Well, we just wrapped up our camping adventures for the season with a trip to Porcupine Mountains Wilderness State Park in Michigan. Another outstanding camping trip. Just when I think..."I could give this up", we go and have the time of our lives!
We left our place at 8:30am on Friday August 3rd. I made smoothies for breakfast and we hit the road. The smoothies were great, but we were starving about an hour into the trip. Problem...I could not access our food! We got a "hitch haul" for the car...you know those racks that hang off the back of your car? Well, once you get that thing two tubs high and two tubs wide, you are not able to open your trunk. I had all these snacks and drinks planned for the road trip and I could not access them! Poor planning on my part, but, you live and learn.
Hungry and Road Trip are two (three?) words that do not work well together. We took the "scenic" route up north...not on purpose. We didn't know that we were going to drive through every small town that Wisconsin had to offer. Matt had to suffer through the stop lights and I had to suffer through passing up Thrift Shop after Thrift Shop. Oh, they were calling my name! Matt, with his new Lasik eyes saw a little sign for "Eggs and Toast $2.25". We stopped at this fabulous little hole-in-the-wall and had an outstanding breakfast complete with eggs, toast, and buttermilk pancakes.
We were pretty hungry (I don't allow the word "starving" in our house) again by the time we reached Michigan. I said, "we are stopping and I am going to get at that food one way or another!". "Kids...out of the back seat!". I started whipping things around and somehow got into the food storage tub. The coolers were out of the question. We sat at the rest area and ate beef jerkey and wasa crackers and water. So good.
Michigan officially counts as our 15th state in our 50 State Tour. We have been "through" many more states, but we need to do something special in that state in order for it to count.
Shortly after we arrived in Michigan, my Sweetie decided to speak my Love Language when he spotted a sign for a Chai Tea. Yes, we stopped and I had one of the best Chai's ever!
After 5 stops (what in the world!?!) and 7 hours, we arrived at camp. We set up our tent and then met some friends down at the beach. Tummy's were growling again so we came back to camp and made our famous first night dinner...grilled cheese sandwiches. The kids were not happy that I made them with my homemade whole wheat bread. I thought they were so yummy and dense and nutty. Yum. It's hard to please everybody.
After dinner we went back down to the beach for some sunset swimming and a bonfire on the beach. This was one of those magical nights. Just perfect.
The water was "refreshing" (aka...cold). Didn't stop anyone!
We were just saying how laid back Michigan was with letting us gather wood (a big no-no in MN) and make a fire on the beach. This place is so cool! Well, shortly after we enjoyed our 'smores, some friendly little Park Ranger dudes pulled up and asked us to kindly put out our bonfire. Apparently, fires are restricted to the fire rings at the campsites. Ha! They were really so sweet with us! (I still don't know if it is legal to gather wood in Michigan b/c there weren't any signs...)
A breakfast surprise...sugar cereal! I won those kids back for a bit.
Look at that hunk. I wouldn't be a camper without this guy.
Getting ready for our 4 mile hike to Lake of the Clouds.
Lake of the Clouds.
After the 4 mile hike, we enjoyed a picnic lunch. There was an ambitious group of hikers that was interested in hiking 4 miles back. Daisy was one of those hikers. So, Matt went back to camp with Lucy and MJ while Daisy and I and about half the group made the 4 mile journey back to our starting place. This was a fairly intense hike with steep verticals and steep declines. I'm so happy I did it, but man was I S.O.R.E.!
Powdery sand...awesome rock hunting!
Sunset soccer every night.
This picture makes me laugh! I believe Matt was working on the French Toast...I bet I had a million things I wanted to say. Ha. He did a great job!
Sleepy heads. MJ is in the middle...head inside his bag.
Mmmm...I love hot chocolate on a camping morning.
The kids cookin' up the Lil Smokies.
A little hike to see some of the falls.
Lucy and MJ enjoying some quiet time together while Daisy stayed back at camp with Dad.
Mommy getting in some quality reading time.
This was our view of the sunset and lake from camp.
So much fun, but always so good to get home! I really worked at fine tuning our camping list this time. I'm trying to get us to only pack the essentials and not all the extras.
I'll try to do a Part 2 post with our menu and some other lists that come in handy.
This week I need to get into wedding mode! My cousin is getting married and my mom and I are hosting her Bridal Brunch Shower here on Thursday morning, wedding on Friday, and gift opening/pig roast (can't wait!) on Saturday. Looking forward to a fun (but busy) week!
"Ponder the beauty in a waterfall's casting itself down. See yourself abandoning your 'self life' just as joyously". Hinds Feet on High Places by Hannah Hurnard