The 4th of July and Christmas!

Ah… The Upper Peninsula… a magical place to be.

Double ah…. the laundromat at camp…. an even more magical place to write a blog post.

From Brimley State Park in the Northeastern corner of the peninsula, we made our way 2 hours West to Pictured Rocks RV Park. Located in Christmas, just 10 minutes outside of Munising, this was the perfect harbor-town stop to celebrate the 4th of July. And yes, the town was really called Christmas!

We got a postcard from here that reads:

“The U.P. has 2 seasons…Winter and the 4th of July.

Which one did YOU come up for?”

What this means,

is that the Fourth of July,

is no joke.

People from all over come to celebrate the holiday as it’s typically one of the few days of the year when the weather is nice!

Lucky us, we even got to experience some 90+ degree temperatures!

Munising itself was a fairly small town, but boy did it have a lot of character.

Our first morning there, I woke up suuuper early… well, 6AM… trust me, that’s EARLY for me. I rolled back and forth trying to go back to sleep, but by 7, I crawled over Devon and headed to town.

One spot on the map that caught my eye was The Gallery Coffee Company. Serving as a home for some delicious coffee and large masterpieces of photography, this 8,000 square foot building also serves as a music venue for monthly concerts.

I ordered the Maple Spice (Okay, I don’t remember exactly but it was maple something) iced coffee and oooo weeeee it was good but boy was it sweet!!

I know you can’t see the pictures well, but I was more so trying to capture the space these photographs were shown in

After practically crying in the middle of the room from the joy of these magnificent photographs, some the size of an entire wall, I started to walk around town more.

As I walked around the marina and through the bayside park on the water, I noticed concession stands starting to go up and people starting to gather. Mind you, at this point it was about 7:30 in the morning… but that wasn’t stopping some folks from already setting up their chairs to prepare for the festivities and fireworks show to come.

at 7:30 in the morning??!?!?!!!

We’re talking 15 hours still until fireworks!!!!

On the far left, under the tree, you’ll see that circle of chairs I was talking about
The cruise we’re taking this afternoon is the larger ship on the right!
Daily Dose of sign reading

But I suppose to some, this was the time to find the best seat in the house.

Knowing we’d be back later, I was determined to remember the people setting up their chairs to see if they were still there that evening.

Spoiler alert: They were.

As I wrapped up my stroll around town, I decided to make one more stop.

Now, as I tell you this,

you’ll either choose to judge me

or choose to say, “wow, ok let’s get the morning going”

I said the latter as I made the decision to stop at

another coffee shop.

Well,

coffee RV, rather.

The complete opposite of the large space that was the Gallery Coffee Company, the Rustic Coffee Co. was based out of a small travel trailer in a parking lot beside the NAPA.

NOW, TO BE FAIR, I had really stopped to grab something to take back to Devon…

and then I saw the flavors of coffee offered….

I couldn’t resist.

“One Campfire S’mores Iced Coffee and one Almond Macaroon iced coffee, please”

Both of these coffees, honestly, were even better than the first one.

After a relaxing morning back at the camper, both of us now caffeinated, we were ready to start our morning.

While here in Munising, the most notable thing to do is to see the Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore.

It’s even more encouraged to see it from the water.

With our Pictured Rocks cruise scheduled for later that afternoon, we were eager to explore the lakeshore on foot first.

For reference for our cruise, it left from the Munising Boat Dock and rode along the lakeshore up to Spray Falls.

From Munising, we made our way around Grand Island Harbor towards Munising Falls and up to Miners Castle Rock.

I’ll be honest, the falls were slightly underwhelming, so I don’t have much to show for that.

But Miner’s Castle Rock…….

W O W Z A…

For my Keys’ friends who say the water is what draws you to that piece of the world…

We found another magical place in Michigan for you.

Again, for my sign reader friends

3 pictures for 3 things to take note of: The water. The people. The cove.

Notice anything? or anyone?
I wanted to be in this little cove!!!

We did a couple hikes here and there before heading back to town for our cruise…

Justtt as that 90+ degree weather was really setting in too….

As far as the cruise goes, I’ll be honest, yet again….

My camera turned on and my ears turned off.

Still traveling with Devon’s parents, we all chose to do the 2 hour and 15 min Spray Falls Cruise.

But with views like this, how can you pay attention to anything else?

AH! But one thing I DID hear was when we were passing the location of the cliff that collapsed 3 weeks ago.

