Camping On Lake Superior At Brimley State Park

H.O.M.E.S Summer/Lake Superior

“The legend lives on from the Chippewa on down of the big lake they called ‘Gitche Gumee’. The lake, it is said, never gives up her dead when the skies of November turn gloomy”

The Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald

Gordon Lightfoot

Lake Superior. The big lake they called ‘Gitche Gumee.” The largest freshwater lake in the world!

Did you know that Lake Superior could contain all of the other Great Lakes plus 3 more lakes the size of Lake Erie?  That is huge!Lake Superior

Lake Superior is 350 miles long and 160 miles wide. The average depth is 489 feet with a maximum depth of 1,333 feet. No wonder it acts more like an ocean than a lake.DSCN5966

Lake Superior’s seas sweep across from the Northwest to the Southeast with a tremendous amount of force.

Of the 550 known wrecks in Lake Superior, over 200 of them are along the shoreline from Whitefish Point to Munising. There are no natural harbors for ships to take refuge during the big Lake Superior storms. Whitefish Bay provides the big ships some protection from the storms, if the ships can get there in time.

DSCN6066You can see many cool artifacts from Lake Superior shipwrecks at The Great Lakes Shipwreck Museum at Whitefish Point.

 I am so glad that my family enjoys going to museums as much as I do. I like that they understand, when viewing  artifacts, that these “things” are directly related to real people who had homes and families and, who lost their lives while doing their jobs, shipping on the Great Lakes.

While visiting Whitefish Point we also had the  opportunity to crash a wedding on the beach.

I really don’t think that it is strange that we stayed to watch the wedding, I am a little concerned that I felt the need to take several pictures of the ceremony.question-yikA5pBiE

What is wrong with me?

If you recognize the happy couple, please tell them “Mozel Tov” from me. I thoroughly enjoyed their wedding. I would have stayed  to congratulate them personally but,  they weren’t serving refreshments, and we were getting hungry.dscn6055

We camped in sweet old Brimley State park again this year.

I usually don’t stay at a campground two years in a row but, Brimley State Park is worth a double take.DSCN6084

Established in 1923, Brimley has 237 campsites on 151 acres  that sit on the shores of Whitefish Bay. It is a lovely campground with a large picnic area and playground. The beach is expansive. The shore is solid and the swim area is well marked.

 Some of the most beautiful sunsets I have seen, and photographed, have been over Whitefish Bay from the beach at Brimley State Park.

Breathtaking.

You can also watch the big ships slowly making their way to Sault Ste Marie.DSCN6057

Besides our visit to Whitefish Point, we took a day  to spend on Mackinac Island. It had been 38 years since my last visit to the island. Only one of my grandkids had been there.  We took the carriage tour and had a wonderful day.

Our U.P. vacation also included day trips to Sioux Ste. Marie, the Soo Locks, and
Tahquamenon Falls. I love love love sightseeing with my grandkids.

I don’t know about your family but, when we start planning a camping trip, one of the most important things that we have to decide is what is going to be on our camping menu.

There is something about being out in the fresh air all day that just makes everyone feel hungrier and the food always seems to tastes better.

DSCN6071Now, I won’t call myself an expert by any means, but, I am getting better at open fire cooking. No one has come home hungry yet!

On this trip, I decided to try some new recipes. The first is homemade corned beef hash.

Making Corned beef hash is nothing new . My mom made corned beef hash from the corned beef dinner leftovers. Basically, it was boiled potatoes, cabbage, carrots and corned beef reheated. Over the years, I made corned beef hash from scratch. I dropped the carrots and cabbage, and added rutabaga ( a favorite of mine,) but, I still precooked the veggies. My son, Dane, took the recipe and improved it even more. He doesn’t precook any of the vegetables. He layers the sauteed vegetables in butter (Oh Yeah!.) I have been making it Dane’s way for some time but, this was the first time I have made it over an open fire.

I started by sauteing chopped onions in butter until they were tender.

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When the onions were translucent and tender, I added 2 cloves of chopped garlic and let it simmer with the onions for a few minutes.

I removed the onion garlic mixture when I was ready to add the chopped rutabaga.

Rutabaga is a root vegetable that is very dense and takes awhile to cook. I didn’t have a clue how long it would take to cook over the fire, and I didn’t want my onions and garlic to burn.

I added another pat of butter with the rutabaga.DSCN5998

I covered the rutabaga with foil to keep the heat in.

While the rutabaga was cooking, I reminded my grandson of the new pocket knife that I had just bought for him and put him to work peeling and cutting potatoes (bwahaha, beware of grandmas bearing gifts.)DSCN6000

When the rutabaga was almost tender (about 20 minutes,) I added  another pat of butter (Paula Dean would be proud,) and the potatoes. I also reintroduced the onions and garlic and seasoned it with salt and pepper.

