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Author Topic: Taking the fifth wheel around Michiganís upper peninsula  (Read 3889 times)

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Offline DPatton

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Stephanie, Jesse, and I have planned a 10 day trip to see some of the Great Lakes and Michiganís Upper Peninsula before Jesse has to start school again in August. Below is our general route and we have reserved RV sites along the way. However we are looking for ideas and suggestion of things to see and do along our route. Those of you in the know please feel free to chime in with suggestions of what to see and what to skip along the way.

   For our first leg of the journey we will be heading out to the famed Forestry Forum Pig Roast with our 36í fifth wheel camper in tow. As this will be our first time attending the roast we are looking forward to finally putting some faces to to the many names of the forums members and friends. We plan to spend a couple of days in and around Harrison for the roast before we head north toward Mackiaw City.

 At Mackinaw City we have a RV site at the Mackinaw Mill on the shore of Lake Huron where we plan to spend a couple days touring the Mill and taking a day trip to Mackinac Island. We have never been through this part of the country before so it will all be a new adventure to us.

 From there we will head north across the Mackinac Bridge ( I hear crossing the bridge can be an event in itself with a high profile vehicle) then westward to a campground that situates us about halfway between Munising Michigan on the southeast shore of Lake Superior and Manistique Michigan on the northern shore of Lake Michigan. While at this location we are planning to do some canoeing and fishing. We are also planning to visit a lighthouse or two and take an evening shoreline cruse out of Munising to view some of the Pictured Rock National Lakeshore. If time allows we will also try to see the Tahquamenon Falls and the Kitch-iti-kiti Springs during our stay in this area. White water rafting is also an option but we havenít officially made a reservation to do so just yet.
As I said earlier we have never traveled this area before and we really donít know what to expect of the roads. Pulling a 36í fifth wheel can be less than enjoyable if the roads are not up to par. If you are familiar with the roadways in this area your input is greatly appreciated.

 Our final days will be traveling southwest along the northwestern shore of Lake Michigan taking us through Green Bay Wisconsin then angling more westward to a state campground along the east shore of the Mississippi River in far southwest Wisconsin before returning home to Nebraska. 

Thatís our plan and as I said we look foreword to hearing your ideas and suggestions as well as road condition advise along the way.

Thanks for reading,
DPatton


 
 

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Offline ljohnsaw

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Re: Taking the fifth wheel around Michiganís upper peninsula
« Reply #1 on: July 29, 2018, 11:51:24 AM »
 :P
Never been that far north in the US (other than Niagara Falls) and look forward to pictures of your adventure!  Take it slow, be safe and most of all, have fun! :)
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Re: Taking the fifth wheel around Michiganís upper peninsula
« Reply #2 on: July 29, 2018, 02:55:41 PM »
I would consider a side trip to Sault Ste. Marie and watch a ship go through the "Soo" locks.

Also eat a Pastie while you are in Mackinaw City.
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Offline DPatton

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Re: Taking the fifth wheel around Michiganís upper peninsula
« Reply #3 on: July 29, 2018, 09:18:46 PM »
Magic,

The Soo Locks are definitely on our radar while we are staying in the Mackinaw City area. Or maybe the morning we leave Mackainaw City weíll make a side trip there before heading west to our next  campground. Thanks for the input. I look forward to an opportunity to meet you at the Pig Roast.
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Offline Ron Scott

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Re: Taking the fifth wheel around Michiganís upper peninsula
« Reply #4 on: July 29, 2018, 11:11:24 PM »
If you visit Tahquamenon Falls you will be near Paradise, MI and the Great Lakes Shipwreck Society Museum at Whitefish Point. That's worth a visit. The Iroquois Point Lighthouse is also on the way if you take the route through Brimley, MI  after visiting the Soo locks.

When in Munising, MI and have the time, the glass bottom boat ride out around Grand Island to view the shipwrecks may be of interest. A lot of information on the area will be available right there at the Park Service/US Forest Service Visitor Center there on the corner in Munising.

