Ben just got back from a backpacking trip at Picture Rocks National Lakeshore, up in Michigan's Upper Peninsula on Lake Superior. He had a blast as one of the chaperones for our church's scout high adventure trip. There were three leaders, six teenage boys, crystal clear (and cold!) water, 500 ft. sand dunes, fishing, beautiful cliffs and beaches...
Here are some of the pictures from his phone from the trip. The majority are from the day they spent kayaking around these cool caves, bluffs, and waterfalls.
Ben said the mosquitos were the worst he's ever experienced - they put on 100% deet repellant and they were still getting eaten alive by the crazy mosquitos, so he wore long sleeves/pants that helped somewhat. Here's one of the many waterfalls seen on the trip -
These are tree roots. Yes, tree roots, stretching across an area that eroded below and the roots remain in tact.
Pretty mist at an area where they did some cliff jumping. Ben said the water was in the 50s and absolutely freezing. They would jump in and immediately swim back as fast as possible. He couldn't get over how pretty and clear the water was.
I'm so glad Ben had the chance to enjoy nature and have fun exploring a new area (this was about seven hours away). He is such an outdoorsy guy and Chicago can be a little limiting in that regard.
I held down the fort with the kids for four days with zero contact with Ben (he didn't get any cell reception because the area is pretty remote). When he pulled in really late Saturday night, I was soooo happy to have him back. It's hard going that long without even hearing that he's alive and fine!
The boys missed him like crazy, but the funny thing was that Charlie didn't quite understand that Ben was on a trip - when we finally talked to Ben on the phone on Saturday when they were driving back, Charlie asked him if he won a ping pong game, which is what Eli always asks when Ben comes home from work (there is a ping pong table there at the office). Their faces just lit up when they woke up this morning and saw their dad home again.