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. 

Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Kayaking is hard.

Really, really hard when you're out on big open water. And you go on a four hour tour that you thought was two hours. It certainly isn't the beauty and fluidity that canoeing is. 

Jason was near death as his eyes pleaded with me to rescue him from the fresh hell he was in. The man was not built to sit at a ninety degree angle for that long. My own lower back was cursing me the entire trip wondering what I had agreed to do. When we were driving home, we looked at each other and decided the best thing about that tour was that it was over. In fact that was all either of us could think about the entire time: "when will this punishment that we paid for end?". 

Thankfully, at some point, Jason shot me a smile and said, "criss-cross-Apple-sauce," and I noticed he was sitting cross-legged and appeared to be one million times happier in his boat. 
Marcus keeps wanting to play charades even though he does the same five things over and over or does something somebody else already guessed. It's cute, but tortuous. It could easily replace many interrogation techniques.  
Our camper and car look, well, disgusting. We've been much more chill this trip and the state of the camper and car reflect this new found relaxation. Don't get me wrong, the sleeping and and not cleaning have been grand!

We've also managed to get away with one large laundry marathon and one additional load here on the island. The less time I have to spend in a laundromat that feels like a rainforest and smells like wet shoes, the better. 

Oh for the love of Pete. Wet shoes! These four males' shoes smell like something pooped and then died in them. In an attempt to smoke out the stink the other night, I inadvertently burned through the elastic lace and melted the toggle on one of Jason's Keens. Whoops. They do smell better though. 
The island we're on now, Madeline Island, is having something of a heat wave according to the locals. It's been in the upper 70's and lower 80's (This is my kind of heat wave!) This means that by day, we've been luxuriating in the crisp clear water of Lake Superior and I've still managed to wear sweatshirts and flannel, and snuggle in my sleeping bag by the fire at night. 

Speaking of the water, it's idyllic. Really. Can we just not leave tomorrow? Because I could jump off rocks, swim, snorkel, and buy a catamaran to sail around the islands forever. Never mind winter. Or work. Or school. Also, there's delicious homemade bread and cookies at the little market that are soy free! Yes! 
Tonight, on the eve of our departure for home, I am a mixed bag of sadness, excitement, and longing. Unlike last year, I'm not ready to leave. And yet I can't wait to be home. My solace is in the hopes of another totally spectacular vacation next year. (More details ahead)

For tonight, goodnight from the Munschs.

The boys took their scooters to the island's skatepark. 


Wood sold by the armful. 

Shoe smoking in progress. 

Car ferry. It's fun every time!

Big chair. 

Straight up. 

Defense against the biting flies. My lower half is in a sleeping bag.