Monday, June 26, 2023

Catching Up: Our Stop in Mackinaw City and We are Back in the Upper Peninsula

I cannot believe it is almost the end of June and I have still not caught up blogging about  our time at the end of May. It is amazing how fast the time flies when we get back to the UP. Before I catch up with what we have been doing since we been back here I am going to finish up about our time in Mackinaw City and the our drive along Lake Michigan in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan. 

May 25 through May 29, 2023 (Five nights at the KOA in Mackinaw City)

Turning into the Tee Pee Campground in Mackinaw City it looked like a really nice campground. The campground itself is on Lake Huron though none of the sites are and we could see the lake through the trees. Even though it was not a full hookup park we were looking forward to being able to walk out to the lake and take some walks along the shore. We had chosen this campground for that reason. Knowing Memorial Weekend is a popular camping weekend I had made our reservations back on March 3rd. Also, knowing many of the older campgrounds are not set up for big rigs I was very clear about the fact that we had a 40 foot motorhome with slides. Registering then checking out our assigned site we knew immediately it would not work. When we went back to the office she told us according to the length of the site we should fit. Tom had paced it off and we did not agree. Plus, the ground towards the back of the site seemed soft. (One thing we have learned, and it only took once, if we do not feel comfortable pulling into a site we do not do it.) It looked like they did have at least four sites, possibly 6, we may have been comfortable pulling into but they were taken. They did refund our money minus the one night deposit. I would like to be clear it was a very nice campgrounds and if we had a smaller rig we would have stayed there and been happy with our choice.

The big question now was what do we do. So we headed to the rest area to talk about it. Tom decided to try the KOA and see if they had any openings. We have stayed there in the past and as we recalled we would fit in the majority of their sites. I must say I did not hold out much hope for the whole five nights but as luck would have it they had one site left we could fit in. Decision made. 

We spent a very slow paced leisurely five days parked here.There is a lot to do and see in Mackinaw City and St. Ignace, which is across the bridge, if you are so inclined. Plus, of course, you can take a ferry from either town and spend the day or several on Mackinac Island. We have visited and stayed on both sides of the bridge and visited Mackinac Island more then once but for this stay it was mostly about not doing much of anything and we accomplished our goal. We mostly just enjoyed our time relaxing at the Stinger "B". We did visit one of small parks on Lake Huron which gave us the opportunity to spend some time along the water. There are, of course, several cute shops in Mackinaw City and we did visit a couple and managed to leave a few of our dollars behind. Plus, Tom did buy some fudge. We ate at two restaurants we are familiar with, Darrow's and Scalawags Whitefish and Chips, and one new one, Rusted Spoke Brewing Company. Plus, we did a take out pizza from Mama Mia's Pizza. The food was delicious at all four. 

 Below are some pictures I took while we were out and about on the different days.

Mackinac Bridge

Across the water of Lake Huron from this spot we can see the
Grand Hotel on Mackinac Island.

Mackinaw City

A late lunch of Whitefish at Scalawags always delicious.

Mackinaw City

Mass at St. Anthony of Padua in Mackinaw City.
Bottom right our Lady of the Straights.

Side Chapel including a statue of St. Anthony, bottom right.

 Tuesday, May 30, 2023

We pulled out of our site at around 11:10AM and after stopping  up front to hook up the Jeep we pulled out of the KOA Campgrounds around 11:30AM and merged onto I-75 heading north. We came through the toll both on the north side of the Bridge and were back in the UP at Noon. We exited I-75 and turned west on US-2. We made two stops one for lunch just west of St. Ignace at a rest areal overlooking Lake Michigan and a second in Manistique for Diesel. About four and half hours after merging onto I-75 we were parked in front of our daughter's home unhooking the Jeep and then parking it where we will be for the month of June.

Below are  pictures of that ride. (We will be making this drive two more times this summer to and from our son and daughter-in-laws down in Grosse Pointe City. My goal is to try and post different ones and not to many of each of these drives. At least that is my goal.)

Going over I-75 on our way to the entrance to the Interstate

and in  the distance we can see the top of the Mackinac Bridge.

I do not think we have gone over the bridge and
not seen this sign except in the winter.

Lake Huron

Lake Michigan

and the construction.

Almost to the toll both

where we stop and pay the toll

then we are in the UP.
At this point we are about 133 miles from our destination. In less than a mile we will exit I-75 and merge onto US-2 heading west which for the next 128 miles will be two lanes. The good news is there are 12 passing lanes and the traffic will move right along. Unless, of course, there is construction.

Just a couple of miles down US-2 we decided to pull over at a rest area to eat lunch.

Our view out the front window as we sit and enjoy lunch.

We are up a bluff and after I was done eating I decided to take a
walk and take a couple of pictures. of the lake.

A  few miles further and we pass by Lehto's Pasties. The sign
says they have been there since 1947. A sure sign we are in the UP.
There are quite a few pasty shops in the UP and we have stopped
at several but not this one. Not sure why we haven't.

Lake Michigan looks really calm today.

A nice size pond just next to the highway.

Looks like they just finished up the construction along here.
In the summer when we go past here vehicles are parked all
along the lake side and they are out enjoying the sun sitting in
the sand or swimming in the Lake. 

I did mention in the last blog we have trees and water in Michigan.

The Cut River Bridge. There is a rest area to park by here and 
you can take a walk out on the bridge or you can take the path
down to the river. 

I did capture this picture as we were going over.

Smoked Fish, Pasties, and Fudge this store has it all.

As much green as there is in the UP along US-2 and in other
areas you pass by several areas of dead trees. 

