post Part 2 soon but I wanted to keep you in suspense about what happens next so that you have to come back and read our blog again. Actually, the real reason you have to wait for Part 2 is because Rob wants a back scratch and I can't find the camera right now so I can't load the rest of the pictures from Saturday so therefore I cannot post about the rest of our adventure.
But, I will tell you this. It involved 26 miles and some sweet sunburn...and a perfect day with my best friend.