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Showing posts from June, 2010

Sleeping Bear (and other) Dunes in Traverse City, MI

Sand, sand, and more sand, but what beautiful sand! These Buckeyes will admit - we love Western Michigan! (We hate Ann Arbor still, it's in our blood.) But the whole ocean without salt thing is just fun. And the kids love climbing and playing on the sand dunes. Well, except for THE sand dune!
Allen took the kids off to find adventure and boy did they! At Sleeping Bear Dunes, there's a cliff of sand with a 450 foot drop straight to the lake, that you can run/hop/roll/etc down, but you have to climb back up. They all said going down was awesome! They'd hop and go really far and land softly. But the climb back up was apparently pretty rough. I opted to take their word for it! Allen said if you stood up and put your hands out, you'd touch the wall, so darn steep!
They took me back to a different one, 150 feet, which was cake to them (excruciating to me!!) So, I climbed a hill of sand, and still am not sure why. Just because everyone else did? Or to say I did? I'm not …

Big Sable Point Lighthouse and a hike through the Michigan dunes

We're in Ludington, Michigan now. We decided to go north into Michigan along Lake Michigan, and to the Upper Peninsula, then back down through Wisconsin. That could change at any moment, but right now we are thoroughly enjoying western Michigan. What a surprise!
Today we hiked to the Big Sable Point Lighthouse, took a tour, learned the history, climbed the 130 steps, and got a sticker at the top. :) To get there, it was a gorgeous 2 mile hike in the soft sand through foredunes, troughs, backdunes, marshland, forests, miles of interesting scenery that we just didn't picture in Michigan! We drove by miles and miles of beautiful, private beaches with lots of parking. So anytime, any day, just pick a spot and go swim, picnic, lie on the beach, without seeing anyone! No salt, no sharks, no people, just beautiful beach. Ahhhh. Western Michigan has been a very pleasant surprise to us!

The view from my office, at Ludington, MI

Or as we like to call it, Lundyton. :) We're at Cartier Park Campground, not far from Ludington State Park and the Big Sable Point Lighthouse. Full hookup, free wifi, playground, black squirrels, Lake Michigan & the dunes nearby, life is good!

Black squirrels, nope, didn't know!

These cute black squirrels are all over the campground here in Ludington, MI. (They're cute until they drop nuts on the roof just to taunt you at night!) We had to google them because we'd never seen them in all of our travels, probably because we rarely go north. We learned that they like to stay up north because their black bodies retain heat better. Matt said "just like cars!"

Michigan, State #5

Besides that one team in that one city, we hear Michigan is lovely.
We'll let you know if it's true. Still, Go Bucks! :)

Indiana Sand Dunes in Michigan City, IN

Who knew?! The Indiana Sand Dunes were pretty darn cool! It's a National Lake Shore, so the kids earned their Jr. Ranger badges. They spent a lot of time at the beach while I worked, but they just had to drag me to Mt. Baldy because it was so neat. And it was! Even though it was rainy, we still had fun. Huge mountains of sand, private beaches, easy parking, just a wonderful area. All the fun of the ocean without the salt! Allen had the kids hopping HUGE hops down the steep sand and they loved it.

The view from my office, at Michigan City, IN

All we could see were the blueberry bushes, which led to more pie! This one wasn't great, maybe next time. Allen said it was pie, what's not to like? But the berries didn't quite melt, or get gooey like they should, probably because they weren't all quite ripe (yeah, let's say that!).

Kayaking at East Race Whitewater Park, South Bend Indiana

Pics and video from the East Race Whitewater Park in South Bend, IN. Allen in the black boat, Michael Hood in the green, and Josh (our 10 year old!) in his new blue boat. Lizzy, Matt, & I just ran back and forth taking pics and videos. Matt even took one of me taking video. :)
Dayton Ohio SO needs this on the river! It brings so many people out to watch, with chairs, blankets, picnic lunches, walking and biking by. It was very entertaining & would definitely encourage people to hang out downtown!
Videos from my iPhone. (I just love that thing!)
Josh kayaking


Allen's surf and slide


Allen jumps a boat


Hollywood Hood surfing & flipping


Hollywood Hood surfing & spinning


Allen going backwards to surf

If you could do or see anything, in the whole country...

