Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Trip to Whitefish Point

The past two weeks our entire family has been visiting our cabin on the river. We had great fun in the water with kayaking, tubing, skiing, riding wave runners and most of all boat watching. But one day, my son, his wife and 4 children went to the Shipwreck Museum at Whitefish Point. My daughter-in-law graciously agreed to write for this blog and share their day with us.

"Today the sun is shining, beautiful clouds in the sky, a gentle breeze, a wonderful day to go to Whitefish Point to go the Shipwreck Museum. We headed there prepared with our picnic food, sweatshirts, cameras, and smiles as we all looked forward to what we would see, learn, and experience.

Upon arrival, we went into the main building to purchase our tickets and take a tour of the many shipwrecks that have taken place at Whitefish Point over the years. There was a story for each ship with artifacts, drawings, models, and statistics. The exhibits seem so real life and the Madelynn kept asking how they get the people to look so real. On the way home, Jack said that he could not understand how the scuba divers who were hanging from the ceiling were able to stay still so long. After some explanation, Jack came to realize that the “people” in the exhibits were not real.

It was so interesting to learn the history of exploration of Lake Superior and the “Graveyard of Lake Superior”. The highlight of the museum for Jay was the Edmund Fitzgerald bell that they erected in July of 1995. We went into a building next door to watch a film which highlights the history of Ol’ Fitz along with the last voyage, and brining up the bell for the family of those lost on that cold stormy night in November of 1975.

We then went into a building where the light keeper lived with his wife, children, and grandchildren. The rooms are all set up with those “real people” again. The kids really enjoyed learning about the way that they lived. The kids each picked out a room for themselves that they would claim as their own to have. I think I ended up with the Kitchen. Anna was the most impressed because Anna was the name of the wife of the light keeper. She wanted to know all about that Anna and what she did.

After that we went to the coast guard house which displays the rescue efforts of the U.S. Coast Guard. It is so fascinating to learn about the techniques, equipment, and history of their role in searching the waters of Whitefish Point.

Walking to the other side of the parking lot, we headed into the Wild Bird Observatory Headquarters. Inside is a gift shop featuring a lot of wildlife displays. In an adjoining room was the Wild Bird Observatory which provided us with a lot of information on the migration of bird species. There were many photos, mounts, and a chart listing the daily sightings of numerous species of birds during this springs migration. Tom really enjoyed seeing the information on the different wildlife.

Per Jay’s request, we headed to the main gift shop. They were full of so many different and exciting things. I personally was attracted to the art on the walls. I always enjoy paintings of the ships and Great Lakes. The kids really enjoyed walking around looking at all of treasures that were right in front of their eyes. We bribed the kids out of the gift shop by promising to take them to the beach back behind the museum. We walked along the sand trail to the boardwalk and saw a beautiful scene of majestic Lake Superior with a ship in its water. It was a picture perfect scene with the blue sky, sun shining, water so blue, and the ship plowing through the waters.

We let the kids play and look for rocks along the beach. The kids had such a great time playing in the water, making towers of sand, and throwing rocks. The waves kept crashing in and ended up getting the kids clothes all wet (that’s what they told me). We let them each keep a few of their favorite rocks to bring home. With four sopping wet children, rocks in our pockets, sand on our feet, and the wind blowing on our faces, we all headed back to our van with the best treasure of all, our memories of Whitefish Point."

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