All posts by Sammy Armstrong

Apostle Islands

After taking off from the Porkies, we drove a couple hours to the Ferry dock so that we could cross the lake and go to the island. The beach was packed when we got there and we went to get some ice cream after setting up camp. Then we got back and cooked tacos and then sat by the fire and read Brian’s Winter before going to bed. We did’nt get much sleep because of all the loud drunk people. After about three hours of intermittent sleep we got up and everyone else went to the beach while I slept in my hammock. I got up and headed down to the beach for an hour before it got too cold and we went to make sandwiches and find some ice cream.


We drove around the island befre playing Uno for 4 hours while waiting for the fireworks to start. I have to say it was well worth the wait. The fireworks were really cool and the food at the beach club was pretty good.


We headed back to camp and read more of  Brian’s Winter and actually slept as there were less drunk people.

Pictured Rocks Part II

We woke up and ate some granola bars and then packed up our backpacking gear and hit the trail.

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We stopped about two miles in and had some sandwiches that my mom was glad to take out of her backpack. We then grudgingly slowly hiked the other six miles to the camp, with lots of crying from the wildabeast.

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When we finally made it to camp, we set up and made dinner, played Uno, and did parcour on the beach.

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During this entire time we were talking to a man we met named John, who kayaked to the campsite. We talked to John for a little bit by the fire before going to bed.

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The next morning we woke up and packed up the camp then hit the trail again. We tried to keep going and only stopped twice along the entire eight mile trail back to camp.

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We got back and then gave a ride to a Backpacker before heading to Hardee’s for dinner. After dinner we went to a cruise to see the rocks from the lake. It was really very pretty.

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After the cruise we headed back to camp and went to bed after reading Brian’s winter.


Pictured Rocks Part I

After saying goodbye to Mackinack island, we headed towards the town of Munising for a race. My parents woke up very early the next morning to run, and then came back to get up and head to Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore to camp. We spent the first day setting up, building huge fires, and complaining about the bugs.


We had pork chops and potatoes for dinner, and then me and Ben decided to take a bath in the lake, which really meant jumping in and immediately jumping back out because the water was so cold, then jumping back in the lake because the bugs were eating us alive, and going back and forth until we were so cold we couldn’t feel our feet. Then we retreated to our fire which warmed us up and kept the bugs away, and read the end of The River, before heading to bed in our hammocks. We got about three hours of sleep before a huge windstorm which scared everyone to death. We woke up and headed into town to buy groceries, then went and got backcountry permits. By this time it was raining pretty hard so we drove around and went to Hardee’s for lunch. Then we checked out Miner’s Castle and headed back to camp to make silver turtles. We went to bed early so we would be rested up for backpacking the next day.

Green Bay/ Minneapolis

We woke up and packed up camp on the Apostle Islands and ate breakfast at the Farmhouse, which made the best waffles ever. We played basketball for a little then got in the two hour long wait line to get off the island. Then we drove the six hours to Green Bay and then ate at the TitleTown Brewery which was pretty good. Then we watched Pirates Of The Carribean and went to bed. We woke up and ate at the White Dog Black Cat Cafe for lunch.


Then, we headed down to Door County and checked out some sea caves and grabbed some ice cream. Then it started raining really hard so we drove back to Green Bay and ate at a horrible restaurant by the name of Kroll’s. It was AWFUL, but it was near Lambeau Field.


After that we went to the hotel and went to the pool before going to bed. The next day we woke up and drove to Minneapolis and ate at Broder’s pasta bar which was amazing. Then we went to go see Finding Dory, and went back to the hotel and watched the Sorcerer’s Apprentice.


The next day we woke up and headed to go check out a Waterfall.

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We also went to the Wild Rumpus book store, which was really cool.

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After that we ate at the Surly Brewery and came back the hotel and played some Basketball.


Mackinac Island

I started off the day waking up to seventies music as my mom’s alarm told us to go to Mackinac Island. We got into the car and drove thirty minutes to the ferry and got tickets, then waited about an hour to finally get to the island.