This is what our kids would choose! Any pool, anywhere, any time, any weather. We're grateful for campground pools though, that helps us get the work done, so we can go see and do other things besides pools. :)

South of South Bend, Indiana

After another long drive of 2. 5 hours, we're at Beaver Ridge campground for the weekend. Pull through site, pool, playground, free wifi, (and half price with Passport America) - we love it!

Thursday, or maybe Friday (all the days run together now) we did a little remodeling. My office desk didn't work out like I'd hoped. It was so heavy and we had to lift it onto the back room couch and secure it before every trip. Then it blocked the kids' ladder. And I rarely used it! So, what do you do when you can't sell it or even give it away? Yeah, you destroy it then burn it. I think Allen was way too happy about this one. (He always hated it!) The boys loved it too. :p
So I moved my office stuff into the barely-used closet and we're lots of pounds lighter, and minus one big pain in the back. Still in project mode, Allen also cut out part of a wall so the PlayStation would fit in the TV nook in the kids' room.
The kids found mulberries, which are apparently …

The view from my office, at Lakeville, IN (before & after)

This is before and after the crazy storm that left northwest Indiana without power for days.

Two fun days with the Walker 5 and the Lundy 5

We got to spend TWO days with DSP Designer and Photographer Suzanne C Walker! Thanks to the rain and our incredibly flexible schedule, we stayed a few extra days at Prophetstown State Park so we could visit the Historic Prophetstown Farm. Suzi's photos are a gazillion times better than mine, so be sure to check them out here on her Flickr! Really, I want to frame all her pics of my kids now!
Here are some of mine from the farm...
We took Allen back that evening for a little hike too, then visited the nearby battle ground. Great history about Tecumseh and his brother The Prophet, which as good Ohioans we know all about! (Of course the kids didn't, so we watched some videos about Chillicothe's Tecumseh drama on the way there. Gotta love streaming YouTube while you travel!)

The view from my office, at Battle Ground, IN

We're at Prophetstown State Park in Battle Ground, Indiana near Historic Prophetstown Farm and DSP Designer and Photographer Suzanne C Walker! And yes, this was before the rain, because (our record is still perfect) it always rains!

The view from my office, at Indianapolis, IN

At Camping World in Indiana for the night. This was before the big storm hit obviously. It was beautiful until then. (Then it was even better!) :)
Scrapthemap

Ominous sky over Indianapolis, at RVing favorite Camping World

Now THAT was a scary sky! We're in Indianapolis for the night at Camping World (our first time, wow!) with free electric (how cool are they?) and wifi even! We went through a heckuva storm on the road earlier and thought we were through the worst, but the news was warning of tornadoes, so of course we went outside to watch. Parked in a wide open lot, in our big tin can, under these fast and ominous clouds, we felt pretty safe. ;) The kids sought shelter under the chairs, yep, super safe!
But all is well and it passed so quickly that dinner didn't even get cold. BBQ chicken bake!
Fortunately, Allen had time to install a few extra vent covers (thanks Camping World!) before the storm hit. We also got a knife holder thingy, because the knives falling out of the cupboards at me was funny once, but it got old quickly!It was a great view of the work on the roof from the kids' skylight. That thing so doesn't get old!

A weekend on the water, and in it

We had a GREAT weekend with Doug, Shauna, & Piper Jackson boating on Brookville Lake and camping at Whitewater State Park in Liberty, Indiana. The kids had a blast on the innertube and swimming and Piper even got her first ride in it! Allen and Doug also tried a new sport, skiyaking! Allen could actually surf in front of the wake but it was very close to the boat and it would kick him out once in a while, so he tried the rope and loved it! They were jumping waves and surfing like they did it every day. The weather was great and the (12 mile long!) lake wasn't crowded. We're so grateful to Doug and Shauna for our last weekend with friends before we head west!
It took me a while to pick my favorite 20 pics out of 1300 from the weekend! :)

And some videos of the skiyaking...