Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Camping Upnorth Michigan – Brimley State Park

July long weekend 2009, our first camping trip and vacation after coming to US. Very excited, reserved campsite at Brimley state park, got maps from AAA to plan for the days and did a little shopping- fireworks, charcoal grill, food supplies. Rama(my dh) already had everything we needed for camping.
Drive was about five and half hours from Ann Arbor and Rama drove our new Chevy Malibu most of the time(or all the timeJ). It was afternoon by the time we reached Mackinaw city(last point in lower peninsula before taking Mackinac bridge to Upper Peninsula) and we were in a hurry to reach campground and set up tent in the day light, so we had to miss Mackinac island. The campground was almost full with tents, RVs and trailers because of the long weekend and kids riding bikes and playing all around. The campsites were closer than we expected, but our campsite was on the shore of Lake Superior(these words remind me of my Social Studies class in my childhood about this largest fresh water lake in the world and here I am so close to it) We were lucky to complete the tent set up by evening and enjoy dinner (Grilled chicken and veggies) prepared by Rama with beautiful sunset across the lake and campfire. One thing here, it was so cold and windy for July that I was chilling though campfire helped. 
 On the second day, We woke up to the waves of Lake Superior and chirping birds and leisurely got ready. This was the only campground we went that has showers, which Rama feels is an absolute waste of time. He made breakfast(s’mores, brats and juice) and lunch(chicken Sandwich), I was mostly a helper, cutting veggies, roasting corn, prepare sandwiches. We packed our lunch, water, camera, maps etc in the backpack and drove to Menekaunee point. It was a short easy 1.4 mile hike to Noamikong Point look out, with water almost all along the way and beautiful wild flowers. We got down in the lake as the water wasn’t that cold as it was at our campsite and hiked slowly taking pictures all along. We were disappointed when we arrived at the lookout to see a road :P, but the trail totally made up for it. As we walked back we took more pictures, had lunch by the water and started driving to Sault Ste Marie. On the way, we stopped for a quick nap on the sandy beach at Big Pine picnic area and then at the Light house at Point Iroquois. Finally we arrived at Sault Ste. Marie (pronounced as Soo Saint Ma-ree), famous for it’s Soo locks – a mechanism to allow ships’ transition between two different water levels. First Gates are opened on one side of the lock for the ship to enter from St. Marys River. Then the gates are closed to fill the lock to the water level on the other side, finally the other Gates are opened and the ship enters Lake Superior. 
We watched a short movie on how these locks were built and amazed by their superior technology in 1855. By the time we came out, the streets were packed with people, all chairs on either sides of the road, ready for the Independence day Parade. We liked it a lot, especially the people and their hospitality and I was happy to get myself a few candiesJ. It was dark by the time we reached campsite and watched the fireworks from across the lake, we believe from Sault Ste. Marie. Then Rama started preparing dinner and it was very late by the time we slept.
On the third day, we drove to the popular Tahquamenon Waterfalls. The upper Tahquamenon falls were very pretty with lot of people and there was a 4 mile hike to the lower falls. The vegetation was more dense than the day before, with lush green ferns, but there were lot of mosquitoes because of which we turned back after about a mile. Then we drove to Whitefish point, we walked around Whitefish Point light station, Great Lakes Shipwreck Museum and Bird Observatory. We came back early to spend last night at the campsite, set up campfire, watched beautiful Sunset across the lake, used our fireworks and had dinner under stars with a long chat.
On the fourth day, it was raining all morning and by noon, we were able to take off the tent and head back to our home sweet home, my first long drive. It was a good camping trip to start with: short, near and great weather being in summer. ()Things we could have done better: be prepared for the cold and lessen driving to spend more time with nature. The best part was Mornings, Sunset and Rama’s BBQ. We definitely want to go back upnorth with next on our list: Mackinac island, Pictured Rocks, Sleeping Bear Dunes &Traverse city.

1 comment:

  1. Looks beautiful. We've been wanting to get up to the UP and camp too. But with young kids... not so easy. We found a camp grounds on Lake Huron near Mackinaw that had small cabins, perfect for us.

    I hope you enjoy blogging.