Saturday, August 16, 2014

If you seek a pleasant peninsula, look about you.

There is new life in the soil for every man. There is healing in the trees for tired minds and for our overburdened spirits, there is strength in the hills, if only we will lift up our eyes. Remember that nature is your great restorer.
~ Calvin Coolidge

As I write this I am listening to the waves of Lake Superior crash on the rocks just steps from my door. The same rocks that, during the day, Noah and Sam run and play on for hours while we watch and sip coffee. It really is a special place we have found and it's going to be hard to find a campsite that tops this. It's not just this site either. It's this park and it's the Upper Peninsula in general. It's one of those places that you come to and you immediately feel connected. Fellow Michiganders, if you have never explored north of the bridge you are doing it wrong. 

Last Sunday we packed up everything and headed north. Our first stop was to visit my Uncle Bob and Aunt Dianne (the boys call her Uncle Dianne, a name that Noah gave her when he was a baby that just kind of stuck). They have a great place on the Thunder Bay River in Hillman, MI. Once you arrive at their house you immediately feel comfortable and relaxed and it's really hard to leave. 

The English Cottage is like a resort!

We parked the RV at a campground upstream from them and they came and picked us up for dinner on the pontoon boat! The boys thought this was really cool and I have to admit, I was pumped about it too. We ate, had some laughs and then got some shut-eye. 

Sammy loves his Hannah and his Uncle Dianne.

The next day I had to do some work so I took advantage of their WiFi while Jessica, Aunt Diane and the boys spent the day trying to make tents for the boys. My aunt had some fabric that she found at a vintage shop and has been excited about doing this for months now. They took a trip to the lumber store to get frame material and tried laying out the project several times before deciding it was too big of a job to complete in one afternoon. Lucky for them, while they were running around town gathering materials and getting wood cut, they came across a neighbor who just happened to have a teepee in her attic that she was looking to give away. So, the boys got a new tent out of the deal but the homemade tents will have to wait for another day. 

Late in the afternoon we said goodbye and headed off to Tahquamenon Falls State Park. We setup camp in the dark and slept in late the next day. 

She literally said, "Take a picture of me while I wave goodbye and put it in your blog."

I woke up with a splitting headache and a stuffy nose. I knew immediately that I had caught the cold that we have been passing around the camper for the last two weeks. Taking long trips in an RV is great but when someone gets sick it's a real problem. A few years ago we took a trip to Disney World and we kept passing a flu bug around. I caught it twice in a matter of 3 weeks. We called it 'Mickey Mouse's Revenge' and it was not fun. So, armed with a virus and a bad attitude, I sought to take on the splendors of Tahquamenon Falls. 

Beautiful! (and the waterfall is nice too)

We did a few short hikes and saw some sights. We also took a trip to town to do laundry and grab some groceries. We made friends with some fellow full-timers. Randy and Karen are the hosts at the state park there and they are wonderful people. They heard me playing my guitar and came over to listen. See, in the real world I am a mediocre guitarist but in the camping world I am like Jimmy Page. We sat and talked around the fire and they massaged my ego with compliments about my guitar playing. They just started full-timing this summer as well so it was nice to have people who we could really relate to. 

I may or may not have bribed him into hugging his brother for this picture. 

Where yoopers go to clean their flannel shirts

After three short days we packed it in again and headed west for copper country. After a brief stop for lunch and some business in Marquette we arrived at the amazing campsite that I described earlier. We have done a lot of hiking and swimming and the boys are getting a lot of recreation and fresh air. Another perk of this campground is we have 4G wireless access which enables me to do things like write this blog and rot my brain with Facebook. 

Noah learning about wolves on a nature hike. 

Mom and Sammy enjoying their own private waterfall. A short two hour hike along the trail. 

Hannah loves being outdoors too. Pound for pound she is the best hiker on the planet. 

In a couple days we are heading north to the Keweenaw Peninsula where we are camping with Jessica's aunt and uncle. Her uncle is bringing a boat so hopefully we can catch some fish. The campground is right next to some of the most amazing mountain bike trails in Michigan so I will probably go out and get injured at some point. 

Most of our friends and family back home are picking up the pieces after a massive flash flood. I have seen pictures and heard stories but I really can't wrap my mind around it. I have never seen flooding of this magnitude in all my years of living in the Detroit area so it is really shocking to me. Friends, family, Mom, Katie and Paul, Shelly and Jeff, Christina and Shelly, Zac, Steve W and anyone else effected by the storm, we are thinking about you. 

1 comment:

  1. I have such good memories of the U.P! HAVe you found America yet?

    Here's some previous smiles in the same spot from years ago:

    We will be living in Grand Canyon from September 15 on, so aim your vehiicle towards the big hole in the ground if you can! Minimal to no snow, I promise!