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Great Lakes, Great Times!

Updated on February 19, 2015

Great Lakes, Great Times!

June 29th-July 18th 2006

We have merged our travel journals from our Great Lakes trip that we took in summer of 2006. We had a great time and visited all kinds of fun and exciting places!

Hope you enjoy and please leave your comments or tell us about your travels at the bottom of this web page.

Starting Out Right


Thursday, June 29th

Late this afternoon we started out on our Great Lakes trip. While traveling we colored in our State coloring books while we listened to CDs by Doug Phillips and we also listened to "The Home Educator's Tutor" which has beautiful classical music on it. We camped at a KOA campground in Ashville, NC where we enjoyed devotions around a cozy campfire.

With God, All Things Are Possible!


Friday, June 30th

Today we traveled through Tennessee, Kentucky and are camping Lake Loramie State Park in Minster, Ohio. After having our family devotions around a campfire we watched "Snow Dogs" on an outside theater screen. While traveling today we listened to another tape by Doug Phillips and a tape by Tina Farewell called "What the Bible says about Writing". The Ohio state motto which is "With God, All Things Are Possible" has great meaning in our lives because we were born in Ohio from a woman that was part of God's plan to give birth to us but not to be our mother. God made it possible for us to be adopted by our REAL parents, which we are VERY thankful for! With God, All Things are Possible!

An Open Door To The Past


Saturday, July 1st

Today we traveled through Ohio and into Michigan where we camped at Tawas State Park. While traveling we read about Henry Ford and about he Great Lakes from Cobblestone Magazines that we brought along with us on our trip. After checking in at Tawas State Park we went to look and take pictures of the little bitty house that Dad, Mom and Michael lived in 29 years ago in Oscoda. It was open so we went in. It was junkie and run down but Mom and Dad said it was a lot cleaner now than it was before they fixed it up and moved in. The house was right across the street from Lake Huron. You could actually see it from the house. It was really neat to be actually able to go into the house that Mom and Dad had lived in, in their early years of marriage with their first young son, our big brother.

Sunday, July 2nd

This morning after having a family Bible study and playing praise songs on the guitar for worship, we went to climb to the top of Tawas Point Lighthouse which is on the park. After packing up we pulled our camper down the road to wade and take pictures at a public beach access that Mom, Dad and Michael used to play at when they lived in Oscoda. Then we traveled on up to Presque Isle Lighthouse, where we found a spot along Lake Huron with a grill. We decided to camp there for the night. We had an enjoyable picnic outside, made smores and read and sang songs around a campfire. Tawas Point Lighthouse stands 70 feet tall and has 85 stairs. It's been in operation since 1876 and is now part of Tawas Point State Park. It is a great place for bird watchers, especially in spring and fall when the birds are migrating.

Going UP


Monday, July 3rd

After a delicious breakfast that Mom cooked, we climbed the old and the new Presque Isle Lighthouses. The new Presque Isle Lighthouse has 130 stairs whereas the old one had 45 stairs. The old lighthouse was fueled by lard oil and eventually changed over to Kerosene. The new lighthouse is just 1 mile from the old one.

Later, while traveling to the Upper Peninsula we stopped and waded at some Lake Huron Beaches. After pulling in and hooking up at Straits State Park just inside the upper Peninsula of Michigan, we drove to Downtown St. Ignace to shop at little souvenir stores and pick up take out pasties (which are like chicken pot pies) and fresh fudge. We had a picnic supper outside at our campground.

Tuesday, July 4th

This morning we drove to Sault St. Marie where we took a boat tour through the Soo Locks. It was really fascinating. We then drove up to Pickford, Michigan where Mom, Dad and Michael also used to live. We rode around and found their house, but all the stores where closed because it is the 4th of July.

Tonight, back in St. Ignace, we went on a Vespers Cruise. A church choir led singing where we sang Christian and patriotic songs and watched fireworks in all the surrounding towns while we cruised the straits of Mackinac and under the Mackinaw bridge. It was cold but still fun.

