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Almost to Waldron Island, we met up with my parents and Noah. The motoring mothership dwarfed the kayak we generally call the Big Banana. Dana elected to jump on board with them, so Tom & I powered the crossing without her.

The mothership motored ahead for a bit, then paced us alongside (“you’re making almost 5 knots” dad yelled), and finally settled in behind us.

With the weather a bit grey, we were happy to slide into Mail Bay and land right onto the beach. The mothership, of course, had to fiddle with their anchor and their dinghy to come ashore. Two very different species (the whale and the minnow?), double the options for the kids, an awesome adventure to Waldron Island.

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Yesterday my mother-in-law earned her first place age-group gold medal nordic ski skating the Garland Glide 10K. Today she’s classic cross-country skiing with her granddaughter. It is a beautiful Michigan winter day, somehow sunny and yet snowing so lightly that the air looks like it is glittering. While I am chastened that my mother-in-law is way faster than me at this sport, I am psyched that she is such a great role model for my daughter.p11907481

Having a Michigan Cup champion ski racing grandma who has competed in the Masters World Cup in cross-country skiing in Moscow, Italy, Finland, and Idaho is a powerful reminder that outdoor adventuring after age 70 is possible. I admire the medals, but even more the excitement in her voice when she talks about a great ski day and the camaraderie among folks who love the sport. Grandpa too is a fit nordic skier, and glad to see his granddaughter out enjoying winter on skis.

Living in the Pacific Northwest, we don’t have as much opportunity to cross-country ski as grandma and grandpa, but we know they are classic and skate ski racing every weekend this winter, and we think of them with love and admiration. They are probably role models in adventure not just for us, but for the young folks at those races too.

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