Saturday, August 31, 2013

St. Ignace, Grayling, Traverse City and Sleeping Bear Dunes

We seem to have had so many activities and have moved a couple of times since my last blog post, I have to do a little catching up. But it’s made easier by the fact that Jan has posted a couple of times – check out her recent posts.

Our stay at the Moose Lodge in St. Ignace, at the southeast end of Michigan’s Upper Peninsula, was fairly quiet. We were the only RVs there, except for one 5th wheel owned by a couple who spend the whole summer there. Everyone was friendly, and we enjoyed some kick-back time.


At only $10/night, with one 50 amp site (ours) and 30 amps at the others, with water and dump at the back of the lodge, it was a bargain. When we arrived it was just before lunch time, and a crew was inside the lodge kitchen finishing up several batches of freshly made traditional beef pasties. We each bought one, plenty to share between two people for a yummy lunch. (Actually, I think they’re rather bland, but I make mine yummy with a bit of salsa and Tabasco!)

We later learned that the Kewadin Casino, about 1/2 mile down the road, has 21 RV sites, all with 20/30/50 amps and water, and a dump station, for $10. An even better bargain! If we remember, next time we’re in this area we’ll go there. The area has more concrete, but there’s grass and a picnic table behind every site, and having 50 amps and water at the sites is a plus.


We enjoyed good weather, perfect for happy hour outdoors.


We were just across the freeway from Castle Rock, but we decided not to climb it.


We found a good (for this area) Mexican restaurant for dinner.


We visited the Mackinaw Bridge Museum and watched a video about how it was built. Unfortunately, this didn’t make me feel any better about driving over it. But I do appreciate all the hard work put into the project, and the few people who lost their lives in the process.


This was a photo op that couldn’t be missed.


If only the weather had been like this when we drove our RVs over the bridge a day later!


Unfortunately, it was not in the cards. Jan took the picture below while she and Bill were following us. You can just barely see our motorhome ahead. It was my turn to drive, of course! And the speed limit that day for RVs, trucks and trailers was 20 MPH. A 5-mile bridge takes a long time to pass over at 20 MPH! But at least the high winds weren’t bad enough to make the bridge swing. And the lightning didn’t strike close to us. And we were able to stay on the concrete lane and avoid the grated metal one. I was proud of myself for conquering my fear of high bridges and driving the motorhome over it, especially during such a wicked storm. Don said a ship passed underneath us while we were on the highest part of the bridge, but I didn’t look down. I kept my eyes closed the whole time. Winking smile

We all asked ourselves several times why we didn’t just wait a day to travel, but none of us had a good answer.

We’re now in Grayling, in the lower peninsula of Michigan, parked at Camp Grayling, on the Michigan National Guard Military Reservation at the foot of Lake Margrethe. We found a cute diner in town for dinner last night, with a huge collection of Coca-Cola memorabilia.



Jan wanted to have some ice cream, but she was too full after eating her dinner. I told her she should have started with the ice cream…life’s short, eat dessert first!


Coca-Cola stuff everywhere, in every corner of the diner.


Lots of Coca-Cola caps are in the giant Coca-Cola bottles.




I thought about buying Dennis Hill this T-shirt, but then I didn’t. But it’s the thought that counts, right Dennis?


Today we drove west to Traverse City to have a look around the Grand Traverse Bay. We ended up having breakfast-for-lunch at Round’s. The star marks the location in the state.



The SS State of Michigan was in dock. It’s part of the Great Lakes Maritime Academy. Click the link for more info.


Lots of people were enjoying the long weekend on the beach and in the water…


…including this two-masted schooner. It was pretty far out, so I brought it as close as I could with my digital zoom, then I cropped it to bring it closer, but it got a little fuzzy.


After lunch, we decided to continue west to the Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore. At first, this scenic loop seemed to be just dense forest and one small covered bridge.


Then we got some nice views of Glen Lake.




And we found lots of people climbing up on the dunes.


But we didn’t get to see the dunes from the Lake Michigan side. We had to call it a day and head back home. On the way, we stopped at a wonderful outdoor market in Kalkaska.



Within an hour after arriving back at Camp Grayling, Don had a delicious spaghetti dinner on the table. And later, Jan made root beer floats for desert.



  1. This comment has been removed by the author.

  2. Sorry Sharon. I meant to sign my full name. Outside of the Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore is home to CHERRY REPUBLIC..products such as jams-dressings-salsa, etc. Hard to find outside of the Michigan area; can be found on-line. I am reading your blog as David & I traveled these areas in 2011 and 2012 and your stops are familiar. Not sure of your travels, but Frankenmuth, MI has the largest Christmas store and Frankenmuth is known for their chicken dinners. No need to buy at the Christmas store, just walking through is big!!! Chelsea, MI is home to JIFFY MIX off I-94 and Highway 23. Safe travels. Lynn Cross


Please tell me what you think, either here, on Facebook, or by email. I *love* comments!