Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Up North

10 days in peaceful Petasega County Park!  Petasega sits on the SE edge of beautiful Pickerel Lake, which is one of the lakes included in the Inland Water Route that runs from Cheboygan on the east to Crooked Lake on the west! (Here it is – See Previous Michigan Blogs!)  10 days nestled in the cooling shade of the woods that cover the rolling hills of the “Tip of the Mitten” of Michigan!  AND - 10 days with no TV reception!  Lots of knitting and reading each evening until H could find a VCR at some resale store!  10 warm days of visiting with friends, exploring, fishing and boating!

One day we had the boat on Pickerel Lake when the ominous dark clouds slid in over the lake.  We hurriedly headed for the boat launch!  As soon as we had the cover back on the boat, up in the parking lot of the park – the sky opened up and it poured!  No problem – the day was still young so we headed for Petosky to hunt for H’s VCR.  Our hometown neighbors – Tom and Chris were up camping in the area so we located their trailer and left a message since they didn’t stay home during the rainstorm either.  A few days later, they came to visit us at Petasega.

One morning we headed out to the small tourist town of Indian River for breakfast and then north to Mackinaw City.  The sun was high and the white caps that dotted the blue water were rolling in to the gravel beaches as we watched the geese bob along in the waves.  The magnificent “Mighty Mac” was standing tall against the clear noontime sky as the steady stream of cars and trucks cautiously crossed the 5-mile length of the bridge. The streets and stores were busy with tourists.  Back down the eastern coast of the “mitten” we stopped in Cheboygan for a fish dinner at Alice’s Restaurant.  We cruised the main roads to see what, if anything, had changed since our last visit.   Not much!  As always we revisited the local “junk” store and low and behold – there was the VCR that H had been hunting for!  And the remote was with it!  He even picked up some new movies to watch!

H’s favorite thing to do while in this area is to run the Inland Water Route!  The Tracker sliced thru the quiet waters of Pickerel Lake and Crooked Lake, thru the small lock on the Crooked River, thru Alanson and under its famous one lane swing bridge.  Crooked River is just that – and H took full advantage of the lack of boat traffic as he slid around ALL the curves and we watched as the boat’s wake slapped both shorelines behind us.  As we crossed Burt Lake the wind picked up but we were traveling with it, so our crossing was easy and we found our way into the busy, narrow Indian River that was now congested with slow
Downtown Indian River
moving boats.  Making a U turn in the strong currant and traffic was no easy feat but H maneuvered his craft around and we secured it to the dock in the shade under the bridge.  Ice cream was the target and after we had devoured our sweet treats we wandered out onto the pedestrian bridge that crosses the river right next to the vehicle bridge.  It’s another great place to watch folks and their boats as they travel up and down the river!  Our journey’s turn around point was the bridge for I 75 and we
Crossing under I-75
reversed our route back towards camp.  We crossed Burt Lake, this time heading into the wind and the ride was rougher than the first.  H kept checking his GPS and the depth finder.  Double click on the picture and you’ll see that the lake at that point was 45 ft deep!

Our dear friends, Mel and Donna are a MUST whenever we are this far north.  It’s always fun to zigzag thru the back roads to the shore of Paradise Lake and their log home with the bright red roof!  Our 2nd get together was at our place and the baby back ribs H grilled over the campfire were     delicious!

H even got to go shoot skeet!  We found the Emmet County Sportsman’s Club, north of Harbor Springs and east of Good Hart on W Robinson Rd.  It is listed as “Northern Michigan’s Premier Shooting Facility!  And it is!  They have a really nice clubhouse, staffed by extremely helpful folks and free coffee and rolls for shooters (and those that accompany them!).   They told H that he would be shooting with a very good shooter but wouldn’t you know it – H shot a perfect round and beat him!   To celebrate his score, we enjoyed lunch at the Polish Kitchen in Harbor Springs!

Harbor Springs and Petosky are always fun to visit and “explore”!  There are plenty of city parks right on the waterfront, public boat launches with tables and benches in the shade to rest on and to people watch.  In Petosky we finally stopped at the high scenic overlook to take in the expanse of the bluest water and the busy harbor with the lighthouse that guards it.  Out on the breakwall to the lighthouse, the local teens were showing off and doing diving tricks into the deep clear cool water below.

Yes, we did fish and yes, H did catch several walleye (aka pickerel) right out on Pickerel Lake in front of Petasega!  And yes – they were delicious!  He even had a huge bass but it spit out the lure right as he got close to the boat. 
Camp Petasega

This trip seems like our trips to Florida because now it’s time to move on to another new campground and another part of this northern adventure!