We took a road trip to Michigan's Upper Peninsula. Our first day was a travel day, followed by a day touring from Munising to Grand Marais. A lot of walks: waterfalls, dunes, painted rocks. We were tired and hungry for supper when we stopped at Sable Falls (which wasn't on our agenda). But, the falls were only 500 feet from the parking lot so it didn't seem like more than we could handle. Some members of our family are more adventurous than others, and we couldn't stop ourselves from continuing down the trail. The trail ended .6 miles from the parking lot at Lake Superior. Sand dunes on the left, forested shoreline on the right, and smooth, water-worn rocks on the beach in front of us. The river that made Sable Falls forms a bit of a pool before emptying into the big lake. A gorgeous encore for our day of exploring.
The drive from home to Munising is pretty long. The drive from Munising to Sault Ste. Marie was a shorter trip, but was an all day affair with the stops mentioned above. We saw the Soo Locks and even got to see a ship travel through them before getting ice cream cones and heading back out on the road. The drive to Cheboygan ended up being longer than expected with the advent of a flat tire. Oh well, at least everyone but the driver had something good to read.
Our family takes road trips without a portable DVD player. We figure they watch enough TV at home and that there's a greater likely-hood of the kids noticing the scenery if their eyes aren't glued to a screen. Before vacations, I check the "for sale" pile at our local libraries and pick up a few new to us books for the girls to read. Sure, they're discards; so they might not be what is currently popular (and with our small libraries, currently means in the past 20 years) but that doesn't mean they're bad books. My seven-year-old never would have met Mrs. Pickerell if it weren't for library discards.
While my husband got new tires, the girls and I walked around downtown Cheboygan. Lots of cute little shops that we didn't enter. One little bookstore where we made ourselves at home. By this time in our travels, our 10-year-old had already finished 4 books and only had one left. (I knew I should have packed along that really thick one she's been hesitant to start.) The majority of books for kids her age were series books (i.e. Diary of a Wimpy Kid, Lightening Thief, and Hank Zipper) There weren't a lot of stand alone books. Of the 15 or so, only one looked good to her. Should've bought it then and there, but I thought we'd come back and get it instead of lugging it all over town.
And off we went. Down the street a little further, then across the road to the other side and back. What's that?? A library sign? Let's go!! Ahhh, but the only library we found was the old "Carnagie Free Library". A beautiful building fallen into disrepair. Having worked in the Carnagie Library in Coleraine, MN; it was a bit saddening to see the building sitting there empty. The girls were not eager to walk on in search of a new library, so back to Main Street we went. My husband picked us up there a few minutes later.
Dinner at a local restaurant (where I had the best chicken salad sandwich of my life and the girls had the best BLT's of theirs) and onto the ferry to take us to Bois Blanc Island. Boblo to the locals. A cabin on the Lake Huron lake shore has been our home now for a couple of days. The kids love jumping the waves and donning their life jackets to ride the waves back to shore. Chicken, corn, and sweet potatoes on the grill, with marshmallows roasted over the fire by the lake and made into s'mores for dessert. The quiet. Watching the ships pass. Listening to the waves roll in. What a great place to relax with a book (or two).
Everyone else went off to pick raspberries this afternoon while I worked on this post: outside, in the shade with a glass of iced tea, with nothing but the sound of waves crashing and the wind in the trees. A perfect afternoon.
Once everyone returned, we headed down to the only store on the island for some ice cream. A late supper of hot dogs roasted over the fire followed by some more s'mores for dessert. Kids bathed and hopped into bed. We packed our stuff back up and our relaxing family vacation comes to a close. We'll take the 8:00am ferry in the morning. (The girls are having raspberries for pre-breakfast. We plan on stopping for breakfast at the place that gave us some of the best sandwiches of our lives.)