The summer saga continues as we packed up to head out on the road once again! While we love visiting up north, we hadn't hit any new states in a long time. I am still working on my 50 before 30 bucket list, so it was time to tackle a few newbies. This time Michigan and Wisconsin were our new states, bringing the score to 36/50 complete. The route consisted of Kentucky, Indiana, Illinois, Wisconsin, Michigan, Ohio then home all in two weeks.
Our first stop was in Kentucky to visit Mammoth Cave National Park. Cameron always talks about caves, so this was his bucket list item. We stayed at an awesome campground called WAX Campground. The sites were large and really well groomed. We spent the first evening relaxing after the ride and exploring the campground. The lake was fairly busy with boats but still looked like a good time. It was pretty humid, so we made our own "cool off" method thanks to our outdoor trailer shower!
We hit Mammoth Cave on day 2 and had a blast. It's definitely a cool experience if you're ever in the area. We did a 2 hour tour called "Domes and Dripstones," and it included a really in-depth dive into the cave (literally!).
After some good spelunking, we headed back, but we saw a really pretty dam overlook on our way to the cave, so we hit it that first. It was a valley park that had a little river running through it. We snagged some pictures and then made our way back to the campground to enjoy a relaxing night consisting of beers and dinner. Kentucky was definitely a fun first stop, and we will definitely be back!
Stop 2 was Indiana, Hardin Ridge Campground. All I can say is skootz, skootz, skootz! In our absence from writing, we forgot to mention that Cameron has learned to skateboard (become obsessed, rather)! I bought him a board for our anniversary, and I must say he's really done quite well teaching himself.
Anyway, the point being that he loves to skootz (yes, he really calls it that), and this campground was PERFECT for it. We spent two days here and didn't leave the park once. We walked and skooted everywhere, enjoying the flat roads and awesome overlooks of the lake, which we took a dip in as well. The campground was empty, which made it even better having most of the park to ourselves. We actually wished we could have stayed longer.
Opossum Creek Campground was our stop in Illinois. The ride in was pretty much what you would picture, just corn fields everywhere and then boom, you land in a campground with a lake. It was strange, but the park itself was really nice. Other than it raining on the day we planned to take the canoe out, we don't have much to report from Illinois. We caught up on our work and did lots of walking around the campground, per usual!
The "meat and potatoes" of our trip really comes from Wisconsin and Michigan. We stopped twice in Wisconsin—one right over the Illinois border, and the other was up by the Upper Peninsula. Big Foot Beach State Park was our first stop, we really only picked it because of the name for Cameron.
To be totally honest, it was a bit of a letdown park. The sites were small, and in Wisconsin and Michigan, you have to pay additional fees to get into their state parks. Not to mention we never even saw Big Foot! We didn't have water or electric for either park in Wisconsin, so we were "roughing it" for two nights. When we entered the park, we passed a really cute town that overlooked the water. We decided to walk to the bar/grill that had a nice outdoor porch. We enjoyed some drinks and Wisconsin cheese curds, before heading back to the campground.
We arrived at Governor Thompson State Park, where we again paid a fee to have no electric or water. This park was much quieter than the last, and the sites were awesome. They were probably some of the biggest and most private sites we have been in. We enjoyed exploring the park and breaking in the new shot glass!
We arrived early afternoon at our Upper Peninsula Michigan campsite, which would be home for 4 days. The sites themselves were nothing special, and it was a really small privately owned campground. The owner was incredibly friendly and gave us some pointers on things to do in the area. We met some fun neighbors in the campground, and we all swapped stories on where we have been and where we were headed.
Cameron and I did a fun mix of working at night and playing during the day. We explored a town one day and found some absolutely amazing shops filled with bear, moose and so many other fun knick-knacks. We grabbed lunch at The Upper Crust deli (It was delicious!) overlooking Lake Manistique and did a walk out over the water to see the Manistique East Breakwater Lighthouse. If you are ever in the Upper Peninsula, check out the town of Manistique. We can't wait to go back.
Our favorite adventure came mid week when we decided to go visit the Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore on Lake Superior. Pictures just don't do this place justice, but we will try. The views make you believe you're in Hawaii, with the rocks and clear, bright blue water. We spent the entire day traveling along the coastline, checking out all the pull-off stops to view the rocks, cliffs and water. There's lots of hiking to see waterfalls and massive sand dunes, so bring your boots! Our hope is that next time we'll actually have time to do a tour on the water and see the rocks from below.
Our final stop was in Ohio to visit the Jones Family at their lodge. We had an absolute blast with Cameron's cousins, from biking and skating at a park to checking out all the elk, deer and other animals at the lodge. We visited an ice cream mill, orchard, extreme-sized basket, and of course a brewery! It was the perfect weekend with family to close out a great trip. Thanks to the Jones' for letting us moochdock with you for a few days! We can't wait to visit again!
He likes pizza.