May 26, 2019-Great Lakes Day 8

(click here for today's pictures)

Robby made it back last night soon after I finished the blog. The kids were already laying down, but did stay up as I finished folding and putting a way the laundry. Then it was off to bed since this morning was an early morning.

We were in the car by 8, and since we even ate breakfast we were moving pretty quickly for us. Our first stop this morning was a quick run into Walmart-we needed ham for the kids. They have decided that they do not like turkey anymore. Who doesn’t like turkey? Anyway, Robby ran in for ham, but returned with waters, cokes, and cookies.

Then we drove through some pretty areas-I guess we spent the night in or near a ski town. It was a pretty drive as we listened to our book. Robby said that this drive reminded him of driving through New Hampshire.

We made it to Keneewah National Historic Park without having to stop.  We drive right on to the visitor’s center passing the mine which is part of the park and were surprised to see that the visitor’s center is closed on Sundays. So we then drove back to the mine area and were surprised again to see that the mine was but was not part of the National Park system.

They did have a bathroom which was what I really needed. We were able to walk around some and climb on some old trains. There was also a part of the mine building that we went in. They had the car that pulled the men up and down into the mine-9,000 feet deep.

It is amazing that people still mine today because after our quick stop there, I had already had enough of it! We could have taken a tour but it would have been in an hour so we opted to press on to our next stop….

….which was also closed. So apparently, National Park sites close up here in the UP on Sundays. Who knew? We intended to stop at Isle Royale National Park’s visitor’s center. We knew that we couldn’t actually get to Isle Royale this trip since the boat ride is 6 hours! Can you imagine being in the middle of Lake Superior for 6 hours on a little boat? I can not, but that might be a better option than the seaplane which Robby said that we would take when we come back here.

We did make it all worthwhile with pizza from Little Ceasar’s for lunch. It took us an hour and a half to make it to our next stop and really, we are kind of striking out today. Ha! It was on the way so it did work out to be a great bathroom stop and ornament stop but wasn’t exactly what I was thinking it was going to be.

We stopped at Da Yooper’s Tourist Trap which had been loosely compared to Wall Drug of the Upper Peninsula-that it was not. But it did have lots of things to see and even a see saw for the kids to play on for a minute. We thran ran to get gas and Robby saw a vacuum. He tried to vacuum out the car. Everyone unloaded and the boys started playing football. By the time we could throw it a few times, Robby had given up on the vacuum because it really wasn’t working well enough to bother. We passed out ipads and were then back on the road towards Mackinaw City which is tonight’s hotel along with tomorrow’s hotel.

Our next stop was not a bust-Pictured Lakes National Seashore. We had already printed out and finished our Jr. Ranger books. As we turned the in, the lady said “are you a homeschooling family?” And we weren’t even wearing our denim skirts!

She was good and very thorough. Now, she was speaking mostly on Whitman’s level, and he loved every minute of what she was saying. However, Reagan was dying! After they were given their Jr. Ranger badges, Robby asked the lady about what trail we should do. She talked and talked and talked until the place almost closed. When Robby left, he said that he now knew enough about Pictured Lakes that he could be a park ranger.

We first walked down a short little trail to see a waterfall. The waterfall was pretty, but it was no match to the next waterfall that we hiked to. We had to drive a little ways to see this waterfall and then we had to hike ,6 miles to get there. It was pretty impressive.

However, more impressive was the Miner’s Castle. It was further down the road but a very short walk to the edge of the cliff. From there you could see the beautiful cliffs and rock formations on the shore of Lake Superior.

Once we made it back in the car, we headed to our hotel. The GPS first said 3 hours which definitely surprised Robby and I. However, in just a few minutes it corrected itself and showed our expected 2 more hours to the hotel.

We listened to some of the book and then the kids watched their second Redbox movie. As I studied up on the Northern Lights. We read that in this area you can see the Northern Lights, and that would just be awesome to see. They aren’t out all of the time and seeing them would blow Whitman’s mind.

Now fixing supper in the car is always a challenge especially when everyone has a different order. Tonight’s options were sandwiches or wraps or crackers, sliced cheese, sliced sausage and even squirt cheese. That was certainly the hit with tonight’s supper.

As we were eating, we passed our second great lake of the day-Lake Michigan. We had already seen that one while we were in Chicago but it was a different view than Lake Superior which we had followed the coastline much of the day.

We did have to stop for Graham to go to the bathroom at ne point, and that is when we first saw the gnats or whatever they are. We could see swarms of these bugs near the tree tops. It was kind of eerie. When we did get near the Mackinaw bridge connecting the Upper and Lower Peninsulas of Michigan we stopped at a viewpoint. We discovered that the view was magnificent but that the bugs were crazy.  

We paid our toll and then crossed over the huge suspension bridge. As we drove across the bridge, there was our third Great Lake of the day-Lake Huron. It didn’t take long to spot our hotel right by tomorrow’s ferry dock.

We actually have two rooms tonight so even though we are next door to each other, we are all spread out. We just came back from a walk around the hotel complex and to the ferry dock. Right now, we are all in the boys’ room quietly on our devices...even though it is quickly approaching 11. I am not sure when we started staying up so late on trip, but hopefully tomorrow doesn’t come to early.

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