Ellie and No Child Left Behind

so, Ellie took our state test for the No Child Left Behind law — the MEAP in Michigan. in 3rd grade last year she did quite well, but this year she improved on the 4th grade test. in fact, she could not have improved any more because Ellie aced the reading half of the test; she got a perfect score. KUDOS to Ellie!!! on the math test she scored near the top and missed just one fraction problem, so she has some room to improve next year. ;~)

The Great North

we took off for Michigan’s Upper Peninsula on Friday, July 31st early in the morning. 5 hours later and we were pulling into Paradise, Michigan where we’d stay. we had lunch and then ventured off to see the Tahquamenon Falls. the upper falls are huge and the water looks like root beer because of the underlying soil. we hiked a bit and even rented a rowboat to explore an island between the two lower falls.

we had a great dinner of fresh fish from Lake Superior and then headed to our cabin. our cabin was rented when we arrived so we got upgraded to a big house right on Lake Superior. IT. WAS. GORGEOUS! we had a fire pit so we made S’mores and enjoyed the sound of waves crashing into the shore. very pleasant.

the next morning we woke up early and headed off to Canada, specifically Wawa, Ontario. this was our home base for the next many days. however, on the way we had to drive through the Lake Superior Provincial Park (we were there just two years ago, fwiw). we hiked down to see the ancient wall paintings. the hike was fairly difficult for the kids, particularly after having been in the car for the past 5 hours. but they did swell.

it was about a 20 minute drive to our next hiking trail this day. on the way, the rain starting coming down and boy did it ever pour. we had to pull over because i couldn’t see the road and many other vehicles were doing the same thing. however, the rain lasted for only 15 minutes and then it stopped. when we started down the next hiking trail, it was completely soaked and we had the trail completely to ourselves. did i note how wet it was? but it didn’t rain on us during this 2 hour hike so that was nice.

we had a nice dinner back in Wawa and got all checked into our room for the night. early to rise the next morning for a day filled with fun. we rented a canoe and canoed in the largest lake in the interior of the Provincial Park — Lake .

it looked like rain much of the cold morning (started at 49 degrees before getting into the high 50s). but we stayed dry and canoed and explored around bays and islands . . . we even found a private little island for our lunch spot, which the kids thought was really neat (as bears couldn’t get us out on the island).

we decided to do our big hike that afternoon around Orphan Lake. this is a 4 – 5 hour hike and it’s not easy. the trial takes you way up high over Lake Superior and Orphan Lake:

and then it drops down all the way to Lake Superior with some neat waterfall area along the way:

everyone was a trooper and we managed to complete the hike in about 4 hours even though we took an extended break to relax and play on a waterfall (or the huge boulders that made the waterfall).

the next day we set out to enjoy Wawa in the morning. the kids mined for precious stones and gems (and found some):

we then ate lunch and then rented a canoe from a place right on Lake Superior and headed up river to our own private waterfall.

after that, we decided to head back for another decent hike. and that’s when we saw this guy, who was fortunately more scared of us:

the hike we were on was the toughest yet as it was going up a HUGE incline to cliffs towering above Lake Superior. but the views made it worth it and the clouds were coming in low to make the view even better.

the next post will be about part 2 of our trip.