Blowing away the cobwebs

Posted on September 9, 2010


Sometimes a person just has to walk away from piles of paper and digital displays and get outside.  Dogs, of course, are always on board with that decision, so on Tuesday  Miss Sadie, the Cowboy and I snuck away from the Civil War veterans and headed over to the Antrim Creek Natural Area.  We didn’t do a lick of work that afternoon. We were entirely Off Leash the whole time.  The wind was blowing so hard that we had to lean into it.  It felt great.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

The Antrim Creek Natural Area is full of history. There are traces of the gardens, food storage pits and burial grounds of the People of the Three Fires, and hidden remnants of Old Antrim City, where the Guyer boys grew up in the 1870s.  In living memory the whole stretch was open only to local folks who knew how to follow the sandy two-tracks toward the good fishing and swimming and stargazing.  For a time, before we knew better, we could take the exhilarating Spider Sand Dune Ride over the dunes. 

That the place ended up as a Natural Area is something of a miracle.  I like to go in at the south entrance and follow the path that descends along Antrim Creek as it flows toward the Bay.  Then I can walk along the shore for miles, or follow trails through the woods for miles, or just chase around through the dunes with a pair of disreputable dogs.  It’s all good.

For those of you who always stop and read the informative posters at such places–as I do!–I have made a whole page of them for you at the Antrim Creek Natural Area page

For those of you who don’t know who the Guyer boys are–the surest sign that you did not go to the fourth grade in Antrim County during the last several decades–you can read up on them at Whistling Up the Bay.

For those of you who love a mystery, I thought this was odd:

Definitely odd.

Note: It has been brought to my attention that I omitted to provide directions. For those of you from Away, or for those of you from Here who have not been paying attention, Antrim Creek Natural Area is in on the shores of Grand Traverse Bay in Banks Township, Antrim County, Michigan. There are two entrances. The main one is at the north end of the preserve, where Rex Beach Road ends at Old Dixie Highway, aka the Flat Road. The other end of Rex Beach Road comes out at US 31 just north of Atwood, and that is probably where you will meet it, unless you live along the Flat Road, in which case you already know where Antrim Creek is and don’t need me telling you much of anything else, either.

Rex Beach Road is named for the writer of adventure tales set in the Yukon, who grew up here. Local boy made good and all that. He’s gone out of fashion, but in his day–the turn of the last century–he was a best-selling author. I have discovered that even if you are from Here, you may not know about Rex, which is why I digress even more than usual.