RV Adventures: A trip to the Upper Peninsula, Michigan Day 6

Wednesday, October 7th, 2020

This morning was a travel day from our campground in Cedarville to the Picture Rocks KOA RV Campground in Wetmore, Michigan. The drive was about 2 1/2 hours. We didn’t want to give Matilda her sedation drugs again so she had a calming chew and I held her.

The drive was beautiful!

Our campsite was surrounded by beautiful fall colors!

After we set up our camp, gave Matilda a nice walk around the campgrounds, and ate some lunch, we hopped in the car to explore the area! Our first stop was Palms Book State Park.

Kitch-iti-kipi (or it is also called “Big Spring”) is a short walk in the park and is a popular attraction. It is Michigan’s largest freshwater spring. The temperature of the water is always 45 degrees and it never freezes during the winter because of the constant temperature of the water flowing from the fissures in the underlying limestone. Every minute more than 10,000 gallons of water flows out of the fissures. It is about 40 feet deep and the water is very clear. You can see the trout swimming around and the fallen trees down below!

At Palms Book State Park was this “Prayer of the Woods”. The author is unknown but I really loved what it says! It’s a reminder of how we need to take care of our environment and not destroy it!

When we finished exploring the park, we drove around the town of Manistique. In town was the former Manistique Water Tower. It stands 137 feet high and is a Romanesque brick tower in an octagon shape . It was finished in 1922 and held 200,000 gallons of water. It was used until 1966 and is now on the National Register of Historic Places.

Manistique Water Tower

We found the Manistique East Breakwater Lighthouse which was first lit in 1916 and still used today. It is square shaped and red in color! It is located on the east side of the harbor where the Manistique River flows into Lake Michigan.

After exploring the area, we needed to stop at the store to get a few groceries. The view from the store was dazzling!

We also spent some time driving around Munising which was located just down from our campground.

RV Adventures: A trip to the Upper Peninsula, Michigan Day 5

Tuesday, October 6th, 2020

Today we were going to spend the day on Mackinac Island and the weather was perfect. We took an early ferry and Matilda was not thrilled about the ride. Our ferry ride to the island included a ten minute detour under the Mackinac Bridge.

As we got close to the dock on Mackinac Island we passed the Round Island Passage Light and the Round Island Light which are located about 4 tenths of a mile apart.

We walked along the main street and headed up toward Fort Mackinac. Since we had the dog we walked around the fort but didn’t go in. We also walked past the Governor of Michigan’s summer residence.

We then started walking toward the Arch Rock. Our walk took us by some beautiful homes along the waterfront.

When we were at the top of one of our climbs we looked out over Mackinac Island and Lake Huron. The view was spectacular and the lake water looked like the waters of the Caribbean.

Looking over the island toward the lake.
Such beautiful shades of blue water!

Our walk included passing by Mission Church which was built in 1829 and is the state’s oldest surviving church. St. Anne’s Catholic Church was also on our walk and it was built in the 1880s during the Victorian period. Many weddings are held in the church.

Since it was late in the season the Mackinac Harbor was not busy at all.

We were very careful to keep our social distance and wear our masks. We had pizza to go and ate it on a park bench! Matilda was quite interested in our lunch!

Matilda is thinking we should share with her!

Since we already walked just shy of 6 miles we decided to take a carriage tour. It took us around the island. The horses scared Matilda. She hid behind our legs when a horse was near and there were quite a few that she saw!

Matilda is trying to figure out how to escape!

The historic Grand Hotel is a famous landmark on the island. It was built in the late 1800s and boasts about its world’s largest porch.

The Grand Hotel

Arch Rock was a favorite stop for us. It is a natural rock bridge made of limestone.

We left not long before the last ferry back to St. Ignace. Matilda was just as thrilled going back as she was on our ride over to the island. She was happy to get in the car and head back to our campsite to watch the sunset again.

After our busy day on Mackinac Island, we enjoyed the relaxation of the campfire!

RV Adventures: A trip to the Upper Peninsula, Michigan Day 4

Monday, October 5th, 2020

Today was a travel day from Grayling to our next campsite in Cedarville. This was a two hour drive. We didn’t want to drug Matilda so we gave her a calming chew and I snuggled her in her blanket until we arrived at our campsite; the Loons Point RV Park and Campground. The drive was filled with the beautiful fall colors!

We also went over the Mackinac Bridge which is across the Straits of Mackinac. It was a windy day and there was construction on the bridge.

It was a great site being along the water of Lake Huron!

