Bar Horbor Maine!!

Dear Hannah.

So… Where was I???  Oh yes…

So I rolled out of Horseheads NY in a timely manner, around 0800 or so.  Looking at the map, It’s tough to get across the New England states without using a toll road.  We don’t have toll roads in Arizona!  If someone tried to charge me $3 to get on the highway I’d just drive in the ditch for a few miles then pop back up on the road.  OK so the toll roads are kinda nice!  The rest areas are their own little towns with gas and food and the whole shooting match!  I was a little disappointed when I found out the toilet seats aren’t heated or plush like the guy at the toll booth told me, but whatever.  Basically I used the turnpikes from Ohio to Maine and It cost around $25 total and maybe 2-3 hours… Maybe.

I’m in Arcadia National Park now… Which is in Maine so it’s like I actually made it:)  I love and hate the park I must say.  It’s so beautiful, but so crowded.  I got up early to hike Cadillac Mountain.  I was at the trial head 30 minutes before sunrise and still was only able to score parking in overflow!  Great Hike up the north ridge to the summit (4ish miles)… which also has a parking lot:(

I tried to get here by sunrise, but that starts too early.
Cruise ships pulling in to Bar Habor ME
I could have sat here all day, but I was cold.

The hike is an out and back and I was back at the car in 1:45 which is pretty good for an old fat guy and will check the box that says “work out” on my to-do list.  Here’s what struck me.  So as I’m getting ready to leave the trailhead two busses pull up and drop of a ton of people who are either older, fatter or both, than I am to do the hike I just did!  Seriously I think they need a screening process before they take people’s money cuz some of those folks looked to be just this side of a walker or wheelchair.  I hope they enjoy the views:)

Now it’s about 0830 and I’m headed over to hike one of the coastal trails.  I had mentioned this of a fellow hiker who cryptically said “I hope you can find parking… He wasn’t kidding!  It’s not that this park lacks parking, there are just so many people here.

And now for a rant…  This is what Edward Abby warned us about, and I’m a guilty as everyone else.  National parks aren’t set up to interact with the tourists.  Yes there are attractions and conveniently placed pullouts to see the pretty sights.  There are bathrooms and gift shops and rangers and all the things we have come to expect.  Those aren’t interactions those are amenities.  There are plenty of hiking trails and yes there are plenty of people hiking on them, but a very small percentage of the total of actual visitors actually get out do it.  Nope, this isn’t a park, it’s a zoo for trees and plants and wonderful wild things, and these things are generally kept at a safe distance from the tourists.  I don’t think people get that.

So I finally found a parking spot at a trail head for a connector trail, jumped out of the truck and promptly twisted my ankle on a slippery rock (insert angry emoji face thing here).  Well I got down to the ocean so I could say I touched the atlantic and headed back to the Spam Can.  No fancy tarp or sexy set-up this time so I won’t post a picture.  I’ll just sit here and Ice my ankle and see if I need to make reservations at my next stop Baxter State Park:)



And then I stepped out of the wildernesses…

Dear Hannah!

So what’s up super-pup!? Remember that one🤪. Anyway… so Pete’s lake… When I was in Marquette I stopped in at a local tackle shop and the dude steered me towards Pete’s lake. There are a bunch of little lakes in that area and the fishing is supposed to be ok, added bonus is the MTB trail that connects the lakes.

The campground is a nice forest service campground, big spots and lots of privacy… not to mention there were only 5 people total in the whole place!! Everything was soggy wet so getting the fire going just to dry firewood was a chore.

I took the opportunity to air out the camper and bedding. After a month things were getting a bit “odiferous”.

It’s amazing to watch fall progress a little more each day! The trees seem to turn right before my eyes.

Bottom of the picture, just right of center is my 20 oz coffee cup for scale

I really should take more pics but I found this really cool downed tree the root ball is the size of a room, and is a whole ecosystem in itself!!

It’s like “where’s Waldo!” Find Jeff’s cup!

The sand washing off the roots in the rain are creating a beach!! I hung out here quite a while, and came back the next day… nice spot.

I rode the 10 mile loop but didn’t take my phone so no pics. Great trail, not to difficult for an old fat guy!! It’s pretty nice to ride smooth trails without rocks, but the wet tree roots are another thing. Very fun.

I also caught a few fish so the three days were a complete success… hike bike boat and fish with no rain😁👍.

Tuesday, yesterday, was rainy so I made it a travel day! Hit some tourist spots, hike to some waterfalls and saw Lake Superior with her makeup off.

After Boondocking in the rain last night I’m making my way to Mackinaw city. I was able to get an appointment there for the overdue oil change. Then onward. I’ll catch up with you soon!!

How I got to Marquette MI

Dear Hannah

Sorry, I’ve been out of cell and web coverage for the past few days.  I’ll catch you up in just a second, lets talk about my guidence system.  Yes, I do have apps that do all sorts of leg work for me but below is what I use to get me where I’m going


This version of Atlas shows Forest service and BLM land and a few campgrounds.  I also us a few apps that I’ll tell you about later (when I figure them out).  I also use the nav system in my truck.