Back In Time


Wednesday, July 5th

This morning we took a ferry over to Mackinac Island where we enjoyed shopping and riding bikes around the island for 7 miles. Mackinac Island is a Victorian town and they don't allow cars on the island, so there were lots if horse and buggies and bikes. Mackinac Island is known for its fudge so Mom and Michelle went in all the fudge shops and sampled very good fudge, while Dad and Ashley went horseback riding. This evening while Mom and Dad went out on a date we stayed at the camper to eat, catch up on our journaling and practice guitar. We had family devotions around a campfire.

Thursday, July 6th

This morning we worked on our journals before driving up to Pickford, Michigan where Mom, Dad and Michael lived for three years when Dad was serving in the Air Force in the 1970s. We are staying in a nice and quiet campground in Pickford. It was fun to go to a shop, just down the road and Dad bought snowshoes for a souvenir because he used to own a pair when he lived here. For supper we roasted hotdogs and later some marshmallows around a campfire.

Pickford, Michigan was established in 1887. It is known for it's friendly people and quiet surroundings. There are an abundant amount of wildlife, outdoor appeal and great fishing.

Friday, July 7th

After having a great breakfast at Main Street Café in downtown Pickford we drove up the road to Point Iroquios Light house and climbed it. We then drove to Paradise, Michigan where we waded in the cool Tahquamenon Falls. The falls were beautiful! After enjoying most of the afternoon at the falls we drove up to Whitefish Point Light House, but we could not climb it. There was a small museum and gift shop which was fun to go in. We had family devotions around a campfire. It was very nice.

Wildlife Hunting

Canada, MN

Saturday, July 8th

After a relaxing morning in Pickford we drove into Canada. Canada is beautiful, even though it is rainy and cold this evening. While traveling and looking for moose we listened to two CDs. One by Doug Phillips called "6,000 Years of Earth's History in One Hour" and another one by Bob Farewell called "Raising A Modern Day Entrepreneur". After unhooking the camper we went on bear and moose hunt. We didn't see any moose, however we did see three bears. That was pretty exciting.

Sunday, July 9th

This morning we went on another moose and bear hunt. We saw two bears. After lunch we packed the camper and drove to Nipigon, Canada where we are camping at Sleeping Giant Provincial Park. After unhooking we drove around and saw lots of deer, a grouse with her chicks, a porcupine and a funny looking fox. Tonight we roasted marshmallows and had family devotions around a warm and cozy campfire.

Monday, July 10th

After having a delightful time kayaking and canoeing in a bay of Lake Superior, we drove just up the road to Thunder Bay where we toured a Pioneer Village from the early 1900s. While we traveled we enjoyed reading "50 States Under God", "Paddle to the Sea" and "Edmund Fitzgerald". We started out early trying to find a campground but they were all full. Finally at around 11 pm, we decided to sleep at a rest area just outside of downtown Duluth, Minnesota.

Laura Ingalls Wilder Living History


Tuesday, July 11th

This morning we started out bright and early. We traveled from Duluth, MN through a small part of North Dakota and are staying at Lake Thompson State Park just a few minutes away from DeSmet South Dakota, where we plan on visiting Laura Ingalls Wilder Exibits tomorrow. While traveling we did math, read from "50 States Under God" and listened to "Rhea's Day's" CDs. Tonight after a delicious dinner of venison steak, mashed potatoes beans and toast we went riding around the State Park and Lake Thompson before having family devotions outside at the campground.

Wednesday, July 12th

Today was a really great day. We visited "The Little Town on the Prairie". We visited original and replica houses of Laura Ingalls Wilder and her family. After lunch we toured the "Ingalls Homestead" where we had a well put together sample of the 1880's pioneering life. We took a covered wagon ride dressed up as pioneers made ropes and corn on the cob dolls and we even played school. There were cows, chickens with chicks, kittens, horses and a one month old colt that just ran around as he pleased. Ashley rode a horse bareback. This is a great living history museum.

Thursday, July 13th

Late this morning after hooking up the camper we drove to Walnut Grove, Minnesota. After we parked the camper at Plum Creek County Park we toured the Luara Ingalls Wilder Museum where we saw the Little Red School House, the Dugout house, the chapel and the homestead. While driving around, we found a lost little kitten about six weeks old, so we brought her back to the camper to live. We call her Half Pint because it was Laura's nickname. Today was so much fun.

