Wandering Around America One State at a Time – Michigan

State 20:

Welcome to the next post in my series highlighting states we have visited throughout the years. I hope you will enjoy coming along for the ride!

I will be featuring the states alphabetically. The next state is

Michigan

Michigan became the 26th state on January 26, 1837. The capital is Lansing. Michigan is the only state with two peninsulas.

Our wandering around Michigan took us to three great lakes, two national lakeshores, huge sand dunes, magnificent waterfalls, a beautiful island with no motorized vehicles allowed, a lock connecting two great lakes, lighthouses, and gigantic cliffs.

Our Michigan journeys included camping in Muskegon State Park on Lake Michigan and in Lakeport State Park on Lake Huron.

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Swan in Muskegon Channel
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Beach on Lake Huron in Lakeport State Park

We picked a beautiful day to explore Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore on Lake Michigan.

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Dune Climb at Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore
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450 feet above Lake Michigan at Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore

We had a great view of the Mackinac Bridge from our campsite at Macinaw Mill Creek Campground. The campground was our home base for a visit to Mackinac Island.

Mackinac Bridge at sunset
Mama Swan with babies

 

After crossing the Mackinac Bridge we spent a few days in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula, otherwise known as the UP. We spent a day marveling at the spectacular waterfalls in Tahquamenon (rhymes with phenomenon) Falls State Park.

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Upper Tahquamenon Falls
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Lower Tahquamenon-Falls

We drove up to Sault Ste. Marie for a look at the Soo Locks.

Soo Locks in Sault Ste. Marie
Soo Locks in Sault Ste. Marie

Another day was spent exploring Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore.

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Sable Falls
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Miner’s Castle
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Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore

Our campsite at Porcupine Mountains State Park was right next to the rocky shore of Lake Superior.

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We enjoyed seeing a few of Michigan’s Lighthouses.

To read previous posts about the states featured in this series just click on the state name: Alabama      Alaska      Arizona      Arkansas      California      Colorado     Florida      Georgia      Hawaii        Idaho  Illinois      Indiana      Iowa     Kansas     Kentucky     Louisiana     Maine     Maryland     Massachusetts

Wandering Around America One State at a Time – Massachusetts

State 19:

Welcome to the next post in my series highlighting states we have visited throughout the years. I hope you will enjoy coming along for the ride!

I will be featuring the states alphabetically. The next state is

Massachusetts

Massachusetts was one of the original thirteen colonies and became the 6th state on February 6, 1788. The capital is Boston .

On our one and only trip to Massachusetts we wandered around two gorgeous waterfront towns.

Our first stop was Gloucester where we visited the Fisherman’s Memorial. The Man at the Wheel Statue faces the sea. Across from the statue beside the waterfront is a List of Names honoring not only those men known to be lost at sea but also the men and ships lost without record. The number of men and ships who left from Gloucester and never returned is staggering.

Sebastian Junger’s book “The Perfect Storm” (and later the movie starring George Clooney) told the story of  the fishing vessel Andrea Gail from Gloucester that went down with all of it’s crew during the storm of the century in 1991. The names of the crew members are included on the List of Names at Fisherman’s Memorial.

Man at the Wheel Statue at the Fisherman’s Memorial, Gloucester, Massachusetts
Gloucester Fishermen’s Memorial
Just a few names of the people lost at sea –  Gloucester Fisherman’s Memorial

The Ten Pound Light was visible from the Gloucester waterfront. Many fishing vessels were tied up at docks.

Ten Pound Island Lighthouse, Gloucester
Gloucester Fishing Boats
Gloucester Fishing Boat

We also stopped to stroll around Rockport with it’s beautiful harbor.

Rockport Harbor
Rockport Harbor

To read previous posts about the states featured in this series just click on the state name: Alabama      Alaska      Arizona      Arkansas      California      Colorado     Florida      Georgia      Hawaii        Idaho  Illinois      Indiana      Iowa     Kansas     Kentucky     Louisiana     Maine     Maryland

Wandering Around America One State at a Time – Maryland

State 18:

Welcome to the next post in my series highlighting states we have visited throughout the years. I hope you will enjoy coming along for the ride!

I will be featuring the states alphabetically. The next state is

Maryland

Maryland was one of the original 13 colonies and became the 7th state on April 28, 1788. The capital is Annapolis and the largest city is Baltimore.

Although we traveled to Maryland multiple times before our RV’ing days, back then we spent most of our time visiting family and seeing the sights in Washington, D.C. Way back in the early 1980’s we wandered around Baltimore touring the National Aquarium, the B&O Railroad Museum, and enjoying the beautiful harbor.

B & O Railroad Museum (early 1980’s)
Tall Ship in the Baltimore Harbor (early 1980’s)

After we started traveling in the RV, we enjoyed camping in Rocky Gap State Park on Lake Habeeb. The birds in the trees and the chipmunks on the ground kept us entertained when we weren’t enjoying the lake.

Lake Habeeb in Rocky Gap State Park
This chipmunk visited our campsite at Rocky Gap State Park
Great Crested Flycatcher in Rocky Gap State Park

To read previous posts about the states featured in this series just click on the state name: Alabama      Alaska      Arizona      Arkansas      California      Colorado     Florida      Georgia      Hawaii        Idaho  Illinois      Indiana      Iowa     Kansas     Kentucky     Louisiana     Maine

Wandering Around America One State at a Time – Maine

State 17:

Welcome to the next post in my series highlighting states we have visited throughout the years. I hope you will enjoy coming along for the ride!

I will be featuring the states alphabetically. The next state is

Maine

Maine became the 23rd state on March 15, 1820  and the capital is Augusta.

