Kayaking the Apostle Islands National Lakeshore

We made it up and across the state of Michigan!

Our last stop in the Upper Peninsula was Presque Isle Campground in the Porcupine Mountains.

Just over 3 hours from our campsite in Munising, we landed what seemed like very far away from civilization.

Okay. maybe only 15 miles from civilization realistically.

But if you came into the campground from the Ontonagon area like we did,

civilization seemed like a distant memory.

It was honestly like being in a simulation.

28 miles, 40 min is what Google Map says.

It felt like a lifetime.

Nothing but a narrow road with trees on both sides.

And bumps that shook every bit of your body you didn’t even know you had.

Well, with a trailer that’s what it felt like at least.

It was like that the entire last hour of the trip.

When we finally made it to the campground, we were ecstatic to see that we got one of the few sites that overlooked Lake Superior.

yep, that’s allllll water…

There was even a waterfall loop trail in the park so we were excited about that too.

Only problemo of the whoooole thing was that there was no cell service.

We were still traveling with Devon’s parents and needed to be able to get in touch with them.

We knew where they were staying and we knew it was back in the direction we came from at the base of the mountains.

With spotty service, we quickly got our RV settled, and decided we were going to keep going down the road. On the map, the next smallest town, Wakefield, was only a short distance away.

I kid you not, just as Devon put the car in Drive and his foot on the gas pedal,

there were Janie and Rink driving up.

How they found us at the most perfect moment WAS BEYOND ME.

But boy, was I thankful they did, because I really wasn’t sure how long it was going to be before we could get in contact with them.

The other bonus to them magically appearing was that we could all enjoy one more hiking afternoon together.

When we got back to camp, Janie and Rink made the call to start getting back out of the mountains before the sun went down…

Side note about this road:

God forbid any kind of car problems happen to ANYONE! No service and no where to even pull over, my hearts racing just thinking about it!

Unsurprisingly, being so far in the wilderness, there weren’t any hookups at our campground.

The flies were going crazy and the afternoon heat was starting to kick in.

While Devon was eager to get back down to the suspension bridge to go fishing, I couldn’t wait to cool off in the water and take some pictures.

Just off the side of the bridge, there’s a trail that heads down to the water. Following its own little waterfall, you have to climb over a big tree trunk to get to this large landing.

Devon did end up catching a couple decent sized small-mouth bass!

(Will he or will he not say, “DECENT sized?!” when he reads this? I’ll let you know 🙂 )

The first fish he caught…
He was so happy :’-)

Just past the other side of the suspension bridge, you weave through a forest of tree roots before it finally gets to this rock beach.

Devon tried his luck fishing in a number of spots.

But the initial spot on the landing just below the suspension bridge seemed to be the place to be.

Devon’s second fish!

I’m still not sure how we got so lucky to get this site.

We woke up the next morning with the decision to keep the trip going.

Our reservation in the Porcupine Mountains was 2 nights long, but we just felt ready to get to our next stop near the Apostle Islands National Lakeshore.

There was no real destination when we left that morning. We knew where and when our next reservation started and we knew there were first-come, first-serve campgrounds nearby.

So off we went to Wisconsin.

After checking only 2 parks, we ended up getting a beautiful water view site at Memorial Park Campground.

Even through the rain and fog, we could tell we were going to wake up to a beautiful view.

To reserve a first-come, first-serve site, you have to fill out a little card when you arrive with details on how long you intend to stay. You put your cash payment for those nights you want to stay into the numbered, coordinating envelope and drop it into a little pole.

It was $27/night for our site with electric hookups.

I had the $20 cash, no problem…

$7 cash, not so much.

I did have it in quarters though. 🙂

However,

that pole I mentioned had a very small slit for a drop hole.

It was really only large enough to fit

mmmm

the first $3-$4 in quarters or so before the envelope juuuust wasn’t having it.

And it was still raining. 🙂

Just as my envelope was starting to tear, I inched the whole thing back out of the hole and thought of a new game plan.

Ziploc baggie.

It easily took me another 20 minutes before I finally got my $20 in cash and $7 in quarters into that hole to pay for our site.

The next day we made our way to Little Sand Bay Campground where we had a reservation for 2 nights.

Here we go, Apostle Islands.

Trying to keep within our budget, we decided we wouldn’t kayak the Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore, but instead would absolutely kayak the Apostle Islands National Lakeshore.

We booked the Sea Caves Exploration- Half Day tour through Lost Creek Adventure. This was a 3.5 hour 4 mile tour along the lakeshore exploring some of the largest caves in the park.

It’s hard to put into words how excited we were to do this.

Our reservation was for 4pm and we had to be there 30 minutes early.

Again, so excited to go!

Until sweet little old Mother Nature came knocking on my door.

And when she comes knocking, so do the stomach cramps.

Now, as “TMI” as all of this is..

It’s important to the story of all of this because

this is the reality of life.

There I was, so freaking excited to be on a tandem kayak with Devon exploring one of the coolest places we’ll get to experience, and 3 hours before we’re supposed to leave, I’m keeled over wanting to rip my stomach apart.

I wasn’t sure if I was going to be able to do it honestly.

I watched Devon putting on the supplied wetsuit with tears in my eyes my stomach hurt so bad.

If you know what kind of deep aching pain I’m talking about, you know you just want to curl into a ball and yet stretch every muscle of your body at the same time.

We had a small group pow-wow with the 12 other people we were touring with before heading to Meyers Beach, where we would be launching our kayaks from.

By the time we made it to Meyers Beach, I wasn’t in as much pain, but still, I ached.

Our 2 guides, River and Molly, gave us a quick lesson on safety and got us dressed in our spray skirts and life jackets.

They explained that the powerhouse was going to be the person in the front of the kayak, while the steering comes from the person in the back of the kayak.

With that being said, Devon took the front, I took the back, and before I knew it, we were off.

The wind was blowing in our face a little on our way over to the cliffside, just about a mile across the water.

But as soon as we got there,

it couldn’t have turned into a better afternoon.

Any pain I had once felt, totally gone.

One of our first stops and explorations was called The Crevasse… and we got to go in there!!

The Crevasse

The little neon dot is another couple on the tour, Jody and Kevin, in the Crevasse…

This was, without a doubt, an amazing way to start the tour.

Into The Crevasse we go…

UHHHHHH WHAT!!
Through another cave we go…

The passageways we went through…

The noise the water made hitting the walls…

Everything about this experience had me grinning from ear to ear, giddy as can be.

This next stop was called the Mouse Hole…

Can you guess why???

Mouse Hole here we come
Here we go…

Thank you Jody for taking this picture of us!

And an even bigger thank you to Molly and River for guiding our group! This has been one of the best memories. We can’t wait to come back and do another tour!

We got home that night happy as can be and treated to yet another beautiful sunset.

This one though, might be top 3 we’ve ever seen.

.

.

.

Tuesdays and Fridays are the days, friends.

Those are the days I will be sharing my stories.

Wisconsin was a quick trip; as were the next couple days that you’ll read about on Friday.

We’re only a few states away from being caught up to real life.

North Dakota, we’re coming for you baby.
Teddy Roosevelt National Park, see you soon.

Until Friday friends,

j&d

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s