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Wednesday, June 28

West Virginia and the Upper Peninsula of Michigan

Glade Creek Grist Mill in West Virginia

Since leaving the Smoky Mountains Petey and I have been up thru the Appalachians in West Va., Upper PI of Michigan, the Adirondacks in NY, coastline and northern woods of Maine, and lots of points in between. We're currently laying up in Gettysburg National Park touring the battlefield sites. Way behind on updates to this blogsite so this is going to be a long one.  If I don't get caught up now it's not going to happen.  After leaving the Smokies, I worked my way up thru West Virginia, taking as many backroads as my rig length would allow.  I discovered that there are some seriously tight, twisty narrow roads that wind up thru the mountains in West Virginia.  Pulling that damn trailer is a real pain and I've started finding places to leave it while I go out and explore the area.  Much easier to find good boondocking spots and explore out of the way places sans the trailer.  I've left it with private parties, campgrounds and police stations on this trip.  I've found that most people are open to let you leave it for a few days if you ask.

Another view of the Grist Mill

Met Larry who was an avid fishermen.  He had a good afternoon.

Spillway crossing near camp one night.  With a major pause between each jump it took Petey forever to work his way across.  I finally went out and rescued him.

I basically got run out of this cemetery.  I enjoyed the beauty of West Virginia but got some bad vibes in the out of the way spots there.  When you really get back in some of the more remote  areas you get the feeling that strangers are not really welcome.  I had stopped here and was simply walking through the cemetery with the camera when an older gentlemen came up to me and wanted to know what I was doing and why was I there.  Not like it was some private family cemetery with the number of gravesites so I wasn't sure what the problem was.  Pretty uncomfortable confrontation as he basically wanted me to leave. Rather than get in a pissing contest with him, I simply walked off and got back on the road.   Driving through some of these remote areas you can get some unfriendly looks and if inquiring about the area you don't seem to get much.   I didn't see anybody else that looked like they were from out of the area.  To be honest, some of the places I was at were off the beaten path that doesn't see many strangers, but still couldn't place a finger on the bad vibes.  I remote camped back in here a few nights and probably shouldn't have.  Late, as in well past midnight, had the same pick-up truck slowly drive by the camper at least a half dozen times.  I did make sure the pistol was in reach prior to nodding off. Probably should have moved on but stayed and left early the following morning. Not sure what it was about these remote areas but I just got some bad vibes.  I go to out of the way places whenever I can and usually meet some really great people but not this time.  How could anybody not like Petey and I! 
Doesn't look like it a working store, but it is.  Stopped in here and got the cold shoulder and almost got chewed on by a mean ass dog.  After surviving the Appalachian Mountains I kept working my north towards the Upper Peninsula of Michigan.  Stopped for a barge drone shot along the Ohio River.

  Prior to crossing the bridge I was able to find a Christian Summer Camp that let me drop the trailer for almost two weeks.  When dropping the trailer I always let Tiffany know where I've left it in the event of my demise. Still early in the season for the Upper PI so all the state campgrounds were closed but I was able to find some boondocking sites fairly easy.  Cold at night, but I enjoyed the week and a half I spent up here roaming around.  Was really surprised at how, when on the Great Lakes you feel like you're on the coast.  Miles of beaches, big waves and with their immense size it just doesn't seem like lakes.  I was able to get to all five of them and I can state....they're all big!

Mackinaw Bridge crossing over to the Upper Peninsula

Found this great camp and launched the drone that afternoon.

In search of camp.
Didn't see much wildlife other than birds.  Was told that there are quite a few black bears in the area but I struck out.

Petey making the decision to camp here or not.

 Some of the lakes have miles of beaches.  Petey and I hiked this one near camp all afternoon and saw no one.

 Looks more like an ocean than a lake.

 Drone shot along Lake Michigan.  You can see the camper along the shoreline.

Petey heading back to camp after a walk on the beach.


  1. Great stuff Park! The Upper Peninsula is on our list so it's nice to see your perspective. Safe travels and glad you survived West Virginia.

    1. Ski....The Upper PI is certainly worth checking out. I went a little early in the season as it was fairly cold at night but I didn't have to deal with bugs or people so it had its pluses.

  2. Love it... as usual! :-)
    Hi Petey! Hi Ski!
    I wish I'd gotten up through Virginia on my travels. Now I'm curious about the bad vibes you felt. All I can think of is the movie "Deliverance". If you drop south of the Great Lakes, I'm in Columbia Mo. now. You are welcome to driveway camp, or have a guest room inside the house.

    1. Will store that invite away. Not sure where I'll be passing through but a "free boondocking" spot is always welcome. Thanks.

  3. I am so jealous... love love love your waunderings

    1. Tisa....sell it all. Load Ron, the dogs and get out there!

  4. Bonnie King29/6/17

    I'm one of Tiffany's "Get Organized" girls - was actually one of your customers in Novi, MI. So glad you got to see our beautiful UP. I feel bad for people who come to Michigan and only get to see the suburbs around Detroit. There's so much more to our state than that! Glad you enjoyed your visit.


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