View of a bridge from the passenger seat of the car.
Family Travel

Upper Peninsula Trip 2021

While I had posted this blog in it’s entirity, I’ve decided to go back and post it in days in order to break it up a little bit. At the bottom, I’ll post links to each day so you can quickly skip between them if you are looking to create your own UP trip itinerary.

We got a late start. 

Like, way late. We had intended to leave the house by 7 a.m. My husband said 6 a.m. but that’s ambitious. We didn’t get on the road until about 10:45 a.m. 

Interior of a car dashboard. The digital clock reads 10:45 a.m.
We didn’t get on the road until 10:45 a.m.

Our dog had an accident the night before and needed to go to the emergency vet. He required sedation and stitches to close up a wound. Unfortunately, he was third in line for the procedure so it was nearly 1:30 a.m. when we finally picked him up. Six hours after I had dropped him off. But let’s not go there. A 6 a.m. start was not going to be easy, or safe. 

We made the decision that the dog would convalesce at Camp Grandma for the week instead of making the drive to camp with us. That meant I had to load him up that morning and take him to my mom’s house, another unforeseen hold up. 

But we finally got on our way, and while we knew we would be arriving much later than anticipated, it was fine because everyone was alive and the dog no longer had a hole in his ear. 

We set the GPS and it said 7 hours and 50-something minutes to drive from our house, to the Upper Penissula and across to Baraga State Park. We all knew the trip would be much, much longer. We stop just about every two hours for fuel and to move around a bit. 

I had done a few things that made our pit-stops a little quicker. 

  1. I pre-made our lunch and packed it in the camper fridge. This meant less space taken up in the car, no need for a cooler and we didn’t have to buy food. 
  2. I brought easy snacks in the car, though no one really asked for any. These were Goldfish, peanut butter crackers and apples.
  3. I had other, denser snacks, in the camper ready to go. I had cut up cheese, salami, crackers, hard boiled eggs. This meant, even when we were teetering on dinner time, we were able to hold over until we got to the campground. And, I had the foresight to pre-brown the meat for sloppy joes so we just had to add sauce and eat. 

I’m not sure if having the Mackinac Bridge in the middle of our drive hurt or helped. 

View of a bridge from the passenger seat of the car.
The bridge symbolized entering the Upper Peninsula, but it also meant another 4 hours or driving.

For me, it felt like the end, meaning the next four hours felt insanely long. Everyone was so excited to get to the Upper Pennisula–and the Mackinac Bridge meant we had finally entered the UP. But, we still had to drive nearly all the way across the state. 

So, what is it like to drive over the 26,3720-foot bridge, the longest suspension bridge in the Western Hemisphere? Here’s my video:

This is what it looks like when you drive over the Mackinac Bridge. Please ignore my husband’s horrible commentary. That’s just a glimpse into our life together.

We finally pulled into the park at 8:55 p.m. Meaning our drive was just about 10 hours. Oddly enough, as we had driven clear across the state and were nearly to Wisconsin, the sunset was almost an hour later at home, so it was light until almost 11 p.m. 

After setting up, eating and spending a little time just sitting in the dark, we were able to get to sleep and get ready for the next day.