I'll be at the Pig Roast and can give you additional info. All main roads are good with the usual construction zones active this time of year.
~Ron

Offline DPatton

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Re: Taking the fifth wheel around Michiganís upper peninsula
« Reply #5 on: July 30, 2018, 08:17:41 PM »
Thanks Ron. Thatís great information. I was feeling a bit unsure about the types of roads to expect, you have helped put my mind at ease. FF member Furby sent me an awesome pm with a link to the ďUltimate road trip across Michiganís Upper PeninsulaĒ this was a great read full of good information too. Thanks to both of you and I sure am looking forward to meeting you both at the roast!


The ultimate road trip across Michigan's Upper Peninsula | MLive.com
(Link added by moderator)
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Offline LAZERDAN

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Re: Taking the fifth wheel around Michiganís upper peninsula
« Reply #6 on: July 30, 2018, 09:11:09 PM »
Could you please post that awesome link. as we would like to do the same trip.    Lazerdan

Offline DPatton

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Re: Taking the fifth wheel around Michiganís upper peninsula
« Reply #7 on: July 30, 2018, 09:39:38 PM »
Could you please post that awesome link. as we would like to do the same trip.    Lazerdan
I sent you a pm with the information.
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Offline LAZERDAN

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Re: Taking the fifth wheel around Michiganís upper peninsula
« Reply #8 on: July 31, 2018, 07:20:26 AM »
Thank you    Lazerdan

Offline PA_Walnut

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Re: Taking the fifth wheel around Michiganís upper peninsula
« Reply #9 on: July 31, 2018, 07:45:06 AM »
We did that trip two summers ago. Was a great vacation! Mackinanc Island was too crowded for my liking, but the bike trek the whole way around it is fun and beautiful.

The scenery around the lakes it to behold! The water is CRYSTAL clear. I was regretful that I didn't do a dive or two while there. 

Gorgeous sunsets and clear night skies await. I took lots of pics, but these two represent well.






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Offline Shotgun

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Re: Taking the fifth wheel around Michiganís upper peninsula
« Reply #10 on: July 31, 2018, 01:40:55 PM »

DPatton,
Would you please forward me a copy of the "awesome link" with the UP information? I would really appreciate it.  If you would PM it that would work.  See you at the pig roast.

Many thanks.

Shotgun
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Offline DPatton

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Re: Taking the fifth wheel around Michiganís upper peninsula
« Reply #11 on: July 31, 2018, 10:22:32 PM »
PA- those photos are amazing. Weíll take plenty of photos but I can assure you none will be of that quality. My wife and son have likely never experienced a night sky like that. I genuinely hope to get a view of the northern lights while we are there as well. I have experienced them many times fishing in Canada but neither of them have.
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Offline DPatton

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Re: Taking the fifth wheel around Michiganís upper peninsula
« Reply #12 on: August 04, 2018, 07:49:26 AM »

Well we made it to our first campground in Michigan (Wilson State Park) with our Fifthwheel in tow. 

 After setting up the camper we spent a little time at Jeff and Tammyís place last evening. Although we were late for supper there was still plenty of food to eat and we were well fed. Steph and I really enjoyed meeting many new people at the party. I even got to enjoy some boiled peanuts with Magic ,WDH, Peter and numerous other members of the forum.

Jesse has been out fishing this morning and we are getting ready to head over to Jeffís for biscuits and gravy breakfast and spend some more time meeting the many guests and maybe even tell a few stories in the process.

Below is a pic of our camper with Jesse having just returned from fishing. That 6 liter Chevy was worked hard yesterday, but did a admirable job getting us here so long as you keep her fed.



Z
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Offline DPatton

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Re: Taking the fifth wheel around Michiganís upper peninsula
« Reply #13 on: August 10, 2018, 08:11:50 PM »
On Sunday we moved to our next camping spot at the Mackinaw Mill Creek Campground. We were right on the shoreline of Lake Huron with a view of  Mackinac Island and the Mackinac Bridge.

br>






We made a side trip to Soo Locks and watched the ERIE TRADER a 780í x 78í freighter pass thru the locks into Lake Superior. We also watched a tug pass going into Superior as well.

Monday we made the trip to Mackinac Island on a Ferry and enjoyed a tour of the town and the State Park via multiple horse drawn carriages. Although you can do the Island by bike or afoot we thought the horse carriage was the way to go for us and were pleased with our decision. The photo below is just across from the ferry harbor landing on the island. 



