A Bear, A Beer, and a Bit of a Scare

Friday morning we loaded up the car, picked up my mom, and hit the road, heading north to Bellaire, MI. We were meeting my brother, SIL, niece, and SIL’s mother there for the start of our vacation! And after four hours, we did.

But first, we saw a bear. Like a real one, just standing by the road, looking all bear like and big. I was happy to be in the car! Then, just a whole ten minutes down the road we arrived at our first stop, Grass River Nature Preserve for a hike, and I was not as happy. That bear could be there too! Or another one. Or many others. And I am sure there were! When I went into the visitor’s center I mentioned it to the woman working and she was stunned that we saw one, which did not make me feel any better. She told me that it is really unusual to see one during the summer and that it was probably heading to town to eat from a bird feeder. She did ask me to let her know if we saw it on our hike.

Our plan was to just take a short walk, about a mile, then head to Short’s Brewing for lunch before heading on to our cottage. It was a great little walk – I love the scent of pine needles and pine trees and the minute we got out of the car we enveloped in it. Our walk was quick, with the Galloping Grannies leading the group at a grueling pace (not really but it was very fast paced lol). The rest of us were moseying, looking around, spotting wonders in the underbrush. Like the mushrooms Dead Man’s Fingers! They are well named and rather creepy. My niece also entertained us with stories of glowing pink wolves and giant foxes that lived in the woods there, and overall it was a great walk through nature. We didn’t have time to explore the whole preserve but I am planning on going back to do just that!

We then drove the few minutes into Bellaire for lunch at Short’s. My brother had been there before but it was our first time. And it won’t be the last! It was absolutely delicious. I had the Someday sandwich, which was like a club sandwich, while Billy had pulled pork and Wyatt had the kids pizza bites, which he devoured. For beverages, I tried the Gitchy Gitchy, which is a Kolsch with lemon and cucumber. It was fantastic and refreshing. Billy had the Prolonged Enjoyment, which is an IPA. We went into the take out order area, and ate across the street in the lot where they have tables set up for outside dining. And promptly divided up into two camps – the full sun people and the shade people, or as my brother said, the sun people and the moon people. Lol.

Guess which camp I was in?

After a very filling lunch, conversation over a beer, and some shopping for howlers and growlers to take to our cottage (we got a howler of Sandia Loca, my brother got the Empress Catherine) we were back on the road.

We pulled up to our home away from home after about half an hour or so, and were so ready to just settle in and relax.

But we also were excited to check out the lake..some of us more than others.

Billy, Wyatt, Chrissy, and Mermaid Girl headed down the hill to the lake while the rest of us were doing I have no idea what. Probably checking out the rental. After a few minutes though, the rest of us headed outside too.

My brother, mom, and I were standing about halfway down, chatting about the lake and how pretty and all that when I heard a splash. I immediately was on the alert, and saw Wyatt being held by Billy on the dock and Chrissy patting his back. And knew that my kid had somehow fallen in. Wyatt can’t swim yet although he loves the water, and apparently he was reaching down for the water, lost his balance and fell off the dock! (Billy was sitting right next to Wyatt on the dock and was halfway in the water before Wyatt even made it to the water. He was in the water a second or two before Billy hoisted him up. I still of course had a heart attack) However, he was with two extremely fast acting adults who love him and jumped into action, with both Billy and Chrissy jumping right in after him, no hesitation. The water was shallow and clear and he was up and out in seconds. By the time I got there, he was trying to slide back in, the little otter. And since he was wet and it was shallow, we let him, but with many close eyes on him. And of course once he was in, it was game over, Mermaid Girl was in as well.

The water was warm and the kids had a blast, before we all headed up, showered the kids, and all settled in for the night.

And that was the end of day 1!


17 thoughts on “A Bear, A Beer, and a Bit of a Scare

  1. Rebecca Jo

    what an adventurous time!
    I am such a fan of teaching kids to swim super early because I would be terrified keeping a child near water otherwise. Glad there were fast acting adults. Love it didnt make him afraid though of the water & he was ready to get back in.
    We went hiking one time & saw remains & droppings of bears & instead of GETTING OUTTA THERE – my husband is like, Let’s find him! What a dork.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It was a crazy first day! Lol.

      And yes me too! I have been looking for years for swim lessons for special needs kids in my area and have been unsuccessful. Wyatt has Cerebral Palsy so it adds a bit of a challenge. My plan this year was to teach him some water safety type stuff in my in-laws pool – Wyatt kind of got a head start on me! Lol.

      Bears freak me out! We saw them when we were hiking in Shenandoah N.P. before Wyatt was born and I was not a fan.


  2. I have never ever seen a bear in the wild! We had a cabin in the woods near Gatlinburg (there were signs posted about the garbage cans and bears…freaked my kids out) and have visited Yellowstone…never a bear! So, I would be solidly in the camp of love to see a bear, but do I really? It sounds like a wonderfully busy if wet and a teensy scary first day!


    Liked by 1 person

    1. Wow! I am sort of amazed that you never actually saw one! I guess they are supposed to be pretty shy most of the time. And yeah, I don’t really need to see one in my yard or close to me without the benefit of a car or walls between us.


  3. Maybe it’s time to teach Wyatt floating skills — floating on his back. From other stuff it looks like he has good arm mobility and that’s the main thing — relaxing and gently moving arms to keep floating. Most brew pubs don’t have great food but I’ve NEVER been disappointed at Shorts. We’d always go there during Rick’s family gatherings on Torch Lake. The lake you’re on looks nice — which one is it?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. That is my plan for the summer actually! Wyatt just beat me. Lol. I am having a hard time finding swim lessons that will take him. I found one lady nearby by she charges $100 a week for 10 mins a day five days a week. And that just seems a little much. I was a swimmer all through school on the swim team, so I am comfortable in the water and am hoping to do some basic water safety with him.

      And you are right, most brew pubs don’t have great food at all, but Short’s was amazing. I will dream about that sandwich. Lol.

      We were on Rennie Lake! Last year we were on Spider. I think we are going to try to stay at this same place every year, we really liked it!


  4. I’m in the camp of wanting to see a bear, but not wanting see a bear! I’ve gone hiking by myself a couple of times and always turn my audiobook on super loud so it sounds like there’s a group of people with me. 😉

    The lake looks like such a great place to relax in the sunshine. Short’s is my kind of brew pub. I think I need to plan a trip to that area! Glad Wyatt’s spill in the lake was quick and that he had such a great rescue team nearby. Phew!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. We were in Tennessee and saw several bears and each time I was very glad to be in the car! What’s weird is that we were driving through a neighborhood and at no point were any of the actual residents concerned about the bears. It was crazy! I guess they’re mostly like really big racoons to them. I’m so glad that the response was so quick when Wyatt fell in and how great that it didn’t really scare him! Sounds like a wonderful vacation despite the scary moments.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh my gosh!! I would not be calm if I had them in my neighborhood – I don’t think? But I did just read Fuzz about bears and people in towns and it did not sound fun.

      Wyatt is way too fearless around some things, which is a good and a bad thing. Lol. It was a very good vacation- just too short!


  6. Pingback: My Sunday-Monday Post – Still Life, With Cracker Crumbs..

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