I started my blog back in January of 2009, after attending the 1st RV-Dreams Rally in Branson, MO, the summer before. I’ve documented all of our camping adventures since then, as well as our preparations for fulltiming, including the ups and downs of selling our house and purging all of our “stuff”, and the last 4 years which we have spent on the road. Many of you have watched our boys grow from pre-teens, to teenagers, to men, and shared in their experiences on the road and all of their accomplishments.
We weren’t new to camping in 2009, though, and had, in fact, been camping for many years – all of my life, and since we married for Tom. I’ve often thought I’d like to go back in time and document some of those memories in blog posts, so when our visit to Ludington State Park last week brought back a flood of memories, I decided it was a good place to start.
Our first visit to Ludington State Park was in 1993 – we were fresh-faced newlyweds happily camping in our tent.
We enjoyed the beach,
visited the Big Sable Point and Little Sable Point Lighthouses,
and even went on a Mac Woods Dune Ride.
I don’t really remember any of that!
My strongest memory from that camping trip has to do with midnight visitors. We had been having run-ins with raccoons that summer, and this trip was no exception. We had learned to keep our cooler under the picnic table bench so that the lid couldn’t open, but those little rascals managed to get their claws into the cooler and pulled out a bag of grapes that were on top. They enjoyed their little treat, and then left the stems on top of the cooler, as if to say “These were good – we want more!”
Yep, we both still remember that!
Fast-forward 9 years, to June, 2002, and we were now a family of four and had upgraded to a pop-up camper.
Our friend from work, Todd, was frequently our “camping buddy”, along with his son, Josh. On this trip, we also met up with a family from the boys’ daycare – starting a long tradition of camping together that still continues today!
As often is the case in June in Michigan, the weather was marginal, with cooler temperatures and a few rainstorms, but that didn’t stop the kids from enjoying the beach!
It was never too cold for them to play at the beach! They had a lot of fun!
It was the stormy skies in the background at Big Sable Lighthouse last week that reminded me of this vacation, and our most memorable trip to the lighthouse.
We set out from the campground, on the trail to the lighthouse – three adults, three boys, and a wagon full of provisions!
Little did we know, we were going to be climbing dunes on this trail!
The guys worked together, and we made our way to the lighthouse.
It was still a beautiful day at this point!
We arrived at Big Sable Point Lighthouse, and climbed the steps to the top!
Leaving the lighthouse, we decided to walk along the beach on the way back. The sky was starting to darken, but we thought we had plenty of time to get back.
The boys were having a great time as we walked along the beach!
Nicolas was 6, Bryce was 3, and Josh was 4 . . . such silly boys . . . and so much fun! We miss those days!
As we walked along this same beach last week, I was amazed at how much smaller it it now than it was 14 years ago! These last few snowy winters have done wonderful things for the Great Lakes – not only are the water levels high, but Lake Michigan is cleaner now than I ever remember it being!
Look at how much bigger the beach was then (and how much smaller Bryce was)!!
We continued to walk as the sky over the lake got darker,
and the reason we remember this day so well is because just before we reached the main beach (and the shelter of the concession building), the sky opened up and we got drenched!!
We thought history was going to repeat itself last week, and I even texted a picture of the dark sky over the lighthouse to Todd, wondering why we always seem to get storms when we take this walk . . . he was quick to point out that at least we weren’t pulling a wagon loaded with toys this time!
This wasn’t the highlight of the trip for the boys, though . . . they remember something else, even to this day!
We took a drive down to Silver Lake, to the sand dunes, where went on a Jeep Tour with Sandy Korners (now known as Parrot Landing).
The boys had a blast driving around on the sand dunes,
and it’s a favorite memory for all of us!
This is a great area of Michigan and we continue to enjoy all that the western coast of our state has to offer. If you haven’t been here yet, you should definitely add it to your travel plans!
I hope you enjoyed my first flashback post . . . I certainly enjoyed reliving the memories!