West Houghton Lake Campground

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WEST HOUGHTON LAKE CAMPGROUND

Our time at West Houghton Lake Campground (https://westhoughtonlakecampground.com/) is coming to an end and I’m feeling all the feels right now. I know there won’t be another place like it. True for all the places we visit I know and that’s what makes leaving bittersweet.

I’m going to miss watching my daughter and her friends swing, or playing fetch with Beaux in the field, and especially watching John climb into the tiny house on the playset and Ellie and Beaux chasing him in.

I’m going to miss the kindness of the staff in the campground and also the kindness of the townspeople of Houghton Lake.

Everyone we’ve met here has been so sweet to us from the owners of Ellers South Shore Laundromat (https://www.facebook.com/ellerssouthshore/) to the staff at Little Boots Country Diner (https://www.facebook.com/Little-Boots-Country-Diner-254991364345/). You’re kindness has not gone unnoticed. Thank you for all that you’ve done for us.

Now let’s get into some of the fun stuff we did while staying at West Houghton Lake Campground. (https://westhoughtonlakecampground.com/)

LITTLE BOOTS COUNTRY DINER

TOP FIVE FAMILY FUN THINGS TO DO IN HOUGHTON LAKE, MI


1. The Limberlost

The local restaurant and bar on the water. It’s the best spot for dining, drinking, and having fun in Houghton Lake. The food is great. The staff is friendly. The views are spectacular and there’s live music on Sunday’s!

https://limberlost.com/

2. The Merritt Speedway

Looking to get your adrenal running? You’ve found the place for it! Merritt Speedway offers races every Saturday night at 7pm. Make sure you come prepared with baseball caps, sunglasses, and ear plugs for a comfortable experience. You may also want to bring a cushioned pad for the bleachers. Dont worry about making dinner before hand. The concession stand offers great hot dogs!

https://www.merrittspeedwaymi.com/

3. The Roscommon Zoo

Are you looking for a cuteness pick me up? This zoo is the perfect place for it. The animals are friendly & ready to interact with you! As long as you come ready to feed them. You can purchase baskets of carrots for $5 at the front desk. It’s an experience you don’t want to miss.

http://www.roscommonzoo.com/

4. Houghton Lake 24/7 Fitness Center

If you’re fitness junkie like me & need to get your fix while you’re on vacation Joanne’s 24/7 fitness center is the place for it. She’ll take care of all your needs. The gym has everything you need and tanning next door for the tanning lovers as well.

http://www.houghtonlakefitness.com/

5. North Higgins Lake State Park

If you’re tired of all that Houghton Lake has to offer then drive up the road to Higgins Lake. It has water as clear as it gets. The state park offers sandy beach areas as well as picnic tables along the water. There a couple slides and swings for the kids. There’s also walking trails for you and your dog and public bathrooms at the main entrance.

https://www.midnrreservations.com/

Goodbye Houghton Lake, until next time!

John’s Birthday at Higgins Lake

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I wanted to surprise John with something for his birthday so I woke up early and went to town to grab a few things. When I got home I knocked on the RV door, he and Ellie came running to answer it. I had in my arms an open box of doughnuts with candles and a birthday balloon. I started singing, ” happy birthday to you”. Ellie comes running outside with the biggest smile on her face and grabs the balloon. Unfortunately, I had to break the news to her that it was not her birthday, but her dad’s. Thankfully this didn’t ruin her day. She was just as happy that it was his birthday. Even more happy that she got to cover her face in chocolate frosting as we decorated his cake.

After the cake decorating shenanigans Ellie and I got cleaned up and put on our favorite dresses. We didn’t forget to give ourselves a little extra pampering either (makeup for me, blush for ellie). We were done getting ready just in time for John to get home & see his beautiful girls ready to spend the day with him. Yes, we were getting ready for daddy!

We all hopped in the truck (Beaux too) and headed to North Higgins Lake State Park where we met my mom & Kirk. The water was crystal clear. The sun was shining. The birds were chirping and Beaux barking of course. We pulled up a picnic table and put it in the sun. John chased Ellie along the beach and then to the playground. I made lunch for us at the picnic table. We talked, took pictures, and enjoyed the beach. After we ate John fed the seaguls which was pretty fun to watch.

After Higgins we came back to the camper. We sang him happy birthday and cut the cake. Ellie had to help blow out the candles of course. Mom and kirk left to go home. We were happy they could celebrate with us. We had an awesome day celebrating John and appreciating the beauty of Higgins Lake.

A Fun Day At Lakeside Resort

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We were thrilled to have Mimi and Kirk visit, and lucky for us, stay at the resort across the street. The name of it’s Lakeside Resort & Conference Center and it’s in Houghton Lake, MI. The resort is directly on the water and right next to a public boat launch. (It’s too bad none of us have one.) We would’ve loved to go on the water.