Causes for the loss of trees varies. There are invasive pests causing damage, environmental issues, highway construction, and change in the water table were some of the listed issues. Plus, the fact that some trees have shorter life spans was also mentioned in one article. 

Manistique East Breakwater Light.
This is the Manistique Harbor. The Lighthouse was listed on the
National Register of Historic Places in 2005. 

Our last stop for diesel, this Adventure, in Manistique.
$3.999 basically $4.00 a gallon. 

Forty-three more miles and we will be parked at our daughter's.

With a few small white caps on the lake 
it was sparkling in the sunlight.

Entering Delta County 

Leaving the Hiawatha National Forest.

The Whitefish River is a beautiful blue today.

We are back on four lanes and this is now US-2 and US-41.

Coming into Gladstone this is Little Bay de Noc.
In the winter this area is filled with Ice Fishing Shacks.

Turning on to M-35 and we are almost to our destination.

We are now back home with our home on wheels. Life has been good to us and we know it. We Thank God everyday to be living Our Retirement Dream.  

We are glad you stopped by!
If you have time to leave a comment we would enjoy hearing from you.

Wednesday, June 7, 2023

Blog is Slowly Catching Up to Us....Happy Birthday, Thomas!!!

On Tuesday, May 30, 2023, after 256 day under a beautiful blue sky we crossed the Mackinac Bridge and we were back in the UP.  Our Ninth Adventure, living our retirement dream, has come to an end. The plan right now is to spend the next three months and a few weeks visiting and catching up with family and friends. We will also be looking into some tentative plans for our Tenth Adventure.

Mackinac Bridge

We are presently parked at our daughter's in Gladstone, MI

My goal for the next couple of blog posts is to catch up to where we are. This blog is a journal of our travels and as such these days need to be included. 

Wednesday, May 24, 2023

This morning we went inside for coffee with our son and daughter-in-law and to get kisses and hugs from three of our grandchildren as they got ready to leave for school. Then all to soon it was time to go out to the Stinger "B" and get things ready to roll. There actually was not much to do as we pretty much were only inside for sleeping. Since, we had unhooked the Jeep we did have to hook it back up. Once that was done we went back in to get kisses and hugs from our youngest grandson and his parents. A picture of them waving as we left would have been nice to have but I was to busy waving and we were several blocks away when that thought came to me.

We decided to take I-94 North for a few miles then make our way up to I-69 where we turned west for a bit. We then cut across on I-475 to I-75 which we stayed on to just past Bay City where we exited on to US-23 for the rest of our trip to Mackinaw City. I had done some checking the afternoon before and there is a Walmart in Tawas City that said we could park for the night in their parking lot.

What follows are a few random pictures of our two day ride.


On I-75 going by

Birch Run

Zilwaukee Bridge which takes us over the Saginaw River.

On US-23

You know you are on a rural highway when you see this sign.

Lake Huron

Parked at the Walmart in Tawas City, MI and
we sort of had a view of Lake Huron out the front windshield.

It was, of course, sad pulling away as we waved to our littlest grandson and his always is...yet today's ride was pleasant and uneventful. It was our first time riding along the east coast of Michigan and Lake Huron; a new adventure. It was a surprisingly a quiet night parked at the Walmart considering there were railroad tracks just across the road. 

Thursday, May 25, 2023

This morning as we pulled back out on to US-23 Lake Huron was sparkling in the sunlight. 

This must be the place to be????

Some interesting facts about Lake Huron: it is the second largest, surface wise, of the Great Lakes making it the 3rd largest fresh water lake in the world. By volume it is surpassed by Lake Superior and Lake Michigan. What I found extremely interestingly when doing some reading about Lake Huron was that within the lake is the world's largest island lake, Manitoulin Island. Plus the largest lake on an island in a lake is Lake Manitou on Manitoulin Island in Lake Huron. Then I read that the largest island in a lake on an island in a lake is Treasure Island in Mindemoya Lake on Manitoulin Island in Lake Huron. At that point I decided I had read enough. What has always struck me each time we pass over the Straits of Mackinaw is just how blue Lake Huron's water is. I did also read it does have the bluest water of the Great Lakes. I would also like to mention that Deb and Riley, On the long and lonesome highway... are from Manitoulin Island, they probably know all this information about the island, and spend there summers there. She does post pictures of the island and right now her header picture is particularly a lovely shot. Also, Al, Travel With the Bayfield Bunch, posts pictures of Lake Huron from his side of the Lake in Ontario and when he does they truly capture its beauty.

Driving down any highway, when not in a city, in Michigan
your view is filled with trees and/or lakes and rivers.

These three pictures 

were taken on a short

detour off of US-23 due to construction.

Lake Huron

and more trees. I did mention there are trees in Michigan.

The lovely blue water of Lake Huron.

Our two days traveling to Mackinaw City, especially on US-23 along the lake were slow paced and wonderful. I have often said, we are so lucky to be living our retirement dream. We have seen the beauty of the mountains in the west and east, the vastness of the desert. Then we spend our summers surrounded by the beautiful forest of Michigan and time near some the most beautiful lakes in the world. Life truly is good.

Tuesday, June 6, 2023

Happy, Happy Birthday to our Son, Thomas!

From a little boy to having one, bottom left, two middle bottom,
then three, middle right, to a father of four, bottom right,
with a lovely wife. We were proud of the little boy and
we are proud of the man you have become.
Love you to the moon and back.
Dad and Mom xoxo xoxo

We are glad you stopped by!
If you have time to leave a comment we would enjoy hearing from you.