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Old 09-27-2015, 09:28 PM   #1
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Pensacola, FL to U.P. MI, WI, MN to home again

Hi all. I've researched here and elsewhere and have made notes but now I need to get this down because we finally get to leave next Thurs., Oct. 1. Having never to been to this part of our country before, I'm struggling a bit.

I put our trip in Good Sam's Trip Planner and this is what it came up with. The only absolute is my husband wants to go to Greenville, MI - where his father was born and raised - just to see what it's like.

I-65 north of us and follow that all the way to Indianapolis.
I-69 to just NE of Battle Creek. There we start for Greenville via MI 50, to MI 66, to MI 57 and Greenville. Any info on these roads would be appreciated.

My question is: Now what? We want to go to the Sleeping Bear Dunes/Traverse City area where our vacation really begins. Route suggestions from Greenville to that area would be greatly appreciated, with reasons why you recommend that one. If it matters, we're nature people, not city people. Hiking, biking, photographing beautiful scenery or unusual geologic formations are things we love. As is taking the Jeep on back roads to do those things we love.

From that area we plan to meander wherever weather and whim takes us through the U.P, along Lake Superior in Wisconsin, to Duluth, and on up to Grand Portage. If there's time, then we'll go to Ely and Hibbing. I'd love to make it to Itasca SP and the Mississippi headwaters but fear that will have to wait for another trip. And I feel certain there will be another one up that way because it will be impossible to do even half of the wonderful things I've read about.

From Hibbing, Good Sam's recommends we take MI 73 down to I-35, cutting over on MI 95 to Interstate SP. From there US 8, to US 53, to I-94. I-90/I-94 to I-39 to I-57 to I-24, picking up I-65 at Nashville for home. If any of you have a better route, we're open to suggestions.

I apologize for the length of the post, but it's a long trip. Thanks again for any help you can offer.
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Old 09-28-2015, 02:08 AM   #2
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Your route to Greenville is o.k. for RVers. From there to Sleeping Bear Dunes you could either take 131 to 115 at Cadillac to 22 or if you want to do more driving along the lake work your way over to 57 to 46 to 31 to 22.

For Sleeping Bear try to stay at Platte River campground in the park. It's a beauty. However, this is prime color season so try to arrive early morning, early in the week if you don't have reservations. It's a VERY popular park. (We've volunteered there so we're partial).

That whole area is gorgeous and the small little towns are fun to explore. Drive all around the peninsula along Hwy 22 from Benzonia to Traverse City.

When you leave that area take Hwy 31 from Traverse City to the Mackinac Bridge and the Upper Peninsula - a fabulous drive. Take a ferry to Mackinac Island - no cars allowed - for a nice day trip.

Once in the Upper Peninsula be sure to visit Taquamenon Falls State Park along Hwy 123. Start checking to see if the parks are still open. They should be until mid-October, anyway. Continue up 123 to the end at Whitefish Point and tour the Edmund Fitzgerald area and the Shipwreck Museum. Highway 2 or 28 across the Upper Peninsula are good highways as are the side roads.
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Old 09-28-2015, 06:49 AM   #3
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Be sure to check for current road conditions in Louisville KY. The I-64 Ohio river crossing is under massive construction, and the longest delays are said to be north - south. We went through downtown east-west earlier this month and had no problem but it was not during rush hour.

Depending on when you get there, you might consider using I-264 / US 62 West around Louisville.

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Originally Posted by Floridafran View Post
....I-65 north of us and follow that all the way to Indianapolis..
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Old 09-28-2015, 09:15 AM   #4
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Just returned from the UP. Be sure and check with the campgrounds because they start to close for the season mid October. Whitefish point and the Falls are a great stop to make as was mentioned. Some more in the UP are in Munising there is the Picture Rocks boat tour and the glass bottom boat to see the ship wrecks. In Ishpeming has " Da Yooper Museum", it is a fun stop. Also there is the Porcupine Mountains State Park along your route at the western end of the UP. Great place for hiking biking. Also the Lake is a great photo shoot. As I said check on the campgrounds to make sure they are still open.
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Old 09-28-2015, 09:37 AM   #5
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You don't say how long of a trip this will be (days/weeks). Be prepared for weather way cooler than what you have in FL. The average high temp for this week in Traverse is 65. Overnight lows into the 30's but not frost or freezing, yet. It gets colder every week and if staying into Nov. you could see snow. All state highways in northern MI are fine for a RV with 1 exception. I wouldn't take a rig through the tunnel of trees. That is M-119 North of Harbor Springs, which is around Little Traverse Bay from Petoskey. M-119 is narrow. The trees are VERY close to the road and some have overhangs. When you get to the UP seek
out some of the waterfalls. Some are easy, touristy, access and some take a little hike. I can't recall any that are more than a mile hike. The history around the Straits of Mackinaw is very interesting and Mackinaw Island is a must see. By the way, it is pronounced Mackinaw regardless of the spelling (Mackinac). I live 50 miles South of the Mighty Mac and can give you more info about this area and perhaps even show you around if in this area.
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Old 09-28-2015, 06:17 PM   #6
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Thanks for the quick responses. I've made notes of the route suggestions and added anything new to see/do that I hadn't found in older posts here.

We had planned to leave last Wednesday, but leveling jack issues forced a delay. Still have only 3 of the jacks functional, but even if the part for the 4th one doesn't get here, we're leaving anyway.

I spend a couple of hours earlier today double-checking the closing dates for campgrounds and attractions. Only had to cross off 2 campgrounds and fortunately there are other options in those areas. I still know we won't be able to fit in everything on my list. We never do. But I always make my list longer so we have options if the weather or something else interferes. And not getting to do it all in one trip means we HAVE to return.

We don't mind the cooler weather. Sometimes makes hiking more enjoyable. On our 2013 trip we got snowed on twice. April 26th in Flagstaff and 2 weeks later in Torrey. Typical Floridians, we loved it.

t55Watson, thanks for the offer. I'll keep you posted on our progress and see how things work out.

We intend to be gone a month or maybe a few days longer. Have to be back before Nov 11th. I have cataract surgery.

Safe travels.
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Old 09-28-2015, 06:20 PM   #7
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t55Watson, thanks for the offer. I'll keep you posted on our progress and see how things work out.

Safe travels.[/QUOTE]

e-mail me if needed. t55watson@gmail.com
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