Gratitude week 109

  1. My husband is feeling a lot better after being sick. Since he very rarely gets sick, this was really eye opening. Thinking about losing him made me realize how much I love and appreciate him.
  2. Paul was feeling good enough to go on the annual guys ice fishing trip.
  3. I’m grateful for the safety of the men who went on the trip. They went fishing on Lake Superior which is always a little scary for me. One year they were up there an ice fishing guide died on Lake Superior, an expert died. A couple days it was bitterly cold. Paul’s 4 wheeler didn’t start and the next day Paul’s step-dad’s truck wouldn’t start because it was 18 below.
  4. My son and his buddy were able to make the long trip to ice fishing camp in his junker car without breaking down in a remote area with no cell coverage and freezing to death.
  5. Angel and Dan were supposed to close on their house last week, but Dan ended up having to go to Texas for work. Now they are closing on the house tomorrow. I’m grateful Dan made it back safely this morning after the 18 hour drive from Texas.
  6. Tomorrow my daughter will be a home owner. It’s hard to believe she will be moving out this week. The house will be a lot quieter without her and I will miss her a lot. But I’m grateful she is getting married and moving on with her life.
  7. Yesterday I went along with Angel and her bridesmaids to pick out the bridesmaid dresses. It was a lot of fun.
  8. It’s puzzle time of year again. I just finished a puzzle and am working on another one.
  9. I spent three days this past week working on my book and I started reading The Bell Jar which was a Christmas gift from Angel.
  10. Arabella’s boyfriend got a new job and Arabella has a job interview on Wednesday.
  11. When the guys were gone, Angel and I watched a couple good movies-Requiem of a Dream and The King of Staten Island.
  12. I went cross-country skiing today for the first time this season. It went better than I thought it would.

The travel diaries, Pictured Rocks


These pictures were taken at the Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore in Munising, Michigan. The Pictured Rocks consists of 15 miles of sandstone cliffs and caves along the shores of beautiful Lake Superior.

We took a boat tour to view this wonder of creation. We stayed at our friends cabin near Munising on a kid free weekend in August. We were there during a heat wave with temps around 90 degrees. Temps in the 90’s is spectacular since the average high in August is 75 degrees, which is typically the hottest it gets all summer. The picture above almost makes it seem like a warm tropical vacation. It may feel that way on a typical day if you are wrapped in a blanket or winter clothes.


If you look closely at the right hand of the picture above, you can see a face in the rock formation.


Adventurers can also explore the cliffs, caves, cracks, and crevices by kayak or canoe.  This can be a rather extreme sport in this area because the water temperatures in summer are right around 50 degrees. On this very hot day, we did see a few people jump in the water but they didn’t stay long. I have also heard that it can be treacherous for boaters because there is a great variation in the depth of the water. If you are looking for a place to get away from the heat this summer, this is the place to go! You can be surrounded by cool water along miles and miles of sandy empty beaches. There are also breathtaking waterfalls along the hiking trails flowing forth from the rock formations.

There is so much to explore in this area that you could spend your whole summer doing it. Again, I would give high ratings to this location if you enjoy exploring nature in a tranquil, remote, and beautiful location. I would absolutely recommend this location for extreme outdoor adventurers, unless you are really into swimming. This location really rocks for geologists as well!

Keep traveling!!


Shipwrecks, Superior, Sailing, Survival

Last week I had the opportunity to see Gordon Lightfoot live in concert. I am not a huge fan, but have a great appreciation for his music. It was almost magical hearing him perform The Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald considering that today is the 40th anniversary of the ship’s sinking. Over a decade ago, Paul and I had the opportunity to go the Shipwreck Museum at Whitefish Bay on Lake Superior near the location of the wreckage. I remember really enjoying the tour of the lighthouse there. I can’t imagine the solitude of being a keeper of the light over the cold lonely winter months. The summer months alone offer cool temps and solitude.

After touring the museum and lighthouse, we walked along the shore of Lake Superior. Even on the warmest summer days, the water is too cold to swim in. A few minutes of exposure gives you the pins and needles feeling. The average surface temps of the water are between 32 F and 55 F, so if you are thinking of visiting in the summer make sure to bring a winter coat. I have seen very hot days of 90 F on Lake Superior, still not a lot of swimmers.

On the way back, we stopped for a whitefish fry in Paradise. Then winding our way  back down Upper Michigan, we stopped at Tahquamenon Falls State Park to view the waterfalls. We decided spontaneously to take a hike from the upper falls to the lower falls and back. It was a total of 8 miles. This was before I became a runner. Why I thought that hiking an eight mile rustic trail in flip flops was a great idea, I will never know. Upper Michigan is an absolutely beautiful area to travel. If you do get the chance to put your feet in the water of Lake Superior that would be a great bucket list item. Or better yet, sail all of the Great Lakes. That may end up on my bucket list soon.

Last night I dreamt that my husband wanted me to go sailing with him on Lake Superior. I remember feeling trepidation towards those trepid waters. I woke up thankful that the sailboat is tucked away in hibernation for the winter. Absolutely no way we could be tempted to take a quick sail on Lake Superior even if it has been a warm November. I couldn’t fathom sailing or being on a ship on Lake Superior in November with hurricane winds and during a blizzard. Imagine if you can getting sprayed with ice cold water with 20 to 30 foot waves. I remember getting sprayed with cold water in 4 foot waves and that was bone chilling enough for me. That was in the middle of summer.

If you want a true survival show experience I would suggest November on Lake Superior. I bet even the producers of Naked and Afraid know that the survivalists probably wouldn’t even make it one day there. A couple years back, Paul went ice fishing on Lake Superior. It was during that weekend that Lake Superior claimed the life of the Lake Superior ice fishing expert and guide. What a fearful place, the lake that is so cold that it doesn’t give up its dead.

The lake does draw people in like a siren with its immense beauty. I would like to see the ice caves, only made under the right conditions, along Lake Superior. I have toured the Apostle Islands. I also toured the Pictured Rocks, someday I will show you those pictures. They are absolutely breathtaking. Someday I may even be brave enough to sail on Lake Superior. It is beautiful enough to draw me in, but it can’t keep me.