If you don’t know what I’m talking about, watch this before you keep reading:

If you know what I’m talking about, this is where it happened:

Thank goodness no one was hurt!

I’d apologize for the number of pictures included but each one left an impression on me.

Take your time scrolling through, there’s a lot to see and I’ve written little blurbs on most of them:

Remember Miners Castle Rock? This is it from the opposite direction, pictured on the left
For perspective…
If you opt to see the lakeshore from a kayak, you might experience something like this!
FOR SOME REASON, at one point in the tour, the cruise goes into this teeny tiny little nook of space!
This was the view from the top of 3 levels of the ship
The formations are mesmerizing
Lover’s Leap is pictured on the right
Legend, and Google, says it’s named Lover’s Leap because couples would show their love for one another by jumping off the cliff of the arch… I do remember on the tour that the guide drew attention to the tilted heart shape the arch creates!
Nope! This isn’t chalk on the wall! Again, per Google, the blue/green colors are caused by copper; the red/oranges are iron; the black/browns are manganese; and the white is limonite! Let’s take a look at some more of the colors produced!
If you look closely you can see all of the colors mentioned above, even the blues and greens! If you look even closer at the water, you’ll see what looks like rain drops. That’s water dripping through the rocks!
Looks like you took a paintbrush down the wall to me! Notice how clear the water is at the bottom that you can see all the rocks too
Lover’s Leap from the opposite side
I took this picture on our way out on the cruise. Per the National Parks Service, “Chapel Rock is a remnant of Cambrian age sandstone that was carved by Lake Nipissing high water some 3800 years ago. There once was an archway connecting the rock to the mainland. The arch collapsed in the 1940s. The lone white pine on Chapel Rock is estimated to be about 250 years old.”
On our way back in to dock, we noticed there was someone crawling across!!
EXCUSE ME, SIR! What are you doing!!!
Here’s a closer look…I was scrolling through Instagram later that night and realized he wasn’t the only individual to make this venture
Spray Falls
Spray Falls!
The Vase…rightfully named because it looks like a vase of flowers!

Next time we come back,

Devon and I will be one of those kayakers.

1000%.

After the cruise, the four of us found lunch at The Dogpatch.

I’ll keep this review short and sweet…

If you like Wendy’s burgers, Dogpatch’s burgers were delicious! 🙂

The end.

HA!

But in all seriousness, they were busy on that hot summer day and the food did the job; it filled our bellies.

Ready to walk off our lunch, we wandered around those concession stands I saw going up earlier that morning, the crowd exponentially larger now.

Update on the family that set up their chairs at 7:30 AM: they were indeed still having a grand ol’ time 12 hours later in the same exact spot.

One activity that really caught our eye though was Chicken Poop Bingo.

mmmmmhm…

You read that right.

Chicken Poop Bingo.

With $5 in our pocket, we were quick to buy in.

At the start of each round, you can buy a popsicle stick with a number on it for $1. Once all the sticks are sold, and believe me, they were consistently running the game, a chick was added to the board and the game would start.

It took 3 chicks to be added to the board for one to finally poop!!!

Anyways, with all of that fun under our belt, we still had a few hours until the fireworks.

We all headed back to camp to have a drink and get out of the heat.

As the sun started to go down, we made our way back into town to find a good viewing point for the fireworks show.

While the center of town looked like fun, there were tooooo many people and not enough parking, so we opted to watch the show with some locals who wisely chose the nearby bayside high school instead.

I won’t share too many videos of fireworks, but one of the coolest things to happen while we waited for the show to start, was the number of fireworks that would go off all around the bay. Whether they were sitting in the grass somewhere nearby or setting them off from their boat on the water…it was very cool pre-show experience! Here’s one quick video I captured as soon as I heard the noise of a firework being lit!

With a front row seat to the show right over the water, these were some of the best fireworks we have ever seen. The show itself lasted almost 30 minutes! To my Franklin Park fireworks lovers back home, this show in Munising puts that one to shame!

.

.

.

Thank you Munising for a small town, big crowd Fourth of July Celebration. We will DEFINITELY be back.

Unfortunately, there’s only one more stop for one more night in the Upper Peninsula, but we still cannot believe how elegantly surprised we were by this area.

Come back TUESDAY to read about our off-the-grid night in the Porcupine Mountains and our kayaking trip around the Apostle Islands National Lakeshore!

Until next time,

j&d

2 thoughts on “The 4th of July and Christmas!

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