Adventures Along Lake Huron

For our summer 2015 vacation, we decided to circle all the way around Lake Huron.  Andrew's family had a summer get-together, which we had not participated in in previous years and wanted to attend this year.  We made sure to include the family gathering into our vacation and then continued on to further our vacation experiences.

Here is a snap shot of our route.

Our first few days were spent in Seaforth, ON.  Then we traveled on to Sudbury, ON, but before we got to Sudbury, we stopped about halfway at Wasaga Beach for a little time in the water.  From Sudbury, we traveled on to St. Ignace.  Since we were passing through Sault Sainte Marie, we stopped there to view the locks and stretch our legs. Once in St. Ignace, we took a day trip to Mackinac Island and another day trip to Tahquamenon Falls, before finally heading back home.

Now that you have a good idea of our route, here are some pictures of what we saw along the way.

Family Get-together
Of course, I forget to get the camera out till the end when people were leaving.
At least I got a picture of Avery's favorite Bergsma cousin to play with :)

Science North Museum, Sudbury, ON
Avery got to see a porcupine up close
and pet a painted turtle.
 We watched daddy try out the bed of nails and see if it still hurts.
 She even danced while the skeleton mimicked her every move.
(she was learning about all the different parts of the body in this exhibit)

 Dynamic Earth Nickel Mine, Sudbury, ON
We took a tour underground into the mine.
We saw how they mined years ago vs how it is done today.
Thankfully they had a nice kids play area for Avery.  She had fun playing in their little kids "mine" with styrofoam rocks and also in their little "stream" panning for gold dust.


Sault Sainte Marie/ Soo Locks
 This is the original historic locks (only used for pleasure boats today)

 Below are the current set of locks used both for commercial and pleasure boats
(we had just missed a boat going through and didn't see any others in the short time we were there)

Mackinac Bridge/ Mackinac Island, MI
Ferry boat to the island, with a scenic drive by under the bridge
 a unique view of the bridge from the water
 5 miles long suspension bridge (longest in North America)
columns are 300 ft above water, 200 ft in the water, & another 100 ft below the water

 Approaching the island.
The Grand Hotel is the large building you see.

 In the Old Fort, watching some demonstrations and listening to presentations
 The 3 men were: (r-l) 1860 American Soldier, 1812 British Soldier,
and (firing the gun) 1940 American Soldier
 View of the water from the top of the fort.  It was... BEAUTIFUL!
 View of the bridge from the fort on the island

 posing by one of the canons
   We walked around every where, but couldn't cover every single piece of ground.
At one point we had to take these steps to the top.  There were 150(ish) steps to climb.
 halfway and still more to go
 The view at the top was worth it!

 Arch Rock 

 More views of the absolutely beautiful water.  It was definitely a perfect day for viewing!

 Close-up of the Grand Hotel
(chose not to pay $10/person to go closer, ridiculous!)
 and the front lawn of the Grand Hotel

Tahquamenon Falls, MI
View of the Lower Falls
You can rent a boat and go on to the center island you see in the middle of the picture.
Some day we hope to come back and spend more time here and do some more exploring.
 From that center island you can step out into the water and "experience" the falls.
 Moose head on the way to the upper falls
View of the Upper Falls

  Had to walk down 94 steps to see the falls up close
(which means 94 steps back up)

There was another set of 115 steps down into the gorge farther down the path, but we chose not to take those as we were already feeling the 150 steps from Mackinac Island the day before. 

Packing up, heading home
Avery was trying to be a big helper and carry the tent bag to the car
 ...lets try picking it up this way instead.
"Too heavy, daddy, too heavy!"
 Driving over the Mackinac Bridge on our way home.

Home Sweet Home!
It is SO NICE to sleep in our own bed (although the air mattress was better than the hard ground), shower in our own shower (with more than just a little stream of water to rinse out the shampoo), and no more pesky mosquitoes (I think we used up an entire bottle of spray)!  We exercised our muscles with all the walking and climbing steps we did at each place - it made up for all the sitting in the car while driving.