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When we got there, we were astounded by the number of people, but quickly got to a bike rental shop and hit the trail. As there are no motorized vehicles allowed on the island, we had to bike eight miles if we really wanted to see the island, a fact that the Wildebeest was very upset about, but once we started going he had a lot of fun.

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We did a very flat, easy loop around to see beaches and scenery, which was fun.


After the loop we went to the Yankee Rebel Tavern, which was alright, and went to look for fudge. We found it at Murdick’s Fudge (the original shop) and got peanut butter fudge, mint chocolate fudge, and salted caramel chocolate fudge. We also got saltwater taffy and cheddar cheese popcorn. I wanted to go to the Skull Cave because it sounded cool, and my dad wanted to see Arch Rock. We decided to take a shortcut, which had a ton of uphill climbing, but what goes up must come down, and we got to coast down the hill, which Ben and the Wildebeest loved. We stopped at a few cemeteries, Skull Cave, which was cool, and arch rock, which was even cooler, riding our rented bikes a total of 18 miles on the island.

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We coasted into town, turned in our bikes, and headed over to the Pink Pony for drinks and appetizers, which were very good.


We then got back on the ferry to return to our car, where all the kids fell asleep within minutes. It was a really fun day. Tomorrow, my parents are running a race in Pictured Rocks before we go backpacking through the park.

Sleeping Bear to St Ignace to Cedarville 6.24.16

After saying good-bye to our cousins, we headed to Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore to set up camp. It took us a while to find a campsite, but when we did we set up camp in a jiffy. My mom wanted to walk down to the beach so we headed down there and Wil-e claimed his own island.IMG_1018

We cooked herb and butter chicken for dinner with some popcorn for dessert. My mom started reading the sequel to Hatchet but Wil-e fell asleep so we all went to bed around 11:00. The next morning we woke up and went into town to stock up for the winter on groceries and grabbed some breakfast. Then we went to the big Sleeping Bear Dune for a hike; little did we know that it was about three and a half miles to the water and the sand was like five hundred degrees. We had to turn around about halfway, but running down the dune was really fun.

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After shaking all the sand out of my pants, we stopped at a place known as the Cherry Republic, where they made cherry everything. We tasted all of the sodas they had, the original cherry being our favorite. We also got some ice cream and floats, which were killer, and took some sodas and sour cherry candy to go. We went on a scenic drive after, which was really cool, then we headed back so my parents could go for a run.After the run, my dad jumped in the lake while my mom just waded; she just is not the polar bear that I am.

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Finally, we feasted on tacos, cherry soda, Oreos, and popcorn, then listened to three more chapters of The River, the sequel to Hatchet, before heading to bed. When we got up we decided to get on the road as fast as possible and started moving as soon as we finished packing. We stopped for breakfast at Potter’s Bakery in Traverse City, which has some awesome, well, everything, and headed toward Mackinaw City. We stopped in St. Ignace at Clyde’s (old school) Drive-In for lunch, before heading to our destination, Cedarville, MI; it’s on the northern shore of Lake Huron.


We had some great Italian food at Ang-gio’s for dinner; I highly recommend trying their meatballs. After dinner, we drove to the shore chasing the sunset, but we found ourselves on the wrong side of the trees. The lake is amazing though. And we saw these majestic swans.

Tomorrow, we get to explore Mackinac Island. So far, Michigan’s UP is pretty cool and has some good eats.


After leaving Cedar Point,the Armstrong clan journeyed to Canada to see Niagara falls and try some Canadian Hershey’s chocolate, which is better than American Hershey’s chocolate, for some reason. We had to stay one night just to say we did. The next morning, we faced the crackadon to journey to our cousin’s house. We had to stop at a tire repair place, as our car was being all weird and swervy. Once we made it to our cousin’s house, we met, we went swimming with Noah, ate dinner, and played Legos before heading to the trampoline with Anna and Noah.


After playing an air hockey tournament with John and Anna, we went and set off sparklers and snappers.


