This isn’t a story just about the Northwoods Open, this encompasses our family vacation as we looped around lake Michigan taking in sights at Pictured Rocks National Park, the Porcupine Mountains and playing disc golf along the way before our final stop at Sandy Point Resort for the Northwoods Open.
Our first stop was the Mason County Disc Golf Course, home of the Beauty, Beast and Goliath. We only played a few holes there, it was more of a pit stop to stretch our legs until we made it to our campsite at Leelanau State Park, that’s at the northernmost tip of the Michigan peninsula past Traverse City.
The following day we ventured around Traverse City and played the Hickory Hills Disc Golf Course, one of the most challenging and scenic courses in Michigan. Little by little we made our way further north staying and different campgrounds along the way but the places that struck us the most were Pictured Rocks National Park and the Porcupine Mountains. I found myself getting lost in the scenery, where we camped at Pictured Rocks I told Chris I was going down to the lake to take pictures but didn’t come back for an hour or more. When I have my camera and I’m submersed in nature exploring its hard to pull me away, its a place where time does not exist.
I still laugh thinking about our time at the Porcupine Mountains when we stopped for ice cream after visiting Lake of the Clouds, I asked Chris for 50 cents so that I could buy one of those souvenir flat pennies to add to my collection (pictures and pennies are about the only things I collect), when we made it out to the car I was carrying his white hat and dropped it in the muddy parking lot and proceeded to loose half of my ice cream picking it up. The series of screw-ups happened when I didn’t align the machine right for my flat penny and I forever have this penny stamped with only half of an image but it tells you the place. I don’t think both of us had ever laughed so hard.
The Northwoods Open that year was the last sanctioned tournament I played in to-date. I got a hole in one on hole 4 and jokingly retired after that. It was my first tournament ace and after years of playing tournaments I didn’t buy into the ace pot, it was the second day of the tournament and I just forgot about it. But friends and players from all over still gave me cash and I bought some of Michelle Cozzens’ earrings in the pro shop. Chris played the tournament well too, I think it was all that time off before the event that made us play well because he took 3rd place in pro.
And Eco? She loves camping and adventures more than anyone, when we got home she was so worn out she slept for days straight. One of my favorite photos from this trip that you can see below, Chris took it, it’s Eco’s paws in the sand with water flowing underneath, she has one paw on the ground and one u in the air, its a close up. It’s so simple but it just reminds me that photography is meant to be fun and it’s those little details that take us there.