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When we reach the lake's weedy shore, we take a quick break to bask in the fading sunlight. The water is still except for the occasional ripple from a hungry bass, but the forest around us buzzes and titters in anticipation of dusk. I traipse across fallen logs and rocks, and discover an overturned wooden rowboat hidden behind the cattails. We peer underneath and all around. No oars. No choice but to saddle up and ride homeward.
Although the trail widens and the trees around us spread themselves thinner along this last leg of the trail, the canopy remains dense. The golden light grows faint and purple. I linger in the twilight, stopping to fashion my fleece vest around my handlebars, creating a makeshift carrier for fire-worthy wood I find on the way. Then I pedal slowly, picking up thick branches as I roll, inhaling the musk of the humid air as I near Murray Bay.
Tomorrow, I think, we'll bike to the island cemetery to see the old gravestones of early island inhabitants. Maybe we'll head up the eastern edge to see the Jacobsville formations. Or maybe we'll just park our bikes, dig our toes into our patch of sand and watch the sun sparkle on the water.
Lynda Twardowski is assistant editor at Traverse, Northern Michigan's Magazine. email@example.com
Note: This article was originally published in September 2006 and was updated for the web February 2008.