Ended the week here in Lower/Northern Michigan the best way possible: With a mountain bike ride at the VASA single track, located just outside of Traverse City, Michigan.
The VASA system is a pretty awesome 15 or so mile loop, through the very interesting Michigan landscape. By interesting, I mean very sandy at times, and unfortunately sandy in the various tight and twisty corners. It took a couple times eating sand to adjust my riding style over the entire trail, but by the end I had earned my sand wings. The trail is tight and twisty, with very fast sections where you can crank out the big ring and really get some speed. Not the most technical of trails, but very enjoyable regardless.
This was a great way to end a very amazing week. Lots of time on the quiet Little Traverse Lake either swimming or kayaking, some urban exploration, lots of euchre, and lots and lots of Michigan beer. For some reason unknown to me, Michigan has some great brews going on. Breweries on our agenda were North Peak, Bell’s, Founders, and Arbor Brewing.
What a fantastic week of relaxation, now unfortunately back to the grind of reality.
One of the best things about vacations is discovering new things. For me, one of those things is discovering new beers. Being a beer geek, I have a short list of beers that I really enjoy, and always have the thought in my mind to visit the breweries that I like the most. Luckily, here in the Traverse City region, one of my favorite beers is a staple in the area.
My family and I had the chance to swing by North Peak Brewing’s pub and restaurant to grab some beer and appetizers, and just enjoy the atmosphere. And atmosphere there was, based out of a historic brick building that used to manufacture candy. The interior of the building is gorgeous, with rough looking lumber everywhere, giving you a cabin like feeling. From looking at the brick exterior, I never would have guessed it:
We all decided on getting their sampler, which gives you their five standard beers, which we the elected for their three extra styles that are only available at the restaurant. All of the beers were amazing, with my attention focusing mostly on their Porter, but mostly on their Barleywine, which if they offered a sixer of that I would have taken home a case. Definitely a great representation of the style.
If you should find yourself in the Traverse City area, be sure to stop in and have a drink, you will be glad that you did.