"Of all the paths you take in life make sure a few of them are dirt" US Forest Sevice

Friday, August 25, 2017

Upper Michigan

Heading North

Hauling our home on wheels around on these bumpy roads can be hard on it at times. One of the tires on the trailer was  not wearing well. We made a stop in Traverse City at Discount Tires and they  replaced it in no time. We headed towards Mackinaw City.
Before leaving Maine, our awning's motor quit working in the out position. Mike climbed the ladder and used the drill to manually bring it in. We found an RV service place in the next town that replaced the motor and were lucky enough to have it still under warranty. Six weeks later in Michigan, it quit working again. We will now wait until we get back to Colorado or Arizona to see what the problem is.
  The rain was falling pretty hard as we left Lake Leelanau heading north.

Mackinaw City

 We had considered taking a ferry to MacKinnac Island for a bike ride. Once we saw the number of people boarding the ferries every 15-30 minutes, we changed our minds and decided to enjoy the area where we were. That island has to be too congested for us. The campground is located on the shore of Lake Huron overlooking the Mackinaw Bridge. One afternoon, we spent sitting along
the shore of Lake Huron reading, listening to the waves and seagulls and watching the ferries, kayakers and  barges hauling iron ore, grains and limestone.

The UP

The winds were calming down quite a bit as we made our exodus to the UP (Upper Peninsula) by way of the "bridge".
There are many lighthouses along not only the Great Lakes but also the rivers and waterways.

 Michigan has so many rails to trails paths, most straight but go for many miles through treed canopies. We didn't stop for long with all of those mosquitos and bugs for encouragement to keep moving.

We had a great sunset one evening.

Tahquamenon Falls State Park, Michigan

Two years ago, when we were planning our trip to Michigan's UP, our friend, Matt, from the Colorado Springs Cycle Club told us to visit Tahquamenon Falls. We didn't make it quite that far then. This time, we were only 60 miles from the state park and had plenty of time to make the stop. It is in the northeast section of the UP without internet, TV and basically in the middle of a forest.

The Lower Falls are a half mile from our camp site. In the quiet morning, we could hear their rumble through the woods. The water was an interesting rust color caused by the tannins leached from the cedars. They are also called "root beer falls" because of the color. 
 There are boat rentals at the base of the falls that can be taken across the river to the island.

 I tried a pastie (a UP specialty) again and still think they are awful even with gravy. I don't think I will do that again.


  1. Glad you got that tire replaced!! You certainly don't need tire troubles or a blow out while driving! Sure hope the awning motor is an easy fix as well!!
    I can certainly see why those falls are called "root beer falls." They are pretty!!

  2. Yes the island is packed but once you get off the main two steets it really is quite nice to explore... maybe next time

    1. You are probably right. I guess the lines at the ferries scared us off.

  3. Yes, MacKinnac Island is really busy during the summer. We were there in July a few years back. We took the first ferry over, stayed long enough to walk the island and then left.
    The Upper Falls is the one of the largest waterfalls east of the Mississippi River next to the Niagara Falls. Many of our friends were surprised to learn that fact. Did you take all those steps to see the falls? Not a bad workout.
    Marsha had her first pastie in MI. She isn't a fan either.

    1. We did take the stairs and enjoyed the walk along the river. Interesting fact about the falls. They do have a lot of power behind them and they were not at a high stage when we were there.

  4. We want to visit the UP but aren't thrilled with the idea of crowds and mosquitoes. Wonder if fall is a better time to visit?

    1. The mosquitos are only bad in the forest away from the Great Lakes. Fall is beautiful. The sugar maples were already changing in August. The UP has a lot to offer. This was our second visit.