Searching Together Conference

We moved to Camp Sandusky in Sandusky, Ohio on July 7.  On the way, we stopped at Cuyahoga National Park (also in Ohio).  The site had a lot of hiking and some waterfalls, but we were only able to go to the visitor center and read about them due to time restrictions.

The next day, we visited River Raisin National Battlefield (in Monroe, Michigan).  During the war of 1812, a battle happened there, and the town, along with its food supply, was burned down.  The people afterwards had to fend for themselves.  The lived off of boiled hay and muskrats.  Both were unappetizing.  The site bears witness to the perseverance of the people who used to live there.

In case you are wondering, the site is called River Raisin because the French found a river with wild grapes growing on its banks, so they named it that.

On July 15, we arrived at Bethel Horizons in Dodgeville, Wisconsin.  There, we attended the Searching Together Conference for a few days, meeting and eating with other believers in the Lord.

Last minute, we decided to upgrade to a new RV.  We drove from Wisconsin to Texas, got our new RV (a Talon), then drove to Ohio, where we met back up with the Hoffmans.  On the way, we stopped at three NPS sites.

The first was Arkansas Post National Memorial.  Arkansas Post is at the confluence of two rivers and has been a gathering place for different peoples over the centuries.  At first it was a trading post between the Europeans and Native Americans, but over time, it changed hands.  It belonged to the French, Spanish, Confederates, and US at different times over the years.

The second place was Fort Donelson National Battlefield.  In 1862, during the Civil War, this was a Confederate fort.  The Union battled for it and won, and that led to the surrender of parts of Kentucky and Tennessee to the North.

We stayed at Mammoth Cave National Park in Kentucky on our way up to Ohio.  We went to attend a ranger program there, but it rained (it was an outdoor seating area), and we left.  The program was about historical tour guides of the caves.  We were learning about an enslaved man who explored, led tours of, and mapped the cave.

In Ohio, we saw Mimi and Papaw (Mr. Josh’s mom and stepdad), as well as Mr. Dom, someone we met while evangelizing in Zanesville.

On August 5, us and the Hoffmans moved from Ohio to Meadow Creek Campground in Meadow Bridge, West Virginia.  The campground was basically empty and had no hookups  It was very pretty, with the mountains surrounding the park and natural scenery everywhere.  It bordered a river which we swam, fished, and snorkeled in.  Nearby, there were state parks and a national park (New River Gorge National Park and Preserve).  We hiked at these places during the weekend, and took a tram up and down a mountain on one of the days.

And here’s some food we ate recently:

Butterfly Metamorphosis

Monarch Butterfly

We got three monarch butterfly caterpillars in Michigan (I wrote about them briefly in an older post).  We named them Big Billy Buchanan, Bibimbap, and Busy Bee.  Now, here’s what happened to each one.  By the way, I don’t know the genders of any of the insects.  I am guessing.

Big Billy Buchanan was the biggest caterpillar.  He ate and grew, and eventually, he turned into a chrysalis and emerged as a monarch butterfly.  He was the first of the three to come out.  He took a while to dry, and when he felt like it, he flew out the window in Wisconsin, glided for a few seconds, then landed in the grass.  He stayed there for a few hours and left towards nightfall.

Busy Bee was the second largest caterpillar.  She ate and grew bigger, but while she was hanging upside-down, turning into a chrysalis, she died.  It was a short but sweet life.  RIP, Busy Bee.

Bibimbap was the smallest of the three.  She ate and grew, and after a while, turned into a chrysalis and became a monarch butterfly the day after we arrived in Zanesville, Ohio.  When Bibimbap emerged, she took off quickly.

Here is a slideshow of the butterflies, from when we found them on a plant in Michigan and took them home in a red plastic cup, to when they became full grown butterflies and flew away.

Food – Wisconsin, Missouri, and Ohio

spam musabis

Here are pictures of food that we ate mostly in St. Louis or with the Hoffmans.  You can also see the cheeses and salami that we got from Wisconsin.  The main picture above is of spam musubis (in this case, spam fried in teriyaki sauce, sandwiched between two blocks of rice, wrapped in nori or sprinkled with sesame seeds) that Uncle Dean made when we were visiting him and other family in Missouri.

The Mississippi River Again – Wisconsin and Iowa

On August 9, we moved to ​James N. Mcnally Campground in Grantsburg, Wisconsin.  That week, we got to visit the Zens.  Mr. Jon is a Christian and writes books about the Bible.  His wife, Miss Dotty, painted our faces or arms.  She is very skilled at art, and she actually illustrated some books with her paintings.  We enjoyed spending time eating and talking with the Zens that day.

On August 16, we moved to Little Bear Campground in West Liberty, Iowa.  Driving through the area where a derecho (a very bad storm with high wind speeds that is like a hurricane) had hit earlier that week, we saw a lot of damage.  Trees were knocked down, crops of corn looked stripped, tall plants were bending in one direction, and RV’s and houses were damaged.

On the way to the RV park, we stopped at a visitor center for Mississippi National River and Recreation Area and Saint Croix National Scenic Riverway in Prescott, Wisconsin.  The visitor center was where the Saint Croix and Mississippi merge to make the Mississippi river.  The river was full of boats, and some areas looked like a traffic jam, except on the water.

There was a program at the park with “Bruce the Bug Guy,” where he showed us bugs that he kept, such as moths, millipedes, and cockroaches.  I didn’t watch the entire show because I couldn’t stand to see the condition the moths were in, but everyone else watched the whole thing and got to see and hold the millipedes and cockroaches.  The moths were very pretty, with vibrant red bodies and legs, and mostly black and reed wings.  In order to keep them from flying away, they were kept in a cooler with ice, in what looked like small wax paper bags. This caused their muscles to not work, so that little kids could hold them.  The one I was given had wings that were torn.  Even after I warmed it up, it couldn’t stand, and it couldn’t lift its wings.  In fact, I thought it was dying.  I tried to allow it to stand on my finger, but after struggling to do so, it flopped back down into my hand, its scales rubbing off.  I felt really bad for it.  On the other hand, it was really cool to see the moths.  The moths in the pictures below that seem to be in good condition are different moths, and I think they were males, unlike the one I was holding.