Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Day One: It's a long way to Gitchi Gummi

We packed and left early Friday morning for our trip to the Porcupine Mountains on Lake Superior. I was losing my breakfast only minutes before we left our house, so I was worried about how the drive would go. I managed to survive the entire way thanks to prayers and a lot of Tums. We enjoyed a beautiful picnic lunch on a lake in Michigan on the way up and we were very surprised that it had warmed up to 81 degrees even that far North!

A fun post-lunch photo with Nee-Gaw-Nee-Gaw-Bow in Wakefield, MI!

It was a long drive with Lil' Man not napping as much as I would have liked. The girls that were riding with us were saints for patiently handing toys and snacks to him and having him shake them awake when they would try to nap!

When we arrived at the Porcupine Mountains we split up. Paul, Lil' Man and I took the less steep 3 mile trail to Mirror Lake where we were all staying for the next three days. The ranger informed us that we weren't allowed to take the stroller with us (later we found signs that said no motorized wheeled vehicles and I think the woman had misunderstood that it was just a stroller- oh well!), so we had to coax Lil' Man into walking as much as we could.  Not a fun task!

Like Linus from Peanuts, Lil' Man carried his blankie the entire time. After he tripped and scrapped an elbow and his arm, Paul had to carrying him for at least 2 and a half mile along with his 55+lbs pack. Lil' Man is not so little! He currently weighs somewhere over 35 lbs. and had all his weight on Paul's neck, so Paul got him to sit on top of the pack!

Lil' Man enjoyed his throne (for the most part!) and was fascinated by the chipmunks!

I wasn't really as prepared as I should have been. In my mind, three miles is nothing and I really didn't think I'd have any trouble, but with my pack and being pregnant I really had to be careful. Even relatively mild inclines left me drained and puffing, so I stopped a lot to make sure I was getting enough oxygen to the baby. When we got to a difficult area, my wonderful hubby insisted on carrying both of our packs! The man is a saint! He had to carry mine across his his chest. He is hard-core. :)

It was such a relief to arrive at our cabin. It was so cute and well off the main path (unlike the two other cabins on the lake). We couldn't believe how nice it was for a rustic cabin! There was a bunk bed, beautiful wooden table with benches and a chair, a wood stove with a supply of firewood, a hatchet, bow saw, buckets, and pots for cooking. We had packed in all those things (well, not the firewood) not knowing that their would be anything in the cabin. It even came with a canoe, paddles and plenty of life jackets- even a tiny one for Lil' Man! 

After unpacking, we paddled out onto the lake to find the rest of our group. We didn't know where they would be, so we just enjoyed paddling until we found several of the girls filtering water out of the lake for dinner.

I wonder how they got the name "Mirror Lake"????  : )

After catching up with the rest of the staff from camp, we paddled back to our cabin to pick up a few things. Paul ran up to the cabin while Lil' Man and I sat in the canoe waiting. Lil' Man had been sitting near the back with Paul and I was in the front. As I looked at the lake, Lil' Man and I chatted about the colors and the water. Before I knew what was happening, I felt the boat rock and turned just in time to see Lil' Man falling into two inches of mucky water that our canoe was sunk into. His feet were still in the canoe, but everything else was wet and covered in old leaves. It was sad and hysterical all at the same time. I took him back to the cabin to change him and find Paul. Paul took this video clip.

The highlight of the entire weekend, in my opinion, was when Paul, Lil' Man and I left the staff camp after dinner to head back to our cabin. There was a new moon on Friday night. It was an inky, pitch black and there wasn't a cloud in the sky. Floating in the lake with out a single thing to take away from the celestial view made it the most breathtaking sight I have seen since Paul and I were working on Sequoia Lake in California. The Milky Way was indescribable. The entire night sky looked like the photographs you see in an astronomy book. 

It felt as though we were in the nursery rhyme about Winken, Blinken and Nod because not only were the stars dazzling above us, but it felt as though we were floating through them! The lake was mirroring the heavens! Every so often a huge fish would leap out of the lake startling the stillness and causing the stars to float about in chaos. We drifted in awe on the lake for so long that Lil' Man fell asleep (he swayed this way and that before plopping backwards!).
It is moments like those that make you feel the awesomeness of the power of God. I feel sorry for those who only see a breathtaking sight and have no one to thank for it.


Colleen said...

Wow, that place looks amazing! You are so brave for going camping with a toddler and being pregnant! And Paul is such a good husband :)

Paul and Annie said...

Thanks, Colleen. I am very blessed!

Sarah said...

Aw! Lil man is so cute! :D

Jen Buckley said...

Ann and Paul...I love you guys. I miss you guys...man, the Lord is good. May God continue to bless you. Call me! I need to hear your voices.

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