After a brief stop at Letchworth State Park in Mt. Morris, New York where we spent a day hiking to view some beautiful waterfalls and gorges, we headed off to Ontario, Canada by way of the Peace Bridge in Buffalo, New York. We had a nice drive through Ontario and spent the night in London, Ontario at a very rustic but lovely campground. We continued our trip across Ontario and made it back into the US at the Blue Water Bridge in Port Huron, Michigan where we made our way north to the Upper Peninsula.
We spent the next couple of nights at a campground in Houghton Lake, Michigan. While there we decided to pass on any beach time we were hoping for and focus on resolving a couple of issues we had been having with the RV. We decided to do this in Houghton Beach due in part to the fact that there was a Camping World very close. The main issue had been a faulty set of tail lights on the car while it was being towed. We thought we had fixed it a few days earlier when we replaced the plug on the tow cable but the problem only got worse. We were able to pick up a new cable along with a new connector for the car which I was able to rewire and connect successfully. Lo and behold, problem resolved. The second problem we had encountered was water coming into the RV through the front passenger window of the RV. We had a tough time locating the area of the leak but hoped we had located it and repaired it by caulking the area.
The following morning we made a relatively short drive north, over the Mackinac Bridge to St. Ignace on the Upper Peninsula. It was a beautiful two hour drive along a very quiet stretch of roadway adjacent to a lot of farmland. The area is referred to as the U.P. And the locals call themselves “Yoopers”. That afternoon we went into St. Ignace so Claudia could get her fix of shopping followed by a night out for dinner and some local brew. After dinner we headed back to the RV, picked up Stella and took her for a walk along the beach of Lake Huron where both the girls decided to take a swim. The next day we had a lot of wet weather so unfortunately we did not get to visit Mackinac Island as we had hoped. Walking around the island would have been tough on both of us but the ferry ride out to the island would have put Claudia out of commission for quite some time. This is when we also discovered that we had not fixed the window leak after all. I spent the day googling “leaking RV windows” and discovered that we might not have a leak after all. We learned that most RV windows have “weeps” built into them. Weeps are nothing more than drain holes that run along the bottom of the windows. With some help from a piece of wire, some pipe cleaners and a can of air we were able to locate and clear two clogs that turned out to be the cause of the water coming in. This was confirmed when we had a lot more rain throughout the day and overnight, some of it hard and we had absolutely no water come in. We were obviously thrilled and relieved about that.
Next it was on to Germfask, Michigan for a three night stay at Big Cedar Campground. We began our visit by taking a cruise out on Lake Superior over to the Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore. The trip started out quite cloudy and choppy but we returned in much calmer water and gorgeous sunshine. We saw some beautiful sandstone cliffs as well as waterfalls and caves large enough for a large boat. Following the cruise we stopped at a local café to enjoy the one meal every person visiting the U.P. must try. They are called Pasties (Pass-tees) and they have been a staple here since Cornish miners and loggers first arrived in Northern Michigan. They are basically a pastry filled with meat, potatoes, carrots, onions and rutabaga. We enjoyed them so much we returned and purchased a couple more frozen ones for a future meal. The next day we returned to Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore, this time with Stella and hiked many of the sites we had seen from the boat. We also enjoyed walking along the beach that Stella was welcome on as well. Claudia and Stella enjoyed swimming (well, more like wading) once again, this time in Lake Superior while I stayed busy taking pictures. Everyone said it was so cold but Claudia and Stella loved it. On the way back to our campground we decided to take a seven mile drive through the Seney National Wildlife Refuge which was located just a mile or so outside our gate. It was a lovely drive but we’ve never seen so many flies in one place which required us to keep our windows closed at all times.
On the following day we headed south and out of the Upper Peninsula. Along the way we were lucky enough to find a beautiful rest area that happened to be right on the shore of Lake Michigan. It had a sandy beach and lots of grass and picnic tables. Claudia and Stella once again couldn’t resist and they finalized this leg of our journey by enjoying a swim in their third Great Lake of the trip.
We scheduled this short trip to the Upper Peninsula as a way to briefly see the area as we began our trip west. We left it with full intentions of returning and spending an entire summer there, visiting not only the Upper Peninsula but also more of each one of the Great Lakes. We found the roads to be in great shape and there were lots of campgrounds to choose from. There were so many things we wanted to do that we just didn’t have time for this trip. We absolutely plan to return to this area as a summer destination in the not too distant future.