Saturday, September 24, 2011

Best RV Trip Ever!

Sorry for the radio silence lately! The good news is, it hasn't been for the lack of posting opportunities.  It's rather, the lack of time to actually write, proof, and add pictures to the posts.  I've got a pretty good backlog of "bloggable" moments and this weekend will have it's share of moments to share.  So, I'm finally carving out an hour or so to dedicate to blogging to get you guys all up to speed. 

Last weekend (well, Thursday actually), we spent 4 days in Wisconsin and the UP of Michigan.  This morning when my mom commented that she had been patiently waiting for a blog update I knew it was time for me to get to writing. 

Let's start with the most important moment of the whole weekend:

Yep, that's right.  The two lonely Packer fans in a RV full of Bears and Steeler fan's begged and pleaded for long enough that we convinced them to take us to Lambeau field for a quick photo shoot.  I suppose it was like salt in an open wound when we pulled into the parking lot just a few minutes after the Packers won their game (away) and the Bears lost.  There was plenty of heckling from the RV as we stood there and got our fill of the stadium.  But hey, who knows when I will be able to convince Ryan to visit Green Bay again?  The Packers play the Bears tomorrow so I will keep the trash talking to a minimum (but, check out my updated Facebook profile pic *wink*).

So, maybe I should rewind a bit and explain just how we got to to this moment.  A few months back Chris suggested that we look into doing a RV trip to the UP of Michigan and the Pictured Rocks State Park.  The "we're all in" campers the Ryan and I are, meant that we were super excited to plan this trip.  We recruited Lindsay and Sarah and Dan (another set of Ryan's cousins) and we were all set.  We rented an RV that held 7 so we were packed to the max and ready to party!!

We left Thursday night after putting in a full day of work.  Actually the three men took half day's and went to the RV store to all get "certified" to be drivers. We left Wheeling around 7 pm after getting dinner and getting the whole RV packed.  It was roughly an 8 hour drive to the campsite meaning that we finally arrived around 2 am.  And yes, we were "those jerks" backing into our campsite 3 times with the annoying back-up beep.  I'm sure we woke the whole campground but we were all pretty dang tired and just wanted to crawl into bed.  We drew straws for the beds for the night and agreed on rotating through the trip.  Sarah and Dan got the master suite in the back, Ryan and I were on the couch, Lindsay on the table (which laid down) and C&B were above the drivers seat.  See in the picture above that there is a little window above the driving area?  That's where C&B ended up that first night.

All that is important because around 4 am when the fire alarm started going off when the heat kicked on, Brenna freaked out!  She was stuck up in that super claustrophobic bed, behind Chris.  When the alarm started going off, Sarah and Dan didn't even move to see if something was wrong.  Ryan said "Don't worry about it" and we went back to sleep, but Brenna spent the next two hours worried that we were all going to die in the camper.  That was just the beginning of the camper issues.  The heat only kicked on once that night (that queued the alarm), we didn't have electricity and the hot water never worked.  After about 10 phone calls to the help center we finally got the heat working but not until we spent two nights freezing our butts off. 

Oh, I forgot!  After about 15 minutes of driving we realized that a little vent in the ceiling (above C&B's bed that first night) was open.  We couldn't close it from the inside because the screw was stripped so we pulled into a gas station to see if we could fix it.  These rental RV's don't put ladders to the roof because they don't want people to climb up onto them, so we improvised.  I've not tried embedding a video into a blog post before so here goes nothing:

I hope that video works for you all because I've got a few more I'd like to share with you.  I really need one of those Flip camera's (hint...hint...Christmas present anyone??). 

I wish I had a picture of our campsite but I just checked through my files and I don't have a single one.  It was amazing!  We were literally 50 feet from the shore of Lake Superior.  It was quite amazing to wake up and stumble out of our RV to make breakfast with a beautiful view of the lake.  It made me wish I was retired and able to travel the country aimlessly with an RV. 

Friday morning after we finally woke up and got moving we decided we were going to "pack up" the RV and head over to Pictured Rocks State Park to do some hiking.  The only downside to having the RV was that we didn't have an actual car.  If we needed to drive somewhere it meant that we had to sort of pick up, disconnect, and drive the whole shebang whereever we needed to go.  We spent the afternoon hiking around the park.  We agreed on doing a 6ish mile trail and there were tons of beautiful things to see.


Check that out.  It's a little hard to see, but that tree is growing on top of a huge rock structure that isn't connected to anything.  You can see the roots reaching all the way across to main section of land.  We learned later on the boat tour that this piece of land used to be connected but years of waves and erosion caused the rock to carve out creating this little island.  The tree survives on the water and nutrients the roots transfer from the main land.  So amazing!  See, here is another shot for you

We also found a really cool beach.  It was completely deserted and we spent maybe a half hour or so exploring and enjoying the sunshine (and warmth, after a night of freezing our butts off in the camper). 

See that water rushing behind Ryan?  We learned on our boat tour the next day that this was called the Lower Falls.  It wasn't very big at all, and Ryan even climbed up it reminding me vaguely of him "surfing the rocks" in Brazil.  But, what was cool is that this rushing water carved out a small bank in the sand of the beach.  It created a roughly 2 foot tall ledge of sand that the boys and Lindsay found super fun.  Lindsay decided to see how close she could get to the edge, jump, and then jump back without crashing down into the water.  Ryan enjoyed crushing the sides down like Godzilla and Dan nearly crashed into in when he nearly slipped on the slick water and tossed his shoes into the water to save himself....I guess you had to be there.  I nearly peed in my pants when this happened.  Followed almost immediately by Chris hopping his way across the skinniest point in the water trying to keep his feet dry.  Again, I almost peed.

Alright, that's a pretty picture to end this post with.  And, well, I've been working at this post for about two hours.  We are at the lake and the Internet is pretty dang slow here, and, we are about to take a boat ride.  So, for now, this post will have to suffice.  Check back again tomorrow and I'll continue the story.  I've got 2 more days of adventure to share with you plus all the stuff we are up to this weekend so come on back.

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