Days 9 and 10 were spent at Houghton Lake, mostly relaxing. We slept in the first day at the lake and had a leisurely day. Houghton Lake is unique in that it is shallow (less than 10 feet) across most of its area.
The shallowness of the lake gave the kids an opportunity wade over a quarter mile out without the water being over their heads. The owner of our resort loaned us an inflatable raft, and they made good use of it.
When not in the water, we played this ladder ball game. Two golf balls are connected by a length of rope. You toss this “bolo” at a ladder, trying to make it wrap around a rung in order to score a point.
In the evening we linked up with the Serafini clan to sit by the water, light a small fire, and chat.
Day 10 began with a canoe trip for three hours on the Au Sable River. (I’ve seen this spelled a couple of different ways, but I think this is correct.) We rented two canoes from Campbell’s rental. Then I drove down stream and parked the car where we were supposed to terminate our trip. The owners brought me back to the start point. We canoed for three hours, then just pulled our canoes out of the water for them to retrieve later.
The canoe trip was quite pleasant. This porting of the river, where it passes through Roscommon, MI, is not virgin wilderness. Most of our trip was through “residential” areas where we were passing behind cabins and houses. Other parts of the trip were through untouched woods. I enjoyed that more.
The water on the river is very clear. Since it was between a few inches and three feet deep most of the way, you could clearly see the bottom. We saw very few fish. At one point we stopped to have a snack. While the water was chilly, it was warm enough to wade across its depth. Here the water was only about six inches deep.
After our canoe trip, we went back to the resort to relax. Candy and the kids played in the water a bit. I read for a while and took a nap. After dinner we linked back up with Clan Serafini for miniature golf. We had ten players and divided up into two teams: guys vs. girls.
The course was old and challenging. While we’re used to twos and threes on most holes on other courses, fours and fives were more common on this course.
While it was a hard-fought match, in the end superior skill prevailed. The guys beat the girls.