Thursday, August 16, 2018

Summer Trip 2018, stop 3

From Wisconsin we drove a few hours east into Michigan's upper peninsula.  We rented a little cabin in the woods outside Pictured Rocks National Park.

Our first full day there we rented a pontoon boat to go out on this part of Lake Michigan to see the shoreline of Picture Rocks NP.  After the disaster of our boat rental in Wisconsin, I was a little worried, but this place had the boat rental thing down.  They have more than a dozen pontoon boats for rent and know what they are doing.  We walked up and were settled on the boat and headed out within 20mins.  While the pontoon boat is spacious, the engine is slow.  It was a long hour splashing in the windy waves out, along the shoreline.  We decided to go to the edge of the boating area and then as we head back stop and see the sights along the way.  With the chop on the water we tried to follow a larger tour boat to lessen the waves by riding in their wake, but at one point we dropped down in their wake and a WALL of water washed over us.  Matthew and I hid under a raincoat, but I kept one eye out and watched David get drenched in the wall!  We were running after our water shoes that laid on the floor of the boat, reaching to grab them before they were washed overboard as the water receded.    We were now, wet and chilled from the wind.  But we all laughed as we discussed the great wall of water.

We reached the end of the boating area and stopped at a nearby beach.  Their was a hot springs runoff, and the kids enjoyed warming up in the cascading waterfall it created.  David and I took the pontoon closer to the nearby cliffs to check out the scenery.  We laid out our wet sweaters and warmed in the sun.

We enjoyed the beautiful scenery on our way back and took a more leisurely pace.  No more walls of water!  Instead we enjoyed the walls of the cliffs and their "painted" look created by minerals that have dripped down them over the many years.

We enjoyed a couple hikes in the area and checked out a few nearby waterfalls.  It is a beautiful area. On Saturday we drove a couple hours to the Mackinaw Bridge.  We crossed over and headed to nearby Cheboygan.  I had never visited these areas while serving as a missionary here, but I was familiar with the town names.  In Cheboygan we met up with the delivery man for our new camping trailer in the walmart parking lot.  After a couple hours of David fixing up the hitch, and me shopping for new trailer supplies and groceries, we took our new Rockwood Roo hybrid trailer back to our cabin in the wood.

On Sunday we attended church at a small nearby branch.  We believe it was the smallest church building we had ever been in.  We then went to the east end of the park and hiked to the log slide area, where loggers would just roll the trees down the immense sand dunes to the sea.  They would then be picked up and placed aboard ships.

Bright and early Monday morning we headed west, towing our new camping trailer.  After a day of driving we stopped at a state park outside of Fargo ND.  In the morning we stopped at the Bonanzaville museum in Fargo that showcased what life was like during the Bonanza days out in the territories.  Then we drove the rest of the afternoon to our next stop:  Medora North Dakota.

Medora is home to Theodore Rosevelt National Park.  It is very much in the middle of no where, or a pretty badlands area, but the town is set up for tens of thousands of visitors with several attractions.  We camped in the nearby state park.  Our first full day there, we drove around the park and did some popular short hikes.  That night we had tickets to dinner at the cowboy steak fondue buffet dinner.  Steaks were cooked on pitch forks dipped into boiling hot oil "fondue".  On Wednesday nights, kids 12 and under get a free hot dog dinner! After dinner we walked across the big parking lot to the Medora Theater to see the Medora Musical, a family friendly variety show.  On Wednesday nights all kids were free!  We enjoyed our day here in Medora, but there wasn't much left to do after 1 day.

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