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Sunday, June 25, 2023

CAMPGROUND REVIEW - Lake Superior State Forest- Blind Sucker Campground #2

Ewwwww! Wisconsin was heading for 5 or 6 days of hot hot hot weather. Winds were coming up out of the South and the weather forecast didn't look very nice. Dry and hot.

We figured that we would do what we've always done. Head out to the Great Lakes to get cool. Either along the shore of Lake Michigan or head up to the shore of Lake Superior along the Upper Peninsula of Michigan. 

We tossed five or six days worth of groceries and clothes into the motorhome, grabbed up little Binney, watered all the flowers and tomatoes and set the security cameras. We also turned off our water main, ice maker, and water heater while we are gone.

I had a place in mind, and since it was only Tuesday, I was hoping we could get a site. It is the Lake Superior State Forest Campground on the shore of Lake Superior. It is rustic camping without hookups. There are only about 25 sites and it is "first come first serve". It is located about halfway between Grand Marais and Whitefish Bay. It is about 200 miles away, so we needed to get a move on and head north.  This is where we set our sights... 

(top campground on this map below)

As we drove north, it was getting close to lunch time. We were just past Manistique, Michigan on US 2, along the shorelines of Lake Michigan. There is a beautiful pull-off beachside park. We decided to stop here and make a little lunch. 

The winds were pretty calm and the temperatures were rising. We found a nice spot to park right next to some picnic tables to enjoy our sandwiches. 

There were a few vehicles here and there and a few people on the beach. It was a very relaxing place to stop and we were fortunate to have our own kitchen right next to us. We could make up our lunch without having to wait for a waitress or place an order or get served or waiting for the check like we would have had to do at a restaurant. Truly one of the nicer benefits of having an RV. 

It is a dog friendly area with scooper bags nearby. Binney came around out and sniffed around a little bit. She really does not care for the water and she said that is one big bathtub!

We sat and soaked up a little bit of the sunshine and watched a few of the seagulls dip up and down begging for scraps of food. The moment you feed one of them, they all come swooping in to see what is up for grabs. It was a nice break but we wanted to get on our way and try to get a site at the campground of our choice. 

I put away our lunch gear and snapped this picture out of the window. What a nice view! Too bad we couldn't just camp right here. But sadly no, there is no overnight parking at this place.

We meandered further north and headed up towards Grand Marais. The road turns to gravel as soon as we get through the little sleepy village and turn to the east. Even though the road looks like it had been recently graded, with the lack of rain, the awful washboard surfaces soon appear. We were vibrating our fillings loose in our teeth! We had to crawl along going pretty slow. It was only five and a half miles to get to the campground, but it sure was enough! So please know if you are trying to reach this campground, be prepared for very slow going rugged washboard or rattle your rig to pieces!

We made it all the way to the Lake Superior State Forest campground. We drove on through and sadly there was not one single available site. All of the lucky people that were there on the first come first served basis had claimed all of the sites. We know we could come back the next day and sit at the entrance, and hopefully wait for someone to leave? Or check each of the registration tags on the posts and see what their intended departure date was?

Instead, we went to our second choice. Just a mile or two to the south, again on gravel roads, is Blind Sucker Campground Number 2. There's also a Number 1!

Here is their website:

There are 31 sites for tent and small trailer use. Camping is limited to a 15-day maximum stay. Amenities include vault toilets and potable water from a hand-pump well. The campground is located 33 miles northwest of Newberry via M-123 and County Road 407.Sites available on a first-come, first-serve basis. No reservations.

We drove through the 31 sites. There were only about five or six other campers there, we chose a site on the very end loop with only two tents nearby.  It was absolutely beautiful and peaceful. We could not ask for a more wonderful campsite in this rustic State Forest. We were only about a mile and a half from Lake Superior so we could walk over there if we wanted to. But here we were away from the gravel road and the dust and the other people.

This is rustic camping with only a well pitcher pump for water and a couple of outhouses. No hookups. The cost is $20 a night.

Your vehicle also needs a state sticker. If you are in state or out of state residents, the rate is different. You can buy a daily pass or just sign up to buy the yearly pass. We chose to buy the yearly pass for $39. They will mail it within a week or two after they get our information from our envelope in the Dropbox pay post.

We registered for only one night at a time, because it is first come first serve, we could actually stay there for 14 nights. We can decide each morning if we want to stay another day and pay before checkout time.

This is the type of camping that I had done a lot of as a child.  Growing up in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan, we would go camping just about every weekend. We would pull our little trailer out to one of the national forests or state forests with rustic campgrounds. We never had to worry about getting a site because there were always plenty available. Dad would haul along our bikes and we would ride around on the dusty gravel roads. We always had a campfire going along with marshmallows and graham crackers for s'mores. We didn't need a lot of toys or electric entertainment things, we made our own fun. We found natural things along the trails and we learned about fishing and walking in the woods without getting lost. We collected rocks, or maybe leaves, or maybe interesting pieces of wood. The peaceful calm woods of the National Forest are so much more desirable than a crowded RV park with full hookups. This is "our kind of camping"!

Our site was so nice that we were shaded and right near the water. We didn't even need to put out the awning. 

We sat out on the lawn chairs for the afternoon. The sky was a brilliant blue, and every once in a while a puffy little cloud would go by. We weren't seeing any of the smokey haze from Canada because the winds were coming up from the south. There weren't any bugs around other than once in awhile and occasional deer fly. No mosquitoes at all. 

The temperatures were getting up there, and the water was warm and the shoreline was sandy. I waded in up to my knees. We could see little minnows flickering around. We discovered that our neighbors in the tents were actually out in the water in a boat. They were seriously fishing all around the lake from spot to spot. Looked like they were really enjoying themselves.

We set up our lawn chairs and we sat in our relaxing peaceful quiet campsite. The tall pine branches around us were dipping and swaying gently in the breeze, but it was sooooo relaxing that we both fell asleep and took afternoon naps. 

Along about supper time, Steve took out his Blackstone griddle. We had a couple of Salmon's Market brat patties to fry up. I had brought along a container of potato salad that I had added sliced hard boiled eggs to mix in. I whipped up a little cucumber onion and cherry tomato mix salad to round out our evening meal.

After dinner we took a little walk around the campground. There were two beautiful swans hanging out in a cove around the corner. Perhaps they were nesting back there? We did see them swim out into the middle of the lake area for feeding near some weed beds. But then they went back to the cove again. They were so gracefully floating along in the peaceful water. It was so perfect, almost like a picture postcard.

Our neighboring fishermen were very seriously working their way around the lake. They didn't come in until almost dusk. They ate a quick meal and must have went straight to bed because we didn't hear a peep from them. A ranger drove through once, but that was all that we saw in our campground. Everything was very quiet down on our end. 

We got a very good night's sleep. But the next morning we woke up and listened to the weather report. Oh my.... Check my next blog for details. 

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