Camping at Clear Lake, Michigan
Thursday, June 14th
After my glucose test and buying new tires for the van, we got our packing done and started on our adventure. We stopped at Walmart to get a fishing license, at Denton's request. Then, we drove 4 hours to Clear Lake. We passed about 15 state park lakes on our way to Clear Lake. Michigan is just chuck full of beautiful lakes. We drove around and looked at all of the campsites, picked our favorite, and set up camp. Julia has a little stomach issue that reared it's ugly head, and she threw up in and on the tent. Good thing Brandon is good about dealing with that kind of stuff. Turns out after pumping up the air mattress for 30 minutes, Brandon realized it had a huge gash in it. Not good. We stole the kids air mattress that still had to be pumped up again in the middle of the night because of a leak. I had a prego break down and said we were going home and I would never go camping again.
Friday, June 15th
Got way too little sleep and woke up way too early (6:30AM). Denton was sick and coughed all night, but he is being a good sport. After breadkfast, I went back to bed for a couple of hours while Brandon took the kids for a hike. Then we took the raft to the lake for a swim. The lake is beautiful. Brandon used goggles to see a huge school of fish. You could see everything in the water because it was so clear. Denton was trying to catch a fish without bait, poor kid. Julia and Cody had fun playing in the sand and in the shallow water. We drove to Gaylord (closest town with a big store and it was an hour away.) For dinner we had bacon and eggs that I cooked on a propane camp stove. That was the first time cooking on a camp stove and it actually turned out great. The kids like to name the chipmunks Chipika and Stripika. They ran through our camp like we weren't even here. The kids watched them run under their chairs to eat the food that was dropped. The bathrooms were really nice automatic flushies. They even had showers that are really nice.
I got a good nights sleep on my new air mattress. Denton was up early and he caught a chipmunk in a butterfly net Cody brought camping. Luckily, Denton was smart enough to let him go right away. We ate breakfast, then we took Brandon and Julia and the raft to the day use beach about a mile across the lake from our camper's beach. Brandon paddled them back across the lake and got worn our pretty good. We all played at the beach building sand castles, and splashing in the water. The beach wasn't too crowded, but there were a handful of families and Julia found a friend close to her age. After a couple of hours we came back to camp and had chili cheese dogs and I found a pop machine by the restrooms that has cherry Pepsi, yum. After we ate lunch, we all crashed for a little siesta. The kids didn't even resist. It's great that we are all worn out from playing so hard. After dinner, we took to the beach again. We were the only ones at the beach this time because it was a little cold and windy. That didn't stop up though :-)
Sunday, June 17th
Happy Father's Day! Last night before we went to bed the ranger came by and told us it was going to storm. We got everything put away and in the van except our tent. At 2AM the lightening and thunder started and then came the rain. The kids all woke up scared and crying. The tent gathered two huge puddles on top, then started dripping down on us. It rained all night long. I had the hardest time sleeping. Finally, I fell asleep around 4AM. Everyone woke up with wet sleeping bags and pillows. It took us a long time to pack everything up because we were all so tired. Then, we were off to Machinaw City. On the way, we passed through the town Onaway. Onaway is a tiny hole in the wall... and a giant statue of liberty head that we stopped to take pictures with. As soon as we got in Machinaw City, we stopped at a visitor center that had a billion pamphlets. When I went to the restroom, I found a tick on my thigh. So, while Brandon is getting advice on what to do in town, I'm in the restroom with a book of matches and a pair of tweezers. Ya, that was fun. We had lunch in a cute little restaurant called Cunningham's family restaurant. They had yummy fish 'n chips and lemon merangue pie. We walked out on a fishing dock to see the big boat and the cost guard boat. We walked down main street and looked in the kite store, and bought some fudge and postcards. Mackinaw City is a very cute little tourist town. Main street has a bunch of quaint little shops that sell fudge, flavored popcorn, and saltwater taffy. We made our way into a small bridge museum. They had a movie playing that showed how the Mackinaw Bridge was built. It's the longest suspension bridge in the western hemisphere. Even the kids were paying close attention (or maybe they feel asleep because it was dark and they were tired.) Then, we jumped in the car and drove across the bridge. crossing over the bridge put us in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan. We stopped to hike Castle Rock. It took 170 stairs to get to the overlook. What an amazing view of lake Huron, Lake Michigan and Mackinac Island we saw. We drove back over the bridge, had dinner at KFC, and headed home. We left at 7pm and the kids slept all 4 hours home.