The Sportel Family: Randy and Debra; Ben and Ashley; Reuben and Rachel; Katie and Sam; and Mattea and Spencer Norman

We Play Together

The family who plays together, stays together. Welcome to our playground!


To Be Continued…

Our blog is full! We’re moving to sportel central 2 .


Sorry for the inconvenience, but don’t give up on us. Click on the handy dandy link, sportel central 2, and poof you’re there! Don’t forget to sign up to follow for future exciting (?) posts…



A Bit of Nostalgia

Going to the woods is going home.

–John Muir

I can remember many spring Sundays, often Mothers Day, my dad would suggest a walk in the woods at “Maierville.” Today, when I thought what a great day for a walk in the woods, I hadn’t realized how long it had been! The last time any of us remember was on Grandpa’s 60th Birthday (he’s 87 now). I have a feeling we had at least a few, albeit less memorable, romps since, but it has been many years. Grandpa was blown away by how much the woods had changed. So glad we took the time to introduce the little ones.

We weren’t sure any more who owned how much and which parts of the woods. It had been split up after my grandpa died, and bits of it has been sold to various grandchildren and a few strangers. We may have been trespassing, so we ask forgiveness and say thanks to anyone we may have offended…


Smelling the Skunk Weed:


Remembering what used to be where:



Sticks and water… no better entertainment:

One with the trees: (I remember when that tree was whole)

This is what’s left of the sugar bush:


Look Who We Found

We found this guy in the Big Sable River in Ludington State Park. He was in in the section of the river between the Hamlin Lake Dam and Lake Michigan. Biggest Muskrat we ever saw!! ;-).


We even played with the notion that he might be a small beaver, but no. Just a fat, fat muskrat. Kept us entertained in the rain!

Live From Basecamp: Ludington

More testing! I am excited even if no one else is. This is my first blog post from a campground picnic table.

Many thanks to Cathy for the use of the family jetpack, complete with “extra” data! Thank you! This is so fun!

Feeling a (very) cool breeze off Lake Hamlin, brewing a cup of tea with the Pocket Rocket…. etc…, etc… This afternoon we back up the base camp and head to a pack-in site with our backpacks. Interesting we already have a long list of changes and additions.

Took some pics this morning, going to post a few here. Apologies if I don’t get the captions directly under the correct pic. Still not sure I have that correct. Pretty morning here!

From around our campsite:

Our BA Big Agnes, AKA, The our camp condo:

View from the bedroom:


Baby Geese awwww!!:

A nifty dune shot. I just liked the dead tree. I do appreciate the dead tree shot 😉


Test Run

A couple of weeks ago we did a practice run for the trip. We packed all the clothes we thought we’d need, gathered the tents, collected the gear, and calculated the size of the boxes we’d need to hold all the stuff. Then we went shopping … again, this time for boxes. Had to go to a couple of stores.

After stuffing everything into its appropriate box, we loaded up the car. Our goal: to see if it would fit. It fit! Mostly. We did forgot a couple of things, a full-sized spare tire for one, but we figure it will work … most likely … we hope….


Epic Quest

Ha! Well, here we go! A bit of a dream come true, and it seems that nothing can get in the way, hopefully. I am spending this afternoon with the remainder of our internet data reaquainting myself with our much neglected (on my part) family blog. I’ve decided that instead of creating a new blog just for the trip, we will be posting photos and — sorry to say — musings, on the existing blog. I need to point out that aside from Ben, I am not the only neglector of this blog. While on vacation, I’m hoping to enjoy pics of the rest of you, too…

It was Dad’s idea to call this an epic quest, instead of a journey, so I asked him, “Why quest?” His answer, you may guess, “I like the word.” Since, by definition, a quest is always a search for something, it is up to me to figure out what exactly we are questing for. Hmmmm. To be determined.

No pretty pictures this time, just reestablishing a habit, but I’ll leave you to ponder one of Dad’s favorite quotes:

Sometimes the path you are on is not as important as the direction you are heading.

–Kevin Smith




More Dunes

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