7 days in the U.P. of Michigan, Drummond Island, Au Train, and Cooper Harbor. Lets go Wheeling. Picture and video Heavy.

wibornz

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Been a crazy week or so, my wife Carla retired and the next day we headed north with the crew. The plan is to wheel Drummond Island with the crew, then when most of the crew heads back, we would go across the U.P. and head to the most northern part of Michigan and camp on the the shore of Lake Superior.... at the Rocket Range. The Rocket Range was used by NASA in the sixties and early seventies to launch rockets into space.

Read about the Rocket Range here.

Keweenaw Rocket Range

So we head out on the 23 of September one day after Carla retired. The normal crew in tow.

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Drive the six hours, jump on the ferry to get over to Drummond Island. Another friend of our left the day before and we meet up with them on the Island. There is very little cell service on the Island to coordinating with them is not easy but hey it is and adventure. It has rained a lot, we get to where Don (the driver of the Cherokee Trail Hawk) and his wife have found us a camp spot for the next four days.

Drop the camper and start a fire. It has been a long day of driving

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Gary aka Princess gets to the fire...
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Bourbon chicken starry and chicken dumplings.
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In the morning Carla goes for a walk with me, then my Bud Bill makes her go for a walk. While they are gone the girls decorate the camper and surprise her with gifts and what not for her retirement.

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Breakfast... well did I tell you we eat good.


















































I know where are the wheeling pics and the Jeeps on the trail pics at? Here we go. So most people wheel the north part of the Island as that is where the badge trails are. We spent Friday exploring the south side of the island. This is the first stop out on shore of Lake Huron/The Straits of Mackinaw. We had planned to camp out at one of the camp spots for the weekend, but had another friend joining us with a pop up camper and we did not think he would be able to get his camper back into the following locations with out damaging his pop up camper.

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We could easily camp at the waters edge here.
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Even had a great fire pit.
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On to spot #2
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If you don't know, Drummond Island is kind of rocky.
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Gary's Blue Jeep
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Gary and Angie just so you know who I am referring to at times. Gary AKA Princess. He is a Lumberjack, tough as nails but a super nice guy who is ride and die kind of people. Love these guys.
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Spot #3
A little B&W to mix it up.
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As I go through these pics, while they are in my eyes beautiful, they just do not do the place justice. To truly understand how beautiful these places are, you really need to lay your eyes on them personally.
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When you come out of the woods and this is your view of the lake..
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Driving the Punk'N Jeep is Bill and Missy. I have Jeeped, ATV, SxS and motorcycled all over the US with Bill. When I told him that I was buying a Jeep, he said, "I am NOT buying a Jeep." Nope I tease him all the time about saying that I tell him, "You're not buying a Jeep, you're buying a Jeep, lift kits, wheels, tires, bumpers, winch, campers, and all kinds of other Jeep stuff." He smiles and and says that he should have never went for a ride in my Jeep. Bill is scared of hight, so when we wheel out west, his limits are pushed, sometimes, Carla or I will have to go back and drive his Jeep where there are big drop offs. LOL.




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The end of day one. The real wheeling starts on Saturday. We have more friends that join us, one with a JKU, and one with a lifted 4Runner. There has been a lot of rain and the Jeeps are dirty at the end of the day.
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wibornz

wibornz

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I know I said video heavy, still have to off load the dash cam, and drone footage.

Day #2
Drummond Island has a lot of water. The rule of thumb is, if it is smooth going in to the hole and smooth coming out, you are safe.

















There is plenty of mud like this.
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Part of this trail leads to the Eastside of the lake and runs along the coast.
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That is Canada on the other side.
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So first real decent pic of the Cherokee Trail Hawk. We were all impressed with how well this did on the trail. I put a lift on this and the rock rails, and Don added the 31 in tires.
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drone pic of the eastern coast of Drummond Island
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Day #3
Everyone has finally made it to camp. And we are off for a full day of wheeling.
Quick drone shot of camp on Saturday morning. There are many many dispersed camp sites on the island. There really is no reason to go to a camp ground. Just so you know and they are easy to find.

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Off we go.
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If you go to Drummond Island expect a thousand water holes like this.
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I lead 95% of the time. So the others never get the same view that I get. We were the first ones down the trail that day. Every puddle had an awesome reflection of the forest in it.
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This one was deep.
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Some of the water holes were up to the headlights on the stock JKU.
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On the north Side of the Island, I put the drone up. This is a natural safe harbor on the island. It is just over thirty feet deep and it is common during the summer, to find float planes and deep keel sail boats anchored here. It is a safe haven from the weather and waves on the big lake.
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We did a quick hike to get out of the Jeeps for a little bit. Carla and me.
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Bill and me talking about how hard Carla is on my Jeep.
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If you look close, you can see a vehicle on the other side of the bay with a RTT camping on the beach.
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Apple iPhone 12
Max Pro zoomed in. Not my DSLR, but hey it is easy to carry.



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Off to Marblehead, where the badge is earned.
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Stuffing and flexing tires.
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I got the badge a couple years ago and bought the shirt on this trip. I am pointing to the Jeep badge for this trail.
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They call this baby Marblehead.
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We get back to camp and it starts to mist a little bit, we start dinner and then Mother Nature treated us with this view at the end of day #3.
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This is how we ended the first three days of Carla's retirement.
Smoke from a camp fire rising up to a rainbow. We are blessed. We are also just a couple days away from our 32nd wedding anniversary.
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More to come.
 

Dale's Jeep

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I'm oh so jealous. That must have been an amazing trip.
 

