August 22

Hi everyone!  Welcome to the last few days of summer.  Although, to be honest, it’s already feeling like fall up here.  It’s like you can smell it in the wind or something.  Weird.

Last week Sunday and Monday we went on a very special camping trip with some very special friends and I have lots of photos to share with you.  We had such a great time!

We were invited by Rachel to camp with her family at the Ewing Point dispersed campsite in the Hiawatha National Forest.  It was situated on McKeever Lake and was a short 200 meter walk in from the boat launch.  There were neat little bridges here and there along the trail, so it was fun to make the trip.  However, we had TONS of things with us, so we were especially grateful when Cory showed up at the boat launch with a canoe to help ferry our belongings over to the site.  It worked out pretty well!  I guess I’ll start by showing you some photos of the site.  Here are our two tents:

Here’s a pic of the site from the path leading up to it.  It was HUGE!

The path:

And I guess now is as good a time as any to show you pictures of the toilet.  There was a little marker along the trail:

And then the path up to the toilet was rather hard to decipher.  You had to scurry up the side of the hill:

And then once you made it up, there it was!  All out in the open and everything.  This was our first experience with a pit toilet and no walls.  Let’s just say it was veeeeery interesting!

Yup, you’ll go pretty quickly sitting on that thing.  Ha!  I do have mention, though, that it’s pretty liberating shitting out in the open like that.  At first, one feels all nervous, like there’s someone watching you.  But then, you start to appreciate the squirrels flying through the trees and the wind blowing on your behind 😉

Time to move on to the forest creatures who shared our dwelling?

Ahhh!  I didn’t know we even had snakes up in the UP that big!  Needless to say, there was no “middle of the night” peeing for me.  I held it in! What’s that?  The snake doesn’t look that big?  Here’s a pic of two CHILDREN on the log to give it some scale:

We saw this guy, too!

It was so lovely and peaceful out there:

We recently got ourselves a hammock and were finally able to try it out.  Ours is the green one.  Here’s a pic of Cat and Ceci before it came crashing to the ground:

And Ceci and Lewis:

And little Patrick needs a photo, too!

It was so nice to have the dogs there and not have them barking at all the people (since there weren’t any).  We were able to leave them off the leash and they did a lot of running around.  Luna and Charlie are old friends, but a little crotchety with each other in their old age.  This is the closest they got to each other all weekend:

Trying to improve my panoramics:

It was really such a beautiful spot!

We did lots of fishing.  Here are the girls on the first evening:

A peek through the trees:

And the boys came back in the canoe when it started to get dusky:

But then bright and early the next morning, time to get back at it!

Some previous campers must have had a heck of a party.  We found a pair of pants in a tree:

The view of the hammocks from the water:

Thanks for the photo, Patrick!

Oh man, we ate some good food!  Breakfasts were the best!

And the children had a lot of fun together.  They did a lot of following each other around and playing pretend games.  The adults joked a bit as the kids kept getting dirtier and dirtier that if we left them alone, it would soon turn into a Lord of the Flies type situation:

We also played Old Maid around the campfire.  Patrick was the funniest!

More woodland creatures.  A frog:

Have I mentioned how beautiful it was!?

And what about fishing?  Did I mention we did a lot of fishing?  😉  We didn’t catch anything big, but we were excellent at catching small perch:

Here’s a view of the site from out in the canoe:

And one more pic on our way out.  This is a photo of Jim canoeing our belongings back over to the boat launch:

Thanks so much, Cory and Rachel, for sharing your campsite with us!  We had a blast!!!

And then, this past weekend, Uncle Matt came to visit!  The weather was beautiful and we had so much fun hanging out with him.  First, we went golfing on Saturday morning at Omer’s Wyandotte Hills Golf Course out in Twin Lakes.  We’d never been there before, but due to tournaments happening at our regular course, we tried it out.  It was fun (busy, but fun!):

It’s amazing how long it takes to golf 9 holes with 6 people, two of whom are children:

This butterfly/moth (I can’t decide which) loved Grandpa’s hat:

Cat’s getting good at the selfies:

Yay, sunshine and being outside!

And then on Sunday, we hit up the beach!  The temperature was in the 80s, so it was a perfect late-August day for some water and sand:

Cat decided to make black paint with old charcoal pieces and water:

Lewis took it a step further:

Thanks for the photos, G!

My boy’s got ups!  Great shot, G!  Here’s Lewis jumping in to wash off.  For the record, water doesn’t do it.  You also have to rub while rinsing with water:

We stayed long enough to make a fire and cook hot-dogs for dinner:

It was such a perfect day!  (Shannon- please note that as soon as you left, the clouds you brought with you receded.):

Did you guys hear there was an eclipse yesterday?  We made pinhole viewers:

And then took them out to the Nara Boardwalk to meet Jim and have a family viewing party:

It was fun, but not all it’s cracked up to be.  Maybe if we were somewhere where there was a TOTAL total, it would be worth it.  But we’re certainly not going to drive to make that happen.  I enjoyed taking in nature while we waited for the moon to pass:

This bridge is so neat!  And the water was so calm – makes for a great reflection!

In other news around the house, the zinnias are still doing great.  Here’s one from the “candy-cane striped” packet we planted:

While camping, this zucchini grew out of control:

I realized this year that the monkshood flowers make nice bouquets:

Here’s a garden meal- green beans and then pasta made with zucchini and beet greens from the garden.  So good!

And, finally, proof that the kids are still young enough for building forts.  Awesome!Thanks for reading!!



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