August 9, 2011

Say "Yah" to da U.P., eh?!

A few weeks ago we packed up the camper and headed up north to meet some dear friends for a 12 night adventure.  Our first destination was North Higgins Lake State Park in the northern Lower Peninsula of Michigan.  The gang mostly hiked and biked and roasted some s'mores.  Our kiddos had a great time with our friends' children and their dog, Bella, a beautiful golden retriever.

Drawing in the sandy dirt with sticks.  Much fun!

Playing bean bag toss was another fun activity.

Abby enjoyed riding her bike to nowhere.  She hasn't quite gotten the hang of pedaling her bike so she was content to sit on it and pretend.  Worked for me.   *smile*

The next leg of our trip was going over the beautiful Mackinac Bridge to the Upper Peninsula's Muskallonge Lake State Park.  The camping area is between Muskallonge Lake and Lake Superior.  We had fun walking to Lake Superior and looking for rocks (Eli found a Petosky stone which he calls a "turtle stone"...fitting I suppose since it does look like the back of a turtle shell.)  We also roasted s'mores, made tonkas, hobo pies, took a day trip to Grand Marais to a water fall and old log slide area, and visited a bear ranch.

Sable Falls in the background.

Our hubbies took some of the brave children out on a sand dune to view this...
and this...
Au Sable Point Lighthouse is out there on the tip of the land.  Gorgeous, huh?  The women and smaller children were able to view this via a boardwalk that led to a lookout.

Oswald's Bear Ranch is the largest bear only bear ranch in the U.S.. They take in rescued bears.

 If you look really close (in this very blurry picture) Isaac is feeding a cub Fruit Loops.  It cost us $5 to get this picture taken, but it was worth it.  We all got to pet the little dude when the picture was done.  So cute!  

After our stay at Muskallonge we moved along to beautiful Tahquamenon Falls State Park for the next part of our camping adventure.  We hiked the falls, visited Whitefish Point Lighthouse, Sault St. Marie and the Soo Locks.  We also enjoyed a few meals out at Applebee's and Pizza Hut, plus did a bunch of roasting over the fire of s'more, tonkas, and pigs in a blanket (recipe to come!).

When hiking the lower falls of the Tahquamenon you need to take a row boat across to the island.  Nathan was the captain of this ship.  

Noah was the captain of ours.  It was rather fun to have him row our boat.  He's not used to rowing so we went in various circles and squiggles across the water to the island.  He got us there, though...that was the goal!

Once on the island you can hike all over the place...even the little water falls. 

There's a log and a chair stump that our kids sit on for a picture every time we visit Tahq.

Nathan took Noah and Isaac on a 4 mile hike (9 miles total there and back from our campsite) to the Upper Falls.

  Beautiful!  (The entire group of us drove to it another evening so we got to enjoy it's beauty as well!)

Unfortunately this was the only moose any of us saw all vacation.

Whitefish Point Lighthouse has a museum of all the shipwrecks from that area.  The most memorable one was the Edmund Fitzgerald that sank in 1975. We watched a video about the shipwreck, toured the lighthouse keeper headquarters, visited the bird sanctuary (Our oldest could have spent a whole day alone there!  He loved it!) and enjoyed finding more rocks on the shore.

All of our kidlets at Whitefish Point.

It was a fun and memorable vacation.  Can't wait to go back some other year!


T. Pierce said...

Looks like you all had a wonderful time away. I love reading your blog. It is an encouragement to me.

Carmen at Old House Homestead said...

Thank you for your kind comment! We did have a wonderful time. Blessings! : )

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