Our last summer hurrah

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Kevin VanDam

Kevin VanDam

In the world of professional bass fishing, Kevin VanDam is at the pinnacle and arguably the best in the world.

Sorry I haven't written for a couple of weeks. I've been on a family vacation since the last regular season event on Oneida. We wanted to do something as a family before the kids go back to school next Tuesday, the day after Labor Day. It's tough to do much as a family when the kids are in school.

We went to northern Michigan, and did we ever have a ball. It's one of our best vacations ever.

I brought my boat so we could do some smallmouth fishing. There's no shortage of lakes around here that'll put our skills to the test. Jackson and Nicholas both caught their share. They're going to grow into pretty good anglers. Dad managed to hook a few himself. All in all, the fishing's been pretty good.

My nephews were with us for awhile. Steve — he plays on the Kalamazoo Valley Community College basketball team — caught a 5-pound largemouth. I think I was as excited about it as he was. It's a thrill to see someone you care about catch a big one like that. It'll be something he remembers for the rest of his life, regardless of how much fishing he does, or doesn't do, in the future.

In between testing the smallmouth waters, we did many other things, too. One of our favorite activities was canoeing. You know, those things operate on the water a little different than my bass boat — not nearly as fast, and for sure not as stable. They're a lot of fun, though. We laughed, carried on and had a really good time. That's all I care about.

We also spent some time playing miniature golf and riding go-carts. One of the most fun things we did, however, was go biking on Mackinac Island. What an experience!

I've been a lot of places, but this one is the real deal. It's an island located between the Lower and Upper peninsulas. The only way to get there is to park on the mainland and cross over to the island by ferry.

Transportation on the island is limited to walking, horse and buggy and bicycles. We chose bicycles and rode all over the place. It's all Victorian, with huge homes and lots of simple pleasures and stores. It was one of the neatest parts of our vacation.

We'll spend the rest of the week running around up here, seeing what there is to get into before we have to return home over the weekend. Once there, the kids will get ready for school, and I'll start getting ready for the postseason tournaments in Alabama. I'll talk more about that next week.

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