Saturday, August 13, 2011


On Sunday we made the beautiful drive from Grand Marais to Munising through the Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore first stopping at the Grand Marais city campground to fill up with water & dump the tanks.

Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore

It was a rainy day and that cut into our sightseeing time. We drove through one of the campgrounds but it was full. Actually, I was glad to see the rain. The long drive on the dirt road to/from the Lake Superior campground had made a real mess of the camper. The heavy rain gave it a much needed bath.

We've been to Munising before. First thing we headed to the National Forest campground of Bay Furnace to see about a campsite. This was Sunday afternoon when typically there would be a good selection of sites available but there were only three sites available out of 50. We really got lucky with our site. It's large, private and has full sun for a good part of the day. We need that sun for the solar panels.
We'll be here until either Friday or Saturday depending on when the mail arrives at the Post Office. Suzanne shipped Carols new Kindle e-book reader.
There is an old blast furnace on site. The pictures and sign tell the story. The campground itself is located on Lake Superior.

There was another Lazy Daze in the campground. Two very interesting women from Wisconsin just cruising around the UP. Unfortunately they were on their way out as we were just getting settled down so we only got to chat for a little bit. They are heading to parts of the UP we just came from so I gave them the information on our "special" camping areas.
On Wednesday we went into town to do the laundry and go grocery shopping. I went walking while the laundry was getting done and came across an excellent bakery; Sweet Dreams. The warm cinnamon rolls were as good as any I've had anywhere. Carol was really happy with my discovery. So was Gopher. We shared a huge cinnamon bun while the cloths were in the dryer.

On the way back to the campground, we stopped at Muldoon's so I could get some more pasties. Two chicken & one apple.

The weather has been just perfect for us. Cool at night, in the mid-upper 70's during the day.

On Thursday we just enjoyed the campground area. Went looking for more rocks for the water garden. When the blast furnace was operating, the sand molds were right along the beach. The molten iron was so hot, it turned the sand into glass. Large chunks of glass and slag are everywhere. We found some small, and very colorful, pieces for our collection.

Friday we went into town to see if the mail had arrived; it had not, nor did we really expect it so soon. We did some more laundry and enjoyed another hot cinnamon bun from Sweet Dreams. After the wash was done, we went looking for water falls. There are dozens in the area, but as you would expect, very few that Carol could see. We did find two. The best was Carols namesake waterfall, Wagner Falls.

Carol Wagner Daniels by her own waterfall.


We checked out other camping areas in Munising. The city campground, Tourist Park Campground isn't much. It is right on the lake but it's just RV's stacked side by side. $23 to $28/night. The Kewadin Casino which is located just across the street from the Bay Furnace campground has six designated RV spots with electrical hookups. No charge. If the Bay Furnace campground is full, the next best choice is the casino parking lot.
Made another stop at Muldoon's for pasties. Two chicken, one apple.

Saturday. The mail showed up so we continued our journey west and north through MI. We stopped at WalMart in Marquette to pick up Carols meds and do our shopping. Then off to the Marquette Tourist Park campground. The campground was full; no huge surprise there. It was Saturday afternoon plus there was a big bike race in town. Two years ago we tried to stay here and it was filled because a festival of some type was going on in the area. We could have "camped" at WalMart but that is way down on our list of choices; pretty much at the bottom. We can always come up with something better. The Van Ripper State Park is about 30 minutes west of Marquette so that's where we are now.
There was plenty of room here in spite of the weekend. Still almost all families as we found in the other state parks we've stayed at. Pretty soon the kids will be back in school and we'll have the campgrounds to ourselves.

From here we head north to the Keweenaw Peninsula. We've been there before but this time we'll explore different areas.

Monday, August 08, 2011

Lake Superior State Forest

Sunday morning we headed east on road H-58 towards the Lake Superior State Forest campground. Our camping neighbor in Grand Marais is an experienced UP camper and was telling us about how nice it was. They had taken a ride out there on Saturday just to look and the campground was full as expected for a summer weekend. There are only 18 sites to begin with. We hoped that on Sunday afternoon we could get in. The stars must have been in perfect alignment because just as we were pulling in, someone was leaving. We grabbed the only available spot and it was a great one. Very large with a nice path leading to the shoreline, fairly level and the tree cover was thin enough to give us some sun for the solar panels. For the rest of the day, we watched cars slowly cruising through the campground looking at the stickers posted by the campsite listing the date of departure.

The downside was the road getting to the campground. It's about ten miles east of Grand Marais. Our neighbor did advise us that about five miles of the access road was wash-board dirt. He was right. Twice I was ready to turn around but Carol said "We've come this far, no sense turning back now". OK, on we went at perhaps 5 mph on the good parts and less on the bad. I'm so glad we continued. This place is a real treasure. It's on our list of places we'll return to next time we're in the UP.

The water supply here is a hand pump. The campground host has a very simply creation to feed the water from the spout on the pump into his water container. He took a funnel like you might use to pour oil or transmission fluid into a car then attached with a hose clamp a piece of appropriately sized tubing about two feet long. He used a small bungie cord to hold the funnel to the spout while he pumped the water. It worked well, cost little and took up very little space. I'll make one up.

The weather is just perfect. We woke up to 60* this morning. I doubt it reached 80* today.

The close of another perfect day.