W

Jesse and I really enjoyed wading and swimming in the lake and he was amazed by the water clarity and watching the many ferryís and freighters pass. 
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Offline olcowhand

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Re: Taking the fifth wheel around Michiganís upper peninsula
« Reply #14 on: August 10, 2018, 08:30:28 PM »
I'm having a flashback!
My daughter and I did that the first week of July and it was a blast. Of course it's only a couple hour trip for us, and we do it every year (she never tires of the "Soo", which Michiganders call Sault Ste. Marie)
Have fun! God Bless!
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Offline DPatton

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Re: Taking the fifth wheel around Michiganís upper peninsula
« Reply #15 on: August 10, 2018, 10:30:18 PM »
Tuesday we headed north across the bridge into Yooper Land again. We got a pasty at Leithoís before stopping and getting our toes wet on one of the sandy beaches on the north shore of Lake Michigan. 





Our camp for the next three days was located in Germfask at Northland Outfitters. We arrived there in plenty of time for Jesse and I to take a three hour kayak trip on the Manistque River. This was a great time and only Jesse and my second time ever in kayaks. We enjoyed our afternoon on the river immensely. 

Wednesday we visited Tahquamanon Falls. We viewed the falls and hiked some of the trails in the process. 



Z

We then drove down to the mouth of the Tahquamanon River where it empties into Lake Superior and Jesse made a few casts into the river Hoping for a big catch but it wasnít happening. 
We soon pointed the Chevy west and hot footed it to Munising where we took a Lake Superior shipwreck tour on a glass bottom boat called the Miss Munising. Below is a shot of the stern of the Bermuda in her final resting place just off the south shore of Grand Island.



A

We had ourselves fish dinner in Munising then topped the drive back to camp off with a trip through the Seney Wilderness Refuge. 



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Re: Taking the fifth wheel around Michiganís upper peninsula
« Reply #16 on: August 11, 2018, 05:09:47 AM »
Thanks for the tour!!
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Re: Taking the fifth wheel around Michiganís upper peninsula
« Reply #17 on: August 11, 2018, 07:04:08 AM »
Yes, I am enjoying your travels.
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Re: Taking the fifth wheel around Michiganís upper peninsula
« Reply #18 on: August 11, 2018, 07:46:33 AM »
Thanks for taking us along Doug.  sail_smiley
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Offline samandothers

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Re: Taking the fifth wheel around Michiganís upper peninsula
« Reply #19 on: August 11, 2018, 09:13:55 AM »
Very nice indeed.  How is the 5th wheel pulling on the bridges?

Offline DPatton

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Re: Taking the fifth wheel around Michiganís upper peninsula
« Reply #20 on: August 11, 2018, 08:19:58 PM »
The bridge was not bad at all. I actually drove across it three times while in the area but only once with the fifth wheel in tow. I can however see how it could be less than enjoyable with a cross wind or during winter conditions.
Below is a photo at sunset in Seney National Wildlife Refuge.



A

Thursday we traveled southwest to Palm Books State Park to see Kitch-iti-kipi Springs. Jesse really wanted to fish here in the springs but the park  Ranger seriously frowns on that practice so we didnít. The photo below is from the floating platform on the springs.





We spent some time Thursday in Manistique, Jesse and I fishing and Stephanie doing some shopping. This is really a nice little town with a beautiful boardwalk along Lake Michigan and great river access onto the lake from right in town. The pic below is from near the marina in Manistique.



A

Friday it was time to make some tracks toward home. We left Germfask at 7:00 am sharp traveling the majority of the day in a southwesterly direction along the northwest shore of Lake Michigan, through Green Bay and across Wisconsin. Arriving at our next destination, Nelson Dewey State Campground nestled in the bluffs along the east bank of the Mississippi.
I can honestly say you need to be careful of which road your gps selects to get you there if your pulling a 36í+ fifth wheel. We didnít get into a pickle thank goodness. We did however travel about 20 some miles of ďso called highwayĒ that was no place for my truck and fifth wheel. Iíll just say there were more white knuckles in that truck than just mine.



