Kathy and I were both born and spent our early years in Michigan on the west side of Detroit and then spent our school years in Redford Township where we met in high school, got married shortly after we graduated and started a family of our own. I’ll tell you about those early years some other time.
Our vacation travels as a young family consisted of driving on up to the Kalkaska area of Michigan’s lower peninsula where my folks had moved after Dad’s retirement from Ford Motor Company in Dearborn. It would always be a “low budget” trip. We would be able to stay close to home (about 4 hours away), the kids would have some time with Papa and Nana, and Kathy and I might even be able to sneak away for a couple hours alone while we got free baby sitting from my folks. All in all, it was a “win-win” for all of us. We had fun back then.
And although we spent a lot of time up in this neck of the woods, we had no idea there were so many waterfalls in Michigan. Workamping here at Pere Marquette Oaks RV Resort gives us every other week (7 days straight) off so we can do what we want. Kathy thought it would be fun to go on up to the U.P. (Upper Peninsula). As we researched our potential trip, we found that Michigan boasts being home to nearly 200 waterfalls and all but 2 are located in the UP! We had been up to Tahquamenon Falls years ago, but we thought that was it. Boy were we wrong!
We loosely planned our road trip to take up 3 days time. We decided to not take the coach and stay in motels 2 nights so we had more mobility and easier entry to some of the sites where the falls might be located. It was a good thing we decided this as many of the sites had small access roads and/or parking areas with not much turnaround room.
We invited our new friends Chuck and Joanne to come along with
us and we all had a great time. They’ve retired from the Grand Rapids area and as a family they’ve done lots of camping over the years and they had some ideas on where we could go and what we could see.
Although we wanted to see LOTS of falls, we knew that time, money, and our “rear ends” in the car would tell us that 3 days out would be about all we could handle.
Here’s a map showing our 3 day route up and back. If you want to see an interactive map where you can zoom and pan for yourself, click here.
Besides the numerous falls we saw, and the pasties and smoked fish we ate, there was something we learned that I had no idea existed. I knew that folks who lived in the Upper Peninsula were known as “Yoopers”, but I had no idea that those of us who were born in or lived in the Lower Peninsula were known as “Trolls”.
I couldn’t imagine why I would be called a “Troll”, until a Yooper shared with me it’s because we live “below the bridge”! Now it all makes perfect sense.
Here’s a slide show of some of the high points of our trip. I’m including a few short videos too.
Here’s the video montage of our UP Falls Tour to go along with some of the pictures in the slide show above.
All in all, we had a great time seeing beautiful sites with great friends and looking forward to our next adventure. So long for now from your friends “The Trolls”.