Posts Tagged ‘camping’


So, two weeks from today is my last day of work until August 19th (at the day job). I’m SO SO SO stoked and ready to go on vacation (squeee). We’ll be heading north for our annual camping trip in Fayette. Absolutely love it up there. And I’m so ready for the break. The day job has been killer/stressful lately.

On a side note, I’ve started a new YA contemp (woot-woot) tentatively labeling it HTU (yep, more codenames). It’s a summery type YA and I’m really excited to get rolling with it. I’ve written the first 2 chapters and have jotted down lots of notes for other scenes. Hoping to crank this one out pretty quick before I have to write book 2 for The Legend of Me etc.

Life in the Purdy house has been kind of crazy…we’ve been going to the soccer fields every week (well other than this week because of the heat), swimming, having bonfires—the usual summer stuff. But we’ve also had some other things come up. My son started driver’s training last week. He’s been doing really well. He got his temporary permit yesterday so that means he can drive with me and my hubby. Then he’ll have to take a test in the next couple of weeks to get his other permit. And of course, one of my kidlets had their first broken heart here in the last couple of weeks. So it’s been a little rough. Trying to get through the awkward stuff about them wanting to still be friends (as they started off as friends). So hope it works out!!!

Have so much stuff to do around the house/in preparation for our vacation. I’m already making about a million mental lists (LOL). We’re also out on sub right now with one of my other YA contemps (TRC). Needless to say I’m in a constant state of email checking (hehehe). Other than that, things are going good. Hope everyone is enjoying their summers—it’s been going by pretty quick.

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Summer is officially here! Woot-woot (LOL). We’ve gotten all our yard work done and the kids are out of school. We got our pool opened and the dogs have gotten their “summer” haircuts. The only thing I don’t like is the really humid, hot weather, so I’m hoping it doesn’t get too ridiculous this weekend.

I’ve been taking the kids up to the soccer fields since school got out to keep them in shape and them out doing stuff. And it gets me outside too (since I spend a majority of my time indoors w/the day job).

This upcoming weekend we’re having a bonfire/pool party for my daughter’s b-day (which was actually yesterday). LOL. We’re on track to have a TON of people over (ahhhh).

And of course, because stuff has been busy at work/home my editorial letter for Legend of Me showed up this week. I have to do some overhaul on a few things (GAH–runs around in cirlces, arms flailing above my head). Some of the changes are kind of big and I’m freaking out a bit. Like, “Can I actually pull this off?” And, “OMG, how the hell will I manage to get this scene just right.”

Editorial letters always put me into freakout mode. I love doing edits, but worry about getting things right. I really need to get everything figured out/rewritten/fixed w/in the next 2 or so weeks (gulps).

Hopefully these edits will nudge me back into writing mode again as I haven’t written anything in like over two months! Trust me, I have LOTS of things I need to be working on (LOL). But summer seems to have this slow-down net over me. Every year, it’s like my mind decides to slow down (sometimes shut down–LOL) and not cooperate. It’s like I’m only programmed to write like 8-9 months of the year.

I hope everyone is enjoying their summer so far. I’m looking forward to August when we head out for our annual camping trip to the UP (oh yeah). And of course, August seems FOREVER away.


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Well, this was my first week back from vacation! Man has it been rough (LOL).  I got used to hiking, camping, swimming, and just vegging out every day.  Taking some “me” time.

I started vacation off on Friday August 5th by driving down to Ann Arbor for a book signing for Saundra Mitchell, Rhonda Stapleton, Lara Zielen, Christine Johnson, and Aimee Carter. The name of the book tour was Girls Taking Over the World. All I can say is it was FABULOUS!! They spoke about the importance of girls as strong main characters, their books, how they got started etc.  It was VERY good.

I drove the 3 hours back home and then had to get up 4 1/2 hours later to leave on my trip to the Upper Peninsula of Michigan. It’s absolutely gorgeous up there.  Seriously.  There is so much wilderness, it’s like being in another country or world. 

Every year we go up, we make a stope at Sea Shell City.


Here we mess around, look at cool “sea” themed things.  And the kids get their pictures taking by ridiculous things in the store:

My Daughter Erin posing with a giant stuffed bear.

My youngest son, Chase posing with the giant stuffed bear.

My hubby and son Barrett posing with the bear. And why yes, my hubby is smoking a toy pipe (don’t ask–LOL).

After our grand adventure at Sea Shell City, we got back on the road and headed up to Mackinac City. Here we took the kids to the historic Old Mill Creek.  There are a lot of cool places to look around and learn more about the old woodmills etc.  And they also offer a new Adventure Tour, which includes zip lines, rock climbing wall, and a really high rope bridge. 

Here’s a pic of my youngest son kicking my hubby’s butt on the rock wall (shhh…don’t tell my hubby I posted this). Hehehe



After watching a demonstration on some of the old ways of wood chopping we headed into town where we went on a tour of a lighthouse, and also Fort Michilimac.

The fort was a lot of fun. They had all the reenactment people up there in tents, and dressed in period clothing that weekend.

Here’s a pic of the kids in one of the guard towers.  And man is Chase awesome with a cannon (LOL).


After that we headed across the Mackinac Bridge to our first stop/camp site in the UP. 

We did some running in St. Ignace, then hung out at the camp site for the rest of the night as we had to get up early to catch our ferry across to the island (Mackinac Island).  Mackinac Island is kind of a cool place. There aren’t any cars allowed. Everyone gets around by either bike, horse, or horse cart/buggies.  The island has a lot of large, old houses, as well as historical sites.  We did a TON of walking and hiking while we were there. We visited the old fort on the island then went out to see Arch Rock, Skull Cave, etc.

