For some reason my Dad and I thought we could drive from central PA and snag the Michigan, Wisconsin, and Minnesota state high points as well as sight see along the way and POSSIBLY get Missouri … in like 4 days … yeah – this is not possible. As we were driving early in the trip and realized that Minnesota was way farther away than we thought, we had to make a decision – skip it and do more sight seeing, or skip all the sight seeing and rush to get to Minnesota and head back home.
After taking a few other high pointing road trips I decided that I really enjoy sight seeing instead of racing around and getting as many high points as possible. Chances are I will not be in most of those areas ever again so I may as well see what I can while I am there. We changed our game plan to include 2 high points (Michigan and Wisconsin) and stop at whatever we see along the way that looked interesting.
Our first stop, which was the place I was most excited to visit, was a little town called Mackinac Island. You can only get to it by ferry, it is very dog friendly, and NO CARS ALLOWED! There are tons of bike rental places and an actual highway that is about 8 miles long and it circles the entire island – only for bikes and horses. As the ferry pulled in and I noticed a ton of bikes lined up I knew it was gonna be a great day!
Mackinac Island was such an amazing place that it deserves its own blog post so I will write that up soon!
Then Dad and I headed towards Mount Arvon. We found a hotel close by and realized that we were only about 5 minutes away from Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore. I saw pictures of this area on someones blog awhile ago (SORRY I forget who!) and really wanted to check this area out. We figured we were there so we better go and take the cruise, even though it would put us a bit behind schedule. There were also a bunch of waterfalls in the area as well as on the road we were going to take to Mount Arvon so of course we had to check those out as well!
At some point we saw a little sandwich shop and stopped for lunch. My Dad said he was so hungry for a cheese steak and I reminded him we were a long way from home and he probably wasn’t going to get anything close to a Philly cheese steak, but he ordered one anyway. Here is the conversation that followed:
“I’ll take a cheese steak.”
“Does that have sauce on it?”
“We can put sauce on it – what kind do you want? We have mayo, oil, Italian, French…” and proceeded to list salad dressings.
???? My dad replied “No, like red sauce.”
The guy; ” Oh…well we have pizza sauce, we can put that on it.”
“Ok, that’s good enough.”
Definitely not in Philly.
We were worried it was going to be hard to find Mount Arvon because I had read that you had to drive down a bunch of logging roads, but it was actually pretty well marked. It was a short hike from the parking area to the actual highpoint where we signed the register and continued on our way to Timms Hill, Wisconsin.
We saw a sign along the side of the road for Bond Falls and decided to stop even though it was getting late, we were already behind schedule, and we were tired. We hiked down to the falls and I am so glad we did – it was one of the best waterfalls I have ever seen in my life! There were raised walkways along the front of the falls to get views from all angles and steps that went along the right side of the falls to the top. It was absolutely stunning. We were both so glad we stopped.
The next day we drove right to Timms Hill in Wisconsin first thing in the morning and hiked to the top of the wooden fire tower and enjoyed the lovely view. There is a second fire tower, but that one looked a little sketchy.
Then we had a LOOONNNGGG drive back home. It took us the rest of that day and most of the following day. We were tired from the long drive and we ended up having to go through Chicago rush hour traffic which was absolutely awful. There also seemed to be construction all over so after a long day of driving it was making us a little nutty.
WARNING – FOWL LANGUAGE AHEAD:
So we are driving along and my Dad starts muttering about the construction and traffic. The muttering quickly turned to cursing to himself as I tried not to laugh. “I swear to God they’re sitting around laughing their asses off just being dicks saying ‘Let’s close 6 lanes down to 1’ and then watching us all drive by! They have to be!” he exclaimed to no one in particular. “HAVE YOU SEEN ANY REASON WHY THOSE GOD DAMN CONES ARE THERE?!?!?” It was true – they were blocking off what appeared to be a perfectly good lane with no signs of construction equipment around. At one point the cones directed us to very quickly switch lanes from right to left to right again – it made no sense and I was starting to think my dads theory was correct. “They’re putting us through a slalom course!!” I couldn’t hold the laughter in anymore. I began laughing so hard tears were pouring out of my eyes. My dad looked at me with a bit of surprise at how hard I was laughing and then joined in. At this point we were hysterically laughing so hard we couldn’t see trying to navigate the crazy construction zones. I reminded my Dad he needed to stop making me laugh because when I laugh too hard I start to vomit (gross, but true) and my Dad yelled; “I’m gonna crash the car!! I can’t see!”
We eventually calmed down enough and found a hotel which somehow hotels.com managed to mess up our reservation so we ended up waiting about an hour until it was finally decided to just cancel that reservation and book directly through the hotel which was a bummer because then we didn’t get the points towards a free night, but we were so tired we didn’t care. We use hotels.com all the time so I was shocked that this was such a huge mess up. The hotel staff felt horrible and ended up upgrading us to a huge suite for less than we paid for a regular room on hotels.com which was so not necessary, but much appreciated.
The next day was another long day of driving home, but I was honestly sad for the trip to end. It’s ok though – we already started talks of where our next road trip is going to be! 🙂