Then there's the Sunday that we got snowed in and could not go to church. So he took us sledding instead. He lugged the toboggan a couple of miles out into the woods to our favorite sledding hill. We rode the toboggan down the hill for several hours before we trouped back home wet, tired and totally happy after spending the day with Dad! I'm sure that Mom got hot chocolate ready for us while Dad got to have his Sunday nap.
Camping...my Dad introduced it to us and we all have fondly kept going almost every year since our first trip in 1962. I think that it became our annual vacation because it was affordable back then. When you have a growing family, vacations can be expensive. Dad needed a break from work and where do you take 4, 5 or 6 kids where everyone can have fun. I think he would be happy to know that it still remains important to all of us. We all like a nice vacation to an exotic place but our annual camping trip keeps us really tuned in to what is important in life....Family! Precious moments in time that we experience together!
Our first trip we drove around the lower penisula of Michigan camping all along the way. Our first stop was Oscoda where we visited family friends, the Dievers.
Next up...Roger City, Michigan, PH Hoeft State park.
There is a beautiful beach and we loved playing in the water even though it was cold.
Our next stop was near Mackinaw Bridge. I am wondering if it was Mill Creek Campground but I am not sure. I recently read that Mackinaw Bridge opened in 1957. Our camping trip would have been 5 years after it opened! I was amazed when I read that.
Our next stop was a few days at Vanderbilt, Michigan. I went to the internet to look up the name of the park expecting it to be Vanderbilt State Park or something...but it is not. I find a park called Pickerel Lake. It must be it. It is the only park listed in Vanderbilt, Michigan...It is a state park and still has no flush toilets!
The lake at Vanderbilt was awesome and shallow. A great place for small kids to play in the water.
Then on to Orchard Beach State Park. I have a story about this park. I got playing with a new friend at the playground at this park. I wandered off with her and went to her campsite to play with out telling anyone. Low and behold, I got lost. I did not think I was but everyone else did! I guess I gave them quite a scare but I knew where I was all the time! Mom would later reminisce about Orchard Beach and she always said " Oh yeah...Orchard Beach, that is where Jan got lost!"
Our next stop was a park south of Saugatuck, Michigan. Wish I could ask Dad where it was...No picture to remind me. On our way home we stopped in Battle Creek and toured the Kellogg factory. I will never forget a factory where they made my breakfast cereal! At that age I did not really think about where my breakfast cereal came from but I surely did not think it was a factory!
I have so many fond memories of my Dad. He taught me so many things but probably the most important thing he taught me was how important your family is. He focused on us. It was all about us!
Love you Dad...miss you every day!