Sunday, May 12, 2013

Mackinaw City, MI

Odometer  32150
Trip Distance 209 miles

A stiff breeze and spitting snow hailed our departure (forgive the pun) from Vacation Station RV park in Ludington, MI.  On the road at our normal early hour (10AM) we pointed our craft north along the west coast of Michigan, and relaxed in the warm and comfortable surroundings of our home on wheels.  Michigan Route 31 hews fairly close to the coast, and invites you to visit towns such as Manistee, Traverse City Charlevoix, Petoskey, and of course Mackinaw City.  Our destination today is Cheboygan where Joan has located a Passport America affilliate where we can get 1/2 off the normal rate.  From Cheboygan we can back-track a few miles and explore Mackinaw City and take the ferry to Mackinac Island.  (Mackinaw and Mackinac are both in popular use, and both are pronounced Mack-in- naw)

A short time after leaving Ludington we passed through Manistee.  I noticed a very large ship docked in their harbor, and as we rode by, Joan got this photo-  I really wanted to stop but with 200 miles to go, and battling a head wind- decided maybe next time.

We googled the name of the ship later in the evening and found out it, along with the Coast Guard bouy tender next to it, are open for tours.  The ship with the open hatch at the rear is the City of Milwaukee, and is the last unmodified traditional rail car ferry of the fleet that used to sail  the great lakes from 1931-1978.  The  buoy tender is the sister ship to the one that was assigned to Juneau, Alaska when Jeff's family lived there in the  60s.  This is the W406, the one in Juneau was the W405!  Now I have a good reason to come this way again in the near future.

We stopped for lunch at a very nice city park on the West Arm of Traverse Bay in Traverse City.  The temperature was a lofty 41 degrees with a 12 to 20 knot breeze blowing off the bay.  The wind chill was pure ICE!

We started up the generator and turned up the heat- had a nice lunch and watched the harbor from our warm and toasty kitchen.  Jeff got out to stretch his legs and take a few photos, all done in 3 minutes or less!

Our next rest stop was in Petoskey, where we were attracted by a huge geyser of wind-driven water near the marina.
We got out and walked over to the jetty near the marina and snapped these photos

A couple of young men who decided to walk out on the jetty came running back- completely soaked to the skin- with this wind chill my teeth were chattering and I was bundled in a fleece pullover and my ski parka- I can't imagine what they must have been feeling.

Near 4:30 in the afternoon we finally rolled into Mackinaw City.
We half-heartedly searched for a grocery store and when one didn't pop up on our route we headed down Route 23 towards Cheboygan.  We drove about 7 miles down 23 to the Roberts Landing RV park only to find that they are not open yet!  Rats!  We drove 5 miles back up Route 23 to the Mackinaw Mill Creek Campground which we noticed on the way down.  They were open and glad to see us.

We rented a very nice overnight space with water views and full hookups.  The park is huge- more than 500 spaces, and mostly empty on this cold and wintry day.  Curiously, last weekend was warm and summery- hmm- just our luck.

From the beach in front of our bus I took this telephoto shot up towards Macinaw City

 Looking out our windshield we have this vista of the Mackinac Island Bridge!  Well between that vista and the beautiful color of the Lake Huron water- I'm Happy!

We'll explore this area more tomorrow and report back to ya'll

Your Travelling Friends

Joan and Jeff

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