Friday, July 14th

After breakfast we had fun playing guitar and singing songs in the camper before heading to the town to shop at "Olson's Mercantile" in Walnut Grove and have lunch at Nellie's Café. Later in the afternoon we took a bus tour where we saw the church that the Ingalls went to. We also had fun wading in Plum Creek. After supper we went to an outdoor drama play to see "Fragment of a Dream" a Laura Ingalls Wilder Pageant. It was very well done.

Saturday, July 15th

After an easy going morning of stabilizing the camper we headed of to Walnut Grove where we shopped some yard sales on the way to Spring Valley, MN where we took a guided tour of the Methodist church where Laura, Almanzo and their daughter Rose attended in 1890-1891. We then drove to the quaint village of Burr Oak in Iowa. After touring a replica of the house where the Ingalls lived and worked in 1876-1877, we enjoyed some ice cream for a snack at the Burr Oak Mercantile. After unhooking the camper at Goose Island Campground in Wisconsin we drove around and saw some deer.

Journey Homeward


Sunday, July 16th

Today we started out journey homeward. We traveled through Wisconsin and Illinois and into Indiana. While traveling we had a family worship service where we read from "The Chronological Bible" and sang songs. We later enjoyed listening to Rhea's Day's Entrepreneur CD's and reading aloud from "50 States Under God". WE have now traveled through 49 of the 50 states. We hope to do Alaska next year for our graduation. Tonight we are camping in Indiana at "Indiana Dunes State Park" where we had a nice enjoyable campfire.

Monday, July 17th

After enjoying a swim in Lake Michigan we had a very delicious lunch of venison steak, mashed potatoes and veggies. We then continued on our journey homeward. While traveling we finished reading aloud from "Paddle to the Sea" and we also read from "Henry Ford, Boy with Ideas". We also enjoyed listening to Rhea's Day's CD's while we played with our new kitten, Half Pint. We are all glad that we are headed home even though we are sad that our journey is almost over.

Tuesday, July 18th

Today was an all travel day. We finished reading from "Henry Ford, Boy with Ideas" and had family devotions as we traveled. While listening to Entrepreneurship CDs we colored our state maps. For supper we ate at Smithfield's Bar-B-Q because they have Dad's favorite sweet tea, which can not be found anywhere up north. We arrived home at around 7pm. These were great times and it feels great to be back home.

Paddle-to-the-Sea, Hardcover

By Holling C. Holling / Houghton-mifflin

In the Nipigon country north of the Great Lakes a young boy carved the figure of an Indian in a canoe, christened him Paddle-to-the-Sea, and set him on a melting snowbank which the spring sun was truning into a tumbling mountain stream. Then Paddle began a journey that took him hundreds of miles from his birthplace. He escaped the jaws of a hungry sawmill and went on to see many things on his long trip through the Great Lakes and down the Saint Lawrence River--wild animals fleeing a forest fire, the wreck of a steamer caught in an icy winter storm on Lake Superior, loading and unloading at busy docks, the peacful farms bordering the Saint Lawrence. He took a dizzy plunge over Niagara Falls and managed by a miracle to survive the whirlpools. He was buffeted by many winds and currents and was helped on his way by human hands, until, at last, he reached the Atlantic and earned the right to be called a true Paddle-to-the-Sea. Recommended for ages 8 to 12.


50 States Under God by Joy Dean

The Home Educator's Tutor is a product of Pyxis Publishing Inc.

Paddle to the Sea by Holling C. Holling

Edmund Fitzgerald Lost With All Hands by Captain Robert Hertel

Henry Ford, Boy with Ideas by Hazel B. Aird and Catherine Ruddiman

Raising A Modern Day Entrepreneur by Bob Farewell

What the Bible says about Writing by Tina Farewell

books by and about Laura Ingalls Wilder

The Chronological Bible

Rhea's Day's Entrepreneur CDs

Snow Dogs movie starring Cuba Gooding Jr. James Coburn

My First Little House Series Pack, 12 Volumes

By Laura Ingalls Wilder / Harpercollins

Laura Ingalls Wilder's Little House books have been cherished by generations of readers. Now for the first time, the youngest readers can share her adventures in these very special picture books adapted from Wilder's story books. The pictures and text bring Laura and her family to life.Recommended for ages 3 to 8.


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