Lake Michigan Circle Tour Solo Road Trip - Part 3 Mackinac Bridge, Wilderness State Park, & Petoskey
Updated: Jul 23, 2019
Welcome back for Part 3! But if you missed Parts 1 and 2, you can check them out here and here. Just don’t forget to come back!
So where was I? Oh yes…. I woke up at the Moss Lake Cabin as soon as the sun rose, packed up my things, and was on my way for the day by 6:30am. I continued my way across the upper peninsula, stopping along the way for various sights. This particular highway I was traveling on has a lot of turnouts and parks along the shoreline that make for great resting spots. So every so often I would get out of the car, walk along the shoreline to stretch my legs and then get back in the car to be on my way. However, one thing I was extremely surprised about was the amount of shoreline that is privatized by personal residences. For some reason I had it in my head that the shoreline would be more public use or left as natural habitat, but the majority of it was lakefront personal property.
Here is the route I took:
The first major item on my list that I wanted to see today was the Mackinac Bridge. This bridge goes over the great lakes where Lake Huron and Lake Michigan meet. It was quite foggy this morning, so getting photographs was a little difficult, but it looked so magical in person. Originally I had thought I would spend the day at Mackinac Island, but ultimately I didn’t want to be tied up in one spot for the day. I prefer driving and finding locations to hang out at for a bit and then carrying on my way. The island would have required a bit more of my time that I wasn’t willing to give. Someday I will come back and bring the kids and husband. Anyhow, I stopped on the other side of the bridge and walked around Mackinaw City for a bit. It is a cute little town, but seems rather touristy, which isn’t necessarily my thing. I prefer the lesser known towns that are not as commercialized, but I’m still glad I stopped for a moment.
From there I headed over to Wilderness State Park. Words can’t even describe how gorgeous this place was. I stopped to make coffee within the park and risked my life while doing it. The mosquitos in this part of the country are savages! I was eaten alive! So I drove the rest of the park and never really got out to explore again while there. The bugs were biting through my leggings! It wasn’t much fun. But I did park at a few places and watch people fly fishing along the coast. It was a lush and gorgeous park that almost had a tropical feel to it. Really incredible.
Next I headed down towards Petoskey, Michigan, which would be where I would stay for the night. I arrived in the town in early afternoon so I drove around the city for a bit to get my bearings. This town is such a cute combination of a hip mountain town and a beach community. I really would have loved to spend more time here!
I spent most of my afternoon at Petoskey State Park walking about and down the shoreline. There was so much sand everywhere! Even along the roads as I drove into the park. When I first arrived I noticed a handful of people walking around staring at the sand. I quickly googled something to see if there was a particular reason and it appears that there is a certain type of rock, called Petoskey Stones, they are searching for and collect! I don’t think I ever found one, but then again I never fully knew what I was looking for. It was fun to watch people of all ages get excited when the found one, however.
As I made my way back to the main beach I laid down to read my book and noticed 3 older gentlemen had arrived and were pulling out some large bags. As they began to unfold their bags I realized they were huge kites! The men then appeared in wetsuits and took their kites to the water. I believe what they were doing is called Kite Surfing? So I watched this for quite some time. It is so interesting to see how they control their kites to go back and forth across the waves and along the beach. The kites were huge, and the wind was insane this day, I’m surprised they could control the kites.
As late afternoon came around I gathered my things and decided to make way towards me evening Hip Camp location called North Country Trailside Vista. Tonight I would be sleeping in an “egg” trailer! The property was just a few minutes from town and super easy to find. I arrived on site and was greeted by one of the hosts who appeared to be about my mom's age. She was putting last minute touches on the site. This trailer was within steps of the host's home which is vastly different from the 2 previous nights stays in remote corners of the host property. There was something very comforting being in a less remote location when camping alone.
My host gave me a tour of the trailer, showing me all the items that were there for my use. She also mentioned there was a shower on this end of her home that was closest to the trailer for my use. And then proceeded to invite me in for dinner! After living on avocados, kind bars, and nectarines, a full meal sounded amazing! Of course I said yes, and had a wonderful dinner with good conversation with my hosts, whom are empty nesters just enjoying this time in her life. The woman actually works for the trail systems in the Petoskey area and has dreams of traveling full time in her trailer one day. Woman after my own heart!
The hosts were really neat people. Which is actually one of the best things about traveling solo, is that it puts me outside of my introverted comfort zone and pushes me to have conversations with people. Normally when I travel, I tend to talk to the people I am traveling with. But on this trip, traveling solo, I didn’t have anyone, so I found myself enjoying talking to random people that I would meet along the way!
After dinner I went back to the trailer to enjoy a quiet evening. I felt most content this night. I felt incredible safe at this location. And for the first time since I had embarked this trip, I was remembering why I decided to do this in the first place. The past 3 days had gone by really fast and in reality they were just 3 days. But those 3 days pushed my introverted self outside of my comfort zone in a lot of really great and difficult ways.
To see more of this Hip Camp, or to book a stay, click here.
Stay tuned for Part 4, next week, when I head to Sleeping Bear Dunes, Saginaw Bay and the Cabela’s National Walleye Tour!