Sunday, August 7, 2011

64th Au Sable River Canoe Marathon Weekend

Every year since 1947 on the last full weekend in July; Grayling, Michigan is host to the Au Sable River International Canoe Marathon. The race begins at dusk in Grayling and ends 120 miles and 14 non-stop hours later in Oscoda, Michigan and is viewed by many spectators. The entire town is transformed on this weekend by a craft show, car show, food tents and a parade before the actual start of the marathon.

The Car Show and Lunch ~

The classic car show takes place in the uptown area of Grayling.

Probably my favorite car on display. 


We always start our day in the area of town where the car show is going on as one of the best restaurants in town is located there.

 'The Bears Den Pizzeria' is sort of a homage to Fred Bear the man who revolutionized bow hunting. Hunters will really get the decor in there!  If you ever get up north and stop into town be sure to check it out. You have to get an order of the Koala sticks! They are cheesy bread sticks like no other!  (ALL  of the food is good there though) We always stop by for some when we're in town. 

The Bears Den Pizzeria ~
243 E. Michigan Ave.
Grayling, MI 49738
(989) 344-1234

My niece, Isabel patiently waiting for her bread sticks while chanelling Holly Golightly from 'Breakfast at Tiffany's' She is one of the cutest little ladies that I know! She's lots of fun and just loves shopping with the girls! 

My nephew, Jack hamming it up with Uncle Nate....His passion is Thomas the Train and beating up Uncle Nate! He is so sweet and bright! He has his hair done "Pikey (spiky) like Dad". Isn't that cute?


Off to the Fine  Arts craftshow ~

The craft show takes place in the City Park

Homemade pot holders, aprons, and cloth books

Cute idea for Christmas gift tags


 And more aprons ~ Maybe one of these days I'll learn to sew myself. It really makes a girl feel inspired to get creative!

These necklaces were so cute! A great price for 5 dollars!

The couple that made these were so friendly!

It's called Sassy Glass Necklaces and they have a website with a list of their events ~

I bought three! My older sister bought three, one for my niece (Disney princesses) and one for my nephew (Cars).

More homemade items ~

I bought one of the plastic bag holders. So, nifty! 

I also bought this plate. 
The owner of Kountry Kollections personalizes orders for free so I had her paint the words "Give Thanks" I can't wait to hang this up in the fall!

Her website is ~ 

We took a break to cool our feet in the river before the long walk to our spot for the parade...


The parade ~

This picture is for my good friend Alysse! She is a bright little girl that has taught me everything I know about tractors (and combines too)! I know her mom will show her these pics and she'll get quite a kick out of them!

My sister's Mother-in-law hosted a lunch for her entire family and invited our entire family (Our Dad, 3 sisters, two husbands and three cousins) and all on her husband's birthday! What a sweet woman she is! I'm so thankful for the wonderful grandparents on the 'other side of the family' that my niece and nephews have!


A moment for antiques ~

We stayed with my cousin Nikki, her husband Mark, and their kids Alex and Christopher for the weekend. We had a wonderful time catching up with family, playing games and doing the festivities in town!
My cousin knows me well and took me for a quick trip to a thrift store and an antique store.

This shop was just an empty building for the 7 + years I lived close to town. I'm so glad that there is such a lovely store in this old building!

I love the chandelier and the checker board on the wall

I'm looking for an old lamp like these....

Brown transferware! I just love it.


The Marathon ~

There's a bit of waiting that goes on in order to get good seats (blankets and lawn chairs) for the race.
So, we took the time to take some family pics...

Four out of five sisters isn't bad! The pink and green shirts are from our dad. They say "Live it, Love it, Paddle it" and the blue shirt is for a team in the race that a family friend sponsors.

My sister Stephanie and her husband Josh. They came all the way from Boston.

Isabel with my Brother-in-law Phil. He's such a great dad!

My youngest nephew, Avery. He is adorable and lots of fun. He's very easy-going.

Girls having a good time.


* My photos are not great of the actual marathon. My camera doesn't do well with certain lighting or moving shots. I'm thinking it may be time for a new one!

Lots of people excitedly waiting for the race to begin!

A cannon shot goes off to start the race and 90 teams sprint 250 yards with two partners carrying a 30 pound canoe on their shoulders. Then they jump into the river and get in their canoes, all the while a few thousand cheering fans are screaming their heads off.  Whole groups of people start running to their cars before even seeing the first team get in the water to follow the race all night and to get a good place at the first stop. Some people are just fans while others are feeders that bring supplies to the teams.

Teams from all over the United States and Canada compete in this race. This is part of the three longest running professional canoe marathons in North America. New York (70 mile) and Quebec (113 miles) are the other two.

On Sunday morning the teams arrived at Oscoda. Of the 90 teems that started the race only 69 teams finished.

Congratulations to the winning team of Steve LaJoie (of Grayling, MI) and Andrew Triebold (of Mirabel, Quebec, CAN) They raced for 14 hours, 41 minutes.
The pair has now won four straight Au Sable Marathon victories and they also won in 2004. 

The 2nd place team was brothers Ryan and Rodney Halstead, and they were 17 minutes behind the winning team. My sister, Bethanie, is best friends with Rodney's finacee, so my family was pretty excited about their great finish!

Well friends, I hope you enjoyed this little taste of Marathon weekend that my whole family just loves going to! 

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