Punknhed

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absolutely incredible. i may have to come back to michigan when i retire to go wheel the UP and Drummond lol. If im still Jeeping by then who knows......
 

multicam

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Looks like an amazing trip, and Congrats to Carla on her retirement! Life looks really different up there where there’s water unlike here in the Mojave.
 

DanW

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You are so right about pics not doing it justice. we went up there in July of 2020 and I was blown away how beautiful it was.

You've got a bunch of great pictures in there and a couple that I think are really amazing. Thanks for sharing!
 

AVGeek99

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Great pics. Looks like your having a blast!! Doing retirement right!! I can only dream for now.
 

DadJokes

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Looks like a fun trip. I’m not sure about that deep a water hole though. lol

Our plans to go up to the UP got ruined by unforeseen circumstances. It’s not been great so we’ll have to try again later. I’m gonna work on planning and look for more points of interest.
 

Bamabww

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Thank you for sharing your trip with us. Really enjoyed the pictures and seeing that beautiful place.
 
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wibornz

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You are so right about pics not doing it justice. we went up there in July of 2020 and I was blown away how beautiful it was.

You've got a bunch of great pictures in there and a couple that I think are really amazing. Thanks for sharing!
In my opinion, I have not even got to the good pics yet.
 
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wibornz

wibornz

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So with Drummond Island done, we head off to go west across the UP. Our crew breaks up and we are now just the Cherokee and my JLUR traveling together. We have no real plan other than to get to the most northern part of Michigan.

So I wake up and make coffee on the last morning on Drummond Island. The sky is over cast,

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and then Mother Nature does her magic. The sky was like this for about 10 minutes. Just a note, I have already won a photo contest with this pic.
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The sky blew up.
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Off to the Ferry, It took us over two hours to get onto the ferry and off the Island.
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So Sunday was a travel day as we work our way across the UP. We end up in a national forest just south of Au Train for the night. A spot I find, using Gaia to camp. It is down in a little gully, out in the middle of no where, but has cell service and good internet. Bonus.... We get camp set up and Mother Nature is not playing, She put on a show for us. The sky was on fire.

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We settle in after being in the Jeep on the road for most of the day and enjoy a fire into the night.
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The next morning did not disappoint.
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wibornz

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So we are off to the Rocket Range.
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You goto Copper Harbor Michigan and just keep driving east. The road/trail has lots of water and rock, but can be accessed easily with a stock Jeep. This is one of the best camp spots we have stayed at in Michigan.

We camp right on the shore of Lake Superior. We are maybe 15 to 20 feet from the water. There are many places to camp here with fire rings.

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We get here about 3 pm. I go left and Don goes right and we set up camp.
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Enjoy some chili with a view.
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Then it is time o hike the coast some. It was another long day in the Jeep on the road and we need to stretch our feet. I knew when we headed this way from Drummond Island that it would be two long days in the Jeep, but I knew it would be epic.

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We have a lot of Jeep travel coming up and it has been a busy week, my birthday, Carla retired, and our 32 wedding anniversary is in two days. We are entering a new phase of life and the future looks good from here.
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She took me by the hand and said "come with me into the woods little boy". I tried to fight, but lost.
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There is another great spot that you could easily get many vehicles into to camp. There was at least 15 fire rings up on the bluff.
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I really need to get a new valve stem cap. This one is a dirty dick.
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Getting ready for a fire tonight.
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If you tent camp, this spot was about 100 yards north of our spot on the water.
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These two really needed a vacation. They have both been working long hours with many days of overtime.
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Some drone photos from the camp spot. The light was a little harsh.
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DanW

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Can't wait to see pics of the rocket range!
 
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wibornz

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Sunrise at the Rocket Range did not disappoint .
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Okay, this gets a little dark here. You may want to skip over what I am going to type.......... and just go down to the next picture.

I ask Carla who has just retired from The Department of Corrections what she most liked about being retired. She did intake classification and her specialty was doing intake of prisoners that had committed sex crimes and or gang members. There are 12 people in her job, but while she handles all types of crime, she specializes in sex crime and gang crime. I did not get the answer that I expected. She sits down and interviews these criminals, goes over their crime with them, and makes decisions about what the prisoner will have to do while they are in prison. What jobs they may do, any special classes they will have to take, what custody level they are going to be housed in.... It is about a 45 minute process.


She said, "I will never have to sit down with a guy who kidnaps girls between the age of 2 and 10, films them why he sexually assaults them and chokes them to death. Then sell the videos on the dark web. and listen to this motherfucker cry in my office about how he he is having trouble adjusting to prison.

She deserves to finely not have to be around the worse people in our society daily and enjoy views like this from the camper as she tries to leave the stench of prison behind her. She is strong and Mother Nature is easing her into the next phase of her life.

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The best I could get of the lighthouse that was off shore.
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You can just see the light house on the right side of the island in this pic to give you an idea of how far off shore it is.
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The only reason I bought a Jackery is so we could enjoy fresh ground coffee make with a drip coffee maker. The Jackery 1000 will make about 7 pots of coffee, I have the solar panels to recharge it, but find that I charge it mostly in the Jeep while we are out wheeling.
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I also hook the Jackery into the shore power of the camper and it will run the microwave if needed.
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Suns up.
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Love the reflections in the glass of the Jeep.
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So people will often ask me about the vacations that I take with the Jeep, I always say, "I am not on vacation, this is just what I did on Tuesday. " So its Tuesday.

 
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wibornz

wibornz

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More to come, wi
I'm oh so jealous. That must have been an amazing trip.
The wheeling was great, the people that come with us just make it better. it is so nice to have a good crew that is easy to travel with.
 
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