Petosky, Michigan

We are in the home stretch of our amazing 4 + months on the road. We are in Petosky, Michigan on Lake Michigan. The area is famous for a hexagonal coral that is found washed up on the beaches. The coral shows that this area was once under the ocean of salty water.

We arrived to a wicked strong storm but it was beautiful. The storm kicked up huge waves, knocked out the towns power and brought many pretty stones to the beach.

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We have spent several hours each day combing the beach and water looking for special stones. We have found many Petosky stones and quite a few other cool rocks that have fossils or are just cool looking.

We spend time spraying and examining them in the shade of the awning.

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This is my favorite find!

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Mom found 3 really nice stones and is working on sanding them by hand and then will polish them when we get home.

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We took spray bottles to the upper beach areas that are dry and looked for stones there too. Our best luck was in between he trees growing at the waters edge.

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Traverse City, Michigan

We made it safely back into the USA and through customs at the boarder in Sault Saint Marie. We crossed the Mackinaw Bridge and it was quite scary.

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We arrived at our lovely campground, Holiday Park, for the next 3 nights. We immediately headed out to Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore. We had a blast running up and down the dunes. They were very impressive! It reminded us of the dunes in Death Valley last summer.

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We made it all the way to the highest dune at 287feet.

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I thought I was going to die climbing some of the dunes. They were really steep!

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We worked on our Junior Ranger books and learned a lot about how the dunes were formed from the glaciers many many years ago. The dunes shift an average of 2.5 feet per year since they have been recording the data.

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We hiked a few short trails. They were very hard hikes in the soft deep sand.

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Trees do manage to survive in some areas even with the shifting dunes.

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There was one part on the scenic drive that was insanely steep. There were lots of footprints but no people because of the storms.

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We headed back to camp because of a bank robbery in town that closed everything down for the afternoon. The next day we did all the drives again and climbed the dunes several more times.

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We stopped in at the blacksmiths shop and watched the blacksmith make a dinner bell. We were able to buy the bell! img_3599

We earned our Junior Ranger badge and patch. We also got a cool book called “Look Around You” by a local artist for free for doing our books.

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We stopped off at the Platte River State Fish Hatchery and saw how they raised Coho Salmon for stocking the rivers and lake.

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The weir was pretty cool. They raise and lower it based on what fish is spawning.

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Our last day we went out to eat at The Cherry Hut and had way too much cherry stuff. We took Dad to the dunes and he had a fun time climbing up with us.

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Agawa Canyon Train Tour

Today we took a ride on the Agawa Train out of Sault Ste. Marie. The train went along Hwy 17 and along many lakes and rivers. We had spectacular views of Lake Superior and several trestle bridges.

We had a nice table in the cabin for the four of us. We all took turns switching seats. We played some card games to pass the time.

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We enjoyed watching the front of the train when we went around the bends. There was a narration that went along with the ride and we learned a lot about the industry in the area.

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We eventually arrived at the Agawa Canyon and took a several kilometer hike along the rived down to the waterfalls. This is Bridal Falls.

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We found a cool caterpillar on the hike.

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This is Beaver Falls.

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E was being a pistol the entire trip. Mom is just kidding about choking him. But she did threaten to toss him over into the falls.

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We walked along the railroad and then followed the path back to the train.

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Back on the train we had a late lunch in the dining car. Mom and Dad really liked their food. I had a burger but it wasn’t my thing. When we got back we swam for a long time. Tomorrow it is supposed to rain so this was out last “pool time”, possibly for the rest of the trip.

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Bushplane Museum

This morning we went to the Canadian Heritage Bushplane Museum in Sault Ste. Marie. They specialize in Bushplanes and fire fighting planes.

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We saw some really cool videos, checked out the amazing display of airplanes and had fun playing in the cockpits.

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It was a spectacular museum. We learned a lot about how the bombardier water planes were able to pick up water and then dump on the fires. The process has changed a lot but is now very efficient if near water.

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Mackinac Island

We headed out near sunrise towards the USA. We only crossed over for a few hours. We took the ferry boat out to Mackinac Island (pronounced Mackinaw, silent C?). Some of the ferry boats went super fast. We had picked the more leisurely pace boat.

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When on the island, we opted to take a private carriage ride around the island. We had a great, knowledgable guide who told us the history of the island as well as information about those people that call it their summer home.

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We saw the Grand Hotel with it’s 600 foot front porch.

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Skull Cave.

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And views of the marina from the Eastern Cliffs.

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After our carriage ride we walked Market Street and sampled enough fudge to make us all sick in the tummy. I bought a slab of mint chocolate for later.

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We had a near private ferry back to the mainland. We enjoyed lunch out, a rare treat.

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No problems getting back into Canada on the International Bridge. We got back and I swam for 2.5 hours while Mom did laundry. I worked on my handstands and was under water most of the time. Emmerson too a long nap and is finally feeling a bit better, thank goodness! He was super grumpy.