So I have to be honest, I had NO idea there was such a thing as the U.P. I had no idea you could drive the strip of land you see on the map, arched above Michigan and Wisconsin, called the Upper Peninsula. Maybe I was passing notes during that part of class? haha :)
I quickly learned just how RURAL it is!!!! NO cell reception, and it was like a civilization of its own. I also learned, that if you live there, you are called a Yooper.
Most of the year you get around on special snow mobile paths and the restaurants open just for you and are PACKED with folks with the same idea. If you stretched all the groomed snow paths into a "highway" of sorts, it'd reach from Florida to Washington!!!!!
Driving these is all the rage here, in fact under almost every speed limit sign, is a speed limit for ORV's for the winter months to come.
Pretty cool, right!?
There is this beautiful bridge you take to get to the UP, and you will see Lake Michigan on your left and Lake Huron on the right.
We weren't in the UP very long, but we did have a TON OF FUN!!!!
This first thing we did after a day of leisure, was go to the Soo Lock's.
The Soo Locks makes it possible for ships of all sizes to cross the 21-foot drop between Lake Superior and Lake Huron every day and night!
It takes a whole team to make this happen, and it was fun to watch them zoom around on their little cars to prepare for this ships safe passage from one lake to the next.
From the Soo Locks website:
"These Locks are legendary in the maritime world and have provided safe passage and a vital shipping connection within the Great Lakes for nearly 160 years. They are a wonder of engineering and a living, breathing history lesson. They provide a flight of fantasy as one imagines the highs and lows of a life spent on the seas. Nearly a million people come visit each year!!!!"
So, we wanted to go see more water. Apparently, in the UP, there are no major roads winding along the water like other states, nope. You take old logging roads through the forest to get where you want to go.
It. Is. AWESOME.
And bumpy. And dusty. And LONG.
We traveled a 18 miles this way, in fact....
Just when we thought the bone rattling bouncing was NEVER GOING TO END....
We spotted water!
Ahhh, beautiful and worth it!
We spent the rest of the day here just relaxing, looking at pretty rocks, playing wave tag, eating free hot dogs for National Lighthouse Day, and napping in the sun on the warm rocks, which quite amazingly, were very comfortable!
It was so so breathtaking there! Please take a minute and watch these slide shows....the water is so stunning!
We also got to go up into the Lighthouse being restored!
It was so neat, and it took a tight 63 step spiral staircase to reach the top. I can't imagine running up them during a storm to relight the light!!!!
I was so dizzy from my slow climb and ascent that I was crooked for 5 minutes afterwards! No lie!!!!
Afterwards we went to the other side of the shore and relaxed.....
I cannot get over these stunning rock shores of all colors! Make sure you look for the photo of the stones dry vs. wet!! WOW!
On the way home, we saw some people along the road picking something. We pulled over to see what they were doing, and low and behold, the entire area was covered in Wild Blueberries. The nice couple picking, gave us solo cups and turned us lose on their treasure.
We spent a good half an hour there picking 5 Solo cups of AMAZING sweet blueberries! What a great snack after a fun day of play!
The kids all collected their FAVORITE rocks to take home during our day here. Well, we live in an RV, there isn't room for rocks.
Or is there?! Hmmmm.
What about creating a "Zen" sink?
Ok ok, its not really zen. Doesn't that mean lots of different elements like wood and water and light in a special order? No matter, it reminds me of that, so I am calling it my Zen Sink.
Very relaxing and fun to watch the stones turn vibrant colors as we wash our hands! And no, I am not worried about germs lurking in the rocks, our all natural, AMAZING smelling, On Guard soap will take care of that! :)
Best soap I have found EVERRRR! No antibacterial at our house anymore.....too hard on our hands, our bodies and the environment!
As the sun set on another fun day, I just looked around and gave thanks to my Heavenly Father. He knew just how to bless these kids of His, knowing our "Dream Come True" better then we could've ever dreamed up.
