Michigan, who knew?

By June 23, 2023 Dining, Heather

Apparently most of the people in my life, that’s who.

Rough outline of the journey up

Now. We get it.

Pretty cool up north.

You gotta see it yourself. Pictures don’t explain that this is really what clear water can look like. I’ve seen similar in Cozumel but not that calm, and I wasn’t dozens of feet above it in a boat still seeing the clear bottom. My goodness.

The awakened me of course says, please dear God don’t let us eff this one up with pollution too. If we haven’t already. Please. What beauty.

We heard and verified online that Lake Superior is so full of natural water for the globe, that if you spilled it out, it would flood north and south Americas over a foot deep. Another story we heard was that Lake Superior could fill the entire Grand Canyon with water and the rest of the United States over 5 foot deep.

That’s alot of water.

Mark and I loaded the side bags on his Harley and took a ride to Michigan for the week. Here’s the path he made for us.

Here’s my summarized thoughts along the way to mention.

Michigan is pretty much like Ohio and interstate until you get closer to the lakes area. Then, it’s night and day. We took the long way around to start, as you can see on the map, because we wanted to make a circle and not have to back track but keep seeing new things along the way.

WE spent our first night in Big Rapids. There wasn’t a specific reason, other than it was cheaper than the big blue spots like Grand Rapids and had lots of local restaurant options.

Mark at Big Rapids Michigan

We ate at the El Burrito in the strip mall and it was a great group of staff and very good food.

There was some type of baseball tournament as our hotel was predominantly parents and grandparents with boys in uniforms from different teams. The breakfast bar was a hopping that morning before we took off to take in some scenes and end up in Traverse City next.

Now, Traverse City was the only city we planned to stay in for sure, and booked two nights in a row there. The rest of the days before and after weren’t set in stone, but we figured this was a nice point with a gorgeous lake view and many things to see were within 1-2 hours of TC.

We couldn’t check in until 4 pm so Day 2 was touring the mini peninsula and nice curvy roads along the shorelines. The Sleeping Bear Sand Dunes were HUGE and cool and fun. Even if we were in boots and jeans and couldn’t hike it. We took some good strides to climb and see views. WOW.

Once were in our hotel, the Baywatch Resort, we had a view from our balcony that was so pretty. we spent both evenings on that balcony until the sun set. It was so peaceful.

We watched mallard duck couples wrangling babies of up to ten per family in the evenings and they were comical.

Our view at Baywatch Resort in Traverse City Michigan
Our balcony view. Affordable too. Nice place.

Day 3 we dressed a little more casual and stuck around the little Old Mission peninsula, checked out wineries and a couple little shops and got a couple cold beers throughout the day. Again, shoreline everywhere.

I couldn’t help but think of how every home, regardless of size or shape, had a beautiful view within sight somewhere.

I’d take a trailer in the park there. Why not. It’s beautiful. I hear winter is a bear. The snowmobilers love it.

Amy Adam’s Oosterhouse and her husband Carter own a winery there called Bonobo Winery. There’s so many wineries it was hard to keep them all straight. So we picked three to stay responsible.

Brys Estate Vineyard was delicious, staffed lovely and breathtaking views. Highly recommend it.

Chateau Chantal was founded by a priest who retired and he still lives in the upstairs of the winery and gives tours. It was delicious!

The guy named Marty from Oak Island owns this one and it’s very nice as well. I am also quite certain I almost ran into Marty at a gas station in St. Ignace. Pretty sure.

Day 4 was packing back up on the bike and headed east and north up to the next peninsula, the big UP.

First, we had to drive through the road of trees. I loved the peacefulness of it. If you ever get to ride top down, on a bike, convertible, windows down, whatever you can do – take in the sun, wind and nature in these areas. It’s like that is what I think mediation is supposed to be like.

Well, except some parts of the road got a little crazy at about the last 3 miles. Yikes. The highway guys filling holes talked to us briefly when we got through it. Lol. They were on the same page.

We got to Mackinaw City, enjoyed a beer and a sandwich. Road the ferry over to the island. Hiked to the arch and skull cave rock. Straight uphill and around all the horse tours.

Lots of horse poop on the streets and trails where people with bikes were all over. It was very populated and touristy for sure. Enjoyed the concept and the history of it. Recommend the Turtle brewery and if you like fudge or yummy ice cream by the scoop, this is the jackpot. very good.

I would wish they could find a way to pump lake water through the gutters to rinse the piss out and help it smell nicer. Maybe I just caught it on a very hot day and baked sunshine and a large crowd of visitors.

Either way. Nice place. It’s nice to not have cars and see everyone smiling.

Seeing the amazon delivery guy was a good chuckle.

The best parts came after we stayed in St. Ignace and headed UP to Paradise and the Upper and Lower falls. Our friend from work recommended it and boy was she right. Breathtaking views and a great pub and restaurant within the falls area called Tahquamenon Falls Brewery. All around fun day to make our way eventually to Munising.

Talk about a slice of heaven that wasn’t too crowded and just a right level of kind people. We wanted to view the Pictured Rocks like our cousin recommended, with a kayak rental, but by the time we arrived it would’ve been too late for a full three hour.

So Mark stumbled on this boat ride tour called Riptide Ride. It’s 90 minutes of guided boat ride around the islands and rocks. Sounded great.

Surprise! It was a bonus of all bonuses.

Turns out, Tim and his wife Joni own and operate this thrilling coastguard like boat that you strap into and hold on tight. Cause the AC/DC is going to jam and you’re in for a ride.

Plus quiet still times touring the rocks and majestic views, of course. And hear stories from a multi-generational citizen of Munising who happens to be a top notch thrill seeking sailor. What. a. blast.

Here’s more pictures of our adventure. Michigan. Who knew!

I hope you get there if you haven’t already!

Thanks for reading,


Michigan was very clean for the most part considering their governor is so corrupt with the Flint stuff and that fake kidnap plot with CIA operatives and what not. Every town had at least 3, if not more, Cannabis retail stores. Very nice and neatly kept.

We saw very different situations for Las Vegas, Denver, Flagstaff and Illinois where you can’t escape the smells and people all over the streets. This was rather refreshing to see it work. At least from a tourist view.

For a state with legalized marijuana on every billboard and store corner along the path, I do have to give Michigan props for keeping it clean and tourist looking still. Maybe it’s the strict no smoking signs in every restaurant and hotel or just people respect using it for its purposes. Either way, the only sad despair of homeless we encountered were in the gentrified area of Grand Rapids where the Bell’s brewery is.

There were streets of make shift camps and the sad eyes that gave up and were left to be ignored. The murals behind them and patio bar were adorable though. At $8 bucks a beer, we didn’t stay long but appreciated the scenery. Go blue.

There was a homeless man that started talking to us while we were at a stop light in Traverse City, too.

Ann Arbor – the reality of riding back home – my goodness I am glad we just drove through. I am still shocked that here’s a big ten university town, a hub for Facebook and Google – and yet the roads were bumpy and horrid and traffic was nuts and seems chaotic and probably the dirtiest of any we saw, although we didn’t go towards Detroit.


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