Lake Bemidji State Park, MN to Lake Gogebic State Park, MI
Depart - 11:00 a.m. Arrive - 8:00 p.m.
A day! What a day! We start with a breakfast of champions... froot loops or frosted flakes... what kind of champion are you? And then we needed to go step in Lake Bemidji before we left Lake Bemidji. The kids had fun playing "catch that leech" and Clara just had fun in the water (I could do a series of pictures of "Clara wanders in the water with her clothes on"). Hard as it was, we had to pull the kids away and keep on motoring. The water, leeches and all, was beautiful and none of us wanted to go. Sometimes it's hard being the grown-up.
Also hard about being the grown-up? No one under the age of (in our case) seven thinks your ideas are good. Here are the activities I packed, thinking they would be fun to pass the time as we drove:
1. colouring books
2. story books
3. chapter books (I'm going to read Charlotte's Web to the kids! It's going to be awesome! They'll love it and be mesmerized and we'll read all day! But... the RV was too loud and no one could hear me unless I was shouting and it's not beautiful to shout Charlotte's Web at your kids)
4. deck of cards
5. activity books, like letter tracing, stickers, and games
6. so many markers and so much paper
7. maps of Canada and the U.S.
8. I can't remember what else but it was a good looking activity bin
And here's the list of the activities that my kids thought were more fun:
1. humming songs loudly. Different songs. At the same time. Each one getting louder than the last because "Stopp humming! I was humming first!"
2. Annie and Clara's 8-day long fight over the arm rest
3. Joe and Henry's 8-day long fight over leg room
4. asking for snacks
5. spilling snacks
6. asking for water
7. throwing water bottle on the floor 20 seconds after it was requested
8. asking for water again (activities 6-8 were owned by Clara)
9. asking when we can watch a movie
10. conniving to get the child of the day to pick the movie that you want to watch
Sometimes the kids would pick from my list. Sometimes they preferred their own. Being the cruise director is really a thankless job.
Anyway, in addition to the driving activities, stops today involved a random giant fish on the side of the road and the city of Duluth. We could have driven right on by but the stop was a bit of a shout out to my brother, Jason, who went to the College of St. Scholastica in Duluth. This was actually my third time in the city and here's what I remember about it: nothing. So I wasn't much help in the navigating department. But we made our way downtown to the lakefront and enjoyed some wandering around and lunch/supper at Grandma's (a restaurant, not a relation). We left Duluth, zipped through Wisconsin, and made our way into the upper peninsula of Michigan. Bee-you-ti-ful. Really gorgeous drive and, I'm sure, any state park would have been good. But we chose Lake Gogebic and, I said jokingly to David, could we have a campsite on the water with ducks? AND WE GOT A CAMPSITE ON THE WATER WITH DUCKS. I realize this is not like winning the lottery but, I guess, when you're camping, it kind of is like winning something. This was also the night of the gorgeous stars. They were there every night, just waiting patiently for us to look up. And David and I usually did take a couple of minutes to stare at the sky. But this night, there were a number of bedtime problems and Annie, in particular, was upset and inconsolable. Before we realized it, the dark night hid the water and the ducks and all that was left was our campsite with crying kids. So one by one, we took them out of their beds and into the starry darkness and it.was.worth.it. All those tears and tantrums disappeared with a quiet whisper in an ear to "just look up." A gasp, a giggle, a happy exclamation. How could there be so many stars and how come we never knew this before? We went to bed happy.