We soon learned that Rick is a ATF-certified pyrotechnician, so we made a lot of noise in their quiet neighborhood. All this fun led us to our next adventure: we went on a search for their dog Daisy after she ran away, we assume because the noise from the fireworks scared her. Then we all had a sleepover in Noah’s room. I woke up to find out that Daisy had returned filthy, but happy, and I had missed breakfast.


We played a little more and then our baby cousin Weston came over with his dad, David, who is also our cousin. We played on the trampoline then played some more air hockey.


After Weston went home, we played with Legos, then went into their awesome treehouse. We then had to say goodbye and Willy and Noah were very sad to have to separate, but we were going camping and they were going to an awesome concert event to see Toby Mac and some other pretty amazing artists. I think everyone will have some fun adventures, but we would love to spend more time with that branch of cousins.

Cedar Point visitors guide

Alright guys, This park is legit. Five rides over 200 feet tall, and has 13 roller coasters. It also has great food and a couple basketball games where my brother and I won Cav’s gear.



This is a list of my top five roller coasters:


The Valravn:

This is the newest coaster in the park and normally has about a two-hour wait, which is totally worth it. Now, we stayed on site at Lighthouse Point, so we got into the park an hour earlier than most people and only had to wait about half an hour. It starts off with a two-hundred foot, 90-degree drop and the rest of the coaster is just as awesome, I definitely recommend riding this one.


The Maverick:

This roller coaster is only about one hundred feet high, but don’t let that fool you. The first drop is 95 degrees and it’s one of the fastest rides in the park, and it features lots of twists and turns. But, like The Valravn, it has about an hour and a half wait at all times including right before it closes. The only good time to ride this one is as soon as you get into the park. This is just as fun as the big rides and I would recommend riding it to anyone.


The Gatekeeper:

This ride still remains my favorite, even after riding all the rides in the park except three. While not as tall as some of the others, it features a lot of twisting and turning and loops, and you’re riding next to the track rather than on top. Starting off by twisting straight into a huge loop this ride is surprisingly not scary at all.The best part about this one is it never seems to have a wait longer than thirty minutes. I would recommend this ride to anyone as well.

The Raptor:

Sorry I do not have a picture for this one. This is a large green coaster that is somewhat tall and incredibly fast. Having quite a good number of loops and dips this coaster brings in quite a crowd, and doesn’t lose this crowd until about an hour before the park closes. This one is cool but if you don’t get to ride it, the others were way cooler. This one is still awesome so if you get the chance, ride it.


The Gemini:

This 188-foot tall wooden coaster looks like it will beat you up like most wooden coasters, but is surprisingly very smooth. This roller coaster has two tracks and four cars, so the wait is never longer than five minutes. Ben is not a roller coaster fan, but he loved this one. I definitely recommend riding the Gemini.


Best Name Award: The Rougarou


This roller coaster was awesome, but didn’t make it into my top five because it gave me a headache. It was very twisty and jerky, but the first drop was awesome, and the wait is usually not long. If you like spinny rides you’ll love this one, but those are not my favorites. The name comes from the legendary shape-shifting monster which is said to dwell in the Louisiana swamps. This coaster definitely lived up to its name.


My list of Do-Not-Rides:

The Corkscrew:

This roller coaster was shaky, painful, and the harnesses gave me a crick in my back for the rest of the day. It has four loops and never has a long wait, for good reason.

The Blue Streak:

This is a wooden roller coaster that is very shaky. At one point our car actually left the track and I felt like it was about to rattle itself to pieces.The line is like thirty minutes long and not worth it at all.

The Mean Streak:

This wooden coaster is 160 feet tall and is very shaky and too long for a wooden coaster, do not ride no matter how cool it looks or how short the line is.

The Magnum XL-200:

This 200 foot tall beast of a coaster looks really cool, and I would say ride it once maybe, but the way the harness fits makes it so that every time you drop it cuts off the circulation in your legs, making the ride almost unbearable. It’s also very shaky and painful.


