2015-09-10 / Outdoors

Omena News:

Omena begs to differ on shortest bridge walk
By LESLIE DISCH
Phone/fax 386-5686


JIM MILLER wins the kayak race as Omena bridge walkers take a return trip across the five-foot bridge over Krist Creek. A lack of competition appears to have influenced Miller’s finish. JIM MILLER wins the kayak race as Omena bridge walkers take a return trip across the five-foot bridge over Krist Creek. A lack of competition appears to have influenced Miller’s finish. Labor Day weekend and the week leading up to it were busy and fun in and around Omena – capping off a busy and fun summer. Bridge walks, floatillas, weddings, and house guests were just a few of the things happening.

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The third annual Omena Labor Day Bridge Walk was held at the home of Bob and Julie Krist. This year set a new record for participation as 23 people and three dogs hiked across Krist Creek. Unlike the Mackinac Bridge Walk, the entire bridge was closed to traffic during the Walk. Also, there are no shuttles, so participants had to walk over and back. Instead of the Governor, former Vice Mayor Shimmer Disch led the Walk.

Ed and Mary Woessner’s grandchildren, Jacob, Jonathan and Joshua Woessner, competed in the annual rubber duck race following the Bridge Walk. The new event at the Krist Creek Lower Falls this year was a kayak race. Jim Miller was the first to reach Krist Lake in his kayak, possibly because he was the only one who knew about it in advance.

Many thanks to Alice Littlefield who alertly spotted a story in the Sept. 6 Record Eagle reporting that “the area’s shortest bridge walk” was making its debut on Labor Day in Beulah. Beulah’s bridge is 23 feet long. Alice quickly wrote a letter to the editor correcting that story, and pointing out that Omena was having its Third Annual Bridge Walk over a five-foot bridge (5 feet, 1½ inches, to be exact).

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Quite a few Omena residents participated in the Suttons Bay Floatilla, trying in vain to regain the world record. Helen Putnam Bradley, Bob Krist and the Krist’s houseguest, Ingolf Bach were one group. Scott Mulligan and his wife Karen Crippes were there. Bill and Heidi Biederman’s son and granddaughter, Bill and Kate Biederman, were both among the kayakers. Kate’s mother and sister, Amber and Abby Biederman, joined her grandparent’s in the crowd cheering them on. Bob Joyce was one of the people on jet skis helping anyone who needed a hand. Ingolf took an unintended dip in the Bay and Bob was there to help him back into his kayak.

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Jim Miller was not at the Floatilla because he was busy training for the Bridge Walk kayak race.

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Last Saturday there were a lot of Stetsons and cowboy boots in Omena. The event was the wedding of Bruce and Judy Balas’ nephew, Colin Balas, and Darla Littlefield. The couple lives in Atlanta. Colin is the oldest son of Clark and Diane Balas, new residents of Traverse City and formerly of Portage, Michigan. Darla grew up in Texas near Waco. Wedding guests came from Texas, Chicago, St. Louis, Seattle, all parts of Michigan, and Brazil. The ceremony at the Omena Traverse Yacht Club was officiated by Myrn Steele with a reception following catered by Peg Donaghy. Afterwards the DJ provided music that had everyone up and dancing for hours, including the Texas Two-step, and maybe just a little swimming. Because of the distance that many traveled, the bride and groom planned five days of activities in the area including wine tasting, kayaking, swimming, biking, beer and cider tasting and taking in the beauty of the area. Everyone left with an appreciation of Leelanau County, and many said they will return.

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During the week before Labor Day, Jim and Kathy Miller spent four days as guests of Grand Rapids residents, Norma and Lew VanKuiken, aboard their 61-foot C&C sailing yacht, “Brassy”, a former Chicago to Mackinac Race winner. Weather limited their time under sail but they were able to sail Lake Michigan waters to Charlevoix, ending up in Leland. While sailing Lake Charlevoix and Round Lake, they encountered a rapid-moving, large weather system with 40 knot gusts. The sails were furled and the run was on. They passed the Inland Seas on their way to the dock, which they made with 15 minutes to spare before the weather hit.

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Quite a few Leelanau County residents headed to Grand Rapids the weekend before last for the wedding of Sarah Fowler and Anthony Everitt on Aug, 29 at Deer Run Golf Club in Lowell. Sarah is the daughter of Omena residents Ben and Judy Jensen Fowler. The guests who came from Leelanau were Jim and Eugenie Von Holt, Tom and Terry Gremel, Roger and Sandy Thomas and the Weisen family. Other out-of-town guests included relatives from Minnesota and Illinois and an exchange student, Judit, who had lived with the Fowlers, and her friend Phillippe from Switzerland. The wedding couple honeymooned at Disney World. Sarah and Anthony are both graduates of Ferris State University. Sarah just recently graduated with a degree in health information management. They will be living in Grand Rapids where Anthony is employed by Spectrum Health.

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Tomorrow is the last scheduled Leelanau Farmers Market in Northport. The last market in Empire is Saturday. Leland, Lake Leelanau and Glen Arbor had their final markets last week. Suttons Bay will continue through Oct. 24 with lots of wonderful produce.

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The Leelanau State Park Fall Festival on Saturday, Sept. 26, will also feature local produce. That event is held in conjunction with the Grand Traverse Lighthouse Museum’s annual fall fundraiser. It will be a fun day to head to Northport for the day, as Leelanau Uncaged is that same afternoon and evening.

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Saturday will be the Northport Promise Golf Outing at Sugar Loaf – The Old Course with a shotgun start at 9 am. Many thanks to this year’s three major sponsors, The Michael Chetcuti Foundation, Kyle Evans Design, and Baia Estate Northport. Contact Todd Huck, todd@tmmillwork.com, or Rick Huck, hucksnorthport@yahoo.com to register to play.

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Next Thursday, Sept. 17, Chris Czopek will speak on Payson Wolfe at the Northport Area Museum at 7 p.m.

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Happy Birthday to Terry Harris, Kyle Colling and Don Lystra. Happy Anniversary to Tony and Amanda Brown, Carter and Amy Oosterhouse, and Eric and Kristi Hallett.

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