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Old 12-12-2011, 06:27 PM   #1
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Exploring Under the Bridge Rally, MI

Exploring Under the Bridge. That's both a figurative and literal term. We'd be exploring the northern tip of Lower Michigan (figuratively under the bridge) and cruising on a private Boston Whaler out on Lake Michigan and Lake Huron (literally under the bridge). How many people can say they've boated on several of the Great Lakes, eh?

Kelly (Mellen60) and I have been talking about putting together a rally at Petoskey State Park near Traverse City, MI. It's a beautiful part of the state and a cool summer escape from the heat.

The rally would be held a minimum of the weekend of August 3rd, but several of us will be driving up from St. Louis and may be there the entire week to make a vacation out of it.

Petoskey is known for their sand dunes and beaches that rival Florida. The area also has some fantastic wineries, museums, and of course, Mackinac Island.

If you haven't been to Mackinac Island, it's one of those "must see" places on any person's bucket list. It's kind of like going back in time. No automobiles are allowed on the island and folks travel by horseback and bicycle.

Kelly's son Adam a.k.a. "The Rodfather" will be towing his 30' Boston Whaler with an awesome Peterbilt a.k.a. "The Big Nasty". As if a group of Airstreams doesn't draw enough attention, The Big Nasty will be reserving a site with us. What a site to behold!

So let's start some discussion. Does this sound like something folks would be interested in? There are a lot of details to work out. The Michigan State Parks don't take reservations until the six-month window ahead of the reservation date, so we have until February to work out these details. So let's talk.

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Old 12-12-2011, 06:46 PM   #2
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We are definitely interested. Have not made any real plans yet for big trips next year since we don't have a budget yet. We will know by Feb how much tax $ is coming back.

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Old 12-12-2011, 06:46 PM   #3
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You definitely have our interest . . .

Nancy and Laird
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Old 12-12-2011, 06:52 PM   #4
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Steve, as a lifetime troll (one who lives under the bridge) I can say I've spent many, many hours on all four of the great lakes. Now then lest you think I am a fisherman , I'm not, I was a dyed in the wool duck hunter. By far Lake Superior is the best of the bunch, and we kept a camp just outside of SSM on Sugar Is. As a pre-teen ( the 50's) we sent summers all over the UP and swam in Superior daily. Funny in the seventies when we took our kids to some of the same haunts, like the Two Hearted and Carp river. I couldn't get above my ankles.
I am sure we would be in for doing PSP, as it is a nice park and near some still good pickin for stones. Drummond Is. is a favorite and well remember spending a week there in a state park in the 70's and being the only ones in the park... boon-dockin at it's finest!! I hope this turns into a doable get-together.
Barry and Karen
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Old 12-12-2011, 06:54 PM   #5
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Sounds like a terrific idea ... it's a great part of the State of Michigan.

I may be in Alaska then, or on the way back, but if not, would love to come!
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Old 12-12-2011, 07:29 PM   #6
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It's definitely on our calendar! Looking forward to a great time!
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Old 12-12-2011, 08:28 PM   #7
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Glad to see someone mention Trolls! Yoopers call everyone living under "da bridge" (Mackinac Island) a troll. The movie "Somewhere In Time" was filmed with Jane Seymour and Christopher Reeves at the Grand Hotel on Mackinac Island. There are no cars or motors on the island so you really do "go back in time". the ONLY way to get there is by boat. There's plenty of horsepower, fudge, shops, eateries, and carriages. There are bikes to rent EVERYWHERE on the Island --where you can ride 15 miles (downhill, coasting) to Arch Rock...a beautiful formation on the water. If you drive to the Shepler or Arnold's ferry terminal, you can bring your own bikes. There are horseback riding stables and "the cowboy in you" can hop on a horse to clip clop past all the Victorian mansions. In the late 1800's big money folks from Chicago and Detroit sent their families up to the island in the summers to beat the city heat. There's also an historic fort to tour on the Island and a couple of beautiful, small stone churches.