The first thing we did at the resort was try out the restaurant. The weather was cold and rainy so we sat inside, but outdoor seating was available. The views of the lake were pretty. Our waitress Tammy was sweet. Ellie loved her mac and cheese. I’ve never seen her eat anything so fast before.

There was an arcade just outside the restaurant that I chased Ellie to after dinner. We put some quarters in the machines and made out with a few bouncy balls and tiny aliens. She loved it and made sure to check all the machines for more toys before it was time to go.

Next we went to the Waterpark. Yes, I said Waterpark! Cool, right? It worked out great for us since it was 50° and raining.

They had a splash pad, waterside, pool, hot tub, and lazy river (don’t forget to bring your own inner tube for the lazy river). My favorite was the hot tub. I enjoyed the heat and view of the lake outside. Ellies favorite was the splash pad. She loved playing in the water.

Overall it was a relaxing and fun getaway for a day.  I think this is a great place to spend time with the family. The resort offers plenty of amenities indoors making it a good place to go to this winter. Rooms range from $120-$140 a night. Here’s the link to the hotel’s website for more information or booking inquiries.

http://lakesideresortandconferencecenter.com/

A Weekend With Pops

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Papa Bill came to visit us in Houghton Lake this weekend and boy did we have a good time! The first thing we did was take Ellie to the park on the water. I don’t know the name of it but it’s across the street from the DQ in town. It has swings, a slide, and playset all on a nice sandy beach.

The Park On Houghton Lake

Next we drove down Houghton Lake Dr. to look for something to eat. We stopped at a large log building by the name of Limberlust, hoping not to be disappointed. We walked in and easily grabbed a table on the deck outside. Our view of the lake was incredible and to our surprise there was live music just below us. We were more than happy. Our server was friendly and our food was great. This might just be one of my favorite spots.

The Limberlost

The next day we took Beaux for a walk around the campground. Then we went into town to check out Lakeland Recreation. When we got there we were pleasantly surprised with how much there was to do. We couldn’t decide where to start so we waited and watched the Go Karts go by. They had arcade games, bumper boats, batting cages, even mini Go Karts. Since Ellie was still too small for most of the stuff we went with Mini Golf. Ellie got her own plastic club and ball. She loved practicing her putting. We had so much fun on the course. We even made it through with no fussing! Until it was time to go of course.

Lakeland Recreation

I was sad to see my dad leave but grateful he was able to visit. We had a great time hanging out with him. I cherish these memories with all my heart. Until next time pops!

Pictured Rocks Day Two

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Checkout of our air b & b was at 11am but we got up early enough to be out by 9am. We were excited to tackle the hike back to Chapel Falls. As I said in my previous post, we didn’t hike it the day before because we were unaware of how far the walk was and also unprepared, but we were ready now.

We arrived at Chapel Falls and to our surprise were informed by DNR that dogs were not allowed. This was disappointing. However, the DNR was friendly enough to reccomend another option for us. He told us to go East of Chapel Rd until we reach Hurricane Trail. There we would find a dog friendly trail that would take us along the coastline of Lake Superior to the Au Sable Lighthouse. We were grateful for his help and headed that way.

Lake Superior Observation Deck


On our drive down Alger County Rd H-58 we discovered an observation deck of Lake Superior. We stopped to check it out and my gosh, it was beautiful! Thankfully there were stairs that led us down to the beach so we could walk along the shore and watch the waves. It was really windy that day so the waves were huge and there weren’t many people out. We pretty much had the beach to ourselves which made it even better.

Lake Superior, MI


Sidenote: I would reccomend packing a cooler with sandwich supply. We carried ours around the two days we were here and made them whenever we needed. This was a huge help since not much is around for food unless you go into town. It also made things easier for us since we had our dog.

Views from Hurricane Trail

Shortly after the lookout on Lake Superior we reached the Parking lot for Hurricane Trail. The trail itself was a 1.5 miles long. It was a wide gravel trail, very easy to walk down, and easy to push the stroller on. It was right next to the coastline of Lake Superior. There are signs along the shoreline to show you were old shipwrecks were. We didn’t see any ship remains but they say if you walk in the water you might. At the end of the trail is the Au Sable Lighthouse. We were also able to see the Grand Sable Dunes from there. We sat on a deck near the water and soaked it all in. This was my favorite spot. The views were incredible and there couldn’t have been a better day to be there.

Au Sable Lighthouse
Grand Sable Dunes
Shoreline Of Lake Superior

Our time at Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore was unforgettable. We saw some of the most beautiful sights we’ve ever seen. As a family we faced challenges, explored new territory, and shared appreciation for eachother and our experiences. We bonded together and grew.

If you love nature, hiking, and beautiful scenery this is the trip for you. I absolutely reccomend checking it out. The views alone will blow you away.

