A few weeks ago, after our last art fair of the season, and at the behest of my housemates, I took a solo camping trip to the north woods. I was in desperate need of some alone time.
Looking over the list of state campgrounds I settled on Wilderness State Park, 8,000 or so acres of land encompassing the northern-most part of the Lower Peninsula. Situated along the Straits of Mackinaw, this small spit of land juts out into the northern portion of Lake Michigan, with the Straits to the north and Sturgeon Bay to the south. While not an actual "wilderness area" (roadless), it feels pretty remote, and combines thick woods with wet meadows and miles of shoreline. While I had hiked there I had never camped there, and this seemed like a good time of year to give it a try--few bugs, fewer campers, and zero screaming children.
I gassed up the RV and hit the road, driving north on US 127, picking up I-75 around Grayling. The day was glorious and the colors amazing.
The roadside was red with oaks,
or yellow and gold with aspen, birch and maple.
This heron rookery is near Higgins lake, vacant of course at this time of the year.
At several points along the highway the trees fall back and the view opens to wide vistas.
After over four hours on the road the Mackinaw Bridge loomed into view, linking the lower and upper peninsulas across the Straits of Mackinaw, and I knew I was close to my destination.
Arriving at Wilderness State Park I filled up the on-board water tank and picked my spot. There were perhaps six or seven other campers, most parked along the water. I took up residence in the last spot along the Straits.
It was heaven.