My trip report of our vacation last week.
So vacation this year was a little smaller in scale than the last couple of trips out west. This was a week long tour of the Upper Peninsula of MI. Thought I would keep it in the state this year. Plus my wife invited along my daughter's friend and her mom. Neither had really done much camping so my hopes of doing a decent amount of backpacking fell to the wayside. So the report is really more car camping than backpacking.
Left Saturday morning for Tahquamenon Falls State Park. One of our favorites. This was a 6 ½ hr drive. We had a site reserved in Rivermouth campgrounds. My hope was during the trip, the women and girls would be using our Nemo Asashi 4 person tent and I would be using my WBBB. So the first site I got lucky and there where trees to use. Weather was good, mosquitoes where voracious. We checked out Whitefish Point, Upper Falls, the island at the Lower Falls, and devoured a wild blueberry pie from the Berry Patch in Paradise, MI. One of the best I've ever had.
P1000168 web by Kevin Ridge, on Flickr
P1000195 web by Kevin Ridge, on Flickr
P1000187 web by Kevin Ridge, on Flickr
Monday was a quick drive over to Munising and set up camp at 12 Mile Beach at Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore. Nice site, 2 good trees, what else could a guy ask for. We went over to Sable Falls and hung out there for awhile. We where woke up by a thunderstorm Tuesday morning. Tried to get packed up before it hit, but we lost. We packed up and spent some time at Munising Falls before heading out for the Kewenaw Peninsula.
DSC_3201 B&W web by Kevin Ridge, on Flickr
DSC_3210 web by Kevin Ridge, on Flickr
DSC_3245 web by Kevin Ridge, on Flickr
DSC_3232 b&w web by Kevin Ridge, on Flickr
We got to McLean State Park which is right on the west side on Lake Superior. We where greeted with 20-30 mph winds with gusts of 50mph and no trees to hang the hammock. We set up the Nemo to dry out, which didn't take long in that wind, and set-up my back-up plan. My Tarptent Rainshadow 2. I was on the ground that night. Had some great pizza at Ambassador in Houghton. Highly recommend it. Some of the best thin crust pizza I have had. This was just a stopping point to the Porkies. We packed up the next morning and ran north to the Jam Pot. A small place ran by monks. Great little place and had a great time talking with the monks.
DSC_3274 web by Kevin Ridge, on Flickr
DSC_3291 web by Kevin Ridge, on Flickr
Heading to Porcupine Mountains Wilderness State Park. We are staying at Union Bay campground for a night, then backpacking into one of their cabins for 2 nights. This was a compromise. I had planned on doing much more till we added the extra people. The cabin (Wood Camp Cabin) was a 4 person cabin and 2.5 mile hike in. This meant we didn't have to carry too much in. I was going to be using the hammock with the girls in the cabin. The hike in was uphill the whole way and though nobody had too much problem with it, they sure pooped out fast once we got there. A ranger came by to drop off water. He said everything was dry for at least 2 miles around the cabin. He also said that they have a bear causing a little trouble at the cabin. The weekend before he ripped the screen off a window trying to get in. This unsettled the girls a bit. That the claw and bite marks on the cabin didn't help either.
The mosquitoes where again really bad. Even with repellent on, they still did the hover around your head trick. The next day we did a bit of day hiking. Went out to an overlook and went searching for thimbleberries. Man those are good. That night we heard something walking around. Freaked the girls out enough that I had to stay in the cabin with them. Not sure how that helped, but they all said that it made them feel better. My back was not happy. The hike out was easy with the downhill grade the whole way. Stopped and took showers and headed to Indian Lake State Park for the night before the drive home. Got some trees there and had a great nights sleep for the drive home.
P1000231 web by Kevin Ridge, on Flickr
P1000233 web by Kevin Ridge, on Flickr
P1000236 web by Kevin Ridge, on Flickr
P1000241 web by Kevin Ridge, on Flickr
P1000244 web by Kevin Ridge, on Flickr
P1000240 web by Kevin Ridge, on Flickr
DSC_3295 B&W web by Kevin Ridge, on Flickr
DSC_3299 web by Kevin Ridge, on Flickr
DSC_3303 p web by Kevin Ridge, on Flickr
DSC_3311 web by Kevin Ridge, on Flickr
I used a 1.7dbl WBBB, a Lawson Equipment Cuben Tarp, my DIY UQ and my new DIY TQ. Everything worked great. I was using Bloomgorge's Tarp Cross and Tarp Key. They couldn't have been easier to use. Could deploy the tarp is about 2-3 minutes.
Well if you made it this far, thanks for reading.