Day Three, Saturday, 15 July 2017: Things started off much better on Saturday. Jonny and I slept in a little, and I stayed in bed to read while he went to shower. I think we were both in lighter spirits because we knew we were going into a “real town” that day. There was the promise of food, sights, and a cruise! So, when he came back, we got ready to go and hit the road for a two-hour drive.
And we found a McDonald’s.
I’m not the biggest fan of McDonald’s, okay. I saw Supersize Me and once found a bone in my chicken nugget. But it was the first recognizable establishment we’d seen in a few days. It was thirty miles away from the campground, but we were comforted by its existence.
We arrived in Munising in the early afternoon and drove through the small town for a little while to look around. There wasn’t a whole lot to see, but it was leaps and bounds better than Paradise — sorry, Paradise! The Inn is your one saving grace. — and just outside of the town’s center, there are multiple waterfalls.
We stopped by Munising Falls first. The walk was about a mile of paved path and a few steps here and there. The stairs weren’t great on that muscle I had pulled, but it wasn’t too bad and the view was gorgeous. There were loads of tourists, too, which was interesting. It was kind of weird to be in a sunny, touristy area after two days camping in the rain.
The next waterfall we went to was Miners Falls. There were fewer people but many more steps. Going down wasn’t the worst thing to happen, but the entire time we were on the viewing deck and Jonny was taking timelapse photos, I was dreading the climb back up. In the end, I had to one-leg it up the steps.
Looking at the waterfalls was the nicest time, especially the first one (Munising Falls) because of the way you had to get there. The path wove alongside Munising Creek, there were a couple of foot bridges, and the entire way you’re surrounded on all sides by sandstone canyon walls. The main viewing platform has benches. It was peaceful and would have been a nice place to write.
After waterfall-viewing, we went for dinner at Pictured Rocks Pizza. It’s a cute, build-your-own pizza place inside a house right on the main road in Munising. There isn’t much seating inside, but you can get your pizza to go or eat outside where there is plenty of seating and a covered patio. We ate on the front porch of the house, and it was lovely.
Then, it was cruise time! I’d booked us on the sunset cruise with Pictured Rocks Cruises, and we really enjoyed it! The only downside was the weather. What had been a pleasant, warm summer day had turned out to be a teeth-chatteringly cold day on the water. (This is when we nearly froze to death, y’all. In July.) But it was so worth it. The Pictured Rocks are just stunning, the captain/narrator of our cruise was hilarious and informative, and it was a cool thing to do that we normally wouldn’t get to, you know? It was something very specific to the area.
Once the cruise finished, it was a two-hour drive back to our campsite. In complete darkness. On a road that’s pretty much completely straight for roughly fifty miles. We saw a handful of bucks on the sides of the road as we went (when I wasn’t sleeping because I’m totally awful at staying awake as a passenger at night).
The next day, Sunday, was one that I’ll wrap up here quickly instead of creating a separate post. We got up and packed everything into the car, drove to the Upper Falls so that we could have a better look. My muscle was still pretty sore, but it was better than Saturday and I’m glad we went back for the full view.
After that, our Sunday saw us stopping at the Mackinac Bridge for a look, driving around Mackinaw City for a snoop, and then driving all the way home. The drive home seemed much longer than the drive up had seemed, and we were pretty much shattered by the time we got home. (Shattered and accomplished, really, as we’d managed to survive the wilderness and nearly freezing to death in the middle of July. Wins all around!)
Well, all, this wraps up my three-part series on camping in the Upper Peninsula! It’s the first “series” I’ve done on the blog, so let me know what you think! 🙂 And tell me about your camping experiences — good and bad — and the favorite places that you’ve been. Jonny and I are always looking to add to our travel list!
Thanks for reading!