Dateline August 8, 2011..Michigan, Indiana

John and Janice Macanac Island

We drove through very heavy rains across Minnesota and Wisconsin crossing the bridge into Menominee, MI where we spent the night in the towns RV Park on the water.

City Camp Ground

We stopped at a local grocery store and enjoyed a great barbequeue with some wine. The rain had stopped and the park was very relaxing. We decided to play golf on Sunday at a town about 40 miles up the road called Escanaba at the local country club which was part of the golf trail in the UP. The drive up along Lake Michigan was beautiful. The beaches were beautiful and it felt like you were driving along the ocean. The golf course was a wonderful layout and when we finished the front nine, one of the locals was parked next to the RV and got into a conversation about golf. He was the sports editor at the local paper and asked us if we had plans to play a few other local courses. He told us to check 0out the Island Casino a few miles away because they had a two night special that included play three great courses. A break from the RV was not a bad idea so we signed on for two nights and two rounds of golf, one of the courses had just been punched and had the greens top dressed, so we took a pass on it. Monday morning we drove up to Iron Mountainto play Timber Wolf Golf Club. What a great course. It was built on part of Pine Mountain, a ski area and had fantastic holes and vistas. We thoroughly enjoyed the course.

Pine Mtn "bambi"

The Casino had built a course next to the complex and we played it on Tuesday morning. We were one of the first groups out and were able to play in about three and a half hours. It was an interesting links course that had just hosted one of the stops on the LPGA Futures Tour so it was in very nice condition.

We then drove to St. Ignace where we found another wonderful RV Park called Lakeside. Our site looked out over the lake.

Our plan was to visit Mackinac Island (according to Conde Nast, “one of the ten best islands in the world”) the next morning and decided to take the boat from the other side of the

Mackinac bridge

“The Bridge” to Troll land (the UP locals call all people in Michigan that live “under ..south of..the bridge” troll’s). We parked the RoadTrek in the parking area where we caught the boat to the island.

Boat to Macinac Island

The quick trip over gave a great view of “The Bridge”

Macinac Bridge

and Mackinac Island with the Grand Hotel overlooking Lake Huron. Arriving on the island you are introduced to the smell of fudge, fudge and fudge. It seemed that every other shop sold fudge. We walked along the main street and stopped for a cup of coffee and a moment to figure out what we would do next. There are tour wagons drawn by beautiful draft horses and we decided it would be a great trip to see the various parts of the island. There are no cars, they were outlawed in 1898, so horse is it! We started the tour and the town is this magnificent 1890s look and feel with the narrow streets and all the stores in the village. As we drove up to the Grand Hotel,

Grand Hotel

were Christopher Reeves, Jane Seymour and Christopher Slummer had filmed “ Somewhere in Time”, in 1980. There was a red telephone booth on the side of the road. The girl doing the tour mentioned it was installed so that Christopher Reeves had a changing room. The Grand Hotel was built (1887) in 90 days, try that today in Michigan or anywhere else in the states. We approached the golf pro shop where actual golf carts are allowed on the course,

Move Clubs from 9 to hole 10

however the clubs must be loaded into a horse drawn carriage to be taken to the back 9. The rest of the tour took us through the state park where we stopped to view the Arch Rock which is 150 feet above the lake and 1850 the mystical story of the rock was recorded by the Ottawa Indian Nation. We then continued on through the park to Fort Mackinac overlooking the lake and walked back down to the village. Finding a fun little sandwich shop on the piers we were having fun watching the loading of wagons

UPS Delivery

from the UPS truck that came over on the ferry, but could not make the deliveries.

Mackinac Island is a great spot and if anyone is in the area, stop and experience it!

Pat and Ana Carney had sent an email and planning on traveling through Michigan on their way home to Ticonderoga. We met up with them at Sleeping Bear Dunes National Park outside of Traverse City. Arriving late in the afternoon, we camped in their camp space, one of the advantages of these small RV. Of course it was cocktail hour and we all enjoyed a few drinks along with Pat and John having a cigar. It was a lovely evening and great to spend a few hours together. After awaking in the morning we drove back north along the shore of Lake Michigan through the dunes of Bear Dunes. You would have thought that we were at the ocean on Long Island or Florida rather than a Lake Michigan.

Sleeping bear Dunes

It was amazing along with the fact that this was all part of glacier activity. We were told later about the sand dune and that people that went down to the sea shore, could not get back up because of the sand on the rocks giving way and being extremely difficult to climb. The Coast Guard needs to rescue them and the fee is substantial.

Finding a RV camp to stay at in Traverse City was a problem because it was the week of their annual film festival so Janice had emailed our good friend Robin Vaught, who has a great home outside Traverse City about dry camping in her driveway, assuming she was in Florida. Low and behold we received an email saying “I am here, call me! “.

Tara, Dan and Robin

We gave her a ring and off we went to her house. Robin, her friend Ed, daughter and grand daughter, brother and the rest were all there having a family vacation. We parked the RV by the garage,  hooked into the electric and joined the party.

We played golf at the same course later in the afternoon at the resort. Robin, Ed, her nephew and son-in-law played behind John and I it was a beautiful day and after we headed back to cook dinner and have a few drinks.

The Princess

The next day we  again played golf at  the resort and had a bad experience..it was a weekend and play was slow, the ranger told us that they were staying there and had been drinking..as if that made slow play OK? So we would not recommend playing their if you are ever in Traerse City. We returned and hung out with Robin and her family for a while, we left the next morning to move over to the state Park and stay (the 3 day fish rule).

We stayed the night at the state park with electric and it was a good park right across from the state park beach on Lake Michigan. The next day we met Barbara and Jack Gillen at Traverse City golf club for a round of golf. This is the golf club Janice use to play in a friendly golf tournament (Fort Lauderdale versus Traverse City) that was organized by Robin for several summers. We had a terrific time then went to town for a lovely dinner.

We spent the next day catching up and getting organized and then met Robin and Ed downtown for drinks and dinner, I know we will see them when we are back in Florida!

Off to Noblesville Indiana for Janice to try and qualify for the USGA Women’s Senior Amateur. John was the trusted caddie and unfortunately Janice missed getting a spot in a 3 hole playoff, that’s golf!

Off we head to visit family..more to come..

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About johnandjanice

We are two semi retired former technology executives that enjoy traveling around the world with an emphasis on playing gof; in most cases reasonably priced courses and enjoy our passion for great local wines. We have purchased a Class B Roadtrek RV and will spend many months on the road in North America meeting many locals while enjoying their local communities and sharing our experiences with the readers of our blog: Travels with John and Janice.
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