Week Two: Iowa, Wisconsin, and UP of Michigan

Bettendorf, Iowa
Let the party begin!  Pulled into the driveway of Rod and Toni (big and circular) and settled in for a two night stay.  Rod and Ralph rode motorcycles together for the last time in 2008.  Thank you Facebook!  They are on a harbor/canal right off the Mississippi.  There’s only ten or so houses on both sides of the canal.  It’s a very friendly neighborhood.  They use golf carts to go from house to house to party by the fire pits.  And party they do! Both night I went to bed first.  Ralph was up until 2:00 am!  That’s not normal.

IMG_0663

Boating on the Canal

IMG_0662

Our hosts: Rod and Toni

The Mighty Mississippi

The Mighty Mississippi

Madison, Wisconsin
Beaver Dam was our home for a few days.  This was the closest we could find to Sun Prairie where Leslie (BFF) was visiting her daughter Stephanie and family.  This was the first time we’ve seen each other for over one year.  That’s not like us. We both been traveling and not in the same place at the same time.  We went downtown Madison and had a very nice afternoon by the two lakes.

Bay Shore County Park near Door County was a great place to stay so that we could explore the Door. My Aunt Lill and Uncle Marv loved visiting Door County and I wanted to see what it was all about. Door  is the top of a peninsula that is part of Wisconsin and sticks out into Lake Michigan. It was a major ship building area settled by immigrants from Belgium. Some of the small towns are named after towns in Belgium. It is a beautiful little area full of small towns and lots of coastline. We stopped at a German Beer Garden and had beer and brats. Delish! I’m happy we stopped there for a couple of days. I can see why my aunt and uncle liked it.

IMG_1787

Sweetie Pies: Best Cherry Pie EVER!

IMG_1785

Bier and Brat

IMG_1790

Maritime Museum with the Famous Sea Dogs Exhibit

Next we headed north up to the upper peninsula (UP) of Michigan. In Rapid River, Michigan we stayed at a campground right on the Little Bay de Noc.  It’s a quirky, old Michigan campground with friendly neighbors.  We walked down to the water and took these photos.  We are here for the holiday weekend.  The UP is very green with lots of evergreens.  The water on the Bay and Lake Michigan is more inland sea than lake.  It’s nice to be around so much water!  While camped here we took a day trip up to Marqette, the home of Northern Michigan University.  It’s a lovely small collage town on Lake Superior.  This was my first time seeing Lake Superior and dipping my hands into the lake.  It is the largest of the Great Lakes and really beautiful.  And the water is so clean!  We walked out on the break wall and climbed a “mountain” (1200 ft high).  The view at the top was superior!  Pun intended.

The break wall

The break wall

Rocks viewed through the clean water of Lake Superiod

Rocks viewed through the clean water of Lake Superior

Lake Superior view from the top of the mountain

Lake Superior view from the top of the mountain

We left a day early (Sunday) and headed east to St Ignace.  We wanted to go to Munising for the Pictured Rock, however, it was raining and all the boat tours were booked (due to Labor Day holiday), so we decided to head to St Ignace and Sault St Marie.

Walk to the lake from our campsite

Walk to the lake from our campsite

Long dock at the lake

Long dock at the lake

Sunset

Sunset

We found a dry campsite at the Tiki RV resort in their grassy overflow section.  Actually it was one of the best places in the campground.  There was no one next to us and a big green lawn out our door.  We were lucky to find anything on a holiday weekend.  We drove the car about 50 miles on I75 North to the Soo.  I couldn’t remember if I had been to the Soo Locks before,  Seems I have, just couldn’t remember when.  So we went to the Soo!  There was a 1,000 ft Laker (lake freighter)  just pulling into the locks when we arrived.  It was perfect timing to see the locks in action. Believe it or not…they only use gravity to fill and empty the lock chambers.   The Soo Locks are so important to the economy  in the Northeastern US…they move $500 Billion worth of cargo annually!.  We had dinner near the locks and then headed back to St Ignace to the Bridge View Park.  Absolutely beautiful views of the Mackinac Bridge and surrounding water.  Reminded me of the Golden Gate Bridge except it wasn’t red.  Stopped for an ice cream on the way back to the Tiki Resort.  After laundry in the morning, we pulled out and headed to Traverse City.

Tour Boat in the lock: Now you see it...

Tour Boat in the lock: Now you see it…

Now you don't!

Now you don’t!

Soo Locks with large laker in the lock

Soo Locks with large laker in the lock

Mackinac Bridge from the Bridge View Park

Mackinac Bridge from the Bridge View Park

Sunset from Bridge View Park

Sunset from Bridge View Park

The Happy Campers

The Happy Campers

Advertisements
Categories: Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , | 2 Comments

Post navigation

2 thoughts on “Week Two: Iowa, Wisconsin, and UP of Michigan

  1. Deb Smith

    Love hearing the stories of your travels. You and I went “camping”, many, many years ago. We went to the Soo Locks and Mackinac Island and Hubbard Lake, etc, all on a very tight budget!. And we slept in a leaky tent that took us FOREVER to put up (we were laughing too hard!). It was a very long time ago. lol. Have fun!!

  2. I totally remember that trip and think of it from time to time. The fall colors were spectacular and I’ve actually never seen anything like it since. I hope to see something similar when we get to New England in October. You have solved a mystery for me…I had a vague sense that I had been to the Soo Locks but couldn’t for the life of me, figure out when. Mystery solved! I remember a lot of laughing on that trip! (wink, wink) I think it was after your divorce and we were in our early 20s. Thanks for reminding me again of all the fun we had on that trip.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Create a free website or blog at WordPress.com.

%d bloggers like this: