Friday, July 13, 2012

Living it up in the UP

We've been travelling through Michigan's Upper Peninsula for the last month, and it has been everything we were expecting and more. Being filled with National Forests, it's been easy to find secluded spots to camp for free off the grid. We spent 16 days in one spot near Munising, MI.

Sixteen days without any electric, water or sewer hookups is our current best. We should be able to easily push that up to 21 days someday when we find the right spot. Actually, it's hard to call this "camping". We have electricity (solar), satellite TV, a big refridgerator/freezer, bathroom/shower, and our own bed and sofa to come home to every night. This definitely isn't roughing it.

We do cook over an open fire most nights (much better than using the gas range or the convection oven). One night we cobbled together a meal of grass-fed organic sirloins purchased at a local farm we visited, some long grain wild rice hand harvested by native american indian tribes using traditional methods (available only in northern Minnesota and Wisconsin), and some fresh local greens from the Munising Farmers Market. To top it off, we opened a bottle of 2002 Keever Vineyards Cabernet Sauvignon (Yountville,  Napa Valley). Definitely not roughing it.

This campsite in the Hiawatha National Forest was 10 minutes from Lake Superior in one direction and 10 minutes to dozens of inland lakes in the opposite direction. We were five miles from town, but had absolutely zero noise at night. Ours was the only camp fire or light for miles. We could walk the dogs anytime without needing to worry about running into other people or cars. It would have been nice
to be on a lake or stream, but if we were, it probably wouldn't have been as secluded (or as bug-free).

There are too many great photos to post them all. Here are some for now. I would say the hiking, lakes, streams, beaches, and scenery are as good as anything we saw in a month in New Zealand....and this place is a lot less crowded than NZ! If you're thinking of going to New Zealand for the outdoor activities of the South Island, save yourself some money and check out the area around Munising, MI first.

 Typical sunset.

 A small piece of the Pictured Rocks. Those pictures deserve their own post later.

 Just miles and miles of empty white sand beaches. You can drive to some of them or hike in for even wilder scenery.

 Some of the 300 foot cliffs seen from the lake.

Another typical sunset. (they never get boring)


  1. Adds to list of travel spots to visit.

    1. It's well worth the trip. We'll definitely be back. In a hot summer, it's a nice cool place to be.

  2. Looks like you guys are having an amazing time. I'm so happy for you both! Love checking in on the blog to see where you are at. Talk soon!!!! :)