Hoeft park / Mackinac camping weekend

We took our new camper out for a longer trip this past weekend.  We headed to the beach! Hoeft State Park was the destination in Northern Michigan.  We estimated it was about a 5 hour drive, but it ended up being 6 hours.  Even though I took a half day off work, we still got a late start, but since it stays light so late, it didn’t even seem like 8pm when we arrived.

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We stayed up too late playing games on our first night, and we didn’t wake up until 9:30am on Friday morning.  I mention that because it’s a rare day that I sleep in past 7am on the weekend, even without an alarm set.  Dang, I guess I was tired!!

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The campground was on a nice paved bike trail which we rode on for 10 miles round trip.  Along the way we saw a house which had a Purple Martin bird preserve.  I don’t think we have Purple Martins where I live.  They are very melodic birds which migrate to South America in the winter.

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The bike path also lead us to a lighthouse.  We learned about how the light in the tower magnifies the light bulbs rays through prism shapes such a way that it can be seen from 16 miles away.  Interesting “old fashioned” technology!

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The next day we got going a bit earlier and made it over to Mackinac Island in the morning.  We decided to take our bikes along because Sydney was stressing out about riding on a tandem rental bike.  I’m not sure why, but she has a bit of a phobia when we ride bikes that someone will run into her.  The tandem bike idea gets her even more worked up!  The ferry had a close up view of the Mackinaw bridge!

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It was nice to have our own bikes because we could take as long as we wanted exploring the island.  Mackinac is 8 miles around.  

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We had to walk up 207 steps to get up to Arch Rock.  EXHAUSTING!  I was feeling pretty out of shape.

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Arch rock…

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It also has a very steep hill in the middle of the island, which almost killed us biking up to the top!  But we got to see this exciting fort at the top… obviously my family was pretty excited about it.

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and no trip to Mackinac would be complete without a pic of the Grand Hotel.  They won’t let you get any closer to the hotel than this pretty much.  They are quite strict about keeping out the tourists!

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We also visited the butterfly house.  Very lovely, and about a million degrees in there!

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And did I mention the two note worthy facts about this island? – 1)  There are no motorized vehicles allowed on the island, so it’s bikes and horses only.

2) they have a LOT of fudge shops.  Tourists are called “fudgies”.  With so many different varieties, it was hard to pick out just a few flavors to buy!

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Back at our campground we enjoyed the soft, sandy beach – but the water was far too cold to go swimming in!

The kids ran up and down the dunes, and buried themselves in the sand.

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As for running, I had 18 miles “long run” on my schedule, but I just didn’t have it in me.  I brought the wrong clothes and it was too hot out.  So, we ran 3.2 miles and I called it a day.  Let’s just say I’m tapering!!

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But we did bike and hike a bit, so it was still an active weekend.

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I’ve gotta say – I LOVED our old popup camper, but this new camper is such a huge step up from that camper.  Here’s the real game changer – I took a shower in our camper!  The shower is a tiny little shower, but if you get wet, turn water off, lather up, then rinse off again, the water use is minimal.  Amazing!!!  I’m sure it will feel like heaven after the Mohican race next weekend!!

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Q:  Have you ever been to Mackinac Island?

Q:  Are you a “beach cruiser”, “tandem” or “mountain bike” kind of person?

Q:  Have you ever showered in a camper before?

That was my first time! 

5 Comments

    • I am excited about our new camper. Next summer we’ll be going on a trip out West for a few weeks. I remember doing that with my family as a kid. Grand Canyon here we come!!

  1. What a beautiful place!! I have a friend who would go to Mackinac every summer and I was always jealous–looks like such a fun place to make family memories that I’m sure you will treasure for a long time. Thanks for sharing, now I want to go!

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