As I wrote my blog yesterday, thunder rumbled over head, as it did again last night when we finally crawled into our respective beds. Many thanks again to Karen Holt for being such an amazing and patient host, AGAIN! We have been so lucky, starting with Diane and Rich McKenna in Conneaut, OH, to have had such kind hosts who kept us for more than a night. Originally Jessica and I planned to pop in a few local surf shops and etc, just to say “hi” since we’d been reaching out to these places via email and phone. Then the goal was to pick up fixings for dinner and make my favorite recipe to share, former logistics manager, June Barnard’s fab quinoa salad. But alas, that did not happen.
I had called Erik, Karen’s son, earlier to find out about more local shops, we of course planned on popping into the Wet Mitten since we’d heard so much about them and they were right there in Grand Haven, but we’d also figure in visiting other local spots. When he called back it was after I’d made the unfortunate discovery that I’d left my wallet on the bed back at his mother’s house. Erik mentioned he’d love to meet up with us and his mom’s place was on the way. He’s been toying with the idea of calling out of work, since there was supposed to be surf.
So after ambling around the shops in the little harbor shopping area, Jessica and I grabbed some ice cream and realized the guy we thought looked like Erik in the parking lot really was Erik in the parking lot. So we ambled back to the spots where we had reserved items-had to pick up some stuff for the folks back home! Plus a few things for ourselves-we’ve decided Peace Frog is a pretty near little shop-a portion of their proceeds go to various charities, including frog research and conservation in South America, especially where they are disappearing in alarming rates or have increasing rates of deformities. Where our amphibians go, so do we.
We found much love also at Wet Mitten, where I managed to grab the last DVD of “Unsalted,” an epic movie of surfing in the Great Lakes. Can’t wait to get home and watch it with the family! Erik Holt is actually in it, too, as is Karen’s beautiful home.
I really do hope, and I will put it out there-that if folks who surf here want to visit NJ in the fall when we have really decent surf AND our water is still warm, we will happily host them. I am piling up on the karmic debt! It would be a cool thing to keep in touch with this group of hardy surfers-and I mean hardy-you only get awesome surf in the Great Lakes if it has been really windy. And of course this water never really warms up.
An added perk to yesterday, in addition to all the other amazingness of the day, was there WAS surf! Poor Erik waited around while we did our thing at PeaceFrog and Wet Mitten and then convinced us, “so, you really aren’t going to get in the water today” and then he mentioned surf….and then there wasn’t much convincing.
Erik had a friend who was up from Florida, Jim, who was with a friend, Rich. The two are surfers and I think they brought their whole quiver up with them. So Jessica got in the water with a longboard and I had a Jerry Lopez Surftech 10’6″-which was a GREAR board. Loved it on the perfect little waves we had. Seriously-these were perfect little waves!! Still pinching myself that this all somehow managed to come together and once again thankful for our wonderful hosts and now friends who’ve come into my life through this journey for our fresh and salty water.
I didn’t realize how late it was until we got off the water. Holy mackerel-it was after 7! The days are so much longer here than in NJ and I’m still not used to it. We called Karen who suggested that rather than me make quinoa salad, that she take us out to dinner. So we met up at a Mexican place, where the food was great but I think our conversation was better!
On our ride back to Karen’s home, Jessica and I reflected on the amazing folks who have hosted us. All understand the need to protect our water, all “get” this crazy mission, which really, when you think of what we are doing to our water resources and our ocean, relatively speaking, isn’t so crazy. Allowing our water resources and ocean to be further degraded and dirtied so we can no longer count on them for life is crazy. And these amazing folks who’ve opened their homes and even their hearts to us, they get it. Yes, Jessica and I are incredibly lucky to have met such spunky, lively, thinking, good hearted folks who all do what they can for our water, and consequently for all of the rest of us, too.