Michigan – Family Trip 2020

Alt Title: It could have been worse.

Dear reader. This trip was taken during the 2020 Covid-19 Pandemic. We as a family wore face masks in all public places. Avoided crowds as much as possible. We’re home now and spending time in self isolation. We plan to get tested. Stay safe. Wear a face mask.

<3 Shoo Family

Sometimes the universe throws some curve balls. Like the weekend before we’re scheduled to leave, a branch comes down on a power line and pulls the mast connected to the power meter off the house.

Or on the way up, we stop at a rest stop, turn the car off and it won’t start again.

Or a tree ‘unexpectedly’ jumps out and hits your bumper.

Or your cell phone drops out of your life jacket as you’re getting out from kayaking on Lake Superior and you spend an hour looking for it, that is why before you get into the water you need to visit and read the recommendations for beginners.

It all could have been worse. But we got the power fixed the next day, remembered to bring the jumper cables and replaced the battery at an Autozone, the bumper popped back out, and a group of strangers helped me find my water proof cell phone under a layer of sand and water.

These are the stories that will go down in Shoo family folklore.

Before heading up to Michigan, we stopped at the Indiana Sand Dunes. We had planned to do a relatively short hike to the shore and then head up to Grand Rapids for the night. We arbitrarily picked a route and didn’t do the math. Three hours and 7 miles later. We were exhausted.

A lot of sun. A lot of an eight year old telling us that it was boring.
We did find nature along the way
The trail followed the edge of a bog
It’s not the destination, but the journey or something like that. We were really tired after that hike.

We had picked a cabin off the beaten path in upper Michigan in the lower peninsula. It was isolated and about a 20 minute drive from the nearest town. It was also less than five minute drive to a sweet fishing hole. Gray and I had a terrific time catching Bass, Pike, and a single Bluegill. This year Grayson has really taken to fishing with the best fishing rod and reel combo for beginners.

We’ve been working all spring to get Gray to stick his thumb in a Bass’ mouth. This took a little bribing.
The damn failed in 2014 and was replaced in 2017 and the lake was restocked.
We lost count of how many fish we pulled out, but it was a great fishing hole.
Even Sarah caught a fish. I had to take it off for her

We were just outside of Mackinaw City and a ferry ride from Mackinac Isl.

Ferry ride to Mackinac Island. How post-apocalyptic does this look. Also, wear a mask.
We didn’t realize how much cruiser bikes could be.

When on vacation and if possible we like to hit up as many National Parks as possible. Grayson has a National Parks Passport that we get stamped when we visit. We were a 2.5 hr drive from Sleeping Bear Sand Dunes. We did a hike, had lunch, and climbed up one of the dunes.

Hiking with an 8 year old can be a challenge. The key is to find a subject that they can’t stop talking about. There was a lot of talk about Animal Crossing and Fortnite.
“I don’t want to do this.” Followed by, “This was amazing! Thanks for making me do this”
Dad stache is photogenic.

We were another 2.5 hours away from Pictured Rocks National Lake Shore. On the way up Sarah had talked about doing a 7 mile hike to get see the shores. After all the fun in Indiana, Grayson and I said no-way! We compromised with 2 hours of kayaking!

I was voted off the island. Since I was odd man out, I had to kayak with another solo paddler. Gray and Sarah are in the background.
It was beautiful and I’ll recommend this to anyone heading up that far north.
The rocks are made of limestone and all kinds of other minerals seeping through giving it the vibrant colors.
Team Mom paddling.

Michigan is a state that we’re definitely going to check out again in the future. It was beautiful.