Tuesday was the day for us to leave the natural beauty of the UP. Jenny’s flight was in the afternoon and the boys and I needed to start our journey to Yellowstone.
After packing up, we headed back to Marquette. Everyone was sad to see Jenny go. She will be meet us in a week and a half at West Gate (Yellowstone), Montana. Where the road takes the boys and I over the next eleven days is pretty open. The only thing booked so far is a three night trip to Jellystone Campground in Warrens, WI. It will be glamping more than camping there. The campground has several pools, a water park, a lazy river, multiple miniature golf courses, and an outdoor theater with movies every night.
On the way to Wisconsin after dropping Jenny off at the airport, I decided to take a detour to Munising to hike at Pictures Rocks National Lakeshore. It was well worth the detour. The park is incredibly beautiful and gave the boys a chance to investigate the waterfalls that helped to carve the pictured rocks. Also, it was a cool day and I could badger them a bit into doing some endurance hiking in preparation for Yellowstone.
The hiking trip began, as most recent trips have, with Will (and then Lucas) complaining within the first quarter mile about hiking. Will used to be a great hiker, hiking 3-5 mountainous miles with me when he was five years old. Lately, he hasn’t been. We talked about how you have to teach your brain to keep going if you want do difficult physical things and want to see beautiful natural things. We hiked and talked and explored nature for a few hours and roughly three to four miles.
We had a great time once the complaining ended. Will and I realized that we had at some point stopped telling insanely long stories (2-3 hours) during our hikes. This time three of us again talked the whole time. Sometimes we talked about nature. Lots of times we talked about SEPs, which I still don’t understand but I think it is some kind of scary animatronic you watch videos about on YouTube. Sometimes we talked about how people died in mines, a big interest of Will’s in the UP. We debated what animal had eaten part of one of the trail mushrooms. We discussed whether I would die if I fell off the cliff by the waterfall.
I am pretty sure that the duration of our future hikes will be determined by how long I can feign interest in Will’s topic du jour. That is a bargain I am very happy to make.