Today begins our first recap from our 2019 camping season. But before we dive into it, we have someone we’d like to introduce to you…
Meet the newest member of our family, Miley!
No, she is not named after that Miley. There were a few names in the running for her but ultimately we decided on the female version of Miles as we hoped she would be a good camping dog therefore traveling lots of miles with us.
We adopted Miley on January 6, 2019. She is a boxer/terrier mix who has been an absolute dream dog for our family! She loves to go for walks, snuggle, play, and just be with her people.
In March, we headed to Promised Land State Park in Pennsylvania with Miley to see what kind of camping dog she was going to be. We decided to leave the boys at home so we could solely focus on Miley.
For our last camping trip of the year, we headed back down to North Carolina to go sailing since we were not able to sail when we were down there in the spring. We left Thursday afternoon and traveled a few hours before stopping overnight at a Walmart in Shippensburg, Pennsylvania.
Our favorite campground was closed due to damage from Hurricane Florence and the New Bern KOA was closed to the public as it was providing shelter for locals due to hurricane damage. We wanted to be in New Bern so we didn’t have a long commute to the sailboat each day and ended up finding a site at Moonlight Lake RV Park and Cottages. I have zero pictures of our setup because it was not pretty, but luckily Chris had some photographic evidence. They have cottages that look pretty nice but the RV spots were less than ideal. Fortunately, we were not planning to spend a lot of time at the campground!
Mike and Eric came over shortly after we arrived on Friday night. We grilled some pizza, got cozy, and watched Ferdinand in the camper. Fun fact: This was the first and only time we’ve used the TV in this camper. The boys didn’t like the movie (they think every movie is scary!) and ended up going to bed early but the adults finished watching it!
The next morning, we packed some lunches and headed over to Northwest Creek Marina for some sailing. The boys each got a turn to drive the boat and did really well!
If you have been following for awhile, you might remember that in 2017, Chris and I decided it would be fun to run a race in another state and make a camping trip out of it. For our first annual date race weekend, we camped at Shenandoah River State Park and ran the Shenandoah Leaf Peeper 10K. This year, we found the Herring Point 10K in Lewes, Delaware. Lucky for us, the race we chose was right in Cape Henlopen State Park, which had a newly renovated campground.
Cape Henlopen State Park is located on the Delaware Bay and was a strategic location for the United States during many wars. Cape Henlopen was the home of the Fort Miles military base, which was a key piece of our nation’s coastal defense during World War II. In 1964, the U.S. Army gave the land to the state of Delaware and Cape Henlopen became a state park.
We said goodbye to our boys on Friday morning and headed to Cape Henlopen State Park for our second annual date race weekend. We arrived in the late afternoon and set up our campsite. We went for a walk to check out our loop, grilled some pizza for dinner, and relaxed around the campfire.
We have completed our tour of the five Great Lakes, and are now headed to check out the Midwest, specifically Illinois : )
We left Wisconsin on Monday morning and arrived at Johnson Sauk Trail State Recreation Area in Kewanee, Illinois in the afternoon. After we got the camper set up, we took the bikes down and went exploring. The campground has a concession stand but it was closed when we went exploring. We also found a lake, Johnson Lake — pretty, although not a Great Lake!
Last up on our tour of the Great Lakes is Lake Michigan! We left Muskallonge Lake State Park on Saturay morning and arrived at Point Beach State Forest in Two Rivers, Wisconsin. The Point Beach State Forest is located along 6 miles of the Lake Michigan coast. The Point Beach Ridges, located within the forest, are a National Natural Landmark.
There are 127 sites in the campground in Point Beach State Forest, 70 of them with electricity. All of the sites are within walking distance of Lake Michigan but none of the sites offer a view of the lake due to the high sand dunes.
On Thursday August 9, we checked out of Harrisville State Park and traveled from Michigan’s lower peninsula to its upper peninsula. We drove over the Mackinac Bridge, which connects Michigan’s Upper and Lower peninsulas over the Straits of Mackinac . At 26,372 feet long, it is one of the largest suspension bridges in the world. We tuned in to the suggested radio station and listened to the history and statistics about the bridge while we drove across.
We arrived at Muskallonge State Park in Newberry, Michigan around 3 pm. Muskallonge Lake State Park is set between the shores of Lake Superior and Muskallonge Lake. We were able to book a campsite that had a view of Muskallonge Lake.
If you missed the first two parts of our Great Lakes camping trip, you can catch up on our stay near Lake Ontario here and Lake Erie here.
* * *
On Tuesday morning, we said goodbye to Lake Erie and Maumee Bay State Park and made our way to Harrisville State Park, one of Michigan’s oldest state parks. Harrisville State Park has 107 heavily wooded acres with 226 campsites. There are many waterfront sites but unfortunately we were unable to get one with a view of Lake Huron.
We arrived at Harrisville State Park around 4 pm. Our campsite was nice and luckily we didn’t have a neighbor on our outdoor living area side.
Last fall, while Chris and I were on our first annual date weekend in Shenandoah, we started to think about what our big trip for 2018 could be. One of us (I think it was Chris and Chris thinks it was me… so who knows??) came up with the idea of doing a trip around all five of the Great Lakes. We considered the idea of camping on the United States and Canada sides of each lake, but ultimately decided to stay stateside as the boys don’t have passports and we didn’t want to go through the hassle of getting them and going through customs.
One day Chris mentioned extending the trip beyond the Great Lakes and going a bit further south to Illinois before heading back home. Chris’s parents are from Illinois and Chris grew up spending summers with his grandparents in his parents’ hometown. He’s always wanted to show me and the boys the area, so it seemed like the perfect time to do it since we were so close.
After months of research and planning (thank you, Chris!), we established our route and booked all the campgrounds! This was our final itinerary: