Over the past few days, my wife Jennifer and I drove "up north", as they say here in Michigan, which means what it sounds like, going up to the northern part of the state. We met up with two other couples that are friends of ours for a multi-day adventure.
We started out with snacks at Farm Club
, a lovely local gathering place that is a farm, restaurant, brewery, bakery, and marketplace all in one, before we transitioned over to the rooftop bar at the Hotel Indigo to take in the sunset, and then to our Airbnb in Traverse City.
The next morning we joined a larger group for a birding, biking, and wine tour by Grand Traverse Bike Tours
in partnership with the Detroit
and Grand Traverse Audubon Clubs in which everyone meets up in Traverse City and then goes on a guided trail ride passing farms and orchards, plus visiting vineyards (Shady Lane Cellars
and Black Star Farms
) and the Hop Lot Brewing Company
(where we caught the end of the Detroit Lions game) along the way.
We went on the Grand Traverse Birds, Bikes, and Wine Tour in Partnership with the Detroit Audubon Club and Grand Traverse Audubon Club.
Shady Wine Cellars Wine Flight
Ripe wine grapes at Shady Wine Cellars in Michigan
Jen has biked across the country previously and we both own bikes, but neither of us had ever done a group tour like this…nor had we ever done any type of birding adventure. I must say I would do both again. I also didn't realize how many wineries there were in Michigan.
Of course, in the vein of using ChatGPT and recently finding out what kind of dog would I be
, I similarly asked what kind of bird I would be using the same extensive introspective research
I've done on myself.
Here's what it said:Based on your rich description of your attributes, character, and inclinations, if you were a bird, I'd suggest you might resemble an **eagle** – specifically the **Bald Eagle**. Here's why:
1. **Size and Strength**: Your height and weight align with the sturdiness and dominance often associated with eagles. They are strong, powerful birds of prey.
2. **Vision**: Eagles are known for their keen vision, and you've described having high-level vision for your dreams and ambitions.
3. **Courage and Independence**: Like the eagle who soars alone, you're willing to stand out and take on risk. Eagles are also known for their independent nature.
4. **Adaptability**: Eagles are versatile birds, adapting to different environments, and your description speaks to a capacity for adaptability and entrepreneurial spirit.
5. **Intuition and Decision Making**: Eagles, while having acute vision, also rely on their instincts when hunting. This aligns with your approach of exhaustive research followed by intuition.
6. **Leadership**: The eagle is often seen as a symbol of leadership. While you might end up in the public eye due to your leadership, eagles, too, are often watched and admired from afar.
7. **Solitude**: Bald Eagles, outside of mating pairs or when rearing chicks, are often seen alone. Your introverted, independent nature aligns with this.
8. **Teaching and Communication**: While eagles don't teach in the way humans do, they certainly do mentor their young, teaching them to fly, hunt, and survive. Your desire to share and teach from your experiences is akin to this mentoring process.
9. **Appreciation of Beauty**: The elegance and majesty of an eagle in flight can be likened to your appreciation of beauty and finer things.
10. **Honesty and Integrity**: The Bald Eagle, as the national bird and symbol of the United States, often represents freedom and the highest ideals and values.
Given all these parallels, the Bald Eagle seems a fitting avian counterpart to your multifaceted personality and life approach.
One of the family of 4 bald eagles on March 26th, 2023 that make Belle Isle Park their home
This is really interesting because I remember my first golf coach Dan Shauger used to say I have eagle eye vision, one of our original names for Sterling Irons
single length irons was Eagle Irons, a spiritual medium I've worked with has told me that eagles are part of my spirit guide council, and I've really enjoyed communing with a family of eagles over at Belle Isle Park since moving to Detroit.
Anyway, it was a great start to the trip, but it only got better on Monday, where we stayed at the Sunrise Landing Motel
After wandering around Northport with coffees, we got morning snacks at 9 Bean Rows
(a farmstead, cafe, and bakery), ate day time snacks and drank wine at Dune Bird Winery
(Jen's and my 2nd visit there this year), got sandwiches elsewhere, walked around Northport more, and had a serendipitous hangout with the owner of Yard & Lake
, before finally ending up on the beach for a fire.
That's where the magic really kicked in.
With only two matches we managed to get our fire going, and then proceeded to see shooting stars, Mars shining brightly, the Little Dipper, satellites (which is another story with both pros and cons), our first fogbow, and the northern lights set against the Big Dipper. None of us had ever had such an array of astronomy packed in to one experience. It was wild and amazing.
Fogbows are apparently even more rare than rainbows. This is a panoramic view of one we saw from the beach at the Sunrise Landing Motel overlooking Northport Bay in Michigan.
The Northern Lights, also known as Aurora Borealis, were visible against the Big Dipper in Michigan on September 18th, 2023.
The last of the beach fire coals before I poured water over them
After sunrise the next day we all headed back down to Detroit at different intervals.
A view of the sunrise on the beach at the Sunrise Landing Motel looking out at Northport Bay in Michigan
The morning view of the Northport Bay from the Sunrise Landing Motel is spectacular.
However, Jen and I decided to take in a new area and destination for us while we were in the region, the Mission Pointe Lighthouse
, before driving home. If all we hadn't seen wasn't already enough, while there we ran in to the Midwest Brass & Gas Touring Group of the Horseless Carriage Club of America
, where we got to get up close to about 10-20 pre-1916 cars parked in the lot of Old Mission Point Park as they headed out to continue their tour of the region.
Midwest Brass and Gas of the Horseless Carriage Club of America rolled through Old Mission Point Park in Michigan.
What an amazing trip!