I covered it and let it simmer, stirring occasionally for  another 12 – 15 minutes.
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Since on this trip, I was using canned corned beef, I gave the can with the funky little key to my grandson, and asked him to open it for me (I am sure by this point he was wishing he had stayed in bed like his sister, brother, and cousin.)

I sat back ready to lmao watching him  trying to figure out what to do with that little key, but, he figured it out in record time! Rock on Tiler!DSCN6002

When the potatoes were tender, we added the corned beef, stirred it all up again, and when it was starting to brown on one side, I woke the rest of my happy campers for breakfast.DSCN6007

 I am not even going to try to describe  how delicious it was.

Make it  for yourself and enjoy!

The other meal we tried for the first time was a hobo turkey dinner. I used a turkey loin.

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After spraying two layers of heavy- duty aluminum foil with cooking spray, we seasoned  slices of potatoes.

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On top of the potatoes, we added slices of the turkey loin.DSCN6165

On top of the turkey, we added stuffing that we had made a few minutes before. Stuffing is a favorite side dish  of mine when I am camping since you  can make it by just adding hot water and a little butter!

DSCN6166On top of the stuffing, we added a vegetable (ours was corn but, you can use any.)DSCN6167

On top of the vegetable we added gravy (again, from a packet, just add hot water.)

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We wrapped it all up tight and put it on the grate over the fire.

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Our dinner took approximately 35 minutes to cook.

I had extra turkey and vegetables that I cooked in a separate  pan. I was glad that I did since everyone wanted seconds.

Yummmmmy!

  All too soon, it was time to break camp. Another Upper Peninsula vacation had come to an end.

We returned home with a few souvenirs and a lot of good memories. Isn’t that what summer vacations are all about?

Drop me a line at denise@ilovesleepingintents.com and let me know where your family made memories this year.  What are your favorite camp recipes? I would love to hear from you!

Happy Camping,

Denise

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“The beauty of the trees, the softness of the air, the fragrance of the grass, speaks to me.

The summit of the mountains, the thunder of the sky, the rhythm of the sea, speaks to me.

The strength of the fire, the taste of salmon, the trail of the sun, and the life that never goes away, they speak to me.

And my heart soars.”

Chief Dan George

My Photos:

  • The featured photo is the sunset over Whitefish Bay, July 29, 2016
  • Lake Superior flexing her muscles on Whitefish Bay, July 28, 2016
  • The sign at the Great Lakes Shipwreck museum.
  • The happy couple (whoever they are)
  • My family by the Brimley State Park sign
  • My grandkids at the Soo Locks
  • Making corned beef hash
  • Making corned beef hash
  • Tiler cutting potatoes for the corned beef hash
  • Making corned beef hash
  • Tiler and the corned beef key
  • A big pan of corned beef hash
  •  7 pictures of how we made our turkey dinner
  • Me on Whitefish Bay at Brimley State Park

Links:

 

http://www.mackinacisland.org

http://www.midnrreservations.com

www.shipwreckmuseum.com

http://www.saultstemarie.com

http://www.exploringthenorth.com

http://www.gordonlightfoot.com

 

Camping On Lake Huron At Tawas Point State Park

H.O.M.E.S. Summer/ Lake Huron

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I hope you had a happy and safe July 4th.

The food! The sunshine! The fireworks! No wonder  we love the 4th of July  so much.DSCN1491

There is always a variety of things to do on 4th of July weekend. Many people  have family reunions, block parties or, attend some of the many festivals going on.

 I celebrated by camping in Tawas Point State Park with my grandkids, Tiler, Bree, Chase, and our friends, Denise, Ryan, Sam, Amber, Skyler, and Kenzie.

Yep, Denise and I were “those women with all the kids!”DSCN5827

We had 2 campsites, 2 vehicles, 3 tents, 4 kayaks, and 8 kids. No wonder we had   fun.

We had so much fun that, for the first time EVER, the park rangers had to have a talk with us!

I admit it was late. We were sitting around the campfire with all the kids, eating peanuts, and cutting up (I may have been the instigator but, I’ll never admit it) The park rangers came over and said, with a friendly smile,ranger_13_jeep_col-250x181 that we were making too much noise after quiet time. Woops!

Of course, after the rangers left, I blamed the kids for getting me in trouble. 😉

We went on with our “cutting up” but, we were careful to make less noise.

We had amazing weather! Warm days and cool nights. Perfect for tent camping!

If you haven’t visited Tawas Point State Park, you should. Once referred to as the Cap Cod of the midwest, Tawas Point State Park sits on the end of a sand pit that forms Tawas Bay.  The water is shallow and warm.Tawas Bay

 The campground is laid out with the convenience of the campers in mind. It has  paths that cut across the campground to the bathroom/shower buildings so you don’t have to walk all the way around.

There is a great recreational area with a playground, horseshoe pits, and a wide open area that we saw being used for baseball, soccer, frisbees, and good old fashioned games of  tag.DSCN5741

There are beautiful trails and birdwatching areas. Tawas Point  is  a resting area for birds on the Lake Huron flyway.  The Tawas Bird Festival is in the spring and coincides with the returning of the migratory birds.

