A very special homecoming will take place in northern Michigan next week.
Two young women who have been sailing around The Great Loop will arrive back home in Northport after two years under sail.
There's no doubt this has been a life-changing experience that they'll be sorry to see end, but they're also looking forward to some conveniences that most of us take for granted.
On September 4th 2012, Jessie Zevalkink and Katie Smith set sail on The Great Loop. The Great Loop is the circumnavigation of eastern North America â?? a trip that can be anywhere from 5,000 to 7,000 miles, depending on the exact route chosen.
The duo is currently at a marina on Lake Huron, waiting for some bad weather to clear.
Katie and Jessie say the idea started as a joke.
"We were both kind of at a point where we were trying to figure out - OK, what are we going to do next?â?? said Jessie. â??We were bored with everything that was going on, everything our friends were doing. So when we got this idea in our head, we were like, we have to do that."
The joke quickly became a plan as their dads got involved; and the trip became more of a journey with these sailors finding things they didn't know they were looking for.
"I guess, inside, we probably didn't know that we were trying to figure out about ourselves or discover things about our country and other people and all of that kind of stuff that we have learned along the way, but that is what happened," Katie said. "I guess now that I look back, I guess that's what I was looking for."
The adventure is being well-documented with a blog, Instagram, multiple magazine and newspaper stories.
So what's next? Yeah, they get that question a lot.
"We spent the last three months going back and forth of even if we should come home or if we should somehow keep going, but this last month, we were both really, really excited to be ending our journey and figuring out whatever is next," Jessie said. "And if you ask what's next, I don't have an answer."
Katie and Jessie are planning to sail into Northport on September 4th, exactly two years after they set-sail.
And what do they miss most after so long on the water? Hot water, refrigerators, and indoor plumbing.
Jessie says her plans for now are to take some time in northern Michigan until she finds the right job that takes her anywhere or everywhere.