We woke up Friday at 7 a.m. as planned, bright-eyed bushy tailed (a.k.a. with bags under our eyes and coffee in our hands). We drove over to Grace's parent's house to pick up the newer car that would drive better on the roads. A huge bag of goodies awaited us on the kitchen table. Goldfish crackers, apples, cheese sticks, yogurt, cliff bars and monster cookies (a.k.a. the best cookie around) brimmed over the bag walls, as our eyes greedily feasted on our road trip snacks. We packed up the car and were finally off on our adventure! ... Or were we?
We had just stopped at Krispy Kreme for a celebratory donut to commence our grand trip when Grace's dad called (we were a whopping 5 minutes out). He told us to come back and switch the car for a van (the Lord knew we would be needing it).
We finally started off for round two of our adventure. The drive to her Aunt Barb's house (where we needed to pick up the keys to the cabin) was relatively quick—filled with off-key singing, talking and food munching. We arrived, as planned, at 9:30 on the dot, despite getting lost trying to find her house. Things were actually going as planned.
We chatted for a bit with her Aunt and shortly departed, with keys and hand-drawn directions in hand. We had slightly under-estimated the time to get to the cabin, however. Our initial estimate of 12 o'clock was off by an hour. Still, we figured we could shave some other time off somehow and manage to do it all. If we had to skip Picture Rocks, that would be okay.
We got to the street with the cabin around 1 o'clock. We had been warned that the road was a dirt road, but we hadn't been expecting this! This 'road' was more dirt than road. There were potholes deep enough to swim in, and trees pressing close to the van. We were tossed and jostled and in full panic mode. Let's face it: we were utterly and completely lost.
We called Grace's aunt, only to hear the discouraging sound "Please leave a message at the beep." We had been wandering for over a half hour at this point, and the car was worse for its wear. We weren't even sure if we were ever going to make it back at this rate.
We kept driving and stumbled upon a lone cabin with cars parked in front of it. We hesitated to knock on the door. After all, we were probably trespassing and didn't know how keen they would be about that. (We had mistakenly opened a do-not-trespass gate on the way in, thinking it was her Aunt Barb's.) We didn't want to stay and intrude, but how could we leave the first sign of civilization we had found?
Luckily, God once again provided for us and a friendly looking man stepped outside the cabin. It appeared as though he and some friends had come up for hunting this weekend (to our unimaginable luck!). They kindly escorted us out of the woods and to our cabin.
I was blown away by the amazing kindness of these men! It turns out we had deviated 10 miles deep into the woods, far away from where we should've been. We had missed the initial road to the cabin, and had been wandering hopelessly for the last hour and a half. It took about thirty minutes to get back out, but we didn't care! We were happy to know that we were on the right track.
To thank them, we gave them our bag of homemade cookies. We entered the cabin with a heart filled with gratitude. The cabin was rustic, but not unimaginably so. There was, as expected, no heat, water or electricity. However, it was furnished well enough with beds, a wood fired stove, couches, a table and a bathroom. It was tiny, but cozy.
We left our stuff in the cabin and set out to the Upper Peninsula (UP). We sadly decided Picture Rocks was too far out of the way, but we were determined to still go to Castle Rock and then walk around Mackinaw City. We set off, slightly shaken, toward the UP.