It is late fall and typically all of the fall colors have peaked by now, but not this year. We arrived in Traverse City late afternoon, the sun was glistening off the bay and the colors of fall were in full bloom. Our room at the Cherry Tree Inn is the penthouse suite overlooking the bay and from our vantage point we can see the peninsulas jetting out both sides and the islands out beyond them. Lake Michigan and the Traverse bay are a beautiful aqua color reminding us of the waters down around Destin Florida, the water is calm low wind and perfect for hovering. I began to ask around and discovered that the bay typically does not freeze over in the winter and yet last year it froze for the first time in about 10 years. The surrounding inland lakes and the numerous bays along this part of the Great Lakes make this the perfect place for hovercraft. The open waters of Lake Michigan can be rather treacherous during the late fall and the winter months so the bays and inland lakes offer some of the best waters for recreational hovering and the views are spectacular. In addition to hovering the area offers numerous shopping opportunities from gourmet to down home. Wine tasting is almost a sport in this areas with more wineries than most places have corner gas stations. Traverse City also offers the site seer sand dunes and incredible hiking trails, not to mention the cherry orchards which produce some of the best cherries in the world and the area provides you with everything cherry from chocolate covered cherries to cherry wine. During the fishing season there are charter services and boat rentals all over the area. Biking trails and scenic drives are abundant. The area offers up about every outdoor activity imaginable including snow sports during the winter. The restaurants in the area have a diverse menu so bring your appetites.
Wednesday, November 12, 2014
Saturday, March 15, 2014
In the past I have written strictly about Hovercraft in this blog, but my Backwater Adventures have taken me to other places using various means of transportation. On a recent trip to Florida we decided to try an air boat to discover the difference and or similarities. Our captain for the day was Greg (shown in the picture to the right) a very personable southern gentleman who assured us from the start that he had many years of air boat experience. It did not take long to discover for ourselves that he was telling the truth. It was fun to watch his maneuvering through areas that were less than adequate for the size of air boat we were in. The boat was powered by a 450 HP V8. The Hostess Sharon, who signed us up was very friendly and most helpful. The tour took just over an hour and Greg allowed a young man about 11 to sit next to him and be our gator spotter. The lake contains over 3000 alligators so in our hour tour we spotted or at least counted 56, in addition to the gators the lake is also home to snakes, turtles, wild animals including panthers, and various local and migrating water birds,. The air boat is a unique vehicle with many of the hovercraft characteristics with one exception, it is on the water and land not above it like a hovercraft. If you have never tried air boating I recommend it for the simple reason it allows you to make an informed decision when purchasing a hovercraft. I will not be trading off my hover for an air boat but it was a fun trip. All in all the cruise cost is fun and worth the time to take it. If you are in the Naples FL. area look them up and take the tour. Tell them Terry from TLS WindSled sent you, they may give you a discount. Thank you Capt. Greg and Airboats & Alligators for a fun and informative outing.
Airboats & Alligators
6001 Lake Trafford Rd., Immokalee, FL 34142 239-657-2401
All Photos of Airboats & Alligators are courtesy of TripAdvisor