In Life List Travel

Life List Item # 35: Go on a trip alone with Dad

Spontaneously one April evening, I decided I wanted to go back up to Camp Deer Trails in Harrison, MI and I also knew exactly who I wanted to take with me. This item has been on my life list for a long time, so I'm glad to get the chance to accomplish it. 

We left on a Friday at 2 p.m. Stopped at Super Liquor to find some interesting, yet light craft beers. After a two hour drive, a straight shot up 127 North, we arrived in the super special spot that is Camp Deer Trails. It was my 4th trip to this Girl Scout owned camp, but my dad's first camping experience in many years. I choose to rent Ma's Place for us, because I knew it would be just the right size and, in my opinion, has the best view in the entire camp.
We unloaded our car into Ma's Place then went into downtown Harrison to get some dinner and grocery shop for our two-day stay. After talking to Wade, the camp ranger, we learned Budd Lake Pub would be a nice spot to hit. We had a pretty tasty dinner mixed with local Harrison culture and headed into the local Save a Lot. First time I ever saw my dad in a grocery store!
That first evening we of course made a nice fire and drank some beers as well as explored the camp a little bit on foot. In the morning I woke up early and got in a jog and some yoga on the front deck of the cabin. When I told dad about Reindeer, the outdoor shower house, he was excited to try it. Taking a shower in an open air shower has been one of the most nature-y experiences I think I've ever had. The showers get super toasty and you are treated to a canopy of trees just above your head. 

We went down to the boat house and took out a canoe to paddle over to Goose Island, the small but private island that Girl Scouts also owns. Our paddle trip was super successful, but I quickly found out that the best way to find out if a relationship is going to work between two people is to go on a canoe trip together. You find out really quickly if two people can work together or want to kill each other.



After our paddle trip we went into town again to get some lunch. Next we camped out on the porch of the cabin for a few hours where I even got dad to play a game with me. It has to be about only the fifth time in recorded history. He ended up revealing he hates board games because he always loses. In this game of Yatzee, it was no different. 
We ended our night with another bon fire after the wicked wind died down. I also had my very first experience with cast iron fire cooking. My dad's never cooked a whole lot, but with nature as his kitchen he didn't make a bad "breakfast for dinner" of eggs, sausage, and home fries. 
I headed to bed at midnight after we polished off the rest of the beer. He followed shortly after, once the fire died down. We putted around the following morning and took off south at around 11 a.m. We stopped in historic Clare, because we had both never been there. I wanted to stop at Cops and Doughnuts, which turns out is the world famous one-of-a-kind bakery and cafe. We had a simple, but tasty breakfast and each took a doughnut to go. After 90 more minutes of driving our 48 hour tour was complete. We came back with an old fashioned doughnut and bag of Michigan strawberries for mom. The weekend couldn't have been more ideal. 

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