Our campsite

Once we set up camp and unhooked the car we were a little concerned about the car because all of the warning lights came on and were blinking at us. Dave got online and looked for the closest Toyota service center. It felt like doom and gloom for being able to take off and go sightseeing in the car. Dave talked to the Toyota service center and got an appointment for Wednesday. In the meantime, I was reading online about towing a Prius and having all of the lights coming on and what that meant. One of the suggestions said to drive the car around accelerating and stopping quickly. Well, Dave tried it and the lights all disappeared! Whew! We canceled the service appointment and got in the car and headed to De Tour Village. It is located on the western shore of St. Mary’s River which connects Lake Huron to Lake Superior.

We also walked as far as the Nature Preserve would let us hoping to see the DeTour Reef Lighthouse. We were almost to the point where we would have visual of the lighthouse when the Preserve ended and it was private property. We turned around and walked back. At least it was a lovely walk!

As we were driving back through the village Dave spotted the DeTour Reef Lighthouse that we were hoping to see on our walk in the Preserve. It was built in 1931 and is located a mile offshore.

This evening we enjoyed our campfire and watched the sunset!

RV Adventures: A trip to the Upper Peninsula, Michigan Day 3

Sunday, October 4, 2020

We started our exploration early. The weather was a little gloomy and some raindrops this morning. Our first stop was Alpena. It is the second most populated city in the Northern Michigan area. It is known for its proximity to Lake Huron and Thunder Bay.

As we drove into town we saw this beautiful underwater dimensional mural. We stopped for a picture. Hundreds of community members helped paint the 3-D fish! This mural had to be reconstructed after severe weather destroyed it!

Our next stop was Thunder Bay on Lake Huron. Thunder Bay has the nickname of “Shipwreck Alley” because it is estimated that over 100 shipwrecks lie in the bay! (I’ve also read over 200 shipwrecks!)

The Alpena Lighthouse was built in 1914 and is now on the National Register of Historic Places.

Our next stop was the Old Presque Isle Lighthouse. It was built in 1840 and is not operational anymore.

Ringing the Lansing City Hall Clock Tower Bell

We then visited the “new” Presque Isle Lighthouse. It was built in 1870. You can climb the 130 steps in the lighthouse but due to Covid-19 we found that the lighthouses that permitted you to climb the steps were closed to the public.

We drove to the Forty Mile Point Lighthouse and it is located on Lake Huron. It was completed in 1896 and is still in operation.

Nearby was the shipwreck of the Joseph S. Fey. It was a wooden steamer and it encountered a strong gale on Lake Huron. The steamer hit the rocks at Forty Mile Point. It broke apart and we could still see a large portion of the starboard side of the ship on the beach!

Before returning to our campsite we stopped at a one room schoolhouse, the Glawe school. When it opened in 1885 the first teacher had 17 students that she taught for 3 months of the school year! Her pay was $20.00 a month!

It was a dreary but fun day with all of our stops!

RV Adventures: A trip to the Upper Peninsula, Michigan Day 2

Saturday, October 3rd, 2020

After Matilda’s morning walk we hopped in the Prius to head to Sleeping Bear Dunes. I forgot to mention that we towed the Prius behind the RV on a tow dolly. Dave did an excellent job navigating the camper and the car!

When we arrived at the Sleeping Bear Dunes we drove the Pierce Stocking Scenic Drive. It is a beautiful 7 mile drive.

It was quite a hike up the Dune Climb! Matilda was wanting to run up the sandy dunes. We were much slower! Her face was filled with sand!

We walked the along the Sleeping Bear Heritage trail. It is a multi-use trail but no motorized vehicles. We were alone most of our walk other than some bicycles going by but there was room for all of us!

After returning from our walk we drove over to Glen Haven Historical Village. We walked around but kept our distance from the other tourists! From the village you could view Sleeping Bear Bay.

We walked over to the Sleeping Bear Point that is a 450 foot high dune and very steep. It has a beautiful view of Lake Michigan. The sign posted warns people not to go down but we did see people heading down the steep dune. We also saw people struggling to get back up. They would take a few steps and then sit! The view was gorgeous from the top and we had no desire to climb down!

When we left Sleeping Bear Dunes we stopped in Traverse City to walk around. The drive was beautiful with the changing tree leaves.

It was getting late so we basically walked along the shoreline.

It was a lot of walking for Matilda! She was exhausted when we got back to our campsite!

Tired Matilda!

