Ted - our hiking bility is such that all we could do would be to follow along behind Wazoo to the trailhead - and watch his dust in the distance.
Lake Michigan is VAST, few people, and all I can think of is how much snow and ice they must get in the winter. We are on Route 2 having left St. Ignace, stopping at a lot of state rest stops to walk. At first I thought the columns of something dark in the woods was smoke plumes. Discovered they weren't when one descenced upon us and turned out to be about a bazillion bugs/gnats. It was actually hard to breath for a few seconds. Didn't bite, just wandered off. Later we saw what looked like a flying black ball and it was more bugs. You can imagine what the front nose of the TC looks like.
The sand beaches of Lake Michigan are powder like from being pounded against a somewhat rocky coast. Very hard to walk in as you sink ankle deep but the view out over th water was worth it. Lots of little towns along Route 2 where many businesses are closed. We even saw what looked like a new Hilton here in Escanoba that was closed with tall weeds all around.
We're in Escanoba headed for Sand Point Lighthouse and Museum. Then we will head further west to Iron Mountain to a mining museum. I don't like being underground and refuse to stop in Vulcan and take the underground iron mine tour. Shudder. Partly sunny day, very windy and the TC has rocked quite a bit.
Thanks to everyone who has answered. We've changed our route to see some of the places you all enjoy.
If you are in the area in northern MI, go to the Sleeping Bear Dunes. They are pretty incredible. The biggest dunes I have ever been on. And that part of Lake Michigan has great waves to body surf in. Of course, it's probably still a little too cold for that...
Today was a leisurely drive headed west on Route 2 through Michigan and into a tiny piece of Wisconsin. Lake Michigan is VAST with few people in small towns. All I can think of is how much snow and ice they must get in the winter. We are on Route 2 having left St.Ignace, stopping at a lot of state rest stops to walk. At first I thought the columns of something dark rising up out of the woods were smoke plumes. Discovered they weren't when one descended upon us and turned out to be about a bazillion bugs/gnats. It was actually hard to breath for a few seconds. Didn't bite, just wandered off. Later we saw what looked like a flying black ball right ahead of us. It was more bugs. You can imagine what the front nose of the TC looks like.
The sand beaches of Lake Michigan are powder like from being pounded against a somewhat rocky coast. It's not like our granite in Maine but the beach is not hard packed.
Very hard to walk in as you sink ankle deep but the view out over the water was worth it. Lots of little towns along Route 2 where many businesses are closed. We even saw what looked like a new Hilton Inn that was closed with tall weeds all around.
Got off Route 2 Cooks, MI right on Lake Michigan and took a tiny road out to Nahma. I don't think an A class RV could have gone down that road. We picked up hot pasty and ate by the water. Can it get any better than this? For those of you who don't know (and we didn't), a pasty is a meat pie with a meat, potato, carrot, rice and onion in all enclosed in a flaky crust. I asked for a small and the lady laughed. They only make one size and they weigh about a pound. We split one and didn't fight over the last bite, we were full. Recipes for the Michigan version here - Michigan pasty
We next headed to Escanaba for the Sand Point Lighthouse and Museum. Very good local museum with history of how the huge logs were moved out of the woods to ships in the winter. Basically they made an ice road and skidded them out. Joe enjoyed talking to another retired Coast Guardsman while I climbed the lighthouse for the view. The wind off the lake is so cold you expect to see icebergs any minute. Wonder if it ever warms up?
Last time I got on a bicycle (Tall Pines) I took a most ungraceful fall. Joe thought I should get on this one. HA!
A bit further west in Iron Mountain was a mining museum we had planned to see. However, the view was so beautiful over the lake, we headed south from the lighthouse down through Ford River and Cedar River eventually cutting north again to rejoin Route 2 and enter WI. There is a tiny piece of WI that sticks up into MI and we'll get to claim it as a state we have camped in. We're at a small campground in Florence, WI - $12 for the night with water, electricity, laundry and WiFi! We are finding almost no one in the state parks yet. Schools still in and it is a bit nippy.
Mostly sunny day, very windy and the TC rocked quite a bit. We got to show off the Host to a group of ATVers who had stopped at the National Forest center in Florence, WI. They were on a week tent camping trip on the ATV trails and looked pretty longingly at the TC. Joe could not convince one of them that a dual slide TC was too heavy for his F150. It's always fun to show someone a TC who had never been in one before.
Tomorrow we head to Superior, WI. We found two state parks with high waterfalls and good walking trails near there. We'll camp at one of them. There is also a WWII museum that looks pretty interesting. Ever westward!
Hi Anne and Joe,
I've been following your post like everyone else. I wish I was there with you. Watch out for those moose, but should something terrible happen,,,,,I'll take two backstraps.........just kidding, stay safe and have a super trip..............TD
OLDER AND BOLDER,,,,,N1ATF
Ford F-350 Dually Diesel, Lance 9SC, Harley Davidson Heritage Softail, 12 ft Hallmark trailer and Skeeter the camping beagle .........
Stopped by side of road near Fargo, ND. Slooowwww connection
May 31 - Florence, MI to Federal Dam, MN
Another day of long, straight, good condition red roads through forests including the Ottawa National Forest where there were a lot of deer standing by the side of the road grazing. Fortunately none of them decided to step out in the road and become venison jerky or hood ornaments.