(Above, the Fort, below Arch Rock)

The island is also known for it’s fudge (yummy). So of course, I had to purchase some before we headed back to the mainland.  We had an awesome time sightseeing (the Grand Hotel, the Governor’s Mansion and seeing miles of island). I was holy-hellah-tired when we got done though.

The next morning, we drove another few hours north to our favorite camp spot: Fayette State Park.  It’s out in the middle of nowhere and there is a ghost town/historic site of where the old town of Fayette used to stand. There are ruins there and some buildings that still stand right on Lake Michigan. It’s absolutely BEAUTIFUL!  And it’s got some pretty fantastic views of not only Lake Michigan, but of some of the bluffs, and a really wild Fairytale-esque kind of woods.






I could post cool pics all day (sigh). Seriously relaxing place. We spent 6 nights in Fayette. And while there, my boys decided they were going to do a little “Lord of the Rings” stuff (LOL). Yeah…you’ll below.  If you haven’t gathered from the pics yet, we’re kind of a bunch of dorks (mainly me and the kids–snicker).

(Barrett (above) he actually carved the walking stick himself-below Chase, holding the bow/arrows my hubby carved/made while we were up there).


Now they’re doing battle:


It wasn’t all doing battles with Middle Earth and stuff (LOL). We also enjoyed some calmer moments (sun sets/beach/campfires).







And our last night there, my hubby managed to steal the camera and actually get a pic with me playing a card came with the kids…Better look quick, because I normally don’t let anyone take my pic (LOL). Seriously though, I’ve got HUNDREDS of pics from vacation.  I had so much fun and was so relaxed. It’s hard coming back to the real world. So here it is, our last night in Fayette…Can’t wait until next year!

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Okay, so I never thought I’d have a blog entry entitled “The Dogman” but last week on our camping trip we had a crazy experience. At first I was like, okay, not sure if I want to share this with everyone, but then I figured other people might have had similar experiences and this might be a good opportunity to hear some of them.

One of the places we stayed in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan was Fayette (which is an old ghost town that the state park is attached to).

It’s on the lakeshore but has a lot of wooded area. The woods have really bizarre trees and odd outcroppings of rocks/moss etc. The first thing I said to my hubby and kids after we got our tent pitched was that the woods reminded me of a “bad” fairytale setting. Dark trees that looked like they could get up and walk because of their roots.

After we visited the ghost town and went through some of the ruins etc, we came back to our site and took a path through the woods to Lake Michigan so the kids could wade/look for rocks etc. On our way back I took a picture of my son heading up the path and the tree in it looked like it had glowing blobs stuck on the branches and some of the rocks looked like they were glowing too (I didn’t notice it at the time–not until I went back through the pics a couple of days later).

So anyway, that night after dark we brought the kids back to the beach to look at the stars. It was SO dark in the woods you couldn’t see the path (even with two flashlights). So we went back to our tent and got bundled in for the night (my hubby, me, and my daughter Erin in one room of the tent, and Chase and Barrett, my sons, in the other room of the tent). About an hour after lying down we heard a low growl from behind the tent.

Erin is like “Mom, did you hear that?”

And of course I was like “Um, yeah.”

And my hubby said he heard it too, but told us just to be quiet and try and sleep. About twenty minutes later, our fire had come back to life again and all of a sudden we saw a shadow pass outside our tent. It was standing on two feet like a human and walking by, but had a wolf/dog type face. My daughter grabbed my shoulders and jerked me back

Erin said, “Mom, did you see that.”

My first thought was that my hubby was messing around so I whipped around and was like “Tim, knock it off.”

Looking back now, I seriously don’t even know how I could’ve thought it was him. The thing walked right by our tent, on two legs, with a flipping dog-head.

But anyway my hubby was lying with his hands under his head staring at the side of the tent. He’s like, “That wasn’t me. I don’t know what the hell that was.”

And Erin swore up and down that my hubby hadn’t moved.

So now, I’m freaked the hell out because there are legends in Michigan about something that people call “The Dogman” which has been spotted all over the state. And I’m talking some of these stories go back years.
I can’t explain what it was because I don’t know of any dogs that walk on their hind legs like a human for that long. And definitely not up the small incline that was at the edge of the woods where it came from. And yet the story gets creepier.

After that happened my hubby and daughter finally went to sleep and I couldn’t sleep (of course, I was kind of freaked out). About an hour later I heard something breathing heavy on the other side of my tent, so I scooted closer to my hubby and daughter and it quit.

I know for a fact that no one was out there, because it was too dark–they would’ve had to have had flashlights, and well, I didn’t see any.

When daylight hit we scoured our campsite for footprints but didn’t find any. My daughter, hubby, and I went over what we’d seen several times. My sons, who’d slept through the whole thing, were freaked.

Since I wasn’t the only one who saw or heard stuff I know it had to have happened. I’ve seriously never had anything so strange happen in my life. It was totally crazy and I feel like a crazy person even writing it down.

I kept the site number (#34) written down and told my hubby that we have to go up again, but next time bring something to record it or try and take pictures. I was scared to death but need to know what in the world was going on. That was the one night my hubby didn’t have any knives or anything in the tent otherwise we might have opened the screen to see what it was.

Nothing else like that happened for the rest of the trip only in Fayette by the old ghost town (strange).

So yeah, my vacation was memorable and this is a story/happening that me, my hubby, and daughter won’t ever forget! And I still can’t get over it. When we got home I scoured the internet (as did my hubby) to see if anyone else had anything like that happen to them up in Fayette. But the only thing we found was on article about a lady that had seen “little people” (the Native American legends) about 25 miles north of where we were, a place we’d visited earlier that day.

But the Dogman has been spotted all over the state. Was that what we saw? I’m not sure, but I don’t know what else it could’ve been.

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