Wednesday, June 28, 2017

Time to Head North

Next week will be my fourth trip up to see Boyne Thunder, one of America’s premiere poker runs. The first couple of years I traveled up to Michigan, I had hoped to at least bring my Formula 242 up as a marshal boat, but ongoing trailer issues nixed that. Later, having sold my boat, my wife and I still enjoyed heading up to see the boats and check out all the activities, like the street show in Boyne City and the art fair in Charlevoix, which always seems to be held on the same weekend. There’s no doubt that the region includes some of the most scenic areas the Midwest has to offer.

The Street Party in Boyne City on Friday night is one you don't want to miss.
This year, my wife has declined to go, and being freed up, I decided to inquire about the possibility of volunteering at the event, which raises money for children with cancer and individuals with disabilities. Having secured a couple of opportunities to pitch in, I started to make plans.

I had thought about going about a month or more before, but we were invited to travel with some friends to Florida in the Fall, so I held off. When it later became clear that my wife’s job would not allow us to travel south in November, I looked again at coming up to BT, but by that time, no reasonable accommodations were available, and she was balking at making another trip north.

That meant going by myself, and since my needs are pretty modest (I just need a place to rest my head at night and take a shower) I figured I could find a convenient camping spot in the area. Finding campgrounds was not an issue; the only problem is that most non-electric tent sites can’t be reserved in advance, so it’s first-come-first served just about everywhere. I’m pretty confident that I won’t have any problems, and though I am not a big recreational camper, I think this will be a nice little adventure.

The continued popularity of this event is a real testament to the people who work so hard to put it on every year. When I first ventured up here in 2008, I think there were about 40 boats running; this year I believe the number of registrants is up to 120—and there are lots of people who are still on the waiting list. Since that more performance boaters are discovering this great Poker Run, it’s become a “must do”—not only for boaters, but for manufacturers who like to premiere their new boats. One I am especially looking forward to see is Catnip, a new classic wooden runabout from Van Dam Custom Boats, which is actually located in Boyne City. See you at the street show next Friday Night!

Catnip under construction at Van Dam Custom Boats

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