Christmas Card 2017

Click image to enlarge.

Since purchasing our Utah property in 2006, we’ve spent much of our time enjoying life in the foothills on Boulder Mountain. When Annette received a National Endowment for the Humanities grant in January, we realized we would be tied to home for a few years. So, we ordered a new tiny trailer and decided to spend six months traveling. Since we needed to pick up ‘Nemo’ (our new trailer) in WI, we decided it would be the perfect time to tour the Great Lakes.

Our six-month adventure took us to some beautiful and often-overlooked National Parks, National Lakeshores, State Parks, Provincial Parks, and many other amazing places. Below are some of our favorites adventures:

Best Lighthouses        

On a Rock: Split Rock Lighthouse, MN                 

At Sunset: Point Betsie, MI       

In Open Water: Rock of Ages (Isle Royale), MN

As Fog Rolled In: Crisp Point Lighthouse, MI    

On a White Beach: Little Sable Lighthouse, MI 

On a Tiny Island: Cana Island Lighthouse, WI

Best Canoe Experiences         

All Day River Trip: Brule River, WI.

Half Day River Trip: Peshtigo River, WI

Lake Trip: Mijinemungshing Lake, ON             

River Float: Platte River, MI

Best Waterfalls           

Huge: Tahquamenon Falls State Park, MI 

Series of falls: Dozens along Hwy 61 in MN

High Waterfall: Pigeon River High Falls, MN

Best Drives                 

Lakeshore: Keweenaw West, MI      

Backroad: Crisp Point Lighthouse, MI

Nature: Seney National Wildlife Refuge, MI.

Trees: Tunnel of Trees, MI

Park: Pierce Stocking Scenic Drive, MI.

Isolated: Silver Islet, Sleeping Giant Park, ON

Best Beaches               

Black Beach: Silver Bay, MN        

Walking Beach: East Shore of Lake MI 

Rocky Beach: Gay Lac La Belle Road, Keweenaw Peninsula, East Shore, UP MI

Best Bridges               

Iron: Chutes Provincial Park, ON, CA.