T
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Re: Taking the fifth wheel around Michiganís upper peninsula
« Reply #21 on: August 11, 2018, 09:15:19 PM »
Yup, I have had "Miss Direction" (GPS) to take me to some spots where I wished that I wasn't.  :o

I am enjoying your trip.  ;D
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Offline Jack S

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Re: Taking the fifth wheel around Michiganís upper peninsula
« Reply #22 on: August 12, 2018, 10:47:18 AM »
I have an  old saying trust but verify. Anytime I'm traveling to a unknown location I take a break from the FF and go to google earth and do a close up study of the area and the destination that way when I get there I have a better idea of what to look for. I have been really enjoying your trip. Thanks for sharing it.  Jack

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Re: Taking the fifth wheel around Michiganís upper peninsula
« Reply #23 on: August 13, 2018, 07:35:37 AM »
Use older guys still like to know where we are going before we get there...... :).
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Re: Taking the fifth wheel around Michiganís upper peninsula
« Reply #24 on: August 13, 2018, 08:20:18 AM »
ya gotta get older first WD then its ok

Offline DPatton

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Re: Taking the fifth wheel around Michiganís upper peninsula
« Reply #25 on: August 13, 2018, 09:58:26 PM »
I will say that the gps has made driving in unfamiliar places much easier. And a big plus is that it has put a stop to many trips ending up in heated debates between me and my wife when she tries to do the navigating while I drive :) :)  (doubt if any of you know what I mean ;) ). However the big downside is that it doesnít help me learn an unfamiliar area like reading a map does. Seems like once I navigate an area once or twice with a map I remember and retain the information much better.

The Nelson Dewey State Park was a nice campground albeit a little tight for maneuvering our camper. Jesse and I hiked a couple of short trails that overlooked the river. Then grilled cheeseburgers over a wood fire for our last evening meal of the trip.

Saturday morning we were on the road at 8:00 am with somewhere around seven hours of driving to do to get home. Needless to say it was the typical long day on the road when your on the last leg home. We arrived home Saturday late afternoon tired from the drive, but happy to be home as usual.

It was a enjoyable trip and I want to thank Furby, Shotgun, and all the other forum members who gave sound advice on things to see and do in the U.P.

We drove 2426.5 miles through six different states. We stopped and fueled a total of twelve times (some were more bathroom stops than fuel stops) totalling 295.41 gallons of gas at an average price of $3.238 per gallon. (Didnít I say we were going to burn some serious fossil fuels in one post ?)  We got to see and swim (or at least wade) in three of the Great Lakes. Jesse and I had our first kayaking adventure together. We rediscovered how easily Stephanie gets motion sickness on the Mackinac Ferry and the Miss Munising :D :D. I learned what a white cedar tree looks like and really started to understand just how different trees and especially bark looks in different areas of the country. I ate my first pastyís, boiled peanuts, and blueberry wafflecone ice cream. We watched the Soo Lock lift a 780í long freighter twenty one feet. We saw beautiful waterfalls, small streams, majestic rivers, and a unbelievably clear freshwater springs. We also got the chance to meet a whole bunch of really great people at the Pig Roast.

Thanks for reading.
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Offline Texas Ranger

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Re: Taking the fifth wheel around Michiganís upper peninsula
« Reply #26 on: August 13, 2018, 10:26:21 PM »
All I know  about GPS, do not trust it in Arkansas
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Re: Taking the fifth wheel around Michiganís upper peninsula
« Reply #27 on: August 13, 2018, 10:37:38 PM »
It's good to read that you and your family had a good trip and made it home safely.  move_it

We enjoyed meeting you, Stephanie, & Jesse and also sharing the "pig" duties.  Since this one is a wrap, we can start making plans for next year.  ;D
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Offline Ron Scott

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Re: Taking the fifth wheel around Michiganís upper peninsula
« Reply #28 on: August 17, 2018, 06:37:57 PM »
That's the Round Island Lighthouse across from Mackinaw Island managed by the Hiawatha National Forest. I put the first USFS sign there and made the first management plan for it in 1963. Round Island has been since designated a National Scenic Area.


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