I have a friend, Rebecca, from high school who now lives in a neighborhood of Detroit with her beautiful little family, where they run a successful company with a honorable mission and purpose. We’ve been able to stay in touch through the years, which I’m forever grateful for, because once you know a person like Rebecca, you hope to never lose the ability to be her friend. Becky and I had been talking about traveling to Mackinac Island, and this past October we finally got around to meeting up at the ferry dock and crossing Lake Huron, with our families, to this historic, picturesque dream of a place. I want to go back one thousand more times, and then just once more after that. Even just the thought of Mackinac makes me happy, it’s famous for their fudge, and horse drawn carriages, it is the real life Disneyland Main St.
It’s the only downfall to actually being an avid traveler, you find so many places that you absolutely love and you can’t seem to shorten the list of places you want to go, because you always have two lists: where you want to go and where you want to go again.
We flew into Michigan several days before we were to meet up with our friends, I’d always heard that people love Michigan for its beauty and we decided a road trip up and down both coasts would be nice to do. I wanted to see and climb Sleeping Bear Dunes, with my family. And I really wanted to make it to Traverse City for some cherry pie, for selfish reasons only. We had read Paddle-to-the-Sea and Paddle is a little wooden Indian in a little wooden canoe that journeys through the Great Lakes out to the Atlantic Ocean. We had previously visited Lake Ontario with a visit to Niagara falls for Sam’s birthday, and we crossed over the St. Lawrence River when we stayed in Montreal which sits beside it. And the St. Lawrence happens to drain to the Atlantic Ocean, which we so happen to live by. I became convinced that we should also touch all four of the Great Lakes that surround the state of Michigan. I figured this was a way to turn our casual meet up with friends into a geography lesson, so we made sure to touch all four lakes as we collected freshwater shells out of Lake Erie, played in the sand at Lake Michigan, stuffed our pockets with rocks at Lake Huron and Lake Superior, which we later tumbled in the boys rock tumbler that they got for their birthday. We read one simple story about someones’ journey wandering the greatest water ways of North America, and in our own strange way wandered them all ourselves, by the shores of each of them rather than on the water itself.
Books we used on geography | Paddle-to-the-Sea | The 50 States: Explore the U.S.A. with 50 fact-filled maps! ~ the Michigan page specifically (one of our favorite geography tools on the U.S.A)