RV Adventures: A trip to the Upper Peninsula, Michigan Day 1

Friday, October 2nd, 2020

This morning we left early to get on the road to our first campground in Grayling, Michigan. It is located about 45 miles from Traverse City.

“Miss Daisy” is packed and ready to go!

Our dog, Matilda, went on this trip with us. She still is very scared of riding in the RV. We tried calming chews, a thunder coat, individually and together, but those solutions did not help her anxiety. We talked to our veterinarian and she now has a prescription that we give her at least 2 hours before we get on the road. So we got up at 3:00 AM to give her the prescribed dose and then tried to get a few hours of additional sleep before our departure at 6:00. We actually left our home at 6:15ish! Not bad!

Matilda in her dog seat resting!

Our drive was uneventful! We arrived at Headwaters Campground without any delays! We enjoyed walking around the area and it felt good to stretch our legs. Matilda was especially happy that the RV was stopped and we weren’t going anywhere! It was a nice campground. We noticed that most of the campgrounds in the lower and upper peninsula were closing at various times in October.

This evening was spent resting for our big day tomorrow where we will be exploring Sleeping Bear National Lakeshore.

RV Adventures! “Campground Doug & Sandy” Day 3

Monday, September 7th, 2020 LABOR DAY

This morning Dave walked with Matilda and me around some of the lake. It was another beautiful morning for a walk.

After our walk, we started putting away the rest of our camping gear because we planned to be on the road close to noon so we would be ahead of the heavy traffic.

We enjoyed the rest of the morning enjoying the campfire and visiting with Doug and Sandy.

Matilda enjoying the outdoors!

Matilda was more comfortable for part of our ride home! We’re still working on the timing of her medicine and the correct amount.

It was such a relaxing weekend of camping and we were so lucky that Doug & Sandy let us park in their yard. We really enjoyed the hospitality and we look forward to the next time!

RV Adventures! “Campground Doug & Sandy” Day 2

Sunday, September 6th, 2020

It was just a gorgeous sunrise as Matilda and I walked around the area!

Our walk led us to the Indian Lake State Park Moundwood Marina and picnic area.

We enjoyed the area to ourselves. It was quiet, no people, boats motoring or people fishing.

Each morning we were thrilled to have our hosts join us in the RV for coffee/tea and conversation! It was relaxing and comfortable.

Matilda makes herself at home anywhere!

We volunteered to cook breakfast for everyone this morning. Our menu consisted of muffins, toast, hash browns, scrambled eggs, bacon, and pancakes! Dave is particular about making sure the griddle is level before I start cooking the bacon.

Making sure it’s level!

The campfire is already started for the day and evening!

The fire is going strong!

Breakfast turned out well and really ended up being brunch! We didn’t eat until dinner because we were so full. After we were finished our nephew took some of us for a boat ride. The lake was much smoother today. There wasn’t the wind like we had on Saturday but we still had great temperatures for camping and being outdoors!

“Camp Doug & Sandy” also has a golf cart that their “guests” can use! The facilities here are awesome. 😁

Matilda’s Aunt Kathy got her a Halloween bee outfit so she needed to model it for everyone to see and make sure it fit her! 😅 She’s such a cutie.

At 9:00 PM Indian Lake does a “Ring of Fire”. Volunteers set flares around the lake and it is held every Sunday of Labor Day weekend. We walked over to the lake to watch it. It is beautiful!

What a beautiful way to end the day!

RV Adventures! “Campground Doug & Sandy”

Saturday, September 5, 2020

With the pandemic, being safe and staying healthy is our priority! It was going to be a great weekend with the weather. Since it was last minute, we were trying to decide where we could go with the RV. “Campground Doug & Sandy” was open and had a perfect spot for us to camp on their property at Indian Lake! Doug and Sandy (our brother and sister-in-law) live in a beautiful home that sits on a beautiful lot near the lake.

Late Friday we brought the RV home from where we store it so we could load it with our belongings and food for the weekend. Saturday morning we walked the dog and got ready to head to Indian Lake. It’s about a hour’s drive from our home. Earlier in the morning the dog was given a relaxing pill to help her with riding in the RV.

Matilda is still nervous about riding in the RV!

We arrived at our “campground” and our hosts helped us locate the perfect spot for the weekend.

Not long after we set up and leveled the RV our nephew and great-nephew and his friend arrived for the day and over night. They were going to put up a tent with an inflatable bed but instead we got out our screen gazebo. The boys enjoyed playing inside it and laying on our hammock! It’s always so much fun to watch the kids enjoy the outdoors!