UP Overland Adventure – Day 1

A trip five years in my mind, eight months of planning, spanning six days, including 4 Jeeps, two trailers, six people, and 1390 miles across Michigan’s Upper Peninsula has finally come to fruition.

Technically day 1 started with the trek from Grand Blanc, Michigan, across the Mackinaw Bridge to my families cabin in Garden Corners, Michigan, but it was pretty boring and uneventful, other than the trip across the bridge and a bit on US-2 West, where we were able to watch a gorgeous sunset. The rest of the trip was in the dark.

On the Manistique/Marquette Route.

Day 1 started at 8:30 am, from Garden Corners, and heading back east 22 miles to Manistique, Michigan, where we gassed up and started on the Manistique/Marquette Route. This is a state trail and except for trying to drive and look at the beautiful scenery, wasn’t too difficult. It was a nice drive none the less. We followed the trail almost to the end (it turns to ATV only), and took a short 13-minute cruise out to see Miner’s Falls, which was

Miner’s Falls

pretty amazing to see in person. After a climb down and back up, our legs were burning; we decided to make some lunch before getting back on the trail.

We headed west towards Marquette where we made a quick stop at a CVS so one of our members could stop to refill his heart medication. (8 months of planning?). I realized we were a bit (read: a lot) behind schedule, so we ran some higher speed roads up to the northwest of Marquette before pavement faded away and we were on dirt roads.

One “road” ended up turning into a small trail, which started getting smaller and more overgrown, before becoming barely a track and all. This ended with me trying to cross a little wet area and buried the JKU up to the axle in a swamp. Knowing we were already behind, it added to my stress level a bit. It took some good pulling to get me out.

Stuck in the “road swamp.”
First night’s campsite.

After my recovery from the “road swamp,” we continued heading northwest to Big Eric’s Falls. From there, we took some dirt roads North to the mouth of the Huron River. We were lucky enough (we were running out of daylight), that half of the campsites there were empty and were able to park all four rigs, just a few steps off the sand. I have to say; this is probably one of the coolest campsites I have ever had. The best part…it doesn’t cost a dime! We set up camp, made some dinner, and ended the evening with a campfire on the beach, just before it started sprinkling.



A few more pictures from the first day

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