The Manistee River - camping and paddling for 3 days. I pulled up at the shore of our old campsite just to take a peak even though I was sure it was trashed after all these years. Imagine my surprise to see it looking clean and tidy just like we kept it. A good portion of the bank is gone and so is the pine tree I planted, but the old pine tree is there. Remember all the times sitting in its branches or resting in its shade on the bluff? I felt like I needed to pull up my chair and give Shadow a good scratch behind the ears. If I listened hard enough I probably could have heard my children laughing in the woods behind me.
The fire pit is back in the same spot so I couldn't resist a picture of 'our' view of the bend. I'm reminded of another 4th of July when F.Y.S. threw the whole pack of Black Cats in the fire and they exploded. Good grief! How about the times the raccoons would come and crawl around under our chairs - with us sitting in them - looking for food scraps. Or the times we played Stomp with whatever improvised instrument we could scrounge from the camp. Or the time you commented on how soft your fire poker felt only to realize you were holding the charred end and your face was covered with ash from your hands.
Kissing Rock is now a little further from the bank, but it sure brought a smile to my face to see it. So much time was spent playing on and around that rock. The floats down the river from the bluff and using slingshots to shoot marshmallows at paddlers going by.
I had a marvelous case of deja vu. Absolutely delighted to find our home away from home so well taken care of. *sigh* Such an amazing place to grow up.