Michigan, August, 2022

We had planned for some time to visit Michigan’s Upper Peninsula and then cross the Mighty Mac Bridge to East Jordan on the South Arm of Lake Charlevois to see our friends Amanda and Douglas and Ted and Karen.

We stopped for the night on the way to Michigan at Holtwood Campsite Municipal Park Campground in Oconto, WI. It was a really nice spot, we had a pull-through site, easy in and out the next morning. We made a reservation for the way home too.

Lakeshore Rest Stop
Rest Stop Beach

There is a very nice rest stop on the road heading east along the lakeshore. We stopped for almost an hour or so for lunch and a break

And then to Lakeshore Park Campground on the north shore of Lake Michigan just west of St. Ignace. We have been to this campground before and it is quiet and has a great view of the lake.

We Had a Nice Shade Tree
From the Beach you can see the Mackinaw Bridge

We spent a day on Mackinac Island. The ferry got us over and back. We mostly just wandered around exploring. We found a place for lunch that was off the main track. It was good.

The ferry ride went out to the bridge and underneath it before going to Mackinac Island. We saw the Viking Ocantis, a brand new Great Lakes cruise ship as we came into the docks.

Viking Ocantis

The small tender boats were ferrying passengers back and forth.

As usual, it was busy in town. We walked by a bed and breakfast that we stayed in several years ago. it is right on the harbor. From the front, it looks pretty normal, from the side it is much bigger. There is a gift shop and a nice coffee/pastry shop at the rear.

Coffee and a pastry morning treat in the sun was nice. up and down the Main Street, checked out the toy store, the kite shop, looked into a dozen fudge shops. We resisted but broke down and bought a jigsaw puzzle with a ship going under the Mackinac (it is pronounced mackinaw) Bridge, a Great Lakes patch and a patch from Mackinac Island with an 8.2 on it. The 8.2 is the length of the bike path around the island. We did that last time we were here. It is a very nice ride, mostly level along the lakeshore Bring your own bikes – they are very expensive to rent on the island.

We had a nice lunch at the Yankee Rebel Tavern. It was not all that busy given how busy it was but we were a couple of blocks off Main Street and past the normal lunch hour. Then all the way to the West End and back to the docks for the ferry ride back.

We stopped at Clyde’s Drive In on the way back to the campground to get something for dinner. We have been to the Clyde’s in Sault Saint Marie and enjoyed the food there. This one is bigger and it was slammed. It took about 10 minutes just to get an order in and a 30 minute wait. And then the place really got busy. We were patient and rewarded with hot off the grill burgers and onion rings. We made a bee-line for home and gobbled them up.

On Saturday we went north and east along the north end of Lake Huron to the small town of Hessel for the one day a year 45th Annual Antique Wooden Boat Show. We have had this on our list to do when in the Upper Peninsula but missed it several times.

The north part of Lake Huron is made up of many long skinny rock islands and a few big ones carved by glaciers. They are called the Les Cheneaux Islands.

Every year has a custom artwork poster, this one was from 2017. The Boat Show had well over 100 wooden boats from as far back as 1917. Everyone was spectacular in their own way. Many were carefully and faithfully restored from near wrecks. Many had been owned for generations and maintained along the way. They came from as far away as Maine and Louisiana. Most of the local owners stored their treasured boats in almost as spectacular boat houses.

It was a beautiful sunny day. All of the boats were in slips in the marina and the visitors made their way back and forth on the docks. I took well over a hundred pictures. Every boat from every angle was breathtaking.

When you think of wooden boats you think of Chris Craft. There are many of these here including hull number 4 and a Chis Craft built in Italy at their factory in the Lake District of Northern Italy. But what surprised me was the dozen or more nameplates represented from all over. High-end, high-quality wooden boats with inboard engines and two or three cockpits were built all across the Great Lakes, New York, and up into Maine.

And some of the most famous were racing boats. Here is a Gar Wood Chris Craft with two turbocharged V16 engines. The driver and mechanic sat in the very rear.

This is a fairly rare three-cockpit boat. The engine is in between the second and third row of seats.

It is hard to pick out pictures that do the boats justice. The absolutely perfect, glass smooth finishes and perfect woodwork were a joy to see. The descriptions of dozens of coats of varnish, hand sanded between each layer to get where it needed to be are nothing short of woodworking art.

These boats ran from a 17 ft canoe to a 49’ cabin cruiser.

Miss Lilly, a 1917 canoe was a crowd favorite, and Susan’s too.

We had lunch there and visited the tent with t-shirts too late to get a beautifully embroidered shirt so I settled for a long-sleeved t-shirt. I came to find that it was a very comfortable shirt on those cool evenings. I have since added a couple more to my traveling collection.

Next time you are thinking about an upper peninsula adventure include the Antique Wooden Boat Show. It is well worth the time.

More Later, Much Love,

Roger and Susan

2 thoughts on “Michigan, August, 2022”

  1. Those boats were awesome! The twin turbo was a masterpiece and quite the attention getter! As I believe I mentioned, we will be heading over to PEI while up in Maine. Figured might as well, since we will only be about 300 miles from Bar Harbor where we will stay at the Thousand Trails park there. Hope to take lots of photos as well and am thinking of picking up a GoPro for the trip as well. Nice trip you two!


  2. Roger and Susan, we so love your newsletters about your latest travels! I have always wanted to go the Wooden Boat Show, So I envy you. I lived in Kalamazoo for 26 years and did get to go for a long ride on Lake Charlevoix in “The Boss” a larger wooden boat with a huge engine. It was owned by a friend. What a treat that was.


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