Truth be known, I’m not overly impressed with the Toyota Nav system.  It sucks to search and program, but it shows the roads and thats about all I use it for.  Oh, and yes satellite radio is great!!

So anyway,  the day before yesterday (today is 9/21) I left Temperance river Park MN and head south toward Duluth MN.  The weather forecast proved to be accurate and it pretty much rained, in one form or another, until I got well in to Michigan.  My trusty map lead me to a little campground near Sidhaw MI.  I stopped for a fishing license and some bait on the way… just in case.  Of course the weather didn’t even try to cooperate…


I had the Campground, and lake, to myself

Wet camp and constant rain meant I wouldn’t have a fire so I roughed it and settled for a sandwich and a failed, half hearted attempt at fishing.  The awning keeps things dry for the most part, and it really was a nice evening.

Sometime in the middle of the night, the gale force winds I was promised showed up and this morning it was downright nasty.  I took shelter in a group camping shelter to get coffee going this morning, it was nice to be out of the wind and rain.   I’ve rearranged my stuff so that I can make coffee on the go, and really only have to unpack what I need for any of a variety of situations.  This really helps to get moving in the morning.


Coffee has become an almost ritualistic part of my day so lets talk about it.



Everything I need to make coffee lives in this crate, in the back seat of the truck.


Coffee, Coffee grinder perfectly adjusted, double walled insulated stainless steel coffee press, 1/2 cup measuring cup, stove, fuel and pot!


Lets face it, I’m living in a spam can, coffee is really the only luxury I have:)  The press makes just enough for my cup and little thermos.

So Anyway, sitting in the shelter, hunkered down out of the wind and rain, drinking my coffee got me thinking… I need an oil change for the truck, I need to get my glasses fixed (I’m using spares) and I need to find a regulator for the big stove.  Oh what the heck, I jumped in the truck and headed towards cell service, and promptly booked a room in Marquette MI.  My old job left me with about a bazillion IHG hotel points and I’m not afraid to use them!  Holiday Inn here I come:-)

Tomorrow I’m heading towards a group of lakes in the vicinity of a few forest service campgrounds.  I talked to a guy at the local bait shop who assured me they are all producing fish, so we will see how that goes…


Well, at least I moved🤪

Dear Hannah.

Well I got up this morning at a decent time and made it on the road by 0800. I figured I’d run up to grande portage National monument then head back south maybe in to Wisconsin. I didn’t take the time to make coffee this morning, which was a mistake. I’m going to discuss coffee later

The drive from Ely to Lake Superior is probably one of my favorite “drives”, and this was the first time on it, just beautiful and in many ways reminds me of Alaska..

For the most part the little dots in the map are just that, maybe a roadhouse and general store to service the locals and tourists in the area. The rest is just wilderness.

Lake Superior looked grumpy but calm. I headed north along the shore to grand portage. My phone had just done some stupid auto update thing and I couldn’t take pics… I was pissed. How dare Apple screw with my phone!! Anyway

Driftwood sculptures for 1/4 mile

The forecast calls for rain starting tomorrow noon and lasting around 24 hours, tomorrow can be a big miles day cuz it’s not rainy now and I wouldn’t mind a camp fire. I pulled in to a little state park on the lake shore for the night (starting around 1400😁). In all actuality I’m only about 3 hours from where I started, but there was some backtracking involved.

Took a hike up the superior trail a bit and almost ran to a town to by a trout stamp. The pics don’t show it but there’s a run of some sort of fish cuz they’re stacked up in the pools. Rather than spend the money and time I just watched them and didn’t share my secrets with a couple fishing about 10 minutes up the trail!😁

Fires burning low and I’m aiming for an early start so I’ll probably turn in soon. Unless it’s pouring buckets I’m making coffee in the morning… I’ve yet to stop for a cup of coffee and had a cup of coffee worth stopping for.

Hitting the road again…

Dear Hannah

Well, Craig just headed back to the twin cities. We fished the hell out of this lake, did catch some fish (at least I did but I’m not going to mention Craig not only not catching a single fish but actually snagging an old landing net, nope, not gonna mention it). We treated ourselves to walleye tacos, shore lunch style.

They were DELICIOUS! 3 nice fish = 6 nice fish tacos any day!! Great ending to a great fishing trip!! Great to see Craig again as well!!!

Thought this was cool!! I should video more🤪

So now I’m sitting here in Ely, washing clothes and enjoying the fall evening. It was nice to be able to stand and change clothes, but back to the camper tomorrow. Gonna head to the Lake Superior shoe line and maybe try to catch the ferry to Isle royal NP.

This fishing trip is the last thing I actually “planned”. I need a few good “driving days” again soon so I’ll just watch the weather see how it goes. So much to see and do, so little time!