My son, Adam, is a boat captain with an 28' Boston Whaler. He has offered to make two lake runs (Friday/Saturday) from Bay Harbor, a town next to Petoskey, MI straight to Mackinac we can arrive in style! You'll go under the bridge which literally joins the upper and lower peninsulas of Michigan while separating two of the great lakes, Huron and Michigan. The bridge is a man-made wonder, 5 miles long. He can take up to 14 persons each trip (1.5 hours each way) and there will be a sign up sheet on Thursday night for Friday and Saturday's cruise. All he asks for is a little help with the fuel and we are not setting a price.

There's a road called "the tree bridge" from Petoskey to the Mackinac Bridge for all those who prefer to drive or want to bring their own bikes the Island. Along this road is a winery with it's own shop of farm goods, some animals, and produce. There's also some eclectic shops and ice cream along the path..I won't call this route a road. On one side you've got a drop off into Lake Michigan with breathtaking views and then there's this path, with no shoulder, barely wide enough for two cars, and the trees go right to the edge of it and touch overhead for 20 miles! It winds and rolls and you just want to stop and take pictures! You can make the wineries OR Mackinac Island/City your final destination. I think some people might want to take the boat cruise one of the days and drive to the wineries on an alternate day??


Nearby, in Indian River, there is a fish museum and large hatchery--they give tours.

Those willing to drive an hour southeast can take an afternoon run to see Hartwick Pines State Park & Forest--a lumberjack camp museum with the only stand of VIRGIN White Pine in the state. There are trees that take 20 people to put their arms around, a cookhouse, lots of hiking trails, and lumberjack sleeping quarters to tour.

On Monday, weather permitting, we want to put together a group of 6 for salmon fishing! Adam's boat isn't named "The Rodfather" for nothing! He has all the gear and can provide a guide. Again, just a little help with fuel and a tip for the guide he has to hire, and we can put together a fishing trip that's cheap, productive, and fun. We can figure this out over s'mores on Friday night!

Did I mention Petoskey Stones? Use google images to see these beauties! Did I mention the Ship Wreck Museum with the Edmund Fitzgerald? Don't mean to write a book, but there is so much to see and do.

Yes, I was born in Chicago, a true south side girl, but 30 years ago I married a Michigan farmer and the rest is history. I love the mitten!

Steve did a great job starting this thread and he has way more Airstream experience than I have. Together, I think we can put on a rally that people will forget "Somewhere in Time" and say, "One more time!"

My email is and my blog (with Big Nasty, our Peterbilt Adventure) is:

Happy Trails and hope to see you at Alumapalooza this year!
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Old 12-12-2011, 09:22 PM   #8
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Consider my spot booked! Provided we don't have a conflict, the Silver Playpen will be on site.
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Old 12-13-2011, 12:04 AM   #9
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Wow! Sounds like a blast. Northern Michigan is one of my favorite places to go. Sleeping Bear Dunes (west of Traverse City) are great to see you gotta eat some smoked white fish available in Makinac City.

It would be a long pull from Virginia, but I have family in Michigan and this sounds like a great rally with some great folks involved!

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Old 12-13-2011, 06:00 AM   #10
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Hmm,let's see an hour away,Fellow Airstreamers...Count Us in !
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Old 12-13-2011, 06:23 AM   #11
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Traverse City is a beautiful area.

Hmmm, I spent the better part of a day and night in the ER there a couple of years ago, with a torn ligament in my knee.

We could be interested in a rally in that area.

🏡 🚐 Cherish and appreciate those you love. This moment could be your last.🌹🐚
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Old 12-13-2011, 07:27 AM   #12
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Originally Posted by goshawks00 View Post
.... I can say I've spent many, many hours on all four of the great lakes....
OK, I was tired when I read this yesterday.....

Now I gotta ask which of the five fresh water lakes do you consider "just ok" and not "Great"?!

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Old 12-13-2011, 08:29 AM   #13
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I do have a preference for Superior as the best of the great lakes. Clean, wild and secluded. That said from PSP there are a multitude of things to explore. I belief something like 12 light houses with 75 miles. Many rivers, streams, trails, parks, points of interest. It could be a great camp in.... Those looking for extended camping could explore the gem of Michigan 'da U P..'
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Old 12-13-2011, 08:32 AM   #14
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Count us in. We just moved back to the U.P. after 4 decades in Chicago and are
looking for trips close by. There are hundreds of small inland lakes and lots of National Forest Campgrounds.

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