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Leg 7: Upper Wisconsin

We only spent one night in Wisconsin (8/14), so this post will be brief.

Speaking of briefs…. Dan completed his much anticipated pilgrimage to Duluth and the Duluth Trading Company for the best goddam underwear he’s ever worn. (And the most he’s ever paid for it). The men reading this understand. Sorry folks, no pictures are available from this adventure.

The other big event for us in WI, and a bit more frightful, was the storm that built up that night. The sky was a BRIGHT orange and heading in our direction. This was just a week after the derecho blasted Iowa and the Midwest with 130 mph winds and produced 21 confirmed tornadoes.

So we opened some “Blue” to put the colors in perspective, build our courage, and reduce weight in the camper. 😉

Let’s get out of WI and into MN…..

Leg 6: Porcupine Mountain, Lake Superior

We arrived at Porcupine Mountain last night and appreciated a superior sunset from the rocky shores of Lake Superior. 

Canada is somewhere over the other side of the lake. Did you know…. Superior is so large that if you drained all of the other Great Lakes, you could refill them all with Superior and still have water left over to give Ohio a bath?

At our campground we were highly entertained by a real character…. dressed in his embroidered Himalayan dragon shirt, the camp host fed us his stories about getting so stoned he got lost in his own van. 

The next day we enjoyed a very nice ridge-line hike to Lake in the Clouds in the Porcupine Mtns.

High atop the ridge overlooking “Lake in the Clouds”

Wonderful views with no sight of humankind (or porcupines) in any direction.

Next stop: getting underwear in Duluth!

Leg 5: Hiawatha Forest, Lake Superior, MI

Today the team kayaked on Lake Superior to view the famous Pictured Rocks Natl Lakeshore. 

The girls navigate through “Kissing Rocks” gap in the cliffs

Michigan drops straight down into Lake Superior. It was very cool, though Anne and Juli narrowly missed getting cannonballed by a rock slide falling down the cliffs! Seriously!!

Also had a good hike along the Mosquito River in the Hiawatha Forest, though mosquitoes were hardly our biggest fear.

Anne planned ahead and had a great crock pot supper awaiting us in the camper when we got home. Yum.

On the road again westward bound across Upper Peninsula Mich, stopping for a margarita lunch in the nice harbor town of Marquette, with a local band playing live music on the waterfront nearby.  It was our first in months (the live music, not the margarita).

Our Supporting Cast: Betty and Winnie

A quick shout-out to our very reliable partners in this journey!

We quickly agreed on the name “Betty” for our Ford F-150 after the energizing Woah Black Betty, bam-ba-lam song. She’s been a real trooper hauling the camper around and our many side trips through all kinds of terrain. The pic above was taken after she took us through some major dirty backroads in MI.

Then we realized to the outside world it could have a whole different meaning:

The younger readers may need help with this reference

The other partner in this journey has not fared as well….. only a mere 7 days into our journey, it happened. Our awesome camper Winnie challenged a pole in a Walmart parking lot.  The pole won. 

We made some repairs, rubbed some dirt on it, and moved on.  Enough said about that.

We are grateful for our two trusty vehicles that we rely on every day!

Leg 4: Lake Michigan

After surviving Detroit we headed north-east to explore central Michigan and the eastern shore of Lake Michigan.

First stop was the awesome “Fishtown” of Leland, a remnant of the working seafood towns of the past. A quaint town with lots of restaurants, shops, and seafood galore. Here’s a view from the small inland waterway emptying into the Great lake.

Next up was the Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore. You know that feeling when you get to the beach, you park the car, get out your gear, it’s hot and you can’t wait to get to the water???

But first… you have to drudge through a hot sand dune or two to get there.  It’s annoying but no real problemo.

Now imagine 20 endless dunes!! You scale one dune and the next dune appears. No shade. Ugh.  And we’re talking about BIG dunes. It was like running a marathon when you expected a little walk to the candy kitchen.

Juli WAY UP on the sand dune cliff. This pic is looking almost straight up into the sky.

Finally, we spied the cool blue waters of Lake Michigan and the race was on.  Juli and Dan (mostly Dan) talked trash for two months about the sprint to the water from the Bear Dunes cliffs.  It didn’t go as Dan had envisioned.

Dan stumbled out of the gate and Juli wins the great race.

But Anne says she loves him anyway. 😉

Next stop…. Upper Michigan.

And They’re Off!


What’s up gang! Our journey begins!! After many cheerful and some sad goodbyes we are on our way. We wish we had more time with our friends and families for longer and proper goodbyes, but the calendar is ticking and we are pressed to hit the road.

Our first stop is Home Depot for our first rig repair 🙂 A little gorilla tape for some loose weatherstripping and NOW we’re off for good.

We made it to our first campground, Western PA Alleghany National Forrest for 3 days of hammocking, hiking and kayaking in the great outdoors. Who needs a Robo-Flex when you can have Rhodo-Flex?!

Day 5 brought a unique experience in downtown Detroit. We got our city fix at the Henry Ford museum and Hitsville USA Motown recording studios

For our “campground” in downtown Detroit we discovered an urban farm that could magically fit our camper on their one city block farm complete with crops, greenhouses, 20 pear and peach tree orchard, and shanty style work and living spaces. The hosts are wonderful people and doing everything they can to create an oasis of nutrition in a food desert. We were lulled to sleep with the distant sound of gunfire from our camper. Our hosts assure us that we’ll most likely be ok…..

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