We spent the day at the Gerald E. Eddy Discovery Center, which is part of our Michigan Department of Natural Resources. Known for his brass pith helmet and love for rocks, Gerald E. “Jerry” Eddy has the posthumous honor of having part of the Waterloo State Recreation Area named after him. Rocks are piled about and labeled, giving the children something to climb on while the adults read DNR prose about the metamorphosis rock and its mighty mineral composition, every rock given a flowing narrative like “this rock probably came from the Upper Peninsula or maybe Wisconsin, or maybe even Canada, we don’t know, since all the labels blew off on the trip down, but if you’ve read this far, chances are you won’t be taken seriously if you start shouting “this is all bunk!”, so good luck.”
We saw the work of the taxidermist inside the discovery center, where the mighty hawk and mighty flying squirrel coexisted peacefully under plexiglass and without even blinking. Zac petted one of the animal pelts, saying “he’s beautiful, and he’s going to sleep now”, which sounds adorable out of the mouth of a two year old but was very disturbing when the guy in the camouflage who came in alone said the exact same thing over and over.
We had a delicious picnic lunch with Bobby and Martha, known as Oompa and Nana Red to our kids. A blanket kept us warm as the wind blew empty potato chip bags into nature, our chasing of it comical to the grey squirrels who watched and — I’m fairly sure — laughed out loud at our foibles. That’s nature, I guess.
If you have kids, I would recommend the Eddy Discovery Center. I plan on going back out again, to hike the trails, learn more about rocks, and get laughed at by squirrels.