Go confidently in the direction of your dreams. Live the life you have imagined.

Henry David Thoreau

ESCAPE from Tahquamenon

Friday June 13, 2014
Woodland Park
Grand Marais, Michigan



OK that’s it!

Thursday night was the worst night we have ever spent in Winnona in four years. David gave up at 11:00 but I swatted mosquitoes until 2am trying to get the numbers down so I could sleep.  All night long I hear that high pitched ehhzzz (is that how you spell it)  in my ear all night.   When we wake up we are more tired than when we went to bed.  That’s it, we’re out of here.

We hadn’t really set up much . Our slides were already in so it was a cinch for us to just get up put a few things away, pull up the jacks and leave.  EXCEPT that the main cancer drug David is now taking is being delivered sometime before check out at 1:00.  We will have to wait for that.  We have two more nights on our reservation.  Where are we going to go? ON A FRIDAY???


None of that matters.

Neither of us ever wants another night like last night. With the slides pulled in, no doors, no windows and no vents open, how are so many of them getting in? We can’t figure it out. 




Before we pull out, I do some quick research on areas around Pictured Rocks National Seashore which was to be our next stop after the week-end.  There are a few totally dry docking campgrounds in the National Lakeshore.  No water, no electric, no dump station.  Nothing.   Not sure that will work with the potential for mosquitoes.  There is also a city owned no reservations park in Grand Marais so if I hop in Winnona and buzz the 90 miles over there perhaps I can check them all out.  David can join me after his medicine is delivered.


We have a plan.

On the way out I stop by the campground check in station to ask about a refund for the nights we won’t be here.  I’m third in line with that request.  They are nice about it and put as the reason we are all leaving early “too many bugs”.  I would have preferred he put “mosquitoes so thick they are in the RV” but I take my money and run.



I drive straight through Grand Marais to look at two of the Lakeshore campgrounds.  Only one is actually on the lakeshore. Quite a few of those sites are taken.  The other is deeper in the woods. Very secluded and not one soul is there.  They are just gorgeous and under most circumstances I would jump at a chance to stay there.  BUT we would have to find a place to take on water before and to dump after.  In addition, that they are wooded which means no solar gain and increased the chances for mosquitoes.  PLUS the low tonight is predicted to be THIRTY NINE, in mid June.  So unless we want to run the generator we can’t use our electric space heaters.  We don’t use the furnace, too noisy, too smelly.


Found it!!



So with the Lakeshore campgrounds probably not what we want, I drive back the 12 miles to Grand Marais and find the city owned Woodland Park.  They do not take reservations and but several sites to choose from.  I sign us up for site 5, water and electric for $27.  Seems high. But it is right ON the lake.  We should be able to see it from the front window.  There is a stairway down to the beach.  I’m sold.   The temperatures here are cool, the breezes are high and the mosquitoes are no where to be seen and because of those two things the mosquitoes are nowhere to be seen. 




I call David, his medicine was delivered at 12:30.  He’ll be on his way after going to the dump station.

He finds his way here and we can pull into site #5 and have plenty of room for the dolly and Ruby.   PLUS we have a Lake Superior view.  The Duckies love it.




Definitely the right choice.



I know we’ve made the right choice when we just walk out to the edge of the campground and look out over the sunset.  I think we are going to like it here.   We’ll save the trails and paddling at Tahquamenon Falls for another year in  late August or early September and advise you to do the same.







Great luck on Friday the 13th.

The clouds cover up the full moon but it manages to reflect itself into the lake.  Seems like a very good omen to me.  It may be Friday the 13th but everything has gone very right today.



Many many thanks to all of you who shared your mosquito riddance suggestions with us.  This is why I just love my commenters.  We are much more ready to take them on in the future because of you.  For now we’re going to enjoy Grand Marais, fewer bugs and then move on to Munising, Porcupine Mountain State Park and perhaps Copper Harbor if you really think we must go there before we leave Michigan.


  1. Glad you got away from those mosquitoes. You lasted longer than we would have.

  2. Sometime you just need to know when to say "WHEN!!" Looks like you made a beautiful choice. Enjoy, Enjoy, Enjoy:o)))

    Nice that they refunded your money. I remember the campground at Jekly Island, GA had a big sign...NO REFUNDS BECAUSE OF BUGS:o(( What it should really say is...Stay At Your Own Risk!!!