Twelve years ago, in our pre-RVing days, we flew to Maine to visit our daughter’s family while they were living in Biddeford for a short time. We arrived during the mud season, just before Easter. We stayed with them a few days and then took off in our rental car to explore a little bit of New England and Canada. We circled back to have some more grandson time before flying home.

On Easter Sunday, our then one year old grandson had his first Easter Egg hunt in the snow. Later we drove through the countryside to Ridley Farm for Maine Maple Sunday. In addition to raising dairy cattle, this family owned farm produces maple syrup. Our grandson got to see the cows up close and we got to see how the syrup is produced.  We loaded up on bottles of their syrup to take home to Georgia.

Maine Maple Sunday at Ridley Farm

Biddeford is located on the coast and we loved the rocky coastline. Even though it was cold, we had a great time enjoying the coast with our grandson.

Biddeford Pool

We wandered around the coast of Maine, eating lobster rolls and blueberry pie, and finding lighthouses.

We spent some money at the LL Bean store in Freeport and stopped at several of the LLBean outlets along the way.

L. L. Bean Store in Freeport, Maine

Our journey took us across this Cribstone Bridge to Cook’s Lobster House in Harpswell where we enjoyed lunch. If you guessed we tried their lobster rolls you would be correct.

Cribstone Bridge connecting Bailey’s Island and Orr’s Island

A Bed and Breakfast in Bath was our home for a night.  Dining at a waterfront restaurant and watching the ice flow down the river was a great way to end the day. A couple of the locals told us they make bets on when the ice will start to break up.

Ice on Kennebec River in Bath, Maine

We visited Acadia National Park before it was officially open and had the park almost to ourselves. We walked along the ocean  path above the water and listened for the loud boom of the waves crashing at the Thunder Hole.

We passed through miles and miles of forest as we traveled through the north Maine woods on our way to Kent and the beginning of U. S. Highway 1. I was on moose alert the entire time but the only we one we saw was crossing the road so far ahead of us to get a good look.

Wandering around Maine was such a great adventure. One of my favorite memories, though, is the sound of the Easter eggs cracking as our grandson dropped them one by one into his basket.

To read previous posts about the states featured in this series just click on the state name: Alabama      Alaska      Arizona      Arkansas      California      Colorado     Florida      Georgia      Hawaii        Idaho  Illinois      Indiana      Iowa     Kansas     Kentucky     Louisiana

Wandering Around America One State at a Time – Louisiana

State 16:

Welcome to the next post in my series highlighting states we have visited throughout the years. I hope you will enjoy coming along for the ride!

I will be featuring the states alphabetically. The next state is

Louisiana

Louisiana became the 18th state on April 30, 1812  and the capital is Baton Rouge.

Ever since I started working on this post about Louisiana the following lyrics from the Hank Williams song “Jambalaya (on the Bayou)” have been going through my head.

Jambalaya and a crawfish pie and fillet gumbo
‘Cause tonight I’m gonna see my ma cher amio
Pick guitar, fill fruit jar and be gay-o
Son of a gun we’ll have big fun on the bayou

Each time we visited Louisiana we tried as much of the delicious local food as we could get. We sampled everything – boudin, crawfish etoufee, gumbo, dirty rice, cracklins, shrimp po’ boys and more! Chef Paul Prudhomme’s K-Paul’s Louisiana Kitchen  in New Orleans served up one of the most amazing meals I’ve ever had. Is your mouth watering yet?

We’ve visited New Orleans three times – twice to watch our Georgia Bulldogs play in the Sugar Bowl and once to take our children when they were young. We wandered around the French Quarter, attended a performance of New Orleans Jazz at Preservation Hall, rode a streetcar to the Garden District, took a riverboat ride on the Mississippi River, chowed down on amazing Cajun food, and of course had coffee and beignets at Cafe Du Monde.

New Orleans Jackson Square
New Orleans Jackson Square
Cafe du Monde
Cafe du Monde
Calle D Borbon
Calle D Borbon

There is so much more to Louisiana than food and music. Our lake front campsite at Lake Bistineau State Park was perfect for watching the wading birds search for food among the huge cypress trees on the banks of the lake.

Great Blue Heron at Lake Bistineau
Great Blue Heron at Lake Bistineau
Great Egret in Lake Bistineau
Great Egret in Lake Bistineau
Lake Bistineau
Lake Bistineau

The rain didn’t stop us from enjoying our campsite on one of the ponds at Poche’s Fish N Camp. After a delicious meal at Poche’s Meat Market and Smokehouse I stocked up on Cajun goodies like homemade boudin, Andouille sausage and tasso ham to take home.

Pavilion at Poche's Fish N Camp
Poche’s Fish N Camp

We are one of the families who always has a bottle of Tabasco sauce on the table along with the salt and pepper. A visit to the Tabasco Factory on Avery Island was a must for us.

The world's best known hot sauce
The world’s best known hot sauce

We even took a tour of the Duck Commander headquarters in West Monroe.

Duck Commander Headquarters, about 3 blocks south of I-20 in West Monroe, LA
Duck Commander Headquarters, about 3 blocks south of I-20 in West Monroe, LA

I started writing this post right before Mardi Gras and have been hungry for Cajun food ever since. On Fat Tuesday I made a big pot of Shrimp and Andouille Gumbo using Alton Brown’s recipe (I added okra ). Yesterday I made Chef Paul Prudhomme’s Jambalaya (I left out the oysters). Now if I could just find some crawfish tails I’ll make that crawfish pie.!

To read previous posts about the states featured in this series just click on the state name: Alabama      Alaska      Arizona      Arkansas      California      Colorado     Florida      Georgia      Hawaii        Idaho  Illinois      Indiana      Iowa     Kansas     Kentucky