Sunday, August 14, 2016

Great Lakes Tour Pictures - Madeline Island

Madeline Island is part of the Apostle Islands and was our final stop this trip.  It was one of the first places we picked out and I thought it was so cool that we could take our camper on an Island and camp.  Maybe you can do this a lot of places but for me it was a novel first.  We had already completed our Great Lakes challenge to swim in all of the Great Lakes at our last stop but we took every opportunity to swim in Lake Superior's crystal clear cold water.  We stayed at Big Bay State Park and were worried because it was pretty hot out and we didn't have electricity so no air conditioning.  We fretted about that for longer than we should have, even made plans to try to switch sites to a non-reservable electrical site that we got a hot lead on was going to open up in the morning.  But after we pulled into our spot nestled in the woods and looked at the other spot on an interior loop with a view of the bath house we decided we could rough it without air conditioning.  Besides swimming we checked out the shops in the small town, and went kayaking.  The most fun was rock jumping, we had the place to ourselves and weren't real sure if we should be jumping there.  We only had third hand information that this is where you jump and it's deeper than it looks.  Well we started off on a small rock and could see that it was pretty deep even though you could see the huge boulders at the bottom.  The large jump was probably around 15ft and as Marcus said after his first jump "that takes a long time until you hit the water".  He went about 6 times, we all went off with the highlight being Lucas going.  He was really nervous so I tried bribing him with a Pepsi.  He said ok you go again and then I'll go.  So I jumped and looked up for him to go and he had already jumped and was hitting the water right behind me.  We all cheered and ended our morning on a high note.

Here are some pictures from the island.

Truckster's first boat ride.  Well that I know of.
Bike Art

Big Bay Beach

Sam hanging out at the camp site

Deer walking through our site

Becky and her mosquito defense.

Rock jumping off a small rock, ran out of phone memory before we got to the big jump.

Family Truckster stats:
Miles driven - 3410 miles
Gas burned - 332 gallons
Time in car - 86 hours 31 minutes

Sunday, July 31, 2016

Great Lakes Tour Pictures

Yeah yeah I know I really slacked off this year posting to the blog.  Never the right mix of internet, electricity, and will power for me to get my pictures posted.  So here they are in one big shot.

Picking up where I left off here's our third stop at Cedar Point.  The roller coasters where awesome everyone had a lot of fun but it was extremely hot out.  We went on all the roller coasters that we were all allowed to go on which was our goal.  Lucas fretted before every ride but was a trooper and went on them and was usually smiling once the ride was over.


 At Cedar Point we didn't make it into Lake Erie.  They had a beach at the hotel we could use but it was quite a way's from the camp ground so we stuck with the camp ground pool for our swimming needs.  We thought that might happen so we executed our lake Erie backup plan and stopped in Erie, PA at Presque Isle State Park. We changed and ate sandwiches in the camper then hit the beach. I forgot my phone when we went down to the beach so only got a couple shots from the car before we took off. 
The truckster parked in the sand, we were lucky to find a place we could park.
Beach is on the other side of the dune
Next stop was Niagara Falls we stayed at Four Mile Creek State Park.  We enjoyed the falls and checked out an outlet mall. During our stay we also did laundry and since our camp ground ended up not having a beach like we thought, we found the closest beach at a state park 15 miles away and took our dip in Lake Ontario.
Our campsite at 4 mile creek
It's crazy but this was the hardest site to back into... didn't make sense as it's wide open. 

This is our non-beach at our campground.

Bench at the outlet mall... Hey dad look it's a Minecraft bed.
The Rocky beach.  Water shoes would have been good for this lake.
We saw a lot of great sunsets on our trip

Maid of the Mist

Wind Caves

After Niagara Falls we crossed into Canada.  I was prepared for the worst on the boarder crossing but it was pretty quick and painless.  Killbear Provincial Park on the Perry Sound was our next stop.  It was a great camp ground.  Our site was a little tough to get into but once in it was a large and pretty private site.  Reminded me of our site in the Redwood forest last year.  We got a couple small hikes in and swam in the cold and crystal clear water and even got to jump off some rocks.  It was amazing and one of my favorite stops.  It was nice to get some real camping in away from so many people after being in, around, and through big city's and the tourist trap feel of Niagara falls. 
First night checking out the beach near our campsite

Lighthouse point trail

View above our campsite

Shot of the rocks we jumped off of at Harold's point Beach

Lookout Point Trail
Lookout Point


 Leaving Killbear was hard we could have stayed another day or two.  But we packed up and headed back to the good old US of A.  Next stop was in Upper Michigan at Tahquamenon Falls State Park.  There we went over the mighty Mackinac Bridge and visited Mackinac Island.  We biked the 8.2 around the island and were only on the island for a few hours but we all had a great time.  Mark was ready to move there immediately.  He loved how you could live how you wanted and no one would hassle you.  Not sure where that came from but there was a good vibe about the place.  The beach at oru camp site on Lake Superior was a Lake Ontario rock beach so we headed up north about 20 miles to a point that looked like it had sand.  It was a great beach area and we got in the cold water and completed our quest to swim in all of the great lakes. 

Tahquamenon River by our campsite
Mackinac Bridge from our boat to the Island
Mackinac Island
Becky and Lucas took a tandem bike
arch rock
Stopping to cool off in the water
Samus and Lucas discovered a new love... fudge
The falls

We had a long drive to our next stop at the Apostle Islands in Wisconsin.  I thought we'd get to the pictured rocks while at Tahquamenon Falls but even though it looked close the drive would have been 2 hours one way so we didn't go.  We drove past it on our way to Wisconsin but with the long drive a head of us and a ferry to catch we decided not to stop.  I'll finish up with some pictures of our last stop in my next post.