Friday, July 26, 2013

It is hot!

Michigan greeted us with blistering heat, and the obligatory thunder storms. After church on Sunday, we headed out to explore the area, and found a great park adjacent to Lake Saint Claire. We could see Canada in the distance, and this little lake gained instant fame when later in the week, a Canadian attempted to swim across the boarder...
The boys choose to cool off in the sprinkler park, a much safer choice!

The End

All good things must come to an end, even the Trip.  4,080 miles, 12 states, 5 national parks, half a dozen friends and family, more candy and junk food than I can bear to think about, and countless bags of ice to keep our cooler cold, we arrived in Michigan. The past 13 days have been a whirlwind of fun and making of great family memories - a great book end to our time in Monterey, CA.

We were about 10 minutes late to talk to anyone at the Welcome Center, but we could pick up maps and information. Let's the new adventure begin!

One thing we will not miss, the daily bag drag....


Our final day of the TRIP, tonight we will be in our new home state, Michigan. To break up the long drive, we stopped in Louisville and toured the Baseball Museum, where there was a special display of baseball artifacts and stadiums made out of Lego! It was a welcome break to stretch legs and minds before Bob pushed pedal to the metal, with the end in mind.

Sweet reunion

After a long day of driving, we finally pulled into the driveway of dear friends. Although we arrive way past dinner, they had patiently waited upon us and the feasting began immediately and did not end until we left. Lukas and Noah quickly took off with their good friends, and the little ones (no longer so little) tagged along. The giggles, the laughter, the chatting and the running - six children, happy to see each other - music to the soul. The adults enjoyed sweet conversation, delicious drinks, and gourmet food prepared with great care and love.
Fourth of July brought rain which did not stop any of the celebrations. A walk in the rain, lead to a hike in a park/creek and six VERY yet VERY happy kids.  Since the ground was wet, the fireworks could be shot off with a little less care, no need to worry about starting fires. The children spent hours outside shooting off fireworks, and the collateral damages were surprisingly few - tiny holes in a shirt, a minor burn on an earlobe and a lot of debris to pick up the next morning.
The nomadic lives we live forces us to leave good friends often, yet it also provides fabulous opportunities to reunite, and since we keep on moving, we keep on driving and keep on visiting. Our lives are so much richer for the many people we have meet on our journey as a family so far.

Almost there

After spending a few days with family in Iowa and Missouri, eating well, doing some around the house work for the first time in a many weeks, and too many loads of laundry to count, Bob packed the car and we headed East again.
On our way to TN and 4th of July celebration, we stopped in St Louis to see the Arch. The recent rains caused the river to rise that we could barely see the Lewis and Clark statue - maybe it is a realistic depiction of perils that they encountered on their way west, almost drowning...
We enjoyed the ride up in the Arch and the clear view of the city below - only our excitement about seeing dear friends caused us to tarry back to the car.

Good friends

We spent a fun filled and action packed 24 hours with dear friends. They offered up a washing machine, a soft comfortable bed, great good, fun swimming pool, chickens and fabulous fellowship. Spending time with this family is a special treat, and we treasure each and every opportunity we have to hang out together.

The first picture we have of these four was taken almost 10 years ago.. yes they have grown, and we have not lived close by for a long time, but they have not grown apart, these four are still great friends.

Stone faces

The Trip part one is drawing towards a close, Mt Rushmore being the last destination before we begin the Meet and Greet part, aka visiting friends and family.
As an extra bonus, the boys had a chance to pet a real wolf at the camp ground. Being woken up by the wolves howling was a bit unnerving, I think I prefer the roster crowing.

Prairie Dogs

Noah and Lukas enjoyed using the long telephoto lens on camera to capture these litte critters in Prairie Dog Town.

Return visit

Ten years ago, we traveled West to East, taking the northern route. Lukas has just learned to walk, and we were expecting Noah.  We stopped at Devil's Tower to hike a bit and let Lukas run - well, that was the plan. The reality was mud, wet, slick, messy trails, so Lukas despite protest had to ride on Bob's shoulders as we circumvented this amazing tower of rocks. To keep him happy, we feed him his first licorice strands, and we measured our hike in licorice strands, not steps or miles.
This time, nobody gets to ride on Bob's shoulder, the muddy, sticky, messy cold trail was dry, hot and dusty. Well, we were prepared, licorice and water bottles in a back pack and we set out to once again hike around the Devil's Tower as a family.


We spent a few days exploring some of Yellowstone, a park full of surprises. It is the largest National Park in America and the expanse offers such variation in both landscape, activities and sights to see. We encountered wild animals at the side of the road, wandered the hot springs and mud pools attempting to stay out of splatters way, marveled at Old Faithful, hiked to outlooks and waterfalls, and enjoyed delicious camp meals, and huddled in our tent at night. This is carefree living at its best.