States visited: 49!

visited 49 states (98%)
Create your own visited map of The United States
Miles driven so far -
LOOP 1 (Aug 2009 - Aug 2010): 29,000
LOOP 2 (May - August 2012): 10,800

Highest altitude with camper: 11,158ft (I-70, CO)

Monday, September 14, 2009

Wednesday September 2nd: Happy 42nd Anniversary MUM & DAD! Happy Birthday KAREN!

Hope your day was as good as ours!

Well, to be honest, it really didn’t start off that fantastically. Becca remains fairly resistant to schooling for anything longer than 20 minutes. This is challenging as I am a ‘get it done’ kind of personality. Jake definitely has this trait. He loves to get his work assignments, buckles down and gets them all done in a far quicker time than I’ve allocated. This is not the case with Becca, so things tend to take a little longer with more breaks – oh well, thankfully not everyone has my personality, what a stressful world that would be, LOL!

As lunchtime approached and we’d just begun math, Nate was sitting opposite us, snack in hand, when he says: “Oh, there’s an owl.” He’s quite nonchalant about it, so I assume it’s another ‘tall story’ (he tends to compete with the big kids by embellishing things….) and pay no attention until it flies directly past the window and lands on a branch right in front of us.

Picture us all now pressed up against the window, me, with camera in hand, trying desperately to get a good angle before it flies off. Instead, I went outside and clicked a quick photo but there it remained, gazing down at me. I beckoned the kids out and we all stood there, transfixed while it preened itself and continued to look down on us. The kids got really close to the tree and were in awe. It was such a cool experience. Eventually it did fly off but the kids begged me to go to the ranger station to tell them and show them the photos. The Rangers were as equally enthusiastic (love that!) and showed the picture in the nature book of which owl it was: a barred owl.

Sadly for Dave, he missed our morning excitement: work, such a huge inconvenience! He took the afternoon off though and we completed the Pearce Stocking Scenic Route in the car, admiring the spectacular views of Lake Michigan and Sleeping Bear dunes (no longer looking quite so much like a sleeping bear as in the past as the dunes move at an alarming rate each year). One of the main lookouts informed us that the lake stretched 55 miles from our viewpoint to Wisconsin but you could not see land due to the water following the curvature of the earth, we all thought that this was pretty cool.

We learnt a few more things along the drive, which helped complete the Junior Ranger program. We headed over to the Dune Climb again, Dave definitely wanted to complete that before we left and we wanted to climb a little higher. First though, we checked the wooden marker, detailing the number of feet the dune has moved over the past few years. The marker was placed in 1985, since then, the dunes have progressed 57 feet, amazing to see the forces of nature at work in such a dramatic way.

After dinner, we went back to the shores of Lake Michigan to watch the sunset. It was neat to have the full moon on one side and the sun set on the other. It was a beautiful sight, the colors were gorgeous. We meandered along the beach, dipping our toes in the lake and enjoying the peace of being by the quiet lake, lit by moonlight – this day was certainly one that reinforced our decision to stay on the road and continue this journey around the country. As challenging as some things are, the positive moments far outweigh the negative.

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