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The Sounds of Summer

White Birch Lodge - Elk Rapids, MI

During the middle of August, our family was privileged to stay at White Birch Lodge on the beautiful shores of Elk Lake, in Elk Rapids, MI.  With summer slowly waning, what with its' record-breaking warmth and abundant sunshine, the lingering sounds of summer rang in our ears.  There at the Lodge, it was in the form of the infectious laughter of children playing together on the beach; the thrill of their mates and Lodge staff cheering them on loudly as they mounted water-skis, some for the very first time...without tipping over; the crisp sounds of heavy steel horse shoes clanking against their iron stakes as someone from a group of guests just made another ringer; the sound of the big ol' cast iron dinner bell ringing out three times a day like clock-work to announce (what Uncle Billie confidently proclaimed in the movie, "It's A Wonderful Life" were the most beautiful sounds to the human ear): 'breakfast is served, lunch is served, and dinner is served'; the purr of boat motors from any one of White Birch Lodge's fleet of Mastercraft champion ski boats pulling people on colorful wake-boards, tubes, rafts, or even a 'Big Banana' float full of screaming children sporting grins so wide they could eat real bananas sideways. These are only a few of the wonderful sounds of summer we have come to appreciate, love, and look forward to here Up North. 

By night, the cooler night air was filled with not only with the aroma of nearby blazing campfires, but with the rhythmic chorus of crickets, katydids and tree frogs that hailed gently from the still-lush woods. Closer to shore, the sound of the waves slowly lapping at the beach all but put us to sleep.

One night, while seated around a well-attended blazing bonfire, some guests even brought their guitars along for some fun. Within a short while, grown-ups were chiming in to  impromptu renditions of some hit songs from the 70's and 80's (or earlier), one of them being Peter, Paul, and Mary's "Puff The Magic Dragon".  Kids of all ages, some on parent's laps, others busy cooking marshmallows for s'mores, marked time while parents studied their iPhones searching for the lyrics to some of those old songs. All the while, the Perseid Meteor Shower was holding forth with its' own celestial show overhead -- how's THAT for an unforgettable Up North evening. One really cute, bespectacled little boy whom I spied near the fire looked like a five year old version of Burl Ives, complete with a white s'more goatee and mustache; maybe the mushy sugary confection missed his mouth while he was looking up at all the bright stars. 

We do hope you've been able to take in something of our special Up North summer; there's really nothing else like it anywhere.  If you live, or have otherwise been able to spend some time here this summer, no doubt you've made some unforgettable memories.  If not, why not pack the car and head north for some quality quiet time with your family to take in the 'sounds of summer' together...Up North.
Just another beautiful "Up North" benediction

P.S. For a detailed description of what a vacation week at White Birch Lodge looks like, please visit our August 24, 2011 post:  "The Road to White Birch..." Enjoy!