The last 2 days do not have any posts because we have been traveling!  Tracy took the truck and headed towards home her parents house.  The boy and I took the RV through the Upper Pinesula of Michigan and down to our new campsite.  After 2 days of driving we still are not at our new camp.

So far each day has had around 6 hours of travel.  When we used to car travel I had no problem.  A few years ago we even did a 3 week driving trip that was almost pure driving all the time.  It was no problem.

Driving a big old class A more than 4 hours starts to wear on you.  You gotta work hard to keep your RV on the road!  You can’t just turn on the cruise and ride it out.  I will write about that tomorrow!

We ended up having to drive over 3 fairly awesome bridges.  Right outside of our Duluth campground we had to drive over a lift bridge.  I was hoping to get an outside picture but Tracy never emailed it to me.  The lift bridge is tight!  It has no shoulder so my mirror is basically on the yellow divider line.

I talked to another RVer in the park who had an even larger motorhome than I did.  He said, “I wouldn’t want to meet a semi going the other direction.”

The other issue is the height.  I easily cleared it, but the operator of the bridge is in a house on top of the road!  It’s a little freaky driving under a house in a house!

duluth lift bridge1

About 10 minutes after we drove over the lift bridge we started of exit of Duluth, Mn and our entry into Superior, Wi.

The bridge that spans the two towns runs over the entire width of the largest inland shipping port in the United States!

duluth long bridge1

Essentially it looks like you will fall off the bridge into a cargo boat if you would make a mistake.  The bridge was fun to cross, it had lots of shoulder room, and we never felt crowded.  It is awesome to see all the large shipping boats, silos, and heavy machinery around the harbor.  They could charge a toll and make the bridge into a thrill ride and I would be happy to pay it!

duluth long bridge2

duluth long bridge

As soon as we started our journey to Michigan our journey ended.  We had to make a quick stop and get our tires retorqued.  The rims on our Outlaw are fancy Alcoa aluminum rims.  The look and glisten like the big rig semi trucks.  The problem is that after you put tires on an aluminum rim the bolts have a tendency to want to fall off.

We ended up stoping for almost 90 minutes waiting our turn for the tire experts to tighten everything up.  They had me drive the RV into the shop and it was scary.  There was less then a foot on both sides and the garage was filled with lots of people and tires.  It was a tight fit but I parked it like a pro!

tire rechecked

We drove a mile down the road and picked up 32 gallons of gas and headed out.  We drove non-stop across Wisconsin and the UP.  We couldn’t stop and look at ANYTHING.  I had to get to an RV dealership for a propane test by 4pm.

We didn’t make it on time.  I pulled into the dealership at 5pm.  I was going as fast as I could.  No stopping, no naps, no site seeing. 🙁

Lucky for me the dealership was gracious and took us in.  They ran 3 different tests on my propane system.  Apparently I have no leaks.  I smell propane because the propane vents at the regulator.  I also learned something important!

When your propane tank is off make sure the handle is snug at the off position!

When your propane tank is on make sure the handle is snug at the on position!

I did not know this!!!

If the handle isn’t seated snuggly in the open position then the propane will leak out.

That also is why I smelled propane outside!!!  I sometimes don’t have the propane handle tightly opened and small amounts of propane was leaking out.

You would think there would be a sticker on the tank about this!  I never remember anyone telling me about that!

We didn’t get out of the dealership until around 6:30pm that evening.  I found a Walmart down the road, and after a quick call the front desk operator confirmed that you could overnight in the parking lot.  He told me to park next to the other RVs that had already settled in for the evening!

When I showed up I saw about 8 RVs and 3 Semi Trucks.  The RV’s all had slides out, some had jacks down, and some had generators running.  The lot was also a mess.

I assume based on how RVers and Truckers are treating the lot, the Marquette Walmart will eventually put a stop to the practice.

The good news was I slept great.  I wanted to keep on sleeping, but I had to get to my next destination by 3pm because it was a Harvest Host.

It was also an unconfirmed Harvest Host.  By the time we hit the Michigan mainland I realized they never were going to return my call.  I also didn’t want to drive 2 more hours and find out they didn’t want us around.  Then I realized I would have to find another campground.

I will also confess to taking a half-hour nap.  Because of our rush I kept missing all the great scenic views.  I would see the sign and the entrance all at the same time!  I could never stop in time!  I was also mad because along US 2 there was about 10 miles of beaches.  I saw RVs and cars all along the beach!  I wanted to stop so bad!!

Why do I schedule stuff???

I called  Tracy at the rest stop and told her I wasn’t making campground reservations anymore.  We would just deal with it when we showed up.  She is not for this plan!  It will be a heated discussion when she gets home! 🙂

When I woke up from my nap I fired up the generator and made Hotdogs for me and the boy.  While we ate lunch, 3 different cop cars pulled up next to the RV.  They were using our 13 foot height and our 18 foot length to hide out and set speed traps!

speed trap

At first I kept thinking I was doing something wrong!  It took me a bit to figure out what was happening!

About an hour after our lunch break we came to our last big bridge.  The Mackinac Bridge!

The Mackinac bridge is the 3rd largest suspension bridge in the United States and has a FREE service to have your RV driven over the bridge for you if you are uncomfortable doing it yourself!

I paid the $10 dollar toll and off we went!  Of course I am driving the bridge myself!

mac1 mac2

The bridge was easy to drive.  Both directions of the bridge went down to 1 lane each because of construction, but the lanes were wide and easy to stay in.  I didn’t feel crowded on the bridge.  The steering felt squirrly when I entered the suspension part of the bridge.  I want to say its because the road was swaying, but my brain is saying that the road is solid and I should quit imagine such awesome fears!

mac4 mac5 mac6

After we crossed the bridge I realized the Harvest Host farm was never going to confirm so after we drove thru Cheboygan  I stopped at the first campground I found.

This was a bad idea.  I am paying $40 for one night.  My phone is T-Mobile and has LTE and 5 bars, but T-Mobile has no towers in the top half of Michigan.  I have 0 data.  I can’t search for campgrounds or anything fun to do!

If I would have been driving at a slower pace I could have stopped at a restaurant or some tourist place to snag some wifi and find something.  The problem was that I was so tired I didn’t have the energy to care!

Tomorrow is our last travel day.  We essentially have to drive down to the bottom of Michigan in one day.  Providing the park is nice we will stay for a month before we move on.

Again.  I think I am over reservations.  I saw a lot of free or super cheap campsites in small towns along the way.  I think I could be about 2-4 hour travel days tops from now on!


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