Across the Top of Michigan  

Heading out of Duluth on Friday September 22, we made a beeline through Wisconsin to our home state of Michigan.  It had been almost an entire year since we left; the longest stretch either of us had ever been away.  Even though our point of entry was over 500 miles from the towns we grew up in, it felt like we were home. 😊

Looking at that big, blue Pure Michigan sign, I could only imagine Tim Allen describing the beauty of the Upper Peninsula in one of those iconic ads for the state.  Speaking of which…we were surprised to have seen one on TV this summer while we were in Oregon!  As we headed through Ironwood, I popped in The Accidentals latest CD Odyssey, just to complete the Michigan experience.  😎

One thing we had noticed as we headed east across the country; the campgrounds were expensive for what we were getting.  This fact was especially true in Idaho, Montana, Wyoming and North Dakota…with prices over $40 a night in almost every instance.  That price is fine if we are looking at a beautiful view…but more often than not, we were next to a set of train tracks in a gravel lot.  Well, when we arrived in the U.P., we found a sweet little overnight spot with a price that was tough to beat.

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In the bustling town of Bruce Crossing, we pulled into Stannard Township RV Park.  Twelve pull through, first come – first served sites, 50 amp electric, water, dump station, restroom and shower house for $10 a night.  Now that’s more like it!  Though it is located on US-45, the highway is lightly traveled in that area…and the railroad had been turned into a trail.  Bruce Crossing has a couple of bars, a cafe, store, gas station, and is located close to several nice waterfalls.  We were through the area back in 2015 when we visited Bond Falls on our 33rd anniversary.  

The next day, we headed northeast to the town of L’Anse (pronounced LAHHnse) to meet up with our forever friend, Debbie!

Diana and Debbie were Girl Scouts together in Ortonville when they were growing up.  They know all the songs they learned back then and will gladly sing a duet, if asked!  Debbie lives in Houghton now, halfway up the Keewenaw Peninsula.  We met for breakfast, which she insisted on picking up the tab.  Thanks, Debbie!

From there, we headed down to Canyon Falls.  This is one place we had not seen yet, so we pulled in to check it out.  It doubles as a roadside rest area, so there was plenty of room for the RV.

Along the 1/4 mile trail to the falls, we saw this interesting clump of trees growing over this boulder.

There was a little bit of fall color starting to show along the way.

The largest falls were difficult to view, as there wasn’t a trail to see them from the front…only from above.  Still, they were very pretty!

After returning to our vehicles, we made the choice to head back into L’Ance to check out a campground a little northwest of there.  Our original plan was to drive 96 miles to Munising, but the day was so unseasonably warm, we wanted to go swimming in Lake Superior.  If there is ever a time to swim in this frigid body of water, late summer or early autumn would be it!

We scored a ginormous site at Ojibwa Recreation Area.  This site had 50 amp electric, but we needed to obtain water at the dump station.  This little slice of paradise cost us $19 a night and included our own personal sandy beach on L’Anse Bay.

We both stood thigh deep in the chilly water for a loooong time before going any deeper.  We eventually ended up diving in, hoping all the while that our hearts wouldn’t stop from the shock!  Those kids behind us were in and out of the lake all afternoon and evening…the water temperature didn’t faze them a bit. 😊

On Sunday, we made the decision to head directly to Mackinaw City, a trip of about 240 miles.  That’s about the upper limit we like to drive in a day, especially considering the route was mostly two lane roads.  Just west of Munising, we pulled into a roadside turnout to stretch our legs.

This is the view from our parking spot. There were several NO CAMPING signs, for good reason!  We rolled up our shorts and waded out as deep as we could.  Boy, did that feel good!

The crystal clear water and sandy bottom were really a nice break in the middle of a long driving day. 😊

Next up:  we cross the Mighty Mackinac Bridge and head towards Leelanau for a visit with friends.  Be sure to stay tuned!

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23 thoughts on “Across the Top of Michigan  ”

    1. It’s usually the city, township or county parks that are cheap like that, Gaelyn. We stayed at one in Winnie, Texas that was like that. That is really cool about your Girl Scout song book. I’m fairly certain that Diana’s is hand written also. In regards to Superior: I am just now beginning to regain the feeling in my toes. 😉

      Liked by 1 person

  1. I know what your mean about feeling like you are home as soon as you cross the state line into your home state after a long trip. For me, it’s the peach on the Welcome to Georgia sign that makes me happy! You found some gorgeous spots as you traveled across the UP. We loved the UP when we were there a few years ago.

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  2. Love that tree over the boulder 🙂 Our Alaska trip has been postponed so we think we’ll get to Michigan through Canada next summer. I’ll have to pick your brains (and take notes from the blog) on what to see and do in your home state. What a sweet roadside stop on the water! Great pic of you two (as always!).

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    1. Munising’s campground is cool, but pricier than most. That was where we were thinking of stopping before we decided to make a run for Mackinaw City. Did you notice how much better shape the roads are in the UP, as compared to the Lower Peninsula?

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  3. Karen took me to Lake Superior one August day. Had to wear a light jacket. To cold for this Missouri boy. Now Lake Michigan at the same time is perfect.

    I called Karen in from the kitchen a few minutes ago and let her know you guys were back in your home state. She is so excited about the future and her being able to explore Michigan again. So much to do and see. Wonderful state with wonderful people.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. We visited Michigan for the first time in September and absolutely fell in love with it! There is so much to see. Can’t wait to go back (probably next year) to see more. Found a great campground outside of Roscommon as our home base and made weekend trips to the UP and over to Alpena to visit my Dad. Love your state (and I’m from Ohio, so it’s hard to admit!). Safe travels! Dawn

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  5. Nice! Just scouring through some blog reading, and being from the mitten, had to stop and read this. Our daughter in law in from Ortonville! We reside, well for a few months in the summer, in Kalamazoo.

    Liked by 1 person

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