May 24, 2022-All Around Lake Michigan and Beyond

(click for today's pictures)

Since we felt like we had covered the Henry Ford Museum and Greenfield Village very well over the last few days, we decided that we would pull out of town earlier than planned. We had intended on going to the Village one last time, but the other day we knew we wouldn't need that extra time. 

This was actually our 7th trip to Dearborn since 2015, so in 7 and a half years we have visited The Henry Ford and Greenfield Village 7 times. (7/15, 6/16, 9/18, 5/19, 12/21, 5/22-lots of list are made around here on long car days.)

We pulled out of our campsite this morning at pretty much 7. I stirred this morning, but I thought that Robby was smushed up against my back so I didn't start getting up. Well, when Robby walked out of the bathroom, I did realize that Bentley was the one who I felt. I was able to get dressed and even walk Bentley before we did pull out.

My goal is to be dressed and up front by the time we leave in the camper. First, I want to be able to help. Second, getting dressed/using the bathroom in the moving camper isn't the easiest (and putting on eye liner could be down right dangerous.) And finally, getting to my spot means crawling over the sleeping boys so it is easier to open the door and walk to my seat.

We drove quite a bit this morning without stopping. The kids mostly slept and didn't really stir. Robby and I listened to some music, listened to our book, and listened to a podcast about Dr. Death-seriously, if we happen to need any type of surgery in the next little bit, I'm going to pass. 

This kind of was an eerie day-the weather was dreary most of the day. And later in the afternoon we fought fog when we were way up in the mountains along with some drizzle. Our first real stop continued the eeriness-The Johnstown Flood National Memorial

In 1889, a dam upstream began to burst. The people in Johnstown didn't heed the warnings, and that evening over 2,000 people died in the flood. It was kind of a sober place. The park ranger introduced the movie that we watched by saying it was the "best movie made by the National Park Service."

Seriously, he could not be more wrong. Has he not been at Fort McHenry in Baltimore when the curtain opens during the movie displaying the United States flag proudly flying as you hear the Star Spangled Banner in the background? Has he not been to...really, any other film played in the National Park system? 

Now, I will admit that I did my fair share of sleeping during this film, but it was dark and dreary and bleak. Screamed pretty much echoed throughout the film as it told about that grim day. It ended with the narrator reading off the description of the dead: girl, about 2, clutching doll; drowned; male, 20, burned...and on and on it went. 

At the end of the movie, I felt like I needed to go and get the kids ice cream or something. We did talk about how important it is it heed the warnings of the authorities-if they say evacuate then evacuate, and we also talked about not building in a flood plain. However, I think that our campsite has water on the other side of the levy right next to us-I may not sleep tonight now (nah, it isn't raining here!)

Whitman did receive a Jr. Ranger badge at that site today. We even explored it for a few minutes-oh, I forgot to mention getting there. We definitely put the camper to the test today-brakes, gas, everything-even my seat because my cheeks were clenched so tightly most of the drives this afternoon. 

We missed a turn causing us to have to go down a road on the side of a mountain. Oh and there was a huge hill we had to climb in the middle of a city street. It all worked out fine though, but after we left that site, we headed to Flight 93 National Memorial. 

To get there, there were more hills-that is where we ran across a store aptly named "foggy mountain" something. It was incredibly foggy. The last half of the day all we did was go up and down mountains-sometimes on two lane roads and sometimes on the interstate.

The Flight 93 Memorial sure isn't any cheerier than the flood one. It was a massive complex which was very interesting. Of course, Robby and I remember September the 11th like it was yesterday. And it is often strange to think that the kids weren't even born yet. We have now been to all of the sites-NY, the Pentagon and now Pennsylvania. 

It was a little bit chilly so we didn't walk around outside too long, but we did have time for Keaton to get her a Jr. Ranger badge. Robby did a bit of work in the parking lot before we pressed on the last few hours. We had intended to bookdock tonight, but after making it as far as we did we knew there wouldn't be many options until we got into town so we might as well just add a night in Hershey.

So we are at our campsite at Hershey Park just a day early. It really worked out well because we already have a full itinerary of things to do tomorrow. We ate supper at a travel center-well, we picked it up and then ate in the camper. 

We pulled into our spot around 8:45 tonight. The kids quickly found the playground after we were all unhooked. Robby and I took Bentley on a walk and soon we were all tucked into our beds! This is kind of almost an early night for everyone.

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