Lake Michigan Circle Tour Solo Road Trip - Part 1
As many of you know, I took my very first solo road trip back in June. No Kids. No Husband. No Dogs. Just me and the open road. Free to do what I wanted, when I wanted. For this trip I drove from South Dakota to Lake Michigan; went all the way around Lake Michigan, with a slight detour to the opposite side of Michigan (Saginaw Bay/Lake Huron) for Brian's tournament, then back to Lake Michigan to finish my road trip. I only had 1 week to complete this trip but I was determined to make it happen. I truly believe that no matter if you have a just a weekend, a week, or several months, you should take advantage of that time and do something that scares you. This scared me, but in a good way (most of the time...).
Well, I’ve been back from my solo road trip for a couple of weeks now and had time to process my adventure. It was an incredible experience with lots of growing moments. There were times when I wondered what I was doing, but in the end I pushed through the moments that scared me and am so proud of myself for not giving up.
I started my trip by heading east across Minnesota and into Wisconsin. The first leg of my trip took approximately 7 hours of driving to complete. The first 3 nights of my trip would be spent scouting and photographing 3 different locations for Hip Camp. I typically describe Hip Camp as the “AirBNB of camping”. If you love to camp, but hate the craziness of a typical campground, I highly suggest you check out Hip Camp. These are private properties that the owners have opened up for rent. Some are tent or RV sites, others have cabins or campers provided. Each have various amenities provided. Check them out and feel free to ask me any questions!
My first night would be spent at the G. Farm not too far from Appleton, Wisconsin. This is an active small farm and my camping spot was near a private pond. I was able to drive down to the site through the various fences and park right next to the spot. There was a “tiny house”, which was more like a shed, as it did not have the amenities of a true tiny house. It had a fire pit, picnic table, dock and kayak for my use!
When I first arrived, the host took the time to show me around the farm, introducing me to all his animals; pigs, cows, chickens, and turkeys. He even has a small farm store that you are able to purchase fresh meats and eggs from while you are there. He has various vegetable gardens as well, that he takes to farmers markets.
After my tour, I headed back to the camp site to get set up for the evening photography session. For Hip Camp, I am to photograph the site as I would use it, giving other campers a glimpse into what it would feel like to camp at this location. What I didn’t realize until I went inside the shed is that there wasn’t a good spot for me to sleep. The crate on the right side of the building would have worked had I not forgotten my sleeping pad. For the photos, I made a mock setup for others to see when booking, but in actuality I ended up sleeping in my car that night. I hung sheets up in my car for a little privacy, laid back and feel asleep watching the fireflies. However I'd be lying if I said I wasn't a little bit scared that night, wondering what I had gotten myself into...
Early the next morning at sunrise I woke up, made coffee, took a “mock” bath, reorganized my car and was on my way for the next leg of my road trip by 6:30am. I had survived my first night of camping alone. And with a smile on my face, I drove down the road headed towards the U.P.
You can check out more about this Hip Camp, the G Farm, by clicking here.
After much consideration, this entire week-long adventure is best told in parts. Otherwise it gets way too long for one post. The stories will be a 5 part series, and I hope you enjoy hearing about my solo road trip and perhaps are inspired to try one yourself! Parts 1-4 will detail my various adventures and sight seeing opportunities, with Part 5 detailing lessons learned and insight into whether or not I would do this again.
Stay tuned for Part 2, where I head into the Upper Peninsula of Michigan on my solo ‘venture coming next week…