Have you ever wanted to sell everything you own and just "take off?" Travel the country's back roads, paddle down a meandering stream, experience breath-taking mountain views, walk among 100-year old trees, and just marvel at America's beauty? That is the dream that my partner, Betsy, and I decided to make a reality. This blog describes our adventure. The food we eat, people we meet, sights we see, and the enjoyment we find in traveling.

Saturday, August 19, 2017

Lake Muskallonge State Park in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula

Here is one of those places that I picked for us to visit and things didn’t work out as planned.  The plan was that we would stay at this state park on a beautiful lake while we were exploring the eastern side of the 40 - mile long Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore (NL), Tahquamenon Falls and the Shipwreck Museum at Whitefish Point.  The plan made sense – stay at a nice place and explore a beautiful area in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan.  But, things did not work out as planned.

As we were driving the RV to the campground Betsy pointed out a sign that said “Pavement Ends in 45 Miles.”  If my calculations were correct we would get there just before the gravel and dust but I kept my fingers crossed anyway.  Luckily, we got to the campground at Lake Muskallonge State Park just before the pavement ended but that meant the road we were going to take after the state park to our next campground was gravel and later we learned, full of pot holes, so plans were going to have to change.  We wiggled into our spot in the state park and had a nice view of the lake and were happy. 

The next day we loaded up the car and headed west to Grand Marais to see Pictured Rocks NL.  The washboard pot-holed gravel road was certainly not the 24-mile path we were going to take the RV down and it was good we drove it first in the car to discover this.  We arrived at the park and were eager to see some of the waterfalls and hike the trails.  A nice ranger greeted us and dropped the bomb that dogs were not allowed on practically 98% of the trails in the park.  Ugh!  I had even looked in the park brochure online which just gave generic information regarding dogs but no mention of the park being so dog-unfriendly.  We did manage to park the car in the shade, roll down the windows and make the quick trip to the falls without Spirit.  So much for visiting Pictured Rocks from this location so we headed back to Grand Marais where we walked around town and found a place on Lake Superior for Spirit to swim and forget about the long bumpy car ride.


We really enjoyed the state park and found it very relaxing but it was not as close to attractions as we originally thought.  Many of the roads to those attractions are gravel and take twice as long to get there so we scrapped them.  Sometimes all the hours spent planning just don’t work out but that’s o.k. too.  In fact, we spent more time relaxing about the campground and finishing long-overdue chores. 

One of the best aspects of our visit was getting to know the super nice family that parked next to us.  We freely admit to having anxiety when a truck with kids pulls into a site next to us.  Usually that scenario reeks of kids screaming, training wheels grinding on the asphalt, and parents eager to ignore their obnoxious rug rats.  This time was different.  The kids hoped out of the truck and started helping mom and dad ready the camper for their stay instead of fighting or starting to chop down a perfectly healthy tree.  Over the course of our stay we got to know this lovely family from Wisconsin who shared information about where to go and what to see in the area and their home state. 

Thanks for being such great neighbors and dispelling some of our myths.  We even ended up spending a great evening on a cruise boat with them exploring Pictured Rocks NL from the other end of the lakeshore.

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