Sep 6, 2012

Sept 6 - Ya Hey Dere...

We're camped in the middle of Michigan's Upper Peninsula (Yooper-land) at Dar's brother's "camp", as Yoopers refer to what most other folks call a cabin. We've been here before and just love the solitude and peace that this remote location affords. It's very high on our list of favorite places to be.

This past Tuesday we departed Hidden Ridge RV "Resort" near K-zoo and headed north. Our route was US-131 through Grand Rapids to Cadillac, M-56 east to US-127 north to I-75 to the big bridge over the Mackinaw Straits of Lake Michigan/Lake Huron. Conditions were fine for travel and we moved right along. Originally intending to get some U.P. miles under our belt before stopping for the night, we decided 280 miles was enough for the day and dropped anchor at Straits State Park just north of the bridge in St. Ignace Michigan. We'd camped there in the past and liked the location and atmosphere of the place. But Michigan is proud of their State Parks and tacked $16 onto the $28 campsite fee (30/50 amp electric, remote water and sanidump), making it an expensive stop. Oh well, it was just for one night.

On a recommendation, we drove into St. Ignace and had dinner at The Galley, located right on the harbor. Dar tried sauteed whitefish livers (!!)... who knew whitefish even had livers?  My fare was a more pedestrian Fish & Chips. An enjoyable evening.

Rain was in the forecast for Wednesday... especially later in the day.  So we got an early start, moving by a few minutes after 8am. We made it a whole 8 miles in the first hour. A decision to stop at McDonald's for breakfast and the pull of a roadside park delayed things a little longer than planned. But soon the miles were adding up as the predicted rain held off long enough for us to get almost to Marquette before the deluge started. Finding refuge at a very nice roadside park along Lake Superior, we waited out the storm... probably a half hour or so.

Underway again,  we made it almost to our destination before the next band of showers hit. Same routine... found a refuge in a parking lot and waited out the worst of it... this time nearly an hour. We then unhooked the car and drove over to our destination to check out access... the ability to get the big old bus-house into this private camp. From an asphalt road there's a quarter-mile long one-lane gravel and dirt road into the property. Because it's used only by a handful of property owners, the "tunnel" of trees and brush can get low and narrow at times, giving us the choice of "brush-busting" our way in or walking the road, pole-trimmer in hand, and expanding the "tunnel" to minimize interference with nature... not to mention scrapes and scratches on the sides and top of the bus-house. Considering the weather we went for option one... just busting our way in. It really wasn't too bad... and no new noticeable scratches or scrapes on the paint.

Got set up... walked over and said "Hi" to good neighbors Bill and Nancy... made a simple dinner... and settled down to enjoy the evening. The rain and clouds gave way to blue skies and sun... lighting up the trees on the other side of the lake. It's amazing how much Fall color is evident already.

Beyond Branson; Pondering Future Travel

This past Tuesday, we moved from Branson to a very nice Corps of Engineer’s Park on Wappapello Lake.  We’re in the Redman Creek CG. This fac...