Pictured Rocks Day One

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This week my family and I took a vacation away from our home on wheels and drove four hours North to Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore. We began our trip by checking into our air b & b just outside the rocks in Munising, MI. We stayed with Todd & Jackie in a camper on their property. (Yes we left our camper to stay in someone else’s camper.) I guess you could say we love tiny living. They were great hosts and the place was exceptionally clean. I’ll attach the air b and b link below for anyone interested in planning a trip with them.

    Our first stop was Munising Falls. Its on the westernmost portion of Pictured Rocks. The fall drops 50 feet over a sandstone cliff. It was an easy 10 minute walk to get to. The walking trail was seemingly accessible as well as kid and pet friendly.

    Pictured below is Munising Falls. To the left of the waterfall was a steep set of stairs that offered closer views but we enjoyed our view from where we were  and opt out of getting closer to it.

    We then came across Sand Point,  which was also on the westernmost portion of Pictured Rocks. It was a nice white beach right outside of downtown Munising. We didn’t stop because the weather was crummy but this would have been a great place for Ellie and Beaux to run around.

    The next landscape we saw was Miners Castle Point. There were 3 observation decks in which you could view the rock formation. The picture above was taken on the highest deck. This was one of my favorite spots. The views were unbelievable. The first two decks were accessible but the third deck requires walking down a large flight of stairs. If you have small children I recommend wearing them or having them in a stroller. We made the mistake of letting Ellie run around and this was not the spot for it. We had a couple of terrifying moments.

    The picture below was taken on the third observation deck, which offered gorgeous views of Pictured Rocks.

    The third place we stopped at was Miners Castle Falls. This was a short drive down from Castle Point. It was a 1/2 mile walk down a dirt path into the woods. We carried Ellie on our backs for this and I’m glad we did.

    There was an upper observation deck that gave an alright view of the waterfall and to the left of that was a large flight of stairs that led to the bottom of the waterfall. We didn’t walk this, but I believe there would have better been views from there.

    The picture below is our family standing on the upper deck in front of Miners Castle Falls. You can slightly see the waterfall to the left of John.

    We then headed back to town for our scheduled boat tour of Pictured Rocks. As we waited for our departure time we stopped at the local Cafe “Falling Rock and Bookstore” for ice cream. The staff was friendly and the atmosphere great. I could have spent more time looking around but we hurried back to make it to the docks in time for our cruise.

    Unfortunately, when we got there we were informed our boat tour was canceled due to the weather. The winds were producing waves up to 10 feet making it unfit to sail. The boat tours had informed me via email 2 hours prior, but I was unable to receive it until later that evening due to a lack of cell phone service.

    The picture below is the boat we were scheduled to go on.

    If you’re planning a trip to Pictured Rocks I reccomend knowing exactly where you want to go and how to get there. Don’t count on your phone to navigate for you or answer any of your questions on google. If you have boat tickets you should print them off. You will not have good service there. There are maps at each site and DNR to help you if you need it, but still do your research and write down important information to be prepared.

    Once we discovered our tour was canceled we headed back to where we left off site seeing along the coast of Lake Superior. Our next site was Chapel Falls. This was located off Chapel Road, which was a dirt road that is a few miles long but has pot holes like you wouldn’t believe. After what seemed like forever we finally made it to the very end of the road where the parking lot was. To our surprise Chapel Falls was a 1.5 mile hike. We decided we better not since night was approaching and we didn’t know our way through the woods. Disappointed, we headed back to the camper.

    On our way back on Chapel Rd we decided to have some fun & let Ellie take the wheel. We figured she could use some practice (like the next 14 years aren’t already enough.) But this lightened the mood and got us back on track.

    Shortly after, John and I looked up at the sky and to our surprise saw an opening in the dark clouds. The opening was shaped as a heart. I tried to snap a picture but I wasn’t fast enough. It was just what we needed to see in that moment.

    In the end things didn’t go as planned. We missed out on some things we were looking forward to seeing but we saw something cool that we weren’t expecting. Overall, we had an amazing experience. The sights we saw were well worth the hikes and the things we missed we’ll make up next time.

Stay tuned for more on our second day at Pictured Rocks!


https://www.airbnb.com/rooms/27722578?guests=1&adults=1&s=42&unique_share_id=43870c56-8ee1-4b56-8e1f-5d71a94576f6

Welcome!

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Hey guys! Welcome to my blog. I’m excited to be writing my first post on here. I want to start by sharing a little more about me. I’m Shelby. I have a passion for traveling. I believe there is no time to be bored in a world as beautiful as this. In October of 2019 my family and I had the crazy idea to make a camper our home and travel full time. We purchased our rig in December of 2019 and have been full-timing since. Due to the pandemic we stayed stationary for longer than expected. Just recently we began moving around. For us that looks like moving to a new town every month or so. I still consider us newbies to this lifestyle and we’re learning as we go. My plan is to write about the places we stay and the things we do while we’re there. My goal is to give you reccomendations based off my own experiences in order to make travel planning easier for you! I hope something I write encourages you to get out and explore. I want to say thank you for being here, I appreciate you, and enjoy!