As most of you know, and Michaelski "understands", this Bear's vacations are always taken to the Upper Peninsula of Michigan.
I do have an interesting vacation story to tell, though, that does not involve Yooperland:
In the Bicentennial Year of 1976, this Bear climbed into an off-white VW mini-bus camper, with his wife at that time (Donna), Donna's sister (Betty) and a friend of mine named Phil. We packed with us a deck of cards and enough alcohol to get us half-way across the country before we would need to replenish.
Traveling in the mini-bus was fun. Even though small, it had enough headroom to stand up, it had a 'fridge for our lunchmeat and cheese, and a table. While somebody had to drive.....usually this Bear or Phil.....the other three (3) would play cards and drink.
We made it to a rest stop by Sioux Falls, SD, the first night. That was also the place where Donna resumed her smoking habit. She tried to quit as the trip started but after eating about a dozen donuts she thought it wiser to die of lung cancer rather than blowing up. (She did quit the nasty habit a few years later.)
We stayed a few days at a campground in the Black Hills, doing some trout fishing (yum, tasty!). Betty grabbed a case of severe sun poisoning, due to a sun that was out all of the time and a temperature over 105 each day.
We then moved west to Lewis & Clark Campground, in Montana. More drinking, more trout fishing, less hot sun, beautiful scenery. After a few days here we trucked north and west to Grand Coolee Dam, placing ourselves and our little mini-camper at a treeless campground downstream from the dam.
The campground had a couple hundred (100) sites but it was nearly empty. Because it was so arrid, sprinklers were buried at the campground. Imagine our suprise when the sprinklers started up as we were cooking over the campfire. I stormed up to the Ranger's Cabin to complain and discovered a group of laughing Rangers. They did that to us on purpose! (It was very hot that day and the complaint was more on principle than substance.)
From Grand Coolee we moved toward the greater Seattle area. This was in the days before Microsoft and all of the other tech businesses changed the face of Seattle. It was still a neat place and fun to be at. We stayed in the Seattle area for a day.
We crossed Puget Sound in a car ferry and proceeded to the Olympic National Park. We camped close to the Straits of San Juan de Fuca, so it was warm and pleasant where we were at. However, just a few miles inland, it was a constant drizzle and a temperature in the lower 50's. We did some hiking in the Park, even managing to observe a couple engaged in what we will call "waterfall intercourse". they looked and sounded like they were having fun and upon seeing us they continued their spirited romp and waved and smiled.
From the Olympic Park area we moved to the west coast of Washington and followed the coastline down into Oregon. We stayed at a beautiful oceanside Oregon State Park. Our days here were spent beachcombing, hiking, drinking, and Donna and this Bear "explored" the solitude of a small island accessible only at low tide. (I don't need any "Mile High Club". )
After some time spent on the ocean we started back eastward. We spent a day in Portland, OR, and then continued east, following the Columbia River, then turning off-trail and heading up to Mount Hood. We stayed at Lost Lake Campground (at the foot of Mount Hood). The ranger kidded us about missing the ice-out from the lake, which was only a week earlier. On July 4th, 1976, the four (4) of us celebrated our nation's 200th birthday by drinking beer and wine and making "snow angels" in the patches of snow still in the campground area.
After a couple days at Mount Hood we continued eastward, moving first into southern Idaho and then cutting down to Salt Lake City, UT. We spent a day in the Salt Lake area, even driving out to see the Great Salt Lake. From there, we worked our way toward Colorado and Denver. We actually encountered heavy snow falling in the mountain passes west of Denver.
We spent a day and night in Golden, CO. Of course, a tour of the Coor's Brewery was the order of the day. From the Denver area we moved into Kansas and stayed a night at a reservoir campground. It was hot and dry so we didn't sleep in the mini-camper or set-up a tent....we slept on the beach.
Our final place to stay was a small state park in central Illinois, where we did some hiking, fishing, and drinking.
When we drove into Toledo after the 3-week trip we were exhausted, tired of traveling in the mini-camper, tired of each other's company (and lack of privacy), and armed with a truckload of fun experiences.
That was my cross-country trip. What about you?
Bear Eating Donuts