I’m a bit behind in blogging about our adventures– this is from our travels around September 2-4, 2015. Follow us on Instagram to find out where we are currently!
Okay, so I know I have been blogging a lot about Michigan – there was just so much for us to see and we enjoyed the state parks so much. This should be my last post about our time in Michigan . . .
After leaving Bay City Recreation Area we headed south to Sterling State Park for our last few days in Michigan. We scored a primo spot at Sterling State Park (site 24) – when I checked in at the ranger station I was told it’s one of the most popular spots in the park. Once we got settled I could see why. . . right by Lake Erie it has great access to the sandy beach and just a short walk to the playground.
Now for the record, Sterling State Park doesn’t have the ambiance that some of the other favorite Michigan state parks have. Although it has beautiful views of Lake Erie, you can also see a lot of big buildings and see a lot of smoke stacks from local factories. And the campground has very little shade, mature landscaping or privacy between the sites. I share this for true transparency, in case you’re thinking about staying there. Honestly for us, the skyline and lack of privacy didn’t bother us much – especially since we were a stone’s throw away from Lake Erie. You have to remember that this sort of setting is often the trade-off you have as you gain the convenience of being near civilization (and big cities).
Just a short walk from our spot was a fantastic playground, right near the public beach area.
Our second day at Sterling State Park was my 35th birthday! I woke up to handmade cards from my sweet kids (what more could a mom ask for!?!). . . I didn’t have big plans for the day, except I did want to visit the nearby River Raisin National Battlefield Park and complete the Junior Ranger program with the kids.
River Raisin National Battlefield Park commemorates the the 1813 battles of the War of 1812. It was the greatest victory for Tecumseh’s American Indian confederation and the greatest defeat for the U.S. Although a small museum/visitor’s center – it is very well done! We watched a very good documentary on the war – keeping even my kid’s attention.
As part of the River Raisin Junior Ranger program, we did a very fun GPS/Geocache scavenger hunt! The park rangers gave us a GPS unit to use along with a booklet with instructions and we set out on the battlefield to find the GPS locations which each represented a part of the battlefield’s history! This is different than any other Junior Ranger activity we’ve done to date – and it was so well done!
It was a great family activity – looking for the GPS locations and learning about the different historical elements that they represent. The kids earned their Junior Ranger badges for the River Raisin National Battlefield Park and we went out to lunch at a local restaurant.
Then we headed back by mid-afternoon as there were reports of a severe thunderstorm coming our way. By early evening the rain had started and the thunder and lightning wasn’t far behind it. The storm that would come that night was the worse thunderstorm we’ve experienced since hitting the road (and I think the worst thunderstorm that I’ve ever experienced personally). The rain was insanely intense and the thunder/lightning was CONSTANT all night long. I didn’t sleep much that night but by morning. . .
. . .the storm had passed and the sunrise was glorious.
So that wraps up our time in Michigan. We got our trailer repaired, played in amazing sand dunes, toured Mackinac Island, enjoyed lakefront camping with dreamy views, climbed into lighthouses, watched birds and caught frogs and went fishing. It was a delightful couple weeks and Michigan really surprised us.
We’ll be heading East, stay tuned for our next stop!
Have you stayed at Sterling State Park? Have you visited River Raisin National Battlefield Park? Leave a comment and let us know!