This is a trip I have always dreamed of taking. Prior to marriage my family had talked about doing it but it had never happened.
Last year Wesley and I started working on some mapping, planning to take the trip ourselves at some point in time. That got the ball rolling. We were looking into camp sites and multiple hiking/area's to visit but as we started our planning my family joined in on the idea and with such a large group and so many littles we switched to looking for a rental cabin(s) or house.
About eight months ago we found and booked a house. It was right on a river that spilled out into Lake Superior, within view of the houses back porch.
It was quite the adventure. On Friday morning (much later than my itinerary planned for;)) my family picked my girls and I up. Wesley was working enroute to Michigan so the weekend before we had packed all of our things into his car so he could drive up straight from work. We drove until we arrived where Wesley was working and the girls and I switched over to riding with him.
First stop was to visit my grandparents in the mitten of Michigan. We spent the evening and night there before heading off in the morning for the UP.
Our stay in the UP was much of what I had hoped and dreamed of. We spent a few warmer afternoons at a public beach access about a mile from the house. We didn't have to fight for beach front as the weather isn't really worthy of swimming. My siblings all swam, as did Jerusha and Wesley, but, I never ventured beyond wading. I would sit in the surf and collect rocks or sit under an umbrella reading..
A lot of fishing went on but not a whole lot of catching. Wesley did catch a nice large Pike, I unfortunately don't have a picture of it though. I was very excited for him but mainly because I had gotten him a rod and reel and some gear for his birthday this year and I was happy it hadn't been a wasted gift.
One day most of the guys went on a charter fishing boat and combined with the few caught from the river we had a good fish fry on our last night there.
We went to the town of Marquette a few times and discovered a lovely shop, Donkers, that had a restaurant upstairs which served very good food, and an ice cream and chocolate shop on the main floor. We didn't try any of their chocolates as we found them to be quite pricey, but, they did look delicious. I can tell you, however, that their ice cream was incredible. We went there a couple times and tried a few different flavors. We had a specialty sundae on one of our visits and it was the best sundae I've ever had the pleasure of eating. I liked the place so well that I even purchased one of their shirts as my trip souvenir.
One day we went to Pictured Rock National Lakeshore and hiked a mile and a half to get to the shore. There were many times I questioned if it would be worth it, or if I would even make it there alive as my bottle of mosquito spray was quickly disappearing; well, we made it and it was worth it. The water was a little warmer in this area, my guess would be that the rocks hold the heat better. All of the kids swam and climbed all over. I explored a bit and got to enjoy some beautiful shoreline that I'd always wanted to see. Where we were the rocks weren't particularly colorful, as they're known to be in other sections of the Park, but they still were amazing.
A couple days into our stay my oldest sister, her husband, and children decided to drive up and join us. It was fun to visit with them and watch the kids all interact as we don't often get to spend much time together.
We created "teams" for the cooking, cleaning, and laundry chores and for the most part everyone pulled their weight. We definitely ate well the entire week.
|the view from our houses porch|
|finally! Lake Superior!!|
|Pictured Rock National Lakeshore|
|Jerusha climbing around and exploring|
|Our little family all strapped in for the hike back. Both girls promptly fell asleep.. It made it easier for me but not for Wesley..|
|On our last evening Wesley and I canoed our girls out to Lake Superior for one last hurrah|