I fell in love the Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore area last year in 2020 on our trip to Yellowstone and then ultimately, the west coast of Washington state. On that trip we stopped early on in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan, also know as the UP, pronounced, you pee! Back then when we stopped in Munising at the KOA, it was muggy and it was FULL of mosquitos. I had wished we had mosquito nets like when I went to Alaska with grandma back in 1982. Side note, I do now have mosquito nets in Miss Riggy full time! Anyway, we had a quick tour of the area at Miners Castle and it was gorgeous. I knew I wanted to come back when we had more time to explore. Enter August 2021!
Back in January of this year, on January 9 to be exact, I made reservations at this campground I found online called the Munising Tourist Campground. It’s a campground run by the little town of Munising. It is right on the water and beach of Lake Superior. They have a bunch of sites on the water which is exactly what I am after. I finally was able to figure out our timing and book 7 nights there right after our annual NENA conference which was at the end of July.
In order to be at a site right on the water, I had to make some decisions. I decided that we would move from campsite to campsite EVERY SINGLE NIGHT in order to be right on the water 5 of our 7 nights. While this may sound like a complete nightmare, it was actually incredibly insightful! We learned about this campground and had a ton of fun kayaking from the different spots along the shore. I want to go again next year. I will be booking our site right when booking opens on December 1. I think that will at least allow me to not have to move every night. The far end of the campground is the nicest. In my pictures it’s where Miss Riggy is parked near that Airstream.
This campground did the trick and we had some awesome kayaking! The first 2 days we were there, we did not kayak; however, the water was just too choppy. The guy at the front desk told us to kayak in the river on days like today. We didn’t do that. Where is the river anyway? What river is he talking about? We had no idea and were fine not kayaking those first couple of days. We were recuperating from our conference anyway! We spent that down time from working just biking around the campground and enjoying the weather. The kayaking really was phenomenal. That water is crystal clear and on sunny days it’s blue just like in the Caribbean. It is glacial water from long time back.
It was kinda funny! We were told at check in that we could move to our next site each day if the previous occupant had left their site. In other words, we didn’t have to wait until the noon check in time. Part of the reason that it was not that much of a pita to move from site to site was the fact that check in and check out times were both at noon. My fellow campers reading this, know that there is often a window of 1, 2, 3 or even 4 hours between check in and check out, like at you know, your basic Hilton property. Having both times at noon makes it much easier to move from site to site. We found out after the first night that we were not the only people in the campground switching sites. This is what happened. The 2nd morning, around 10 am, I hopped on my bike and road to the campsite that we would next be occupying. I did this to check and see if it was open or occupied or to see any activity to try to judge when these folks might be leaving. This isn’t a huge campground, there are about 125-150 RV and tent sites. So here I am riding my bike from about the middle of the campground, all the way down to the one end. I get down there and the people are still there, I don’t see any signs of anyone packing up or anything so, I note this and begin to head back. On my way, I overhear this guy in a pick-up truck driving by and talking to a couple in a site across form our new site. He’s asking them when they think they might be pulling out because he is moving from his current site to their site on the water. They say, “as soon as possible, we are waiting to move into site #88 and we were just down there and there aren’t any signs that they are packing up at all!”. First guy says, “oh dear.” Ah ha! I think. Ok, this is how it works. There’s a noon shuffle. I’m still on my bike and I carry on my way back to our site to report to Joel what I have learned. Then just around noon, the campground shuffle begins. It was interesting to see people moving from site to site. There were a handful of other campers doing the same thing that we were doing. Even on our last night there, the couple that camped next to us had struck up a conversation with me about moving from one site to the next. She was lamenting about what a pain it was to do. A pain to pack up everything and then move it so closely. They were in a big 5th wheel. I empathized with her and told her it wasn’t that much of a pain for us at all. The small size of Miss Riggy keeps her nimble and easy to pack up and move on. I look forward to going back there and staying in the best part of the campground for more than one night. Now I know exactly where to stay.
If any of you want to plan to go with us next year, let me know and I’ll get that party started!
The UP is just gorgeous! It reminds both of us of Maine. There are lots of pine trees and coast line and the weather while we were there was just excellent. The humidity was hardly anything. We did have smoke from the wildfires which gave a nice red color to the sunset one of the nights. The water of Lake Superior changed colors too while we were there. In the beginning with the clear blue skies the water was shades of turquoise and blue. Towards the middle of our stay the water was shades of green and darker blue with the hazy smokey air. Then towards the end of our week, the water was shades of brown and darker green, the skies were mostly cloudy. The water was always very, very clear throughout our stay. Next year, I plan to take a paddle board, it’s the perfect water for that if it’s not too choppy because the water is so crystal clear! I will share some pictures of us kayaking on different days, hopefully you can see the water color changeyness.
Here’s a link to the campground. https://munisingtouristpark.com/