Wednesday, August 8, 2018

Campground Review: Soldier Lake Campground Raco, MI

In the heart of the Hiawatha National Forest I "discovered" a small camping gem, Soldier Lake Campground.  I camped there for a week in August and will definitely be adding it to my "Will Return" list.

Administrated by the National Forest Service.

Soldier Lake is a tiny fresh water lake about two miles south of M-28 and twenty miles east of Newberry.  The campground stretches around three sides of the lake and includes a day use public beach and picnic area with a nice sandy beachfront.

Soldier Lake seen from the public beach area.

Here's Soldier Lake Campground's data sheet:

Hookups:                                             None, dry camping                                                    
Fire ring:                                              Yes                                                                 
Water Access:                                     Yes                                                     
Fresh Water:                                        Yes                                         
Trash Service:                                     Yes                                         
Toilets:                                                 Yes (Vault)                                        
Showers:                                             No                                                      
Dump station:                                      No                                          
WiFi:                                                    No                                          
Level sites:                                          Yes                                         
Laundry:                                              No                                                      
Store:                                                   No                                                                  
Pool:                                                    No                                          
Shade:                                                 Yes                                         
Verizon reception:                                4G, 1 bar                                            
Internet reception                                 1 bar
Cost:                                                     $16/night, $8/night with Senior Pass

Coming into the campground on a Tuesday I was fortunate to get a lake front site with probably one of the best views in the whole place as a lot of the lakefront sites have their view of the lake blocked by thick stands of trees.

The beautiful lake view from campsite #8.

I really picked site 8 because it was relatively open to the sky vs. most of the heavily shaded sites and I knew I'd be relying heavily on my solar setup with no hookups.  The second half of my stay turned rainy and it was a challenge to keep all my devices and the Mini's house battery charged with the dearth of direct sunlight.

There are several marked hiking trails through the thickly treed forest surrounding the campground.

A trailhead near the campground.

The road through the campground is paved which was nice when it rained so hard, it was still possible to get walks in without wading through a river of mud.

I loved the camping experience at Soldier Lake!  For $56 I got seven days of great lakefront camping and the rain at the end was free of charge.  If you're in the Upper Peninsula near Newberry I'd strongly recommend staying at Soldier Lake Campground!

Thanks for reading!

Monday, August 6, 2018

Air Force

I recently acquired a drone with a HD camera to help better document the campgrounds I camp in.  Here's a demo from the Pickford Township Park:

A little "bouncy" I guess but it was just my second day of flying it and at least a part of it gives a feel for the park.  It also can take stills:

That's me by the picnic table.

The Mini's campsite from 100 feet.

Maybe I can find some video editing software to give a more polished look,  I'll do some research into it.

Thanks for reading!

Monday, July 30, 2018

Too Big Breakfast of the Week

I've been in Michigan's Upper Peninsula for the last ten days or so enjoying not being in the Southwest's triple digit temperatures.  Here in Pickford it gets to the low 80's in the day and the low 50's at night -- great sleeping weather!  Whenever I camp in Pickford I eat one (and only one) breakfast at Big D's Diner.  Why only once?  Check out the portions.

Big D's Southern omelette.  I couldn't finish it.

I also got to attend another Spartan wedding this month.  My lovely niece Rachel got married on the Spartan campus and my daughter and I had a great time at the reception at MSU's Kellogg Center.

Two lovelies.  My daughter Nickelle (L) and cousin Rachel (R).

Got a blogging enhancement coming (foreshadowing) that I'll intro in my next post.

Thanks for reading!