As we entered our third year of “full-timing it” – we decided it was time to take it on the road – and explore more territory. Bill and I started discussing Bucket List places we wanted to see and trips that needed to be taken. We discovered a book – Road Trip USA – Cross Country Adventures on America’s Two-Lane Highways written by Jamie Jensen, and in combination with our US States map on the side of the coach, we started planning ways to fill in the missing states.
This year, we planned two different excursions to cover the missing states west of Michigan and threw in Manitoba for good measure.
The first portion of our trip was to begin on Monday, June 17. However, due to the monsoon season in Michigan, some of our prep work had to be delayed until sunshine and dryer conditions prevailed. Finally, well-rested and impatient to begin our first journey, we were able to leave this morning.
Our plan is to take US Highway 2 from Saint Ignace, MI to Washington State where it ends. Then we’ll drop down and take a different route – US Highway 26 – back east – arriving in Oshkosh Wisconsin in time for the EAA Airshow. We have to be back in Cadillac by August 1 for doctor and dentist appointments. We also have one hard and fast rule – NOT to “push it” – and try to rush through the trip. If we find a place that we want to explore, we are free to do that. We also want to travel no more than 250 miles a day, unless there is a compelling reason.
So, today at 1035 EDT, we left Wellston, MI – in weather fit for the Pacific Northwest. Gray, rainy 62 degrees – no worries about bright sunshine in our eyes. We made a brief stop in Cadillac to pick up mail, and grabbed pizza and salad from G&D’s – you have to be a “Cadillacite” to appreciate this. We finally found dry roads around Gaylord, and by the time we reached the Big Mac – it was turning into a really pretty day!
Our adventure on “2” officially began at 1450, we turned left from I75 (technically we took the appropriate exit) and headed west.
The UP looks so much more inviting when there are leaves on the trees, grass is green, and flowers on the roadside! Driving along 2 is very scenic – and we are happy to report that the orange cones are alive and well at the Cut River Bridge (one lane during this stretch – but that is progress from the perpetual detour that has been there in the recent past), and in Escanaba (the road construction in Wells near Pioneer Trail Campground is progressing very well). We were delighted to discover a new walking path near the campground heading into Escanaba proper.
Pioneer Trail Campground is a lovely campground/county park. If you’re ever looking for a family-oriented campground near Escanaba – this one deserves much consideration. They have a disc golf course, primitive tent camping, some pull-thru sites, water and electric hook-ups, and dump stations. The bath house is always neat and well-kept. There are great views of the Escanaba River, opportunities for fishing, boating/kayaking, and walking in a lovely setting.
Day 1 finds us tucked in at Pioneer Trail – one of our “home away from home” favorites. We have had a good day of travel, a walk this evening before supper, and ready for sleep. Tomorrow morning we will wake naturally – no alarms. Then we will set off for more touring.
Miles traveled: 319.1 – okay, so a little more than 250 – but campground options are limited, and we like this one!
Road Trip USA book – https://www.amazon.com/Road-Trip-USA-Cross-Country-Adventures/dp/1598809253
Pioneer Trail Park and Campground: https://www.michigan.org/property/pioneer-trail-park-campground