We remarked today on how genuinely friendly the people of the UP, Wisconsin and Minnesota are. Everywhere we stopped people would see our license plate and come say hello and welcome. We gave a lot of tours of the TC and handed out about all the TC brochures we had. We heard over and over how they own a 5th wheel or a travel trailer and how they are restricted from going where they want to go. Hope there are some TC dealers in the upper tier of the country as there seems to be a pent up demand for our size camper.
If you are on Route 2 passing through Ashland, WI we found a neat little RV park owned by the city. It is called Kreger Park. Turn on Willis Ave. North to Water Street by Lake Superior. Water, power, bathrooms, level, looked safe and right smack on the water. Self registration honor system for $20. We have seen many small towns that have a village park where you are allowed to stay overnight for a honor system payment of $5 to $10 with no facilities. Don't I wish the East had such a system?
We stopped at Amnicon Falls State Park south of Superior, WI and hiked through the woods (and mosquitos) to see a lot of waterfalls and interesting rock formations. Fun to watch the fly fishermen try to cast and not get caught up in the trees. Must take a lot of skill to catch anything in water moving that fast. While we were having lunch, a park ranger knocked and asked if he could see the camper. I didn't know TCs were that unusual!
Superior, WI is the site of the Richard Bong World War II Museum. This veteran was a decorated ace pilot who rebuilt a plane like he flew in the Pacific Theater. Lots of interesting exhibits. Joe stops at most of the war memorials if possible as he reads a lot of WWII history.
Back to Route 2 headed west - where else? Passing through the Chippewa National Forest we came upon an immature bald eagle feeding on a dead deer by the roadside. See those deer are good for something. No way did we approach to try to get a photo as this bird was going to protect his meal. It was a beautiful sight though to see such a huge young healthy looking bird.
Our camp for this evening is at Leech Lake COE Recreation Area in Federal Dam, Minnesota. This is a must stay park if you are anywhere nearby. Huge camp sites, level, dry, good bathhouse with laundry. It is run by the US Army Corps of Engineers and is used as a base camp by an awful lot of avid fishermen. We paid $16.00 for a water/electric/sewer site - half off because of our Golden Age Passport. Every once in a while getting older pays off. We walked down to the boat ramp and dock and watched lots of fish being off loaded from bass boats to a screen house where they were cleaned. Gulls lined every branch around but nobody was dumb enough to throw out a scrap. Rain has finally moved off and it is a nice sunny 64F at 8:15PM. Listening to the fishermen and women, they are happy to have open water but just as happy to go ice fishing.
Tomorrow we back road it to Fargo where I am meeting up with an online knitting friend. Then the decision will be made on back roads or use I-94 to get over to Theodore Roosevelt National Grasslands Park. We'll be doing enough way back roads so it might be time to use a fast one to get to the next point.
* This post was
edited 06/01/09 08:10pm by TwoMaineiacs *
When you get to Teddy R Park, if you have the same luck we did, you will not have to look for buffalo. They were awallow right at our back door, just like the ponies at Assateague but MUCH bigger. We are in Lancaster,CA getting an update on our TC, but must await fabrication of some newly designed parts. So we have to wander around and see the sights in the High Sierra. Someone's got to do it. We depart to Yosemite in a few hours, then to wine country and the Monterey Bay National Wildlife Sanctuary and vicinity visiting with old sailing buddies.
We really look forward to your brilliant reports, you da best!
Love to all,
Linda & skip
2004 F350 Diesel CC SRW 19.5" Rickson W/T 4WD
2005 Lance 1121 well found.
12' Porta-Bote alongside
All that glisters is not gold. All who wander are not lost. See us on YouTube" Living the Lance Life" 3 of 4.
No rain this morning but high winds that were to dog us all day and do a real job on the diesel mileage. We're body time an hour ahead of our location in the Central Time zone so still getting up early to enjoy our surroundings. Leech Lake had whitecaps but the fishermen were still heading out in their bass boats. No one wears a life preserver!
There are a lot of Indian reservations in this area of Minnesota so there were many casinos and gambling resorts. Startling to be driving in wilderness and come around a corner to see a 15 story hotel and jam packed parking lot. Maybe that's where all the cars have been? Go past the casino and once again we were the only vehicle in sight.
Met up with an online knitting friend in Fargo, ND. We kept Joe happy by taking him out for lunch. Odd how sometimes meeting an online friend is the same as just having talked to them the day before. Some people actually are what they seem like on line. Great visit, good lunch and, of course, I bought yarn. Fargo is still recovering from the flood damage this spring. We passed a storage yard with a mountain of filled sand bags. The bags are slowly being emptied and stored for next time.
Lots of buffalo in Fargo - statues that is
We decided to take I-94 to Bismarck rather than back country it on this journey leg. I-94 is arrow straight, rolling hills, and we kept waiting to see cows flying by in the air it was so windy. The speed limit was 75mph. We managed 62mph and still felt like we were standing on the pedal. We went from our usual 12 to 12.5 mpg to 8.8mpg for the day. Bet if we had been heading east we would have gotten 15mpg!
Tonight we are in a commercial campground to catch up on laundry, email, dump, fresh water, etc. Tomorrow we have under 180 miles planned heading north and then west to Theodore Roosevelt National Park. We plan to stay there two days, take the TC off and travel some of the park roads to see buffalo and other wildlife. There are several historic forts in the area and a place to have a steak cooked on a pitchfork. Probably pretty touristy (the steak) but could be fun.
We are parked between two lilac hedges in full bloom. Sweet smell and the wind has finally died down enough they aren't beating on the TC.
Very spotty cell service. We're just heading west and will check in again when we can. Hit the road - it's wide open.