Our goal was to leave this morning around 10:00 a.m. And we managed to accomplish that.
With only a one-night stay in Munising, we didn't need to dump tanks so that saved a little time.
Today's route was 265 miles, a very long day for us. We always estimate an average of about 50 miles per hour to allow for slower speeds in the small towns we go through on the back roads, construction, etc. And today, we had to go over the Mackinac Bridge and we'd probably have another stop or two along the way to stretch our legs. So, I was estimating it was going to be a 6-hour trip.
We took MI Hwy 28 east to Seney where we took MI Hwy 77 south to U.S. 2 which includes a beautiful section along the northern shore of Lake Michigan. Then we picked up I-75 crossing the Mackinac Bridge into Lower Michigan.
On the bridge, we stayed in the right lane and followed the trucks which are required to go 20 mph with flashers on and 500 feet of spacing.
Ten miles south of the bridge we stopped at a rest area. Then we continued on to Gaylord where we exited onto MI Hwy 32 west. There was a good place to fuel up, so we did that before continuing on to U.S. 131, then MI Hwy 72 into Traverse City.
Going through Traverse City with the big rig wasn't too bad, but it was the least fun part of the trip. From the intersection of MI 72 and U.S. 31 on the western side of town, we still had a little over 20 miles to go to the Lake Leelanau RV Park, and most of those miles were on good county roads.
Along the way, we saw signs for Leelanau Pines which is a different campground on the lake. I hope our Rally attendees don't get confused by that. :)
It seemed like we would never get there as we kept driving through the rural area, and I was beginning to question our directions and our GPS. Linda kept saying "YOU picked it". :)
But we eventually made it. The entrance to the RV park and the office/lodge looks new.
There is a sign directing RVs into a separate lane for registration. We went inside and introduced ourselves to our main contact, Jennifer. We had given her a heads up that we might come in early, and she told us there would be a few sites available.
Unfortunately, the site we have reserved during the Rally wasn't available, so we will have to move on Saturday (or stay put if we like the site we get today). She marked a half dozen sites we could choose from, and then we took the Jeep for a look.
The park roads are paved, but they are very narrow. The sites in the first part of the park are all permanent and seasonal, so it looks more like a mobile home park than an RV park. But the section of the park nearest the water is more like a traditional RV park.
The park is also separated by a small stream that runs through the middle.
One issue we had in choosing a site today was that they had just done some paving around some of the sites and a couple of the park's roads were closed. Of course, we chose a site affected by the road closures, so we had to improvise getting to it.
Fortunately, the park escorts you to your site, so we followed Tim who helped us negotiate some of the tighter spots. We then backed into Site 165.
In the middle of the road in the photo above, you can see the "welcome duck". She just appeared looking for food and came right to the door. :)
We got all set up and have a little view of Lake Leelanau.
It was another brisk, windy day, so we didn't mind being off the lake a few sites. By the time the Rally starts, we will have most of the RV sites in this section. We might even stay in this spot and give up our lakefront site to someone else.
I did a little walking tour of the park, taking pictures of the beach and boat docks, ....
the bathhouse with its private, individual shower/toilet rooms (very nice and clean), .....
and the laundry facility.
Behind the office/lodge are tennis courts with paddleball and basketball courts, a shuffleboard court, and horseshoe pits.
The lodge (aka clubhouse or community center) where we will be having our seminars and meals is also very nice. It's one of the main reasons we chose this location, and it will be great for a small Rally like this one.
Later on, we decided to go out to dinner. The village of Lake Leelanau is just a few miles north, and the village of Leland (aka "Fishtown") is a few miles farther (about 8 or 9 miles from the resort).
We drove to Leland and had dinner at The Cove. Linda had a great portabella pasta dish, and I had parmesan encrusted fresh whitefish. Unfortunately, my fish was pretty bland. It's not the most flavorful fish on its own anyway, but I was hoping for some nice seasoning since that's the specialty. But, since Leland is still a commercial fishing town, at least it was fresh. :)
Fishtown is an interesting little place, and we'll have to come back, earlier in the day, when all the little businesses and shops are open.
Back home we had a nice, quiet evening.
Tomorrow, the plan is to go do some exploring, but we also need to get some work done. We'll see which option wins out. :)
I have to admit it is nice to be here a little early. :)