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  1. Default Possible labor day week trip

    Hi Guys,

    I am in the DC area.

    I have 15 days of vacation that I must use up (else I will lose them). I am already planning to go on a vacation the thanksgiving week (will use up 3 days). So 12 more days to use up.

    I will use up 5 days on the week before labor day (Sep 1), in effect giving me 10 days for vacation. I am toying with idea of going to up to the upper peninsula in MI. Drive time will be 1.5 days each way, for a total of 3 days. Giving me 7 days to camp there. Any other suggestions? I was also thinking of Acadia National Park in ME. Which one's a "better" option?

    Now, even after using up these days, I will still have 7 days left! I am not even sure how to use them up! I will probably be exhausted from vacation in thanksgiving to go on a christmas/new year trip! *sigh*

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Western/Central Massachusetts

    Default Either one

    I don't know if there is ever a "better" option, but given your situation, would it be possible to spend a week in Maine and then use up the other time a few weeks later in Michigan, or vise versa? Is there anything in particular that you absolutely want to see?

    The other option is to take the leftover time and head South in the early winter, maybe a couple of weeks before Christmas just to get some warmth around you. That would at least break up the colder months and make them not feel as long. Of course, this depends on how your budget is doing.

  3. Default

    Thanks Tim.

    No, there is nothing that I absolutely want to see. I just want to use up my vacation days :).

    I typically camp and hike and spend the whole day (from sunrise to sunset) taking pictures (I am a serious amateur). That is one reason why my vacations are exhausting. So after thanksgiving, again going away for a long vacation would be too exhausting!! Of course, I could choose not to strain myself, but I would restless during the whole trip that I am wasting my time and not taking pictures. I typically don't enjoy my vacations as I am always trying to think how to take pictures than enjoying the scenery.

    So immediately going from ME to MI would be to exhausting for me!

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Western/Central Massachusetts

    Default Another option

    Another option could be to spend those remaining days a bit closer to home. There certainly has to be some places near where you live that you have yet to explore - I know I have that situation!

    I typically don't enjoy my vacations as I am always trying to think how to take pictures than enjoying the scenery.
    A few years ago I started taking less pictures, not because I don't enjoy it, but because of the same reason that you stated. Every now and then I just have to say "that's one to remember". Besides, the light isn't always ideal for taking stunning photographs, but it usually is adequate to just view the scenery.

  5. #5

    Default The UP is a great place to visit

    In the early 1980s, I spent two seasons on the UP doing field work ("warm seasons-late April-early November). We were centrally located at Crystal Falls, MI. It was my first time up there and I was amazed at the remoteness of the area. Small mountains, hills, rivers, lakes, and swamps for miles and miles in every direction. A very few very small towns, and that's about it. There are abundant campgrounds in Federal, State, and power company jurisdictions (hydro reservoirs with campgrounds and other facilities for outdoorsmen). I would compare that part of the UP to the North Maine Woods, but with somewhat less mountainous terrain.

    I'm looking for the time to go back one day soon.


  6. Default

    Thanks guys.

    So Foy, you do recommend that I visit the UP in the last week of August. I hope it's not too cold in the nights.

    I have almost made up my mind to go to the UP. I just want to use my vacation. I am in panic mode right now :).

    Acadia and UP have been one of the places I always wanted to visit. I will go to Acadia definitely, just need to figure out the right time.

    Oh btw, what time of the year is best for UP and Acadia? any ideas?


  7. #7

    Default Two seasons

    The locals up there (Yoopers) say there are just two seasons: Winter and the 4th of July.

    Seriously, I recall it rarely got out of the low 80s in the daytime and was often in the 50s at night in summertime. Cool, not cold. We'd have a fire in the cabin's woodstove every 2-3 nights to knock off the chill and deal with the dampness.

    Have a look at a traverse along the north shore (Lake Superior) of the UP, from Pictured Rocks past Marquette to the Huron Mtns, then L'Anse, Point Abbaye, and then the Keeweenaw Peninsula. The Superior shore is rather more rugged than the Lake Michigan shore, and the scenery is a bit better as a result. From the Keeweenaw, I'd then travel southwest to the Porcupine Mtns, then eastward back towards the Straits. There's also Isle Royal Nat Park to consider, and there's a car ferry from the Milwaukee or Green Bay area over to Ludington or some other burg on the eastern shore of Lake Michigan which would be a fun way to shorten the distance and break up the return trip.

    In the iron mining towns west of Marquette and up towards L'Anse and Houghton, be sure to eat some pasties (PASS-tees). They're meat, potatos, onion, and seasonings wrapped up in a bread pastry and baked. They're traditional underground miner's lunch fare and they'd stay warm wrapped up in rags in their lunchpail. If you like fish, the local restaurants all serve walleye, the very best of the freshwater fishes, in my opinion. There are some very good authentic Italian restaurants all around the mining towns, as Italians, Poles, Swedes, and Finns made up most of the workforce in the underground mines. The Finns claim the pastie as their own, but it's originally from Cornwall, England.


  8. #8
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Green County, Wisconsin

    Default Yuppers Pt. 2

    I camped up in the UP for Labor Day last year, and found the weather to be perfect. Very comfortable during the day, and not too cold at night. There are also a ton of areas to camp, we found a secluded site along a lake in some National Forest Land and this was over a holiday weekend. The weather there generally will still be good for camping into mid-October before it starts getting cold overnight on a regular basis.

    In addition to the food options Foy mentioned, you'll also find lots of fish houses in the towns right along Lake Superior. They typically will have fresh and smoked fish like Whitefish or Lake Perch, which make for a nice camp meal.

  9. Default

    Thanks guys for your very specific helpful suggestions. Foy, I really like your idea of circling around the lake and then taking a ferry back to cut down on the time plus that will be a really neat experience. I have never done anything like that before. Maybe I can spend more time in that area than planned (I have lotsa days as you guys know :))

    I can't enjoy your gourmet suggestions as I am a vegan :). But thanks again!

  10. #10

    Default Perhaps not a time-saver


    I would not necessarily say the ferry would be a material time saver, if a time-saver at all. One can cover lots of ground at highway speeds while queing up for the ferry, crossing the lake at, say 18-20 mph, and getting off the ferry at the other side. Still, having taken the North Carolina Ferry System's longer rides (two routes connecting to Ocracoke Island), I find the ride very enjoyable and relaxing. From what I've seen, briefly, in pictures, the Lake Michigan ferry seems similar in size and layout to the larger NC ferries on those longer routes.

    Have a great time,


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