LOCATION: Marquette, Michigan. In central part of Upper Peninsula, on Lake Superior
CAMPGROUND: Marquette Tourist Park, a municipal campground not far from downtown. We have electricity only, although full hook-ups are available. Sites are grassy and not level, and are set up strangely. We have the best site – #5 – large and right on the water – Dead River Basin. Decent bathrooms. Picnic table and firepit. $40/night. 3 stars out of 5
WEATHER: Dreary, cool/cold, and rainy
DISTANCE DRIVEN: 2 hours
We awoke to a drastic change in weather, which I think is typical in the U.P. Yesterday was sunny and warm (83). It was 42 when we got up this morning, and struggled to finally make it to a damp high of 57.
We left fairly early, as we were anxious to see what Marquette has to offer. We have stayed at McLain State Park for 6 nights, which is a long stay for us. We did that because we wanted to be “set” for the 4th of July week/weekend, and had wanted a place to use as base when we went to Isle Royale. It has been a good stay, but it is fun to be off again.
Today was one of those days that just didn’t go as well as planned…..
1. The drive today mostly followed Lake Superior, so we caught some occasional glimpses of the lake. As I was driving along, a deer jumped in front of us. I couldn’t stop in time and was destined to hit her. But, she looked up at me, seemed to say to herself “I don’t want to do this”, and did a 180 back to the woods. Thank goodness! It shook me up.
2. When we got to the edge of Marquette, there were a series of round-abouts. I did quite well with all but the last of them. I goofed up and got off at the 2nd instead of 3rd exit. There were a lot of cars, so it was a mess. We the had to make a detour, etc etc
3. The campsite is set up strangely. The logical place to put an RV is right where they put the firepit. So, instead of having the electricity post on the side of our trailer, it is in back. It took several tries to find the right place to park, all done in the dreary rain.
4. The site is very unlevel, so we had to put some boards under the tires on one side. First 2 boards. Not enough. Then, 3 boards. George had to “gun” the truck so that the tires did not slip in the sand with enough momentum so he could get up on the boards. Unfortunately, he had the truck in reverse instead of forward, so backed into the electrical post. Oh no! There was a terrible scrunchy noise. We knocked over the electrical box. We were able to reposition the post, but it did ding up our fender and broke up our storage area in the back. It could have been worse…
Enough whining! We got inside, turned on the heater, and recovered. Then, off to one of the many breweries that are here in Marquette. I have a friend in Retama Village who used to live here and she had given us her brewery recommendation. It was in the university (University of Northern Michigan) part of town – kind of funky and cool. It is an old house that has been converted to a micro-brewery. The beer was good and the atmosphere welcoming.
These Yuppers (Upper Peninsula people) are very hardy. Even though it was raining and cold, people were sitting outside enjoying their beers on the patio.
Not us….We elected to stay inside, and got cozy in their upstairs. These steins show that they have a lot of regulars.
We parked along a fence made of skis. I think it snows a lot here!
DINNER: It was too rainy and unpleasant to cook outside, so I cooked tonight’s meal all indoors (which we haven’t done in awhile). I warmed up one my last Trader Joe’s frozen dishes – spicy chick peas. To that, I added some sauteed onions and previously grilled turkey thigh meat. Side was steamed rice, using this package….
Weeks ago, we stopped one day at an Arkansas Welcome Center and they gave us these cute packages of rice – just enough for one meal. These come in handy……One day when we went to a restaurant located on a lake, a girl came in and asked the waitress if the restaurant had any rice. The waitress was confused. I overheard the conversation. The girl said that she had dropped her phone in the lake and was trying to recover it by immersing it in rice. I remembered that I had these rice packets in the back seat of the pickup (in my “back-up foot box”) and gave one to her. She was very gratefu, and a bit surprised – what are the odds of finding someone who carries rice around in their back seat??? I hope it worked for her!
We were disappointed to find that there are no PBS stations here, so we watched more Rick Steves travel DVDs after dinner