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Thursday, June 16, 2016

Yooper Land

We are totally impressed with Michigan! Amazing, beauty beyond imagination. I really, really, REALLY like it. The weather has been incredible. So much so that we nearly needed to turn on our heat! Now before you think I drank the Michigan kool-aid I am not a fan of their bugs..mosquitoes are horrid. Thankfully, it's not been everywhere nor every time we are out so it's doable just not pretty!

The people are pretty friendly, the roads are good and the amount of available low cost, free parking options for RVs is wonderful. They have welcome centers, city parks, county parks, township parks, rest areas and on and on. Most have at least restrooms, some showers, many offer electrical hookups, too. Like I said, wonderful. We bought the Michigan State Park Pass which was around $30/year. A lot of neat things are within their park system not to mention a lot of the waterfalls we would like to see so we thought it was money well spent.

The waterfall hunting was fun! They almost always included an adventure to find them and that adventure usually meant stairs. LOTS of stairs, it was good for me! But I have to admit I didn't always embrace it but I was always glad I went. And as I indicated I was NEVER overjoyed in the bugs we had to endure. UGH, mosquitoes were often plentiful and I was pretty darn happy to have that silly pullover netting thing I thought was such a waste of money! LOL best clearance $4 MiRV has found this year IMO!

The highlight I think was dinner at the Harbor Haus in Copper Harbor. The view was so peaceful, it wasn't too busy and the food was above average. I had bacon wrapped whitefish with mushroom risotto and steamed veggies along with a very yummy classic German garden salad. But the view, I did mention the view, right? Well, it was the real winner no doubt about it. After being satiated like Kings we motored on to see another falls and couple of lighthouses before turning in for the night. We actually found ourselves in the quiet of the lighthouse parking lot and thought let's just stay here, so we did!  The sunset that night provided another picturesque moment that could not adequately be captured.

As we made our to Sault Saint Marie we decided to do our first Casino stay. The Kewadin have campgrounds at their casinos, some with amenities. This one was tops...$20/night which is high end for us but the perks made up the difference. Showers, yeah, and so clean, FREE laundry, which is was time to do ours so that was really a benny we liked, plus wifi and access to the hotel pool and sauna. MiRV really enjoyed that! We lived large for 2 days! It was a great town for biking, too and we did all over, that was really nice! The Soo Locks were quite an adventure as well! We took the cruise and had a great time; met some neat folks, too. Those freighters that go through the locks are B-I-G! And watching the water level drop some 30 feet was like WOW? On our Soo Locks cruise we went through the locks. Being on the boat while the water dropped was even more WOW! We went through the American side first and then came back around the Canadian side. No comparison there the Americans have it going on and there are plans to redo two of the non operating locks to make then bigger and operational again.The size of ships that go through is amazing. The COE had a nice park and visitor center along with a viewing platform that gave you a great view all for FREE. Love the free!

Next stop was Mackinac Island. Hmmmm, while overall it was a fun day, I would say not gonna be on my list to ever go again. In fact after we arrived and there were hundreds of people on the main street I was honestly thinking we had really messed up on this adventure especially when you factor in cost. You ride a ferry out to the island and back to the tune of $20 or so bucks a person (w/MilDiscount). We took our bikes so add in another $8 each and you can see we were somewhat heavily invested to not like it. Getting off the ferry we collected our bikes and tried to make our way down the main drag. There were hundreds, I mean hundreds of folks who I had no intention of becoming BFFs with but felt like we might since it was wall to wall people, strollers, bikes, horses. The Island is vehicle free, so you get around via bikes, horse drawn carriage, horse drawn taxi or your own two feet. Hence the reason we brought our bikes. Of course it was way touristy in this area which also bummed me out; however, the farther away we got from the ferry docks the better things were.

We biked the perimeter of the island. Yep, all 8.2 miles worth. I even got the T-shirt, so did MiRV even though they are mailing his since they were out of the color he wanted in his size! Overall, it did end up being a really fun day. We even ended up enjoying the main drag much later in the day when most of the other tourists had made their way back to the mainland. We even found fudge that the Daughter could eat! Neat since treats are few and far between with her limited diet due to Trigger's little intolerance's. And my advice on the caramel corn, skip it, it's just way too sweet! However, the fudge, well everyone says it's awesome, we opted out except for what we got for the Daughter so no firsthand tasting to report but lots of folks were toting it back.

Let me take a moment to mention the foliage and blooms...Lilacs, everywhere, I mean EVERYWHERE and their scent just permeates the air, it's not in a bad way like walking into the Bath & Body Works store. No, not like that at all, it's just a light hint of lilac fragrance everywhere you go. In addition to the abundance of lilacs, there are lupines here, too. Which I did not know, but they are and we have seen quite a bit of it, not like in Maine but it's still around. Then there are the ferns, yes, ferns, all over. There are tall ones, short ones and everything in between and they are so green as are the trees. All sorts of greens, yellow green, green-green, deep green, light green. I can see why people return here in the fall the changing leaves has to be super incredible. The entire state has been lush and green with many, many gorgeous blooms of all varieties!

So, Michigan's UP is definitely up there on my list of favorite places, I have loved it. We have really enjoyed so much of the beauty of this area. The Pictured Rocks provided views of the waters of Lake Superior that would make you think you are in the Caribbean; yes, the water was that beautiful. The turquoise and deep blues along with the greens surprised us. The shore while certainly not oceany in the Pacific or Atlantic kind of way was also not like any other lake shore I have ever experienced. But be advised the water is c-o-l-d, oh yes, very cold indeed, MiRV said so.

As we say goodbye to Michigan, we will say hello again to Wisconsin as we make our way back towards home...Door County will be the next stopover for us. It's an area I have wanted to explore for some time so I am excited to be able to finally go. We will also pass through Green Bay, go Pack!

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