Aug 5, 2008

Camping World

**Warning - be prepared to be bored if you don't enjoy camping, lighthouses, s'mores or puppy stories.**

Brian and I had an excellent voyage through Michigan last week. I decided to break our trip up into three locations this year, thus cutting the drive in 1/2 on the way to Lake Superior and back. I get painfully bored on long car rides...not so much when I'm riding because I can knit until the yarn runs dry, but sharing the driving is not my cup of tea. Anyway, Saturday through Tuesday we stayed at Cheboygan State Park. This park was small and clean with nice grassy sites. Downside - it's not lakeside. We did manage to hike to the lake, where we got a nice view of several offshore lighthouses. I will never forget that hike, because of the hoards of mosquitoes that attacked us there and back. Brian couldn't understand why I was grouchy. There's nothing like constantly swatting mosquitoes out of your ears. Maggie even had several mosquitoes attack her anus, since that's about her only non-hair covered part.

This light was much further than it appears. Camera zooms are deceiving.

Maggie learned to love jumping along the waves.

View from inside the lighthouse tower of Mackinac Point.

While staying there we visited Forty Mile Point lighthouse, Cheboygan Crib Light, Cheboygan River Front Range and Old Mackinac Point. We could see Poe Reef and Fourteen Foot Shoal from shore, but would love to see them up close from a boat some day.

Tuesday we drove through Tahquemenon Falls to our next site at Muskallonge Lake State Park. It was overcast and a bit drizzly that day, but the falls were still beautiful to see. We only stopped at the Upper Falls this year. Maggie was a champ at climbing the hundreds of stairs, even though some old dude warned us "I hope you're prepared to carry your dog on those stairs." Yeah, like I'm sure her 20 pounds would really break us.

My 17 week bump.

Our reserved camp site at Muskallonge Lake was nothing more than a small gulley with a 45 degree incline. Not wanting to slide to the bottom of our tent each night, we searched out a new site. We were lucky to find site #19, a "non-reservable" site. It was right next to the swimming beach, so we could stake Maggie down and still enjoy the water. We could also watch the mysterious fog roll on and off the lake as the cool breeze from Lake Superior rolled over the hot dunes.

Here's the view from our dining tent....prettier in person, but you get the idea.

We spent the week lounging, learning how to play cribbage (I think I rule at that game), and visiting more lighthouses. We really enjoyed the 30 mile drive down a twisty dirt road to find a nicely rehabbed light at Crisp Point. The black flies were vicious, but fortunately they were more attracted to my stinky puppy. We also visited the two lights in Grand Marais and took a 3 mile hike to Au Sable.

The more we see these lights, the more Brian and I dream about one day volunteering as light house keepers. I told him he'll need to come up with a hobby other than web-surfing before we desert ourselves at a lighthouse. I think he should whittle.

On the way home we stopped for one night in Petoskey. This time we just stayed in a hotel. Let me say, there is a best kept secret at the Days Inn in Petoskey. They have a 24 hour all-you-can-eat cafe at no extra charge. They have soups, chilis, corndogs, sandwiches, snacks of every kind. We could've had all three meals of the day there! I highly recommend it.
We visited the Petoskey and Charlevoix lights. We attempted Little Traverse, but it is blocked in a gated community. This is another one we'll need a boat for. I have an idea that maybe I can sweet talk Carrie's dad into taking us on his sailboat someday.

So, that's the trip in a nutshell, for inquiring minds. Brian, Maggie and I really enjoyed ourselves, but were happy to get back to a soft bed, private bathroom, and dishwasher.


Kim said...

We just got back from the U.P. yesterday. Camping looks fun--our family stayed in hotels. :( We were SO glad to be in our own house yesterday. I am really impressed that Maggie went--does that Days Inn with all the food also allow dogs??

Patty Ann said...

Wow! Quite an ambitious camping trip, with a pregnant woman and a puppy!
The Free Press actually had an article on how to volunteer for lighthouse restoration and/or tour-guide duty. I agree, that would be incredible.

Meagank7 said...

great lighthouse pictures! i love the one of the bridge through the window, very artsy.

reminds me of your honeymoon on the east coast, which a coworker of mine is also doing Maine for his honey moon next week.

Angie said...

Kim, the Days Inn is a "pet-friendly" hotel. There is a website where you can search for hotels in each city that allow dogs.