Take a walk in Blue Bell Woods listen to the sounds around you, of bird song and bees. Smell the flowers and the scent of Spring in the air. Every year is a new beginning and every day a blessing

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Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Exploring old farms.........

Reina said "What adventure has Nanny in store for us today" to Laura. Well, I had found something interesting and thought it would make a nice day out. There are a lot of old farms in Northern Michigan that have been bought up by the National Park Service. They are now maintained and well kept, restored if needed and the history preserved. I found we are allowed to explore around them, just not go in them. So...........I thought why not. Laura likes old houses and the kids would love the woods and fields so off we went.
Could not find the road. It was plain as day on the map we had.
So we went into Frankfort and had lunch and rethought things. We stopped at Betsy Lighthouse because it was on the way.
Have to let the kids loose now and then when it gets too loud in the car.
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So back in the car and a more careful look this time. Turns out that the road was not where it was supposed to be. We just took another road and ended up where we needed to be. In the process we found a beach we didnt know about. So, alls well that ends well. We found our farm. The farms we were looking for were built in the late 1800s probably soon after the area was first settled. The lumber barons had moved into the area and it was all forests and the pure unsalted water of Lake Michigan. The walk to the Treat farm was 1/2 mile through beautiful woods. The original buildings still there. They had farmed the land but water was an issue, even so close to all that fresh water. Every time they dug a well the sand filled it in. They found ways to collect the water they needed. Most of the people who settled the area were German or Bohemian at that time.
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Then we saw the outbuildings and the lovely white farm house on the hill overlooking what was once farm lands and now is wildflower meadows. I could imagine the children playing in those woods and climbing the hills to the lake beyond. Mainly though it would have been very hard work.
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The material I had read said to not miss the view from the top of Old Baldy. That was a treck across the fields of wildflowers to a path of sand that led straight up through the woods. The sand was so hot. We struggled up. Laura made it to the top. I about died, I got almost to the top, had to rest and could just not make the last huge step up. My body was just too weak and shaky by then. It was almost heatstroke but not quite. I know when to quit. I was tempted to rest and plunge on but it meant getting into shade so If I had to go back may as well just start on back. Laura sent for the camera and took some shots of the spectacular view.
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The view one way was of Lake Michigan and the other way was the forest and farm lands,
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Well I slid back down into the shade and the sand felt so good that I just went the rest of the way down on my bum, just to cool off. It felt so good. It was really hot by then, really hot. Crossing back over the fields it was wonderful to get back into the woods. Laura had a look around the house while the rest of us cooled off. Sitting under a tree in the meadow the smell was divine. I could have laid down and slept, the smell of the grass and the flowers. The sound of the birds, I could have sat there all day.
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After we recovered and took a slow walk back through the beautiful woods, we decided on ice cream. So off to Empire. As we sat eating our ice cream we noticed fire engines across the way. I went and asked if the kiddo's could have a look at their stuff. There were two very cute young firemen and they said yes. There were four engines sitting there while they washed the floors in the fire house. So the kids piled out and got to get into each one in turn and were told their purpose. The highlight of Tristens day.
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Tristen was enthralled and the young man let him climb up and close the door for him. Proud as punch he was
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They saw the inside of the emergeny ambulance, Reina said "So is this like what Alex was in" and yes it was so that was a sober moment as they chewed on that piece of information. (Alex, Tristens mother and Reina's sister who died)
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After that we headed to Glen Haven.
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We stopped and admired the view and we decided we were so lucky to live in such a beautiful place as this. On to Glen Haven where we stopped at the Blacksmiths for the kids to watch him. After the fire engines Tristen was not impressed.
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I was more interested in the Barn Swallows who had a nest above where we stood I have seen the Blacksmith before. We try to make these outings interesting and educational. Reina learned to recognise a Beech tree by its bark and leaves this time out.
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We took a look at the beach, it was packed. Well it was a hot day, but oh boy, our beautiful beach that we love to enjoy to ourselves. Full of people. Ah well..........summer will come to and end and we will have it back. I don't like to sit in the heat anyway. So with that we headed home. Tired but happy with our day out. Kids were tuckered but not enough to refuse a spin at the park on the way home.
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Well Laura and I were whooped apparently they still had energy to burn.
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Magic Love Crow said...

What another gorgeous, fun day! Janice, I don't know how you do it? I'm glad you were ok going down the hill! Beautiful photo of the barn swallow ;o) A sad, but truthful comment about, what Alex was in.
Big Hugs ;o)

Poppy @ With a Dash of Color said...

What a beautiful way to spent a summer day! The kids must have had sooo much fun:)Love the pictures, so beautifully captured!Thanks for sharing with us~hugs,Poppy

A Brit in Tennessee said...

What a beautiful place, a step back in time...
Love those old barns and homestead, I sometimes wish I was born in that era.
The children surely had a fun time, sitting in a real fire engine, how special is that :)
Thank you for sharing your special day out with us !