Monday, September 19, 2011

Revisiting the Upper Peninsula

Sept. 14- 18--Brimley and Sault Ste. Marie, Michigan
A photo of Will and Sharon traveling
with my mom and step-father in their
motorhome back in the late 70s!
With a plan to head north, I decided to call my mom’s good friends, Will and Sharon Leino, who were unable to make it her memorial to see if we could visit with them in Brimley, MI. Turned out they also have a place in Wallace, Michigan near Menominee.  They met us at a crossroad where an old school had closed and we parked the motorhome there for the night—our first experience boondocking!  Sharon made a lovely meal for us in their “cabin.” Once again, I felt closer to my mom and I know that she would have loved that we made the effort to connect with these long time friends of the family.

From our night of boondocking in Wallace, we headed to the Soo.  Sharon and Will offered us their driveway at their other home in Brimley as a place to stay, but also suggested the Bay Mills Resort and Casino RV Park.  We opted for the RV park hoping we could have a campfire and maybe meet some folks.  The campground was nice but it seemed like everyone there spent all their time in the casino. No one was around.  We checked out the casino then opted for a log cabin tavern down the street for bar food and a drink.  The local culture was colorful and no smoking (yay!) in the local bars vs. the casino.

Toured around the Soo and found a sweet little campground right next to the locks.  Found the locks pretty fascinating as we watched a large iron ore container ship pass through. The actual town lies on the river joining Lake Superior to Lake Huron.  The big claim to fame around here was the sinking of the Edmund Fitzgerald nearby.  Decided to move to the Soo Locks Campground for a few days before the crossing to Ontario (just over the Soo bridge.)
Watching an iron ore ship go through
the locks in front of our campground.
Fishing on the St. Mary's River
right in front of our campground!

We loved the Soo campgrounds, but wished I had a fishing rod and license.  Most campers spent the day perched in folding chairs right in front of their sites on the St. Mary's River (which I think joins the two Great Lakes?). 

The campground had lots of campfires at night and super friendly neighbors. A 40 ft. Phaeton was parked right next to us and we immediately connected with them (Mike and B.J.) and the friends they were traveling with, Steve and Diane.  It turned out that we had all been teachers at some time in our careers, so we had more in common than being kindred souls traveling in motorhomes. We shared a few bottles of wine together along with lots of tips on traveling to Florida not to mention how to run things on the Phaeton.  (Best tip was to turn off green light on the antenna for the cable to work and to buy a radio controlled remote to run the DISH network system from anywhere in the motorhome. ) B.J. and Mike also gave us coupons for RV resorts in Florida to try out.  Really neat people whom we look forward to seeing again as they will be in Florida for the winter months. 

Point Iroquis Lighthouse on
Whitefish Bay, built in 1870
Beauiful shoreline of
 Lake Superior, near Whitefish Bay

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