Thursday, July 18, 2013

2013-23 Houghton Michigan, my Home Town

Danbury Wisconsin
Houghton and Hancock Michigan

Campground:  Eagles Landing Rv, Danbury Wi.  $20 full hookups.  This is a casino owned campground, but is separate from the casino.  Feels like an old fashioned mom and pop campground.  Sites are close together, but if you're lucky you might get on that backs up to the river.  Good Verizon 4g signal.  3 pbs tv stations.  ATV trails start right from the park and river is great for canoeing and kayaking.

Campground:  Hancock City Park.  $20 electric and cable tv.  They do have sites with water as well if you make a reservation far enough in advance to get one.  Campground is a short walk to the Hancock beach.  Great campsites near the water, but once again, call ahead for reservations.  Also awesome tent sites each set deep in primitive thick forests with rocks and boulders bordering some of the campsites.

Campground:  Houghton City Campground:  $30, full hookups, paved sites with cable tv and wifi.  I don’t stay here because of costing $10 more than Hancocks park.

I left the Minneapolis area where the mosquitos were out day and night at the campground.  Using mosquito repellant was a must when outdoors.  

As I headed out, following my GPS navigation, I ended up traveling right through the heart of Minneapolis.  Across on hwy 694, traffic steadily flowing along on 4, 5 and 6 lanes as lanes were added then disappeared just as quickly.  I did a good job of keeping in the middle lanes and as I was directed onto 35W, one of the many highways in, around and through the city, I hit a traffic jam.  All in all, it was probably a good thing in that we all had to travel at a snails pace through the most congested area of the city and then it was pretty much smooth sailing as I headed north to hwy 35 and eventually east into Wisconsin where I’ll spend a few days before the final leg into Michigan’s U.P.  

I prefer being out in the country and smaller towns and was happy to get out into the open countryside once again.  As I entered Wisconsin along a country road 48 it became a real washboard type asphalt road.  With horizontal stripes of asphalt where they have continually filled in the cracks from all that freezing and thawing, it was one bumpy ride.  Apparently an older 5th wheel camper didn’t fair too well, as it had just tipped over recently with cop cars and tow trucks directing traffic around it.  Hope the driver of the truck is ok.  The truck and passenger(s) had already been taken away.  

My campsite in Danbury WI

Danbury Wisconsin is just a layover for a few days before heading into the U.P. of Michigan.  The casino has a separate RV park which I’m staying at.  Small towns in the area with populations of 550 to 600 people.  Lots of lakes, I’ve passed by some that look like virgin lakes, no cabins or roads leading to them.  Also I’ve noticed in Minnesota and Wisconsin there are lots of wetlands as well.  

The little town of Webster Wisconsin has a nice library and once a month during the summer months they have a book sale.  I got a bag full of books for $3.  Plenty of reading material for the next couple of months.  

Distance Traveled:  243 miles

I loved the drive heading into northern Michigan.  The woods are thick with hardwoods, pines, maples and I’m seeing more and more white birch trees that I love looking at.  Farms are few and far between as I begin to see the Porcupine Mountains off in the distance.  I’m going to have to go back and explore Ashland Wisconsin as I really enjoyed the drive along Lake Superior on one side and the small city on the inland side.  Wonderful pull-outs and picnic areas along Lake Superior.  

Did you know that Iron Mountain, which is right on the Wisconsin/Michigan border has a huge statue of Hiawatha, the largest and biggest in the world.  I didn’t get a chance to stop and see it, as it’s in the outskirts of the town.  Towing a camper, I didn’t feel comfortable driving around looking for a 52 foot tall Indian.  I’m sure I’ll make it there one day.

Well I continued my trek along M-26 and M-28, by the way their are no highways leading into the U.P.  they are all two lane country roads although I think they do call them highways.  Mostly well maintained and all have paved shoulders.  Not a lot of traffic in northern wisconsin and northern Michigan.  

I'm here visiting with my sister Ann when she has time to visit. Ann is still working and enjoying her job at the Bluffs. It's a beautiful place for seniors who need a little bit of care as they get older. Ann brought over some old pictures one evening which of course brings back memories of growing in Houghton.  Like the time we climbed up on the Douglas House Hotel roof, just to see what was up there.  We actually had a pretty good idea, since we could see the top of the building from a few streets higher up where we lived.  But it was the adventure and Mom and Dad never found out, which was even cooler to have a secret like that.  I also remember when my two sisters Ann and Dorothy and I walked across the bridge to go into the town of Hancock.  Just as we got to the other side of the bridge and started to head into town, A bird pooped on Ann’s head.  Well you know she was not happy to say the least.  Dorothy and I couldn't help but laugh, but not for long, as Ann insisted we walk back home so she could wash her hair.  

roof of the Douglas House Hotel

I barely have a recollection of being in a parade in Houghton with my bike.  But here’s a good picture to prove I was in a parade as a kid.  

Doug in the Houghton Parade
my sister Ann

My sister Ann with Grandma Anderson

The first morning at the Hancock City park, we had a gully washer of a storm.  Just a single dark cloud that produced lots and rain, thunder and lightening.  Didn’t think much more of it, as the day cleared up quickly.  Later in the day, a camp host pointed at a tree deep in a campsite that had gotten struck by lightning that morning.  At the time there was a tent on one side and a travel trailer on the other side.  The tree split and fell right between the two camp units.  Fortunately no one was injured.   it was only 4 campsites from where I’m staying.  Whew, we all dodged that one.

In the late afternoon a crew of cross country skiers came into the park practicing on their short ski’s on wheels.  Quite a site as they continually skied past my campsite going up and down the hill to the lake.  What endurance, all in preparation for their winter cross country skiing.  On another note, I noticed many cross overs along the roadways where the pavement is a stretch of white concrete.  Indicating a place where snowmobiles cross the roads in winter.  If you like to snowmobile, this is the area to do it in.  As there are tons of snowmobile trails in northern Wisconsin and the U.P. of Michigan.   

Another plus is that I've not encountered any mosquitoes since arriving in Northern Mich.  The weather is ideal for sitting outdoors in the shade and I've enjoyed sitting outside my camper many a night so far.  With narry a bug is site.

sunsets at 9:43 pm

Hancock City Beach

To be continued:

Pictures on Picasa.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Ooooh green campsites! So many years out west, hope to see some green in Colorado and Kansas soon...