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!
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!
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:
We had plans to go camping Mother’s Day weekend, but ended up canceling them and stayed home instead. By the end of May, we were eager to go camping again as we’re not as able to camp in June due to hay season. Hay season began on May 23 for us this year. We finished up baling and stacking on Friday night, and we were able to leave Saturday morning to go camping.
We decided to check another state of our list and headed to Vermont! We left early Saturday morning and were all set up at Woodford State Park by 10:30 am. The campsite was nice (especially since we didn’t have a neighbor on our outdoor area side) but it was SO BUGGY.
We made reservations many months in advance to camp at Assateague Island National Seashore in April, but ultimately decided to change the date of our camping weekend to coordinate better with Carter’s baseball schedule. Assateague Island National Seashore was booked for the weekend we now wanted to visit the area so we booked a campsite at Assateague Island State Park instead.
Assateague Island is a 37 mile long barrier island in Maryland and Virginia. The island is best known for its wild horses, pristine beaches, and the Assateague Lighthouse. The wild horses, who are owned and managed by the National Park Service, are the island’s most popular residents and a popular tourist attraction for the island.
If you missed Part 1, you can catch up on our first day and half in Shenandoah here!
After we finished our lunch, we headed to Skyline Drive in Shenandoah National Park. There are almost 70 overlooks on the 105 mile stretch of Skyline Drive with stunning views of the Shenandoah Valley.
We entered Skyline Drive at the Thornton Gap entrance station in Luray at milepost 31.5. Jackson fell asleep on the drive over so he missed out on our first view point, hence his absence from our family picture below. Our first stop on Skyline Drive was Hazel Mountain Overlook at milepost 33: