On July 15 we left Naubinway, Michigan at 7:30 with a beautiful sky but within 15 minutes it got cloudy. We had flat water for about 5 miles then it got choppy. We had one 9 mile crossing that went very well. Fog hung over the tops of the trees and threatened all day. It never did settle on the water. The last 7 miles got a bit sketchy but the worst part was when we passed a stone quarry and had re-bounders from the wall. We pulled off for lunch and things got bad, 4 foot whitecaps that didn’t end. It was a nice spot and we decided to set up camp and watch the show. It was an 18 1/2 mile day.
The Mackinac Bridge
Lake Michigan = FINISHED!
The 16th was a dreary day with wind and choppy water but an easy paddle. Joe and I were following the highway at this point so we saw and heard lots of vehicles. We paddled under the Mackinac Bridge with all the choppy waves you would expect but it was pretty exciting because it marked the end of Lake Michigan…one lake is done!
We landed at Straits State Park and immediately met a great family. Joe and I asked directions to town and they offered us a ride. We were looking for a battery charger but had to settle for batteries. The campground is very nice and the showers are very clean with no shortage of hot water…heaven! Had. Fun evening visiting with our new friends and a nice cold beer. 23 miles done.
St Ignace, Michigan
July 17 we left St Ignace, Michigan with perfect conditions for the Island hopping we had planned for the day. Hopping the islands back to mainland Michigan is much shorter , safer and easier than taking the route around Green Bay. Everything today went perfectly and we landed on the last little island with the most perfect camping spot you could ask for! It had been cleared for a tent spot and had a walkway to another clearing with a fire pit so we ended up with a bedroom and a kitchen/dining/living room. It was almost like being home. We had our first real fire since getting back out. 28 1/2 mile day.
St Mary’s River
July 18 we left our island paradise on rougher than expected water. We paddled 15 miles to reach the St Mary’s River. The river is big and wide and feels more like a lake. We didn’t meet any big boats but did see the ferry at Detour and it was cool to see it form our vantage point. It looked huge! Ended our day in Raber, Michigan about 1/3 of the way up the river. Raber is small but they have great people and an amazing burger and beer at the Raber Bay Bar. The place has a great collection of wildlife mounts that are so well done. Joe liked the fish mounts best. Talked to several people and got to watch Henry the Chocolate Lab working on his retrieval skills. 29 miles today.
Dunbar Park, Michigan
July 19 last night we had tons of rain and wind and everything is soaked. Left under cloudy sky’s. As soon as we hit the river we knew we had to work for our mileage today. At 4 1/2 miles Joe said we could turn back but I said no…I wanted to tho. About the time we were looking for a spot to hunker down everything settled, it was like someone flipped a switch. The Bay we were most worried about was a piece of cake. Finally, we stopped for a break and to make phone calls and just as we were leaving a freighter came through about 100 yards from us…no wake issues, I was shocked. We felt much smaller next to him than we did by the ferry. 2 Paddling 5 made 22 miles and stopped at Dunbar Park, Michigan in time to dry out all our gear and spend a great afternoon watching the big boats go by. Seeing them lit up at night is even more impressive.
Sault Ste. Marie
July 20 was another perfect day in every way. Stopped for a snack at the Sugar Island Ferry, it was a treat to see and I love hearing the horn blast. I guess I’m just a kid at heart. We continued on to Sault Ste. Marie with the same great conditions. The old electric plant is a beautiful building, even prettier from the water, huge and impressive. (We also toured some historical sites in town, well worth your time.)
When we landed at the Marina we asked for directions to a few locations in town and were offered a new Ford truck to use. The nicest guy ever works there, he gave us directions and we were off. Got everything we needed and even stopped at McDonald’s for a junk food fix and some iced coffee, so good! Our new friend also offered to take us to a park to continue on without having to use the locks, I was thrilled with that idea! He made 2 trips to deliver the boats for us and directed us to a gorgeous campsite for the night about 5 miles out. It was the most beautiful little island with a perfect sandy beach.
We made 21 miles.
The 21st was another pretty day with an amazing sunrise. We got to see 3 big freighters before we got away from the shipping lane. We paddled 9 1/2 miles and we were on Lake Superior…great feeling. Joe is back on his favorite lake and has the smile to prove it. We ended our day on a sandy spot near Roxbury Creek, 9 miles from Paradise Michigan. The water was so warm, didn’t expect that from Lake Superior. Joe found blueberries and they were a very nice treat. It was a cool evening on shore and the waves picked up and made for a pretty view.