Friday, July 23, 2010

24-2010 Entering the U.P. of Michigan

Munising Michigan
Hancock Michigan

Campground:  Kewadin Casino.  8 parking sites with elect.  Free.  Example of other campgrounds in the area:  Forest campground (across the street from the casino) $16 primitive.  City of Munising campground, $25-$30.

Campground:  Hancock city Beach park.  Sites $20-22.  Electric and Cable Tv.  Drinking water throughout park but not at each site.  I have a site on the water.

I’ve arrived in the most perfect summer weather, having hit Michigan.  For all those looking to head to the mountains in the east or out west looking for cooler weather, why not consider a beautiful state like Michigan.  Evening temps in the low 60’s.  Daytime temps around 75.  Refreshing.  Glad I’m up here.

I’ve left my Sisters home in Whitehall and headed north along hwy 31.  Past Christmas tree farms, thick forests and the occasional fruit orchard.  31 eventually dead ends.  A turn to the right along hwy 10 brings views of abandoned homes maybe 100 years old.  Windows blank and dark, roofs sagging or caved in from too many snow storms in the past.  The area becomes less and less populated which is hard to do as the state, especially inland, already appears sparsely populated.  Excepting the occasional lake that can be viewed from the road.  That’s where you’ll find dozens of cabins dotting each lake.  Summer cottages.  A tradition in the north country.

I merge onto  highway 131 continuing north and it too eventually ends and becomes a two lane rural road.  Erie, as I head further into northern reaches of wilderness.  I stay overnight in Wolverine just north of Gaylord.  This area has the largest elk population east of the Mississippi.

I had planned an excursion to Mackinac Island, but decide instead to continue my journey into Northern Michigan.  The U.P.  For some reason wanting to touch the soil where I grew up.  Besides, I saw on TV the other night that the island is crammed with tourists and a recent sailing race just ended on the island.

Our recovery dollars are at work in the U.P.  Roads leading into Munising are having sections of concrete replaced.  Most of the “highways” up here are two lane country roads.  I quickly set up at the Kewadin Casino parking lot/camp spot.  Went inside and received $10 of free coins for playing their slots, it being my Birthday month.  So with getting three days free camping and the $10 in free play, I’m ahead about $70.

I noticed a sign advertising a concert in the park as I drove through town.  Went back downtown around 7 and was treated to two awesome Air force bands.  A Jazz band with singer and a full Big Band.  Most of the players are in the National Guard and hale from the St Louis area.  These two bands were so much more professional then the one I heard in Montague the other week.  A joy to hear, smooth clear precise music.  I particularly loved the Tuba player and his song about Cuban’s loving the rumba on a Tuba.  A fun energetic song.  The tribute to Judy Garland was well done.

I stopped at the visitor center and got an awesome map showing the locations of 14 waterfalls and 5 lighthouses in the area and one old iron ore furnace.  Tours of shipwrecks, Grand Island and Pictured Rocks National Park can fill easily days of adventure for anyone.  I asked about the short summer tourist season and the gal at the visitor center said they do pretty well during the summer and winter, as the winter brings on all the snowmobilers to the area.  Summer all the tourists take in motels close to town.  In winter they fill all the cabin and motels on the outskirts of town to take advantage of being close to the snowmobile trails.

I drove the remainder of the distance to the Copper Country and my home town of Houghton.  About a 150 mile drive with views of lake Superior, tons of forests and small towns along the way.  It's good to be back in the U.P.

Looking forward to visiting my other sister Ann for two weeks and enjoying wonderfully cool weather along with sunshine and breezes.

Always more photo's on Picasa.

1 comment:

DreamyGrl said...

I just stumbled across your blog. . . It is soo cool! Looks like you are having lots of fun.