We’ll be heading out on what will be our second one night camping trip of the summer tomorrow morning. Our destination is a town near the tip of Michigan’s “thumb” where we’ll be staying overnight in a state park. It’s supposed to be rainy/stormy tonight, but the weather forecast after we arrive looks to be very pleasant, with temps not exceeding 81 degrees Fahrenheit. Also, we “should” be able to avoid rain for the duration of our visit.
The purpose of the visit is for me to see one of my favorite “ladies,” which by “ladies” I mean the Great Lakes. I’ve had a lifelong love of the Great Lakes, which is kind of convenient, since I live in a place that is touched by four of them (Michigan, Superior, Huron and Erie). Though I don’t think Erie really counts, I think of it as the “armpit” of the Great Lakes (sorry, Lake Erie – I know the people in Ohio probably really, really love you, but you just don’t compare to your northern sisters at all).
The Great Lake we’ll be seeing on this trip is Lake Huron, which is, imho, highly underrated by many folks in my state (Michigan). Lake Michigan tends to get the most attention and some think its beaches are the best. Well, the beaches are nice – but in the past few years, some of the beaches have become ravaged by a little thing called…erosion. An unforgiving mistress, for sure. Muskegon has been particularly hard hit, as has Manistee, where Orchard Beach State Park has lost some real estate. There are plans to move a historic building at a $1 million dollar cost at the park. I was at this park briefly last summer inquiring about getting a site for the night. We were turned away, but overnight, the campground flooded so badly that people were using their kayaks in the campground!
Lake Huron has a charm of its own. While it may lack the touristy resort cities that Lake Michigan boasts on the western coast, there are still plenty of white sand beaches, picturesque/quirky towns on Lake Huron (Alpena, Tawas City, Oscoda, Harrisville, Bay City, Rogers City, and Cheboygan, to name a few) and beautiful state parks.
I don’t know if I’ll actually get into the water on our trip or not – that depends on weather. If it’s hot and I want to cool off, I’ll get in. Otherwise, I’ll be content to just chill out in my beach chair and watch the waves roll in. And ogle a lovely sunset (if the clouds allow).
When you don’t have the luxury of doing a full weekend trip, one night camping trips are the next best thing. You don’t have to pack a lot of gear, you only have to spend one night sleeping on the ground, and…well it’s just a nice “little getaway.” Also, since you’re leaving on a day that you don’t work, you’re not rushing out the door (usually tired) after work and getting to your destination with just a couple of hours to enjoy the scenery before the sun sets.
With all of the nights we’ve spent at home in the past few months, the “little getaways” have become “essential” for our sanity! Anyone else getting tired of that word “essential,” as well as “social distancing,” “new normal,” “uncertain times” and the worst one of all… “COVID 19?” Show of hands?