Swinging: Tettegouche State Park, MN

Longest: Mackinac Bridge, MI  

Covered: Lockport, OH

Best Bike Rides           

Island Bike Ride: Mackinac Island, MI              

State Park Bike Ride: Peninsula State Park, WI

Long Bike Ride: Heritage Bike Trail, Sleeping Bear Dunes, MI

Best Boat Tours          

Lakeshore: Pictured Rocks Cruise, MI               

Sea Caves: Apostle Islands Cruise, MI

Ship Wrecks: Flowerpot Island Cruise, MI         

Ferry Ride: Madeline Island, WI

Best Hikes                  

Short Hike: Potholes Provincial Park, ON, CA   

Island Hike: Isle Royale, MN

Sea Stacks: Flowerpot Island, MI                      

Waterfall-River Combo: Kakabeka Falls, ON, CA

Boardwalk: Indiana Dunes NL, IN                    

Dune Hike: Sleeping Bear Dunes NL, MI

Nature: Ridges Sanctuary, Door County, WI     

Slickrock Hike: Killbear Provincial Park, ON, CA

Lake Overlooks: Apostle Islands, MI                 

Spectacular: Pukaskwa National Park, ON, CA 

Best Historical Sites    

Dress as a Voyageur: Grand Portage NM, MN  

Interact w/ Re-enactors: Fort Wilkins HSP, WI

Remote: Whitefish Point Museum, MI   

Structures: Fayette Historic State Park, WI

Tourist Experience: Sauder Village, OH 

Biggest Complex: Fort William Historical Park, ON, CA

Best Animals              

Wolves: International Wolf Center, Ely, MN      

Bears: North American Bear Center, Ely, MN

Best Festivals              

Impromptu: Strawberry Festival, Chassell, MI   

Encampment: Madeline Island, WI

Car Show: Kruisin Classics, Escanaba, MI        

Parade: Mackinaw Memorial Day Parade, MI

Pageant: Fort Michilimackinac, MI

National: National Morel Mushroom Festival, MI

Tulips: Holland, MI

Best Farmer’s Market            

City Market: Thunder Bay, ON             

Small Town Market: Bayfield, WI

Best Mine Tour          

Modern: Soudan Underground Mine Tour, MN  

Self-Guided: Delaware Mine Tour, WI

Historic Tour: Quincy Mine Tour, WI

Best Libraries & Wifi 

Murals: Massey Public Library, ON, CA                       

On a Lake: Mackinac Island Library, MI

Building: Petosky District Library, MI    

Internet: Grand Marais Library, MN

State Park Wifi: Tettegouche State Park, MN

Best Camping             

City Park: Washburn City Park, WI      

County Park: Castle Rock Park, Friendship, WI

State Park: Indian Lake State Park, WI  

National Lakeshore: Sleeping Bear Dunes, MI

Beach: Mears State Pk, Pentwater, MI   

Provincial Park: Killbear Provincial Park, ON, CA

Near the Beach: PJ Hoffmaster SP, MI  

Bathrooms: Cascade River State Park, MN

Overall: Wells State Park, MI

Best Food       

Swedish: Swedish Pantry, Escanaba, MI                        

Pasty: Betty’s Pies, Two Harbors, MN

Pickerel: Gilly’s, Snug Harbour, ON, CA                      

Dining Room: Naniboujou Lodge, Grand Marias, MN

Craft Beer: Black Cloister Brewery, Toledo, OH           

Island: Yankee Rebel Tavern, Mackinac Island, MI

Atmosphere: Father John’s Microbrewery, Bryan, OH    

Donuts: World’s Best Donuts, Grand Marais, MN

Polish Hunter’s Stew: Leg’s Inn Restaurant, MI             

Brunch: Bimbo’s Octagon, Chisholm, MN                                            

Local Polish: Polish Kitchen, Harbor Springs, MI       

Ice Cream Parlor & Diner: Wilson’s, Ephraim, WI

Cherry Turnover: Cherry Point Farm Market, MI           

Burger: Slabtown Cafe, Traverse City, MI

Small Burger Chain: Clyde’s Drive Inn, MI & WI         

All American Restaurant: Darrow’s, Mackinaw City, MI

Birthday Meal: Kinniwabi Pines, Wawa, ON, CA          

Breakfast: Julienne Tomatoes, Petoskey, MI                                          

Thai Food: Thai Orchid Cuisine, Petoskey, MI                    

Fish Tacos: The Stray Dog Bar & Grill, New Buffalo, MI

Grilled Tenderloin: Lemon Drop, Anderson, IN             

Small Plates: Taste, South Haven, MI               

Other Bests     

Best Rock Art: Agawa Rock Pictographs, Lake Superior Provincial Park, ON, CA

Best Cemetery: Old Indian Burial Ground, Bay Mills, MI

Coolest Monument: Somewhere in Time, Mackinac Island, MI

Outdoor Workspace: Picnic table south of Copper Harbor, Upper Peninsula, MI

Best Murals: Ashland, WI

Best Interactive Museum: Thunder Bay National Marine Sanctuary, MI

Biggest Food   

Burger: Brown Bear, Pentwater, MI

Ice Cream Cone: Sherman’s Ice Cream, South Haven, MI

Pasty: Muldoon’s, Munising, MI


Mosquitos: McCarthy Beach State Park, MN

Midges: Mackinaw Mill Creek Campground, MI

Rain: Petoskey State Park, MI

Beyond our Great Lakes adventure, we also visited family in Texas, Missouri, Kentucky, and Illinois during the year. We enjoyed a January trip exploring rock art sites at Hueco Tanks State Park & Historic Site in southwestern Texas.

On our way back to Utah this Fall, we camped near Grand Lake, CO to explore the west side of Rocky Mountain National Park during the elk rut. We also enjoyed a short trip to Grand Junction, CO and the Colorado National Monument. In October, we hosted three friends and colleagues who came to visit here in the Teasdale; we spent some time exploring Capitol Reef National Park with them. And we spent another wonderful day photographing the annual cattle drive through Capitol Reef National Park.

By the end of the year, we will have traveled 25,000+ miles (Truck is broken in) and visited 17 states and 1 province. During the summer tour, Annette made a work trip to Washington DC and a family history trip with her sister, Arrion, visiting another three states: Massachusetts, Connecticut, and Rhode Island.

We plan to spend the next few years a little closer to home, but ‘Nemo’ is ready to go for short escapes! Come visit us.

Have a Holly Jolly Christmas!   

Annette and Larry