Roller Coasters I did not ride:


The Millennium Force:

This roller coaster is over 300 feet tall and was my dad’s favorite. I really wish I hadn’t wimped out on this one as it looked really cool. The best time for this one is at the beginning of the day.

The Wicked Twister:

This one is very hard to describe, but it’s pretty much two poles and the car goes up each one and spins as it goes, you really need to look it up to get the picture. There is never a very long wait for this one.


The Top Thrill Dragster:

The biggest and fastest roller coaster in the park, standing 420 feet tall, and reaching 120 miles per hour in under 4 seconds, this beast is terrifying. The wait is almost always over two hours, and the ride itself lasts about thirty seconds, but it looks awesome and I will ride it the next time I go to Cedar Point.

Kiddie Rides:

The Iron Dragon:

This roller coaster is slow, tiny, and boring, but great for little kids, and there’s never any wait. Right next to Rougarou and Valravn.


Camp Snoopy:

This section of the park has a lot of little kid stuff and is a great place to take munchkins like Wil-Da-Beest. It’s near Maverick and Gemini.


This bumper cars ride was fun for everybody as we ran into each other a lot and had lots of fun. It’s located right next to GateKeeper, Wicked Twister, and Raptor.

Water rides:

Snake River falls:

Classic Log Flume with no wait, easy way to cool off and have fun, I recommend riding it at least once.

Thunder Canyon:

A raft ride with no wait; the best part is waiting to see who gets wet. Ride it a couple times and remove your shoes.


**Wait times referenced above are for days of the week other than Saturday. Everything was crowded on Saturday, and most rides had a longer wait time.**


Soak City:

Alright, my last note: This water park has something for everybody-tons of water slides, a water obstacle course, and a cool lazy river.


June 14-15 2016

After waking up to the leftovers of a diabetic raccoons midnight snack, we packed up our camp and headed towards Lake of the Ozarks. We stopped at the Neighbor’s Mill Bakery for breakfast and had french toast and omelets. We also stopped for custard for the second time in two days. We also stopped and played football with a staff guy named Connor at Lake of the Ozarks. While trying to keep the ball from going into the lake, I myself ended up in the lake.


After drying out, we climbed in the car and drove to the birthplace of Mark Twain where we found the Mark Twain Brewery which broke the mediocrity record in the culinary industry.


We then went to the hotel in Quincy and watched food network for three hours. We woke up today around ten o clock and hit the road immediately to grab some Lunch at Zoup. We stopped for custard again and my dad’s only excuse was that he went to Crossfit back in Quincy. Sorry about my face in the first pic.

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After custard we stopped at a little pond park thingy.

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My brothers and I decided to make stick fishing poles and go fishing, but unfortunately didn’t catch anything due to the one hundred degree weather and our short attention spans.

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My mom wanted to go hiking but the steamy weather had the same effect on her as it did on us boys, making us sweat about as much as a bull elephant.


After that little escapade we drove to the hotel and worked out then went to the Gabby Goat Bar and Grill for dinner and it had some sick Mozzarella sticks.

Buffalo point/lake of the Ozarks

After leaving the hotel, we went to Buffalo National Park to go camping. Us three young fellows decided to pitch hammocks on this awesome tree.

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When we got to the park the bugs were awful and it was hot, so we decided to check out the river. We were going to rent canoes, but we then decided to go tubing instead. The water felt great, but tubing was a little boring for my taste.

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After rafting, we drove up to a restaurant on top of a mountain with a great view of the river, and the food was pretty good.


After dinner, my brother Ben and I hung out in the car listening to game 5 of the NBA finals. When the game ended, we went to sleep in our hammocks.

The Willy Mammoth (our youngest brother) was already sleeping in his hammock. However, he had left some candy on the picnic table. When we woke up the next morning, we discovered that a gluttonous raccoon had raided our camp and probably developed diabetes in the middle of the night. We never saw him, but there was plenty of evidence under our hammock city.