Thursday, 2nd April 2009; 4:21 pm - Location:

With the Michigan economy being in such dire straits, one of the things in the back of my mind lately has been spending my money locally. I couldn’t buy a US-made scooter; there is no such thing. But I bought one made for a US company (Genuine Scooters of Chicago), and I bought it from a West Michigan dealer. Although there are places I want to see in other states and other countries, right now I want to spend my vacation and my vacation dollars in Michigan. I don’t have a lot to spend during this trip, but I’ll be spending it in places where any economic activity is badly needed.

I’ve pretty much settled on an itinerary, as follows:

Day 1: Grand Rapids to Ludington. Pretty familiar territory, but I’ll hug the lakeshore to make the most of it.

Day 2: Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore and the Leelanau Peninsula. I’ve been to Sleeping Bear a couple times in recent years, so rather than stop and camp there; I’ll go on to Leelanau State Park.

Day 3: Grand Traverse Bay to Charlevoix, sleeping at Fisherman’s Island State Park. It’s only about 15 miles as the crow flies, but taking in the entire Grand Traverse Bay shoreline will be a day well spent.

Day 4: Mackinac City, Bridge, and Island. It’s a fairly short ride the rest of the way to Mackinac, which will give me time to make camp at Straits State Park in St Ignace, then spend the afternoon on the Island.

Day 5: West across the UP to Manistique, where I’ll stay at Indian Lake State Park.

Day 6: A detour away from Lake Michigan, up to Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore, which I’ve neglected to see in any of my previous drives through the UP. I’ll be camping on federal land rather than state land here.

Day 7: Through Munising then south through Escanaba, and along Green Bay (the body of water, not the city), staying at J. W. Wells State Park on the bay.

Day 8: Through Green Bay (the city) and on to Manitowoc, where I’ll catch the midnight ferry to Ludington, hopefully getting a few hours of sleep.

Day 9: Ludington to Grand Rapids via the less scenic route, then a nap.


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