Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Interlochen, Ludington, Fort Custer, Heather, Lauren, Nick and Kids

 
         
                                                  
Our next stop after Traverse City was at Interlochen State Park.  We stayed there for a few days and caught a concert at Interlochen Center for the Arts, which is right across the street from the campground.  We saw the band Blind Pilot from Portland, Oregon.  We thought they were great! Have a listen: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=435USIk3yDc This is from the Letterman Show where he screws up their name!

Next stop was Ludington, an old favorite of ours, where we caught many beautiful sunsets and many photo op's for deer.
A doe checking out our campsite!
Two fawns we saw in the dunes down by the beach.
A regular at our camp, we named him Bucky.
Our next stop was Fort Custer State Park near Battle Creek where we met up with Heather, Lauren, Nick, Trina, Max, Aiden and of course Lexie.

It's been a wonderful trip, rediscovering some of our favorite up-north places and discovering a few new ones!  Home until after Christmas, except for a couple weeks up north for the colors in the fall!

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Superior, Eagle's, Mountains, Waterfalls and Elizabeth!!!

Back in Michigan in time for the 4th. Camped in the sand right on Lake Superior, just a few miles from the Porcupine Mountains, thank heaven for four wheel drive!
We have seen a lot of eagle's on this trip but this sighting was really special. Mom, dad and two fledgelings about a half mile down the beach from camp. We would walk down at dusk to see them almost every day.


The Porcupine Mountains, once again we were reminded just how beautiful Michigan is!
One of the many beautiful sunsets on Lake Superior
Fireworks 50 yards from our camp. The guy who shot them off came to each campsite for a donation, we contributed $10, we were not disappointed!
Beautiful!!! the falls are nice too. Our next stop was Munising.

Some of the many falls in the area.


Took the Pictured Rocks boat cruise...Wisconsin Dell's has nothing on us!!!

Next stop was at the Straits we stayed at the State Park there.

Took a trip up to the Soo and watched some freighters go through the locks.
Our next stop was Traverse City.  Our niece Elizabeth taking a one week class there, so we got to visit and sample the "rummie bears" which are gummie bears soaked in coconut rum.  She was excited about making it on the blog! :)  Her caption for this pic is, and I quote:  "Cindy with her favorite niece Elizabeth (suck it Mando!)"

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

A mine, Tornado, Chimpanzee, Zipline and The Dell's

Pic's of our visit to Aunt Dorothy's.  We set up in her back yard and spent a couple days visiting with her, Bobby, Sarah, Kimberly and Kristen (and Bubba too!!)
After a few one night stops on our way to Wisconsin Dells, we ended up at Cindy's new favorite campground just outside Escanaba.  If you look real close, what you are seeing above the camper is the top of the casino's hotel! 
Our campsite at Wells State Park, just south of Escanaba.  This was actually where we were headed when we got sidetracked by the casino campground!  Beautiful campground right on Lake Michigan.  Forecast was for a chance of thunderstorms and we were excited about the possibility of watching a storm over the lake.
As you can see, we did get a storm, not exactly what we were hoping for tho!!  A storm moved in early one morning with VERY high winds.  We counted about 30 trees down just inside the campground, not counting the ones blocking the road into and out of the campground itself!!  Thankfully, it was not a weekend, otherwise many of the downed trees would have landed on tents or campers!  Luckily, no damage to any campsite that was occupied!  The campground lost electrical power, so after waiting several hours to see if power was going to be restored soon, and the road to be opened, we ended up cutting our stay here short.

We visited an old copper mine.  We actually did not dress warm enough, it was really cold down in there, 37 to 42 degrees.  Pic of some of the local residents (cute little bats!)
We also visited DeYoung Zoo, featured on Natural Geographic channel a year or two ago.  We got to meet Louie, a 2 year old chimp, soooooo cute!!!   Also got to hold a young marmoset, cute tiny thing!
On our way to the zoo, we spotted this in someones front yard on the side of the road.  I guess people get bored in the U.P.!!
Wisconsin Dells, what a beautiful place once you get off the main strip away from the tourist traps and water parks!  We took the Upper Dells boat tour, about 2 1/2 hour boat ride through the upper dells with two stops.  We also took the Duck Boat tour which is an old military land and sea vehicle, and the Jet Boat ride, which was a lot of fun!!  Combine the three, and I guess we saw all the Dells from upper to lower!
Wait a minute, one more thing before we left the Dells, two old fools couldn't pass up the chance to zip line!!!  Climbed up tower one and ended at tower 6, total length about a mile!  What a blast!!!!

Monday, June 11, 2012

Luge sledding, kayaking, South Manitou Island, and I'm famous!

Luge sledding down Crystal Mountain in the summer!!!
You can see the bottom of the track on the left.

Up we go!
Pick your sled and away you go! We road 3 times (because once was not enough) by the third time we didn't even use the brakes! Cindy lost her hat and I heard some kid on the ski lift yell "Go Grandpa Go"
These Pic's are of historical Fishtown in Leland where we caught the boat to South Manitou Island, it is still a working fish port.

Our boat to and from the Island the Mishe-Mokwa. The trip over was great, smooth seas, on the trip back we were in four and five foot swells. While Cindy and I thought it was fun bobbing around like a cork, the crew were handing out garbage bags to the green faced passengers of which there were many!
The channel light between the two Islands.
The still working light house on the Island built in 1858.
The oldest tree in Michigan is on the island, it's a white cedar, over 700 years old and is in better shape than me :)
PEEK!
We hiked out to a bluff to see the wreck of the Franciso Morazan lost in a storm in November 1960. You can read about it here:
http://www.nps.gov/slbe/historyculture/shipwreckmorazan.htm
We also rented a two-man kayak and went down the Platte River all the way to Lake Michigan.
 
Clouds over Loon Lake, this was a bit of work to get though, we were bucking a head wind but we made it through and back on the river on the other side and finally to Lake Michigan. This is where the famous (well not really) part comes in. A man from the Friends Of Sleeping Bear Dune took my picture after we got out of the kayak and posted it on their website. You can see it here:
http://friendsofsleepingbear.org/2012/06/06/platte-river-point-cell-coverage-improves/