Week 4 was amazing, we traveled over the Mackinac Bridge, through the Upper Peninsula of Michigan and then south to Wisconsin (GO PACK GO!!!). We checked another Great Lake off the list, went hiking along waterfalls, went on a couple of boat rides and spent the 4th of July with family all in one week! We finish this week in Ashley’s home town where we will end up spending some time in homes without wheels… lame.
Munising Tourist Park – Munising, Michigan
Munising Tourist Park was a quiet campground on the Northern coast of the Upper Peninsula, located right on Lake Superior. We booked our stay here a little last minute so they told us that half of our stay would be at one site and then we would have to move to a different spot. This is a minor inconvenience of having to put the RV back on the truck, re-park, re-level and hookup power and water. However, when we arrived we went to the front desk and asked if anything had opened up and it had. Not only had a spot opened up, but that spot happened to be considered the best spot in the park. We were parked directly in front of Lake Superior, right beside the walkway down to the beach on an oversized lot. We had multiple families stop by and ask us how far in advance we had to book to get such an awesome spot, some of them had booked months in advance and were parked 200 yards from the lake. I half expected this very persistent woman to offer us money if we traded sites with her! We enjoyed picturesque sunsets, campfires beside the lake, and the sound of the water lulling us to sleep each night. So if you’re ever in the area be sure to try your luck with a last minute reservation at Munising Tourist Park!
Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore – Munising, Michigan
Pictured Rocks is a stunning array of cliff faces rising out of the waters of Lake Superior. The best way to view the cliffs are from the water so we booked a cruise and enjoyed a family outing to remember. We eased past the many formations including the PaintedCoves, Miners Castle and Lover’s Leap. It was absolutely beautiful. Evelyn had a lot of fun, but in her own little world. I’m not sure she even noticed the cliffs around us but she did enjoy showing off for the families around us, eating snacks, and playing on her blanket on the boat’s deck. Not quite what we had in mind, but as long as Evelyn is happy and enjoying the ride we’re happy too!
Miners Falls – Munising, Michigan
Miners Falls was the reward for hiking the short but sweet Miners Falls Trail. It was a 1.5 mile round trip hike which is perfect for Evelyn, she is still a little slow and gets distracted quite easily, a stick, a bug, even a light breeze can completely take her mind off of the trail, so a short hike can take hours. Despite our little hiker, we did make it to Miner’s Falls, which was much bigger and beautiful than we had imagined, Evelyn repeatedly yelled “FAAAALLLL” and we took the drone out for a flight and got some great footage. There were a lot of waterfalls in the area that we would have loved to explore, but we’ve accepted that we can’t see everything.
Ashley decided to surprise the family with an outing on Lake Superior by calling ahead and renting a pontoon for the afternoon we arrived. We knew the weather could be a little dicey, but we took our chances and it appeared to be a beautiful day for a boat ride. We packed up snacks and blankets and were off onto the lake. Everything went great until we got about 20 minutes in… a couple of boats road by us waving a bit frantically for us to turn around. I shrugged it off and figured they mistook us for another boat, Ashley didn’t think so at all. So we stopped the boat to assess our surroundings and see what the issue may be, all seemed normal, waters were calm, but interestingly there wasn’t another boat in the water. We turned on our marine radio (where the Coast Guard communicates to boaters) and the Coast Guard was issuing a warning for all small boats to return to shore due to an incoming storm that was quickly approaching. Ashley was a little stressed and I decided another 5 minutes wouldn’t hurt, so in the midst of Ashley’s wave (pun intended) of concern I took the drone out for a quick video before we raced back to the shore and safety. We got a full refund due to our short trip but we still had a good time, so it was a free adventure-win win!
In order to get from the Lower Peninsula of Michigan to the Upper Peninsula you cross the spectacular Mackinac bridge. It’s a 4.9 mile long suspension bridge and it’s known to sway, lucky for us it was a calm morning when we crossed so no sweat. With LakeMichigan to the West and Lake Huron to the East crossing the Straights of Mackinac was a pretty amazing drive and something we had been looking forward to since arriving in Michigan.
East Troy, is a small town in Southeastern Wisconsin. This is where Ashley spent most of her childhood and was a great stop to catch up with family and share this journey that we’re on. Lucky for us East Troy also boasts a classic small town 4th of July parade and we rolled into town just in time. Ashley’s Dad always goes all out for the 4th so we were guests at the celebration including swimming, grilling, games, and a massive jump house for the kids. Ashley’s Dad also lives right on Main Street so the parade starts about 1-block from his house and goes right past his front yard. It was amazing after eating too many brats and desserts we watched the parade march by and Evelyn loved it. Dancing with the bands, watching the horses trot by, collecting all the candy and popsicles you can imagine, and getting sprayed with water by some of the floats. East Troy always has a 4th to remember and it didn’t let us down this year!