Trip meter 280 miles
We are in pursuit of Spring again. Munising, MI is as close to the Arctic Circle as we go on this trip and as I've mentioned in our previous blogs, as we move northward, we keep running away from Spring! The deciduous trees here all still bare of leaves and the high temperature for Saturday is a chilly 57 with almost certain rain. Joan and I both agree that visiting here at this time of year has been a blessing and a curse. We have come in ahead of the crowds and that is very pleasant- however we have also come in ahead of the normal tourist season, which means many campgrounds are not open yet, and many of the attractions are not operating yet. We also believe that we are missing some of the beauty of the place, because the leaves and blossoms, haven't emerged yet. We know we will be back to this beautiful part of the country again- therefore it is not imperative that we see all and do all things on this first voyage.
We set out from the shores of Lake Superior, south and west towards Wisconsin, in our homeward trek. We traveled down US 41 to Gladstone and Escanaba, MI on the western shores of Lake Michigan. As we get close to Gladstone the highway goes to four lane and the traffic picks up, reminding us that we have left the back country now.
We stopped for lunch in Escanaba, and decide to split an Arby's turkey reuben- It tastes great- fast becoming our favorite. Just a quick stop and we are back on the move. We really don't know where we want to stop for the night yet- when we get tired we'll start looking.
M 35 from Escanaba to Menominee follows the lakeshore, giving us frequent views of Lake Michigan. A short distance out of Escanaba we cross over from eastern time into the central time zone. We last left central time in February as we traveled from Grayton Beach, Florida to Homosasas Springs.
At Menominee, Michigan we cross over the Menominee River into Marinette, Wisconsin. The trees are looking a little greener here, some are cloaked in green, others are just starting to leaf out.
At Green Bay, I beg for mercy and ask Joan to plot us a route off of the 4 lane that we are on. This is quite a favor, because to get on the back roads again means she has to be on top of her game to make all the connections work. Joan plots us off onto Wisconsin 54 towards places like Black Creek and New London- Yea! I'm in heaven again! I've said it before, and it's so true, this 36 and a half foot behemoth motorhome drives like a sports car, eating up these back-country two lanes. We make a few missed turns, but Joan always finds a way back, and we finally feel like we are SEEING Wisconsin. Towards 5 PM we passed a sign for a campground that is not in our book. Jeff is immediately thinking, this is so far off the beaten track that it would be kinda neat to stay here. He's picturing the Wheel-In Campground we loved in Schlocta, Pennsylvania that turned out to be a real gem. We turn off the main road at the sign and proceed down a small two lane about a 1/2 mile. Well... it turns out that it is a back country bar/ mobile home park/ RV park, and they want $42 plus tax for an overnight! Joan says thanks- but no.
We get back on to Wisconsin route 22 and proceed onward towards Saxeville, Wautoma, and angle off more westerly on W21 to Coloma. At Coloma, Jeff spots a BP station that has diesel pumps and truck parking. Very little negotiating later, we fill up with diesel and stay for free in their lot!
Turns into a very pleasant end to our day. We have all the comforts of home, the station is not busy and the roads quiet down by 7 PM it is like country living. Joan whips up a meal of pork chops, potatoes, and green peas and Jeff scrubs the bugs off the windshield and front end. Work all done, Jeff settles in with a small glass of Dewar's 12 yr old scotch and dreams of the Glengoyne that George and Shona shared with him in Ontario. Mmmm, I can only dream of scotch like that- thanks George!
After dinner we crank up the bat wing and watch the local PBS till we get sleepy.
Tomorrow we head for Forest City, Iowa and the Winnebago factory, where we hope to tour the birthplace of our Itasca motorhome. Tomorrow should be partly cloudy, and maybe a drizzle of rain- highs in the 70s.
Your Traveling Friends
Joan and Jeff