I honestly can't imagine a more fulfilling life, then this one, with the ones I love most. We are so settled, content and happy with this new, simple, wandering journey we are on. Free to explore or stay put, rise and sleep when the body dictates, explore what interests us, and skip what doesn't. No stack of mail to sort, no lawn to mow, no phone ringing off the hook....just life, out loud, wild and free.
Thank you Lord!
Goodnight, blogging friends!
We left Ohio and crossed into Michigan and drove a few hours before we found an RV park to stay at in Monroe, with a cute lighthouse theme.
First thing, a man drove up on his bike and knocked on our door. Turns out it was our doTERRA friends, the Janssens, who had recognized our rig as we pulled in!
What are the odds of being at the same RV park at the same time? They also are on the road most of the time for their doT business!
They blessed us with lots of tips, advice before we went our separate ways! I love how the Lord works to bring people together. :)
Our first full day there was a VERY special birthday! Avery turned 8! Little bitty peanut is growing up. Her Momma is apparently having to grow up too, since I celebrated my 35th that day as well.
35 sounds REALLY grown up! Avery Lyn was the best birthday gift a momma could ever ask for, so it was still a day of celebrating! :)
If you followed the 4 little Ferguson's blog, you know that on birthdays we don't do tons of gifts, or big parties. Good thing, because we have had to simplify our traditions even more, now that we live in a small space.
However, birthday girls, or boys, STILL get to be the Queen or King of the day!!!!
Everyone has to do your chores for you, and you get to pick where we go, what we do and what we eat! There is always a LOT of talking and discussing what sweet treat they will pick since momma is a Sugar Nazi a lot of the time.
We found an AMAZING farm to table restaurant called Public House. Everything was simply fantastic!
After some free Strawberry Cobbler, we headed back to the RV for a swim before bedtime.
Before we headed into Northern Michigan, we did some classes, met some new friends at a park for a mini oil class and playtime.
Would you believe 4 little Ferguson's reader, Lauren wrote me about my Instant Pot, and we ended up talking oils.
When I asked her where she lived, because I was wishing I could get her to an oils class, she names a town literally 2 hours from where we were parked. WHAT?!
God is so good and He always works things out to the littlest details! She is an avid oil lover and now joined my doTERRA Dorothy team!!! I am thrilled the Lord brought us together like this at just the perfect time. :)
Next, we got to stop and see my friend from our Central Christian highschool days. Meet Tara and her beautiful family! One of my kids' favorite things about living on the road, is getting to make new friends in every state! :) Paxton is still talking about his new "fwiend", Landes.
We headed towards Indian River and got all set up and went into Makinac City for dinner. The locals told us the food was just as good as the Island, but cheaper. Score!
We are cutting the fat this summer in order to pay off some recent debt from shed house, rv sales tax and surprise tire purchases, so we decided to skip the $100 ferry over to the island this year. We WILL be back and we will get it done!
This didn't stop us from having a really nice time in town walking through the quaint little town with lots of window shopping, fudge and fish dinners. We also dipped our feet in our first and favorite Great Lake, Lake Huron.
We loved the Lake so much, we decided to pack up the next day and spend the afternoon there. Michigan was having record breaking highs of 90* and the next day was supposed to be a high of 74*, so it was perfection! I want to post all of these seperately, but I know that I can't. Please take a minute and watch this slide show. The water was crystal clear and shallow FAR out into the water! Absolutely a highlight of our trip....
Everyone kept talking about Bumpy Cake, so before we pulled out a few days later, we made sure to go find some! OH am I ever glad we did!
We always try to eat the local culture and explore what the town is best known for. Apparently this originated in Detroit and has swept the southern region of Michigan with its popularity. Its a fantastic, moist chocolate cake, with "logs" of buttercream down the top, and then covered in a lovely chocolate glaze. It was, roll your eyes up in your head, good!
Tomorrow, we pack up and head up to the "U.P."!