“To Infinity and Beyond”

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OK a new morning…a new start…a better day!

That’s what I had to hope and believe as I strapped my gear down to venture out on Saturday  Day 46. Not only was I getting back on the water after my big flip, but I was doing so having to cross Traverse Bay. It was probably the most nervous I had felt on my trip since before crossing Saginaw Bay.

That cocky swagger was gone. In fact, I even questioned if I could make it across. One wave…one moment of realizing you might not have superpowers, and that Lake Michigan really is the one who holds all the cards…really makes you reassess your ability.

Until I hit the water that is. Then my superpowers were back! That fear, that frustration, and tentative and uneasy feeling drifted away as fast as the current.

I got this. Lake Michigan won’t win this fight!

And with that…I turned the tides. My bad luck soon began to fade and the good came drifting in.

My paddle across Traverse Bay was as smooth as all of my previous open water crossings. Ending in Cat Head Bay with a perfect sunset topped of the end of a great long paddle. Why was I nervous? I didn’t remember

Knowing storms were coming Sunday, I was up early to chance paddling a beating the storms. Time to roll the dice. Again, luck was on my side and the reward was a great 5 mile paddle with one of the most spectacular sunrises I had seen on the trip yet.

If that didn’t help lift my spirits, what was next would for sure!

As beautiful as most of this trip has been, nothing can compare to my scenery from Christmas Cove to Frankfort, Michigan. For the past 5 days, I’ve gotten to paddle one of the most beautiful stretches of land I have ever seen. Cliffs of trees, beautiful Sandy coastlines and to top it off…Sleeping Bear Dunes National Seashore.

This is what makes this whole trip worth it. The sun set on me, my tent and the few puffs of a cigar…just to help take in the full enjoyment of the moment. I was in Sleeping Bear Dunes without a care in the world.

A beautiful sunset, rolling sandy dunes, and South Manitou Island off in the distance. Perfection. All for me. Nothing else mattered. The perfect end to a perfect day!

This last week has truly been one of the best weeks ever. It has brought me back to life…restored my confidence and made me rethink my feelings for Lake Michigan.

Oh yea…and there was this guy. Some know him as Tim the Tool Man Taylor. Others know him as Buzz Lightyear, Mr. Mike Baxter, or the Santa Claus. Me..I just called him Mr. Allen. My Michigan portion of the trip recieved the ultimate reward with bumping into the legend himself.

I was walking back to my paddleboard from getting to hang out with one of his neighbors, when all of a sudden…I see this car that looked like it was straight out of Francis Ford Coppola’s “The Godfather”. Out steps Tim Allen and his mom.

“Why are all these lights on.” He shouts about his garage lights. “Tell the kids to stop turning on all the lights!”

It was like I was thrown into an episode of Home Improvement, and here was Tim calling orders like he would to Jill and the kids. Could this be real life?!?!

Do I say hello…I can’t just walk by and not say anything…luck has put me on a walk from his neighbors house, right by him, standing 10 feet from me…now’s my chance.

This whole time in Michigan, I’ve joked about meeting him, and now a picture and a handshake later, I can offically say I met one of the actors I’ve grown up with. He has been in some of my favorite TV shows and movies. To meet him on this trip, was the ultimate change in my fortunes.

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Who knows what’s up next…only time will tell…but right now… anything can happen!

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