NYS to Michigan

Posted by | Filed under 2007 Road trip, Michigan, Niagara Falls | Jun 4, 2015 | Comments Off on NYS to Michigan

August 1, 2007

First of all, thank you for all of your support and well wishing.

My camping set-up at the Emmett KOA.

My camping set-up at the Emmett KOA.

I am writing this from my tent at the KOA spot in Mackinaw City, northern Michigan. With a little luck I might even be able to send this update from my tent as well, amazing.

Let’s go back a couple of days to NY State. I left Rochester on Sunday morning heading for the Niagara Falls and Niagara on the Lake, Lake Ontario that is. All went well until I missed the turn off right after the Canadian border. Not so bad, I just go to Niagara on the Lake first.

Prince of Wales Hotel on Picton Street.

Prince of Wales Hotel on Picton Street.

Past through a bunch of vineyards, strange to see them on flat land, I am used to seeing wine/grapes grow on the side of mountains. The little town was cute, too many people, the view over the lake was great. I asked for directions back to the Falls and headed south again. Bought some peaches on the way. What a nightmare. I don’t want to offend anyone, but the town of Niagara Falls is ghastly to put it mildly. It could be a Disney production.

Clifton Hill

Clifton Hill

There is no way to just stop and catch a glimpse of the Falls, people everywhere. I was very frustrated and disappointed. I was on the verge of leaving without having gotten a good look or even a photo of the Falls. Decided otherwise, stopped illegally, jumped out of the car, took two shots

Niagara Falls

Niagara Falls

and drove off, a cop car right behind me. Thank God, they didn’t do anything. I do not ever want to go back.

I made my way thru Canada west towards Michigan. I didn’t really have any interest to explore Canada at this time any further, sorry. The big bummer came at the US border. It took two hours until I finally got to the customs booth. No problems there.

I had put it into my head that tonight would be the night I would camp for the first time ever!! There was a KOA not too far from the border. I just made it in time to set up the tent before total darkness fell. I was not scared, but it did not feel comfortable. I didn’t have any time to get the lay of the land during daylight. Don’t laugh, but I was very glad to have Buddy. He stayed with me all night in the sleeping bag! The “bed” was pretty comfortable. Thanks James for recommending a rectangular sleeping bag.

Emmett Main Street Diner.

Emmett Main Street Diner.

Breakfast at a local place, standard three eggs, toast, hash browns and coffee. Got talking to the local folks and they gave me some tips for photo ops.

Old barn along highway 19 between Emmett and Memphis

Old barn along highway 19 between Emmett and Memphis

Michigan is beautiful. Farmland, corn fields (sweet corn) and out of nowhere adorable little towns. Some look very modern, saw even a cyber café.

I was headed for the Michigan west coast. The landscape changed from flat, straight roads with farmland to the left and right to hilly, curvy roads lined by big trees. The tree tops were so large that they formed a canopy over the road, wow. Made it to the coast with enough time to set up tent in daylight this time. KOA sites might not give you a true nature feel, but I am fine with that. Wouldn’t be too thrilled to be out in the woods by myself. I think my parents wouldn’t be either. It takes a little getting used to brushing your teeth next to a handful of strangers. The shower facilities are tiny. I have the feeling that my NYC studio will seem really big when I get back.

Steam engine at the SS Keewatin Maritime Museum.

Steam engine at the SS Keewatin Maritime Museum.

I didn’t get far the next day, very tired. Can’t fall asleep at night right away. Stopped in a town called Saugatuck, right on the mouth of the Kalamazoo River and Lake Michigan. Very nice, I like places by the water and Michigan has plenty of them. Spend the afternoon there, eating and drinking coffee. My coffee consumption might also be responsible for my not falling asleep problem, I am cutting back. Drove a little further north to Muskegon where I again camped. Unfortunately, the site was within earshot of the highway. Ear plugs only helped a little.

This brings you to present time, August 1. I panicked in the morning, when I realized that it would take me two more days before I am out of Michigan. I have to stop doing this, I’ll get to where I get when I get there. I have the feeling I will be back just a day or two later than I had planned. The drive up north to Mackinaw City was beautiful. Drove thru forests, cherry & apple orchards, past huge blueberry bushes and shoreline towns and I even took a dip in Lake Michigan, very refreshing. My favorite time for driving is after 6 PM when the sunlight gets warmer and everything looks even more beautiful.

My drive thru Wisconsin will be a little abbreviated. I’ll cross thru the upper, narrower part of Wisconsin, instead of driving further south. Something got to give, better to see fewer places than to loose my sanity.

Good night.

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