We DSCN5722saw many birding enthusiasts sitting on the provided “decks” taking pictures of the many species of birds or,  just relaxing and enjoying the view.

Tawas Point State Park is the home to the Tawas Point Lighthouse.

The original lighthouse was commissioned in 1853 and sat at Ottawa Point.   The waves caused sand to build up at the point causing added land mass. Before long the lighthouse too far inland and the mariners on Lake Huron were unable to see the light.

I have always heard about erosion but, never before heard of land mass forming or, making.DSCN5707

The present lighthouse was built on the point in 1877.  It features a Fresnel lens, designed by French Engineer, Augistin Fresnel.  It is 1 of 70 that remain in the Untied States.  16 of the remaining lenses are on the Great Lakes,  8 are in Michigan. DSCN5711

Despite the fact that the point, which juts out into Lake Huron and helps create Tawas Bay, is a “making point, ” getting longer with time, the current lighthouse is still serving its purpose. The white light can be seen for 16 miles, and the red light, which marks  the entrance to the Bay, can be seen for 12 miles.

Ottawa Point was renamed Tawas Point, in 1902

Renovation of the lighthouse by The Michigan Department of Natural Resources and Friends of Tawas Point State Park is ongoing.DSCN5763

For a few bucks, you can take the interesting  tour of the lighthouse and climb to the top. We did! What a view!DSCN5753

Our Tawas Point State Park campsites backed up to a wind break, a small wooded area between the campsites and the bay. A trail ran through the windbreak to a brushy beach.

We realized that the young trees and brush grew during a time, a few years ago, when the lakes were low and shore was farther out. Now that the water levels on Lake Huron are returning, (YEA!!!)  the new growth sits in the water. Although swimming behind our campsite was not ideal because of the brush, the bottom was solid sand and we could walk out beyond the brush to swim. There was also a swimming beach a short walk away. Despite the brush, we were  able to launch our kayaks from right behind our campsite. DSCN5703

DSCN5768Lake Huron was referred to as  La Mer Douce, the “sweet” or “fresh-water” sea.” French explorers later named the lake after the Huron people.

Lake Huron is the second largest of the Great Lakes, and the third largest freshwater lake in the world.

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It is 206 miles long and 183 miles wide. It has an average depth is 195 feet, with a maximum depth of 750 feet.

It has the longest shoreline of all of the Great Lakes due to it’s 30,000 Islands.

Below the surface of Lake Huron, there are more than 1000 shipwrecks,  9000-year-old animal- herding structures, and part of the Goderich Mine. The largest salt mine in the world.Lake Huron

I have enjoyed Lake Huron every time that I have camped on her shores. I think Lake Huron might be my favorite. Shhhhh, don’t tell the other Great Lakes! 😉

To view the fireworks, DSCN4058we decorated one of the Kayaks and the tube with glow sticks.  I paddled a short distance out into the bay, pulling the tube with the kids behind me. As we floated and watched the fireworks, I sang patriotic songs. I sang the Star Spangled Banner, God Bless America, and This Land Is Your Land (is that the name of it?) I don’t know if the people who were gathered  on the beach to watch the fireworks, could hear me or not. I didn’t care, I was having a blast! I know  you are thinking that there must have been alcohol involved, right? Again, I admit nothing. 😉

Celebrating our country’s independence  should be a fun filled weekend, spent  with family and friends. We are celebrating being free!!

I feel blessed that I was able to spend the 2016 Fourth of July weekend with my family and friends camping on the Tawas Bay of Lake Huron, in such a nice state park. I definitely recommend visiting Tawas Point State Park to my family,to my friends, and to you!

I love hearing from you. Thanks for the messages!

Happy Camping,

Denise

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” If one way be better than another, that you may be sure is nature’s way.”

Aristotle

My Photos:

  • The featured photo is of the sunset on Tawas Bay of Lake Huron
  • The flag at Tawas Point lighthouse
  • Fireworks, St. John, Michigan 2014
  • My July 4, 2016, weekend campmates at the Tawas Point State Park sign.
  • Chase at the Tawas Point State Park playground
  • Bree and Sam at a bird watching station, Tawas Point State Park
  • Tawas Point lighthouse
  • Lighthouse information stand
  • Looking up at the lighthouse
  • Climbing to the top of the lighthouse
  • The shoreline behind our Tawas Point State Park campsite
  • Ryan, Sam, and Bree  kayaking on Tawas Bay at sunset
  • Kwaske fireworks, 2015
  • A picture of me taking pictures at Whitefish Bay, 2016

Links

http://www.michigan.gov.com

http://www.midnrreservations.com

www.buzzfeed.com

http://www.mynewwaterfronthome.com

http://www.michigandnr.com

http://www.tawasbirdfest.com