Thursday, July 28, 2016


One of our favorite things to do before children used to be camping. It's still one of our favorite family activities, but we've made a few tweaks along the way to accommodate two children. For example, we now plan easy meals like penny hot dogs rather than time-consuming ones like shish kabobs. We also expect to get kicked, punched and boot stomped through the course of the night as we have one, sometimes two, young ninja warriors sharing our air bed with us. But it's worth it for the family memories.

Hammock time with Teddy is fun, just not relaxing.

We headed to Porcupine Mountains State Park in upper Michigan last weekend. This was the first place we ever took AJ camping, but Teddy's never been, which means we haven't made it there in more than years. Huge storms had ravaged the area twice in the past week or so, so roads and trails were closed along the way and there was no power when we arrived. Since we camp in a tent, that didn't impact us too much beyond walking a bit further to use the pit toilet for the first couple hours until power was restored.

Friday was nearly 90 degrees, which is rather toasty for the shores of Lake Superior. We made the most of that by enjoying Lake Superior when it's usually frigid waters felt slightly warmer. Both boys loved the water, although Teddy kept trying to drink the waves as they came in. I'm pretty sure he wasn't thirsty ... just having fun.

Check out Captain AJ's sand beard ... and forehead ... and chest ... and legs.

We spent time at the beach both Friday and Saturday, playing in the water (Dave rudely tackled me in one day because I "accidently" splashed him a little bit.), collecting rocks (AJ), trying to escape up the wooden stairs (Teddy) and having plenty of fun (all of us).

Teddy thought this was pretty funny.

Despite the heat, we did a bit of hiking around the Presque Isle area, which is a gorgeous place with waterfalls, wild blueberries and trails to explore. It's fun to watch AJ learn to forage for wild berries and teach him which ones are which. He's a huge fan of thimbleberries, as is Teddy. They're a delicious berry that we've only found in abundance in the UP. My best description of them is they taste like a fruit rollup, and I mean that as a good thing. We were lucky they were starting to ripen while we were there, so we at least got to sample them.

Last time we were here, there was water covering this crossing.

AJ's favorite type of hiking is rambling scrambling on rocks. He liked checking out Lake of the Clouds between the storm damage on the board walk with the caution tape around the openings, the views of the lake with the magnifying viewer and scrambling up the rocks. Teddy had been up early that morning, so he was a bit tired but made it until we started heading home to snooze.

AJ showed me the path around the water.

It reminded us of how much we enjoy camping, so we're going to squeeze in as much as we can yet this late summer. In two weeks, we'll head to Pictured Rocks, which is one of our favorite places.


  1. Stopped by to say hi, Kerry. Your boys are adorable! This looks like a good time, I laughed out loud about the abuse you endure from your little ninja warriors. We are not campers though I would really like to be. I am not sure our marriage would survive putting up a tent, even one of those "easy" ones. :)

  2. Thanks, Ellen. I think they're adorable, too, but I'm a bit biased. Some places have yurts already in place for camping,no assembly required. (It's really not that difficult to set up a tent, though, once you know how. At least, ours I can put up by myself.)

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