Summer 2011

Traverse City, MI to Shawano, WI

442 Miles/ 707 Km

9 June 2011

Route Map

Click on pinpoints for local information

Destination Map

Photographs and Commentary
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The temperatures in the last few days of travel ranged from the high 80s to the mid 90s, unusually warm for this time of year. Yesterday afternoon a front came through with damaging thunderstorm in the area. Fortunately, we saw lightening and heard the thunder but hardly got any rain. This morning we got up to a dreary day with the temperature sitting at 50 degrees. Shorts were discarded and the jeans and sweatshirts came out of the closet. The sun didn't break through the clouds until late morning and the temperature never went beyond the mid 60s.

There are two ways to get the Wisconsin side of Lake Michigan from Traverse City. The first is heading south a bit from Traverse City and taking a ferry across the lake to Wisconsin. The second is the overland route via the Upper Peninsula (U.P.). When I looked at the fare for the ferry ride I choked. It was well over $200 for a car and two passengers. I didn't even bother to figure out the cost of getting a 37 foot trailer on the ferry. To top it off, the ferry ride only saves less than an hour of travel time over the land route. It was a no brainer to take the overland route.

Today's trip takes us from Traverse City to I-75 at Gaylord and then over the Mackinac Bridge to Michigan's Upper Peninsula. The first thing we saw as we got on US 2 were a large number of shops selling pasties. Susie and I looked at each other trying to figure out why they were selling pasties. Susie went to Google and found out that they were meat pies. Apparently pasties are very popular on the U.P.

Once on the U.P., the road pretty much hugged the coast of Lake Michigan all the way down to Green Bay. A good part of the MIchigan component of the trip runs through National and State Forest lands. There were a number of camping areas and beaches. I think it was a little early for northern Lake Michigan beaches, especially when the temperature was in the mid to upper 50s. Our friends Jo and Dallas suggested that we pull over at the Cut River Bridge and photograph the river. When we were approaching the bridge I started to slow down and a tractor trailer was so close to my tail that it would have hit me if I slowed down too quickly. I was not going to make a high speed turn in to the parking area adjacent to the bridge and decided to keep going.

Once in Green Bay, we turned away from Lake Michigan and headed northwest to Shawano. When we go to the Pine Grove RV Park, we were assigned a site that was near the office and as level as any I have been in. This was perfect, since I didn't really want unhitch the trailer from the truck so that we can get away a little faster in the morning. The bubble burst when one of the park staff suggested that I check to see if there was electric power at the site... there wasn't. After the staff tried to figure out what the problem was for nearly an hour, we were given another site on the far side of the park, adjacent to a dairy farm pasture. It was not quite as convenient as the first site nor was it as level (still level enough so I didn't unhitch), but it was quiet (see our neighbors below) and we had electric power.

Mackinack Bridge

Our immediate neighbors relaxing

Don't mess with me, I'm watching you!

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