I could blame the weather or the bugs, but I think I should have thought twice about staying at Trout Lake Campground when the campground host casually mentioned that they were expecting a full house on the weekend because they were hosting a big off-road vehicle rally. I’d already handed him my credit card for two nights, however, and I really wanted a shower. If I’d known that the showers were the type were you have no control of the water temp and that the mosquitoes were sharing their meals with the black flies, I would have snatched my credit card back out of his hand. It was, however, only for two nights, so I will stop complaining now. And I’d had a long day before getting there so I really was ready to stop driving.
I hadn’t gone all that far, but I’d been driving through Pictured Rocks National Park and stopping regularly. Lots of scenic views. Also lots of bugs. I saw one guy wearing a mosquito net hat — clearly the apparel of the experienced northern Michigan hiker!
After a quiet (and grumpy) rest day at Trout Lake, I got back on the road again on Thursday with relief, but no real destination in mind. It turned into a day of minor errands — Aldi and Walmart and gas — followed by a somewhat ridiculous, but rewarding persistence.
I only had one night to spend wherever I decided to stop, so there was no reason to look for someplace special. A parking lot would have made sense. Maybe a night in a motel, so I could actually have that really nice shower? I was so indecisive. But it stays light really late in Michigan so instead of stopping, I just kept looking. I rejected one campground — too hilly. I rejected a second campground — nice for tent campers, but a parking lot for a van. (But while I was in the parking lot, I ran the generator and cooked some InstantPot chicken and rice for dinner.) I got lost while looking for a third campground and missed it entirely. Apple Maps sent me in a ridiculous direction for the next campground and I wound up in a dead end dirt road with minimal room to turn around. I still didn’t find myself a nice Walmart for the night. I don’t know why I was so determined, but at that point, I’d been looking for someplace nice for so long that I wasn’t going to stop until I was happy. Or exhausted, I suppose.
Fortunately, happy came first. At about 7PM, I found myself at Wagner Lake Campground in the Huron-Manistee National Forests.
Private, quiet, peaceful, beautiful. I could have stayed there for days (despite the mosquitoes, which were pervasive but not insane). Instead, I enjoyed a completely relaxing morning, and got back on the road around noon. For once, I knew exactly where I was headed — a weekend with friends that I hadn’t seen since college!
Carol Westover said:
Oh wow… I hate bugs with a passion, but oh my did you ever luck out with beautiful campgrounds. Amazing photos! Thank you!!! (truly–eye candy for people like myself who love the woods and waterfalls, and camping). Be safe!!! Enjoy your reunion with your friends.