Monday, August 2, 2010

Michigan Photo Album

Two good days of driving and we made it home from Iowa around 3 PM yesterday. We got unpacked and started an assault on the mountain of laundry that we brought home with us. We downloaded all of our photos and will now give you a highlight tour of our time with some of Jim's family in the Upper Peninsula. We drove there with Grandma and camped at Uncle Bob's former campground.

We crammed Grandma into the back seat and packed stuff in around her!

We had a great campsite with a view of North Manistique Lake.
Jeannie drove up from Tennessee and many of Jim's cousins and some of their children joined us for a week of good family fun. In addition to spending time around the camp and lake, we took 3 excursions away from the lake.

Our first trip was to the historic Log Flume in Grand Marias. Years ago, when the logging industry was booming in the U.P., harvested logs were pushed over the edge of this huge sand dune, down a flume, and into Lake Superior, where the logs were then collected and transported to a mill. The flume is no longer in place but the sand dune still provides a dramatic plunge to the lake and is a tourist attraction for hardy souls who like a good physical challenge.

The dune rises 300 feet above the lake, and the route down or up is a 500 foot trail, a really steep hike.

The technique for getting to the water is to do a controlled run, digging your heels into the sand, allowing yourself to slide down as you run. It was an amazing feeling to glissade down the sand slope with the expansive lake extending the view to the horizon.

Once down to the water, we walked along the shore looking for beautiful rocks.

However, putting pretty rocks in your pocket was a bad choice because then you had to carry them back up the dune! The climb up required using your hands and feet to get yourself up. It was hard work and took me about 10 minutes to get to the top.
What a great adventure this was! I know that Tucker and Corey would have loved it!

Our next excursion was to Taquamenon Falls State Park. We have been here before, but many, many years ago! There is an upper falls and a lower falls with a 4-5 mile trail between them. The water going down the river is rootbeer-colored from the tannin in the water.

Our last excursion away from camp was to Mackinac Island. Mackinac Island is a 90 minute car drive and 20 minute ferry ride from camp. We had a cool, fun, ride on the fast-speed ferry.

Pete and Mary rented a tandem for our 8 mile ride around the island.

Here is Jim riding along with Jeannie and Betina, also on a tandem.

A view of the famous Grand Hotel on Mackinac Island.
Biking with the cousins was a great activity, followed by lunch and shopping before taking the ferry back to our car.

Our time at camp was filled with family-time activities. A campfire, fireworks, a night-time pontoon boat ride, games and laughter and family dinners were some of the fun things we did.

Uncle Bob has had a large garden in previous years, but this summer just left the raspberry bushes standing and there was a bumper crop while we were there. Every morning Jim got up and walked to the garden and picked a bowl of raspberries for our breakfast cereal. What a treat!

Aunt Jackie hosted a family BBQ at her house and we were joined their by all of her children (more cousins!). The food and family were all fantastic!

Grandma led us on a hike to the school house she attended as a little girl.

On our last night, Pete cooked us dinner of raspberry pancakes with his homemade syrup. Both were delicious!

So that is the highlight reel for our Michigan trip. Tomorrow I will try to get a blog post from our RAGBRAI trip.

Hope all is well.


jdgrivetti said...

Love the pics....we did have a great time, didn't we?

jdgrivetti said...
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