The 2010 Traverse in the woods of Northern Michigan

Today’s post about the 2010 Chevy Traverse highlights are these: The car rides smoothly on the road.  It’s hard to tell the difference in being off the road.

We drove toward Ishpeming, Michigan this morning toward our land just a few miles from Lake Superior.  Dad bought our 40 acres back in 1976 for a whopping $7,500.  It was in the middle of nowhere then, and it remains there even today.  Just about 10 miles off Highway 41 into the woods our land, which even has freezing cold fresh springs, sits in the middle of trees, trees and more trees. 

We drove the Traverse into the road leading from the “main” road and deeper into the forest.  The all-wheel-drive worked like a dream and there wasn’t an instant that I felt like I might get stuck.  Even as the grass in the middle of the road grew higher and the puddles from recent rains got deeper.

We parked the car and then began our hike into the heart of the woods. (A post about what my girls did today is over on

Later we drove back out of the woods toward “civilization.”  We then got lunch at a local Jimmy John’s, then headed to what’s left of KI Sawyer AFB, where my dad was stationed in 1969, 1973-75, 1975-1978, and again from 1989-1992.  We took the car down a series of closed roads.  We tried to take it back into many of the trails I traveled on bike as a kid, and then we went out what was the back gate of KI, and drove down the back road toward the Highway 41 gate.  The car did well on the dirt roads.  It’s a bumpy road, and there were some times when we hit some good bumps, but all in all, it was a good ride through the woods.

Later we drove back into Marquette to round out the day and then took the girls down to a beach area.  Now, in 1973 when I tried to swim in Lake Superior, all I remember was that it was darn cold.  My girls soon had their shoes and socks off, hiked up their pant legs and began wading in the lake hunting rocks and throwing some into the lake as well.  My girls now have a Lake Superior rock collection as well. Last year it was Yosemite, in 2010 it’s Lake Superior.

After returning to our hotel tonight for a nap and the twins to be able to go swimming, we got back in the car and drove over to the local Bonanza off Highway 41 in Marquette for dinner.  Returning here to hotel, the kids and my dad piled out of the car.  As I was getting out, too, I began checking my pockets for what I’d done with the keys.  Well, two things.

I hadn’t done anything with them.  They were still in the ignition and the car was running.  I don’t know if it was more of a matter of my being tired or the fact that the car idles so quietly that I couldn’t even tell that I’d left it running!

And so that ends our adventure in the woods today.  Dad, the girls and I all agreed that we’re not going to head south toward Indiana tomorrow and will do so Saturday instead.  There’s too much else we want to do that getting on the road tomorrow just seemed unreasonable.

And so, tomorrow’s a new adventure.  My eldest daughter and I got up first this morning and while everyone else was sleeping, we escaped down to Presque Isle, what’s been a cool park at the edge of Lake Superior since I first began coming up here in the late 60s.  The lake waters were rushing ashore this morning and the wind strong and steady.  Just as the winds today out at the land were telling me a story.  And for the joy of it all, in between all of the activities, I stood still and listened.  What I heard I’ll tell over on