  3. Just getting caught up on my blog reading, glad you escaped the mosquitoes wow you got a refund to boot, looks like you've landed in another wonderful place-enjoy.

  4. I'm really surprised they refunded your money. Don't know anything about Copper Harbor so can't help you there.

  5. I'm reading with interest your mosquito stories, and getting itchy all over again! We had a similar situation in Michigamme MI last June and found that sucking up the bugs with a DustBuster worked pretty well. But...never again!!!

  6. I'm glad you were able to get a refund, many campgrounds won't do that. You sure found a much better place, beautiful sunset.

  7. Glad you escaped the mosquitoes. I always wonder about West Nile Virus when those critters come for a meal.

    Since your post was about days gone by, how are the temperatures now? We left Michigan in long jeans and sweatshirts, and shed them in Indiana where the temps were in the 90s yesterday.

  8. All those stories from Florida & I don't recall any mosquitoes, then you get to Michigan!

  9. So great to have the "escape clause" in this lifestyle! Sure looks like you found a perfect alternative with the excitement of an unexpected location. Enjoy the serendipity - I can't wait to see what treasures you were brought here to see :-).

  10. That site looks great! I hope you left all of the mosquitos at the place with the falls! It is supposed to be in the 90's here today.

  11. Yea, a bug free zone....now no inching till you get rid of the bites!

  12. We lived on the Gulf Coast for many years - lots of mosquitos. Glad they gave you a refund & away from the buggers.

  13. I did a double-take when I read Grand Marais. Last year I drove up on the MN coast of Lake Superior as far as Grand Marais, MN. I wasn't feeling well during that time, but even so, I recognized and enjoyed the beauty of that area. I'd really like to go back and spend more time there someday. The UP was another story - would have loved it too except for the mosquitos, which were horrible.

  14. This looks like a definite improvement. Lake Superior is marvelous.

  15. Glad you are in a better place! Enjoy!

  16. Isn't it nice to know that your time there was a one-shot two week vacation and you'll never have the chance to return? Smart move to get out. Next time around will be much better!

  17. Bout time you two cried 'Uncle' :) Love your new spot, what a beautiful sunset, and no skeeters!

  18. GREAT decision!!! I was feeling agitated by those mosquitoes just reading about them! Your new place looks perfect, and I'm so happy that you'll be able to enjoy the great outdoors without wearing mosquito suits. Have fun!!

  19. It sounds like we may not stay there after all with all those mosquitoes. How did they manage to get inside the house?
    Since Pictured Rocks is one of our stop, so am eager to hear more of your stories out there. Sherry you just gave me an idea about driving ahead and check for available spots. We have not done that before or never thought of that possibility.

  20. Wow, I hope I never experience mosquitos like that! Looks like you got a great replacement site.

  21. Glad to hear the mosquitoes haven't shown up in droves along Pictured Rocks. I would hate to have all your readers thinking Michigan was a no-visit state! Though the mosquitoes haven't been too bad here in Door County we've decided that the next time we venture up here (or to Michigan) will be in the fall. There's nothing like upper Michigan and upper Wisconsin in the fall!

  22. Glad to hear you found a way to beat those pesky mosquitoes. The breeze off the water should help keep them at bay. Enjoy that comfortable cooler weather up there, the rest of us are suffering through temps in the 90's with high humidity. Personally, I think a trip to Copper Harbor is a must do with its jaw dropping gorgeous scenery. Lighthouses aplenty on Keweenaw & agates that you can take home with you. A drive up Brockway Mountain for the lake views. The monk owned Jam Pot in Eagle Harbor. Lots of history. Yep, it's a must do!

  23. You definitely seem to have found the right place. Can't wait to see how much fun you have now that you're away from the mosquitoes.

  24. Sounds like a perfect change after your mosquito stay:) Good that you were able to get a refund.

    I really like the sounds of Grand Marais. We will need to look into this place when we start west at the end of July. Thanks for finding it:) Beautiful sunset!!

  25. Gorgeous sunset and moon on the water shots! Sounds like leaving was the right choice :) It's so excellent when things work out! Hope you're getting caught up on the lost sleep. I love earplugs, but maybe even those don't cut the annoying ehzzzz. And in the coach just buzzing all over. I would lose my patience no doubt about it!

  26. I also loved your full moon picture! Did you ever find out how they were getting in the rig? Very curious. I'd love to know how to prevent that!


Your comments are the best part of this blog for me.
I LOVE hearing from you!