My first morning in Michigan was spent rafting on the Sturgeon River. Three of us were sent off on our inflatable raft with some oars and a half-concocted plan as to how we’d work together as a team. Much to my and Chelle’s surprise, we actually did pretty well. The river was relaxing enough for us to take in the natural beauty but provided enough action that kept us entertained. Many thanks to Big Bear Adventures for a fun morning.
After our rafting expedition, I served as cart girl and beer opener as the others played Treetops Resort’s Threetops Course, which is considered the Best Par-3 Course on Earth by some. Designed by Rick Smith, his first par three course received national recognition since it opened, and it consistently ranks as the #1 par three course in America by Golf Magazine, Golfweek and Golf & Travel. It's perhaps the most recognized par three course in America. For a number of years, Threetops hosted the ESPN Par 3 Shootout.
Later that evening, we made our way to Downtown Gaylord to attend the Gaylord Alpenfest, which has been one of Northern Michigan’s most unique and fun festivals for 47 years. This annual Swiss-themed festival is held in July with live music, Queen’s Pageant, parade, carnival, food and drinks. Why Alpenfest? Gaylord’s sister city is Pontresina, Switzerland, which is a tourist community of about 1,800 people. This 850-year-old village is located at the foot of the majestic Bernina Peaks. With live entertainment and wacky contests (Ladies Best Ankles and Men’s Best Knees), Alpenfest is great fun!