Silver Lake State Park and Sand Dunes

We're home!  The house was 82 degrees and a little stuffy after a week of inactivity, but compared to the 99 degrees registering on the truck's digital readout, it was downright comfy.  Right now, I'm sitting in my basement uploading pictures to Flickr, playing Castleville and browsing Facebook posts.  

Figured I should probably take a few minutes to update the blog before trying to get the family to agree to watch one of my DVRed shows - I'm thinking Eureka or So You Think You Can Dance. 

We had a fantastic week.  The weather was hot and humid, but at least our campsite was well shaded.  What it didn't offer was grass.  It was impossible to keep the kids or the dogs clean.  Every night the kids feet were black and the dogs were dirty and dusty.  Even after we decided to move Dexter's cage/kennel fully onto the rug, he'd end up with dirty paws from walking down our stretch of the campground road whenever he'd need to tend to his business.  

Ken & Terri's Motor Home and our 30ft Wildwood Trailer   
The campground was conveniently located across the road from Silver Lake, which is bordered on one side by huge sand dunes.  Our first night there the kids wanted to go swimming.  That's when we discovered the lake may be picturesque from a distance, but up close it's not all that pretty.  There was a surprising amount of algae floating in the water.  The sandy beach was bordered by a ribbon of wooden debris that stretched maybe a couple of feet across.  After that ribbon, though, the bottom of the lake returned to soft sand and wasn't at all unpleasant to walk on. 

Of course, the boys didn't seem to mind.  It was hot and they were intent on swimming.  I'm happy to report that, despite the algae, no one got sick.  The water was safe.

There was more than just swimming to be done, though.  Ken and Kenny had a surprise for the boys.  At four o'clock Tuesday morning the two guys and four boys piled into Ken's truck.  It was time to go fishing!  The captain of this chartered trip did good.  He was able to find a spot hot enough to make our little campers very happy.  

King Salmon from Lake Michigan
Unfortunately, while the fishing was good, the weather wasn't quite ideal.  The waves were a bit choppy and two of boys ended up "chumming the water".  Ewww.

Next on the list of things to do was the sand dunes.  I will be the first to say they are very pretty.  They are also a heart attack waiting to happen.  I was so out of breath and uncomfortably hot by the time we reached the top of the first hill. Of course, that didn't stop me from asking Terri to take a quick picture of the family with my phone.  (I left the Nikon at the camper.  Experience has taught me Sand + camera = disaster.)

I was done after this picture.  So was Terri.  While the guys climbed another hill to watch the ORVs play in the sand, we found a shady spot near the parking lot to cool down.  I don't regret the decision.  I was seriously overheating!  I knew if anything exciting happened Ken would snap a few pictures with his phone; he didn't disappoint me. 

What else?  Well, there was this...


and this...

Zip Line

and this...
Adult Beverages
and this...

Smoking Burgers

Making Breakfast
 Do you get the sense that the hubby does most of the cooking?  Well, he did.  He smoked burgers, pork lion, venison, salmon, and macaroni and cheese.  He barbecued chicken.  He made eggs, bacon and sausage for breakfast.

Us girls?  We're real handy with the side dishes, snacks and beverages!
Patriotic Waffles for the 4th of July

I have to give Terri a bit more credit, though.  She helped make breakfast on the 4th of July.  She came prepared for the festivities with more than just food coloring, too.  Independence day was celebrated with red, white and blue food and beverages, as well as glow sticks for the fireworks show.

Our Boys
Fireworks shows from the dunes. 

Glow Stick Body Art
We couldn't do sparklers at the State Park, so no attempts at sparkler art this year.  Contain your disappointment.

I guess I should wrap up this rather long, rambling post with our last big surprise of the trip.  That would be this...

Our Rental Pontoon
We rented a pontoon for eight hours.  I think we went through two cans of spray-on sunscreen and still managed to get sunburns for almost everyone.  My youngest, like his mother, is rather fair skinned and burns easily.  His face is his especially tender.  Halfway through the day he was crying, holding cold water bottles against his face, and wearing his dad's hat in an attempt to avoid further exposure to his neon pink cheeks.

Luckily, he had had plenty of fun before the sun became a real problem for him. 

King of the Mountain

Gage & Zach

Gage & KC

Playing on the Dunes

Not that the kids were the only ones playing on or near the water that day.  


Enjoying the sandy beach.