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  • Frank DeArmas

West Michigan 2022

First Stop on the Road to Alaska

Photo by Jan

Welcome everyone to the first blog of the trip. We start off our adventure to Alaska with two stops in west Michigan. Those of you who have followed along with us before know these are yearly trips we take, mainly for a few reasons. First we can visit family, Lauren, Mike, and now Hazel, plus our cousin's Archie, Karen, Steve and Dee, up in Traverse city, and Charlevoix.

And of course it gives us a chance to stay in Petoskey, which is one of our favorite areas.

Stop One, Sun RV Gunn Lake Retreat

So at our first stop we stayed at Sun Retreat Gun Lake (was hidden Ridge) which is near the kids in West Michigan. It was a great time visiting them, and as a bonus we got to spend time with Jean and Scott down at their place on Paw Paw lake near Coloma Michigan.

Great day with Scott and Jean

If you guys have not been to the southwest corner of Michigan especially on the shores of Lake Michigan, you really need to plan a trip. Towns like St. Joseph, South Haven, Saugatuck, Holland, and Grand Haven all offer that small town, lake side, experience that we love so much. We always leave this area finding a new place to explore on our next trip. For us this time is Saugatuck, what a cool town!

Saugatuck Michigan


Stop two, JellyStone RV Park, Petoskey Michigan

As always happens on these visits, it was soon time to pack up camp, and go onto our next stop. For this stop we stayed at the new Sun JellyStone RV resort in Petoskey. This is the old Petoskey KOA we have stayed at before, but the new owners have really done a nice job with it.

From this base camp we were able to check out Traverse city (cousins Karen and Archie), Charlevoix (cousin Steve), Petoskey, Harbor Springs, as well as Mackinaw city. Again the visit focused on family, and as an added bonus this year cousins Greg, Sandy, Mitch, and Alexa we’re up in Petoskey, so we got to meet up for lunch.

Cousin's Steve, Karen, Archie, Gregg, Sandy, Mitch, Alexa, and the puppy is Macy. Oh, and us.

Jan and I in Traverse City

Petoskey and the Petoskey Brewery

Harbor Springs

Cross Village and Legs Inn

Wilderness State Park

Mackinaw City and the mighty Mack Bridge

This part of Michigan is magical to us, as it reminds us of when the girls where young and our Uncle Howie would let us use his condo up in Trout creek to get away. We always looked forward to those trips, and were so lucky and grateful that he was so generous to do that.

I've always wanted to have a place up here, now with our RV, we can be here whenever we want.

Now it's time to pack up the campsite and move onto our next stop, Summer Breeze Campground in Iron Mountain in the UP of Michigan and on the border with Wisconsin. First we will head over the Mackinac bridge and into the UP of Michigan.

Fun Fact alert!!!!

So here is a fun fact about Michigan. Did you know that people who live north of the mighty Mack bridge are called UP'ers (Pronounced Yoo-Pers)? Ok, well did you know the folks who live south of the bridge are called Trolls? That's because Trolls live under the bridge. grin.

They also call us fudgies, cause we are always coming up for the famous fudge made up here!!

Once we cross the bridge we will then turn west on our way to Iron Mountain as we start our westward travels to meet up with our fellow Alaska caravan travelers in Great Falls Montana.

Next Blog will be from up there, as we explore the UP and northern Wisconsin!

Take care and as always, we will see you on the road.

Frank and Jan.


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