A sudden decision — some last minute plans — and all of them to visit a land, far far away. This quite sounds like our journey to Munising.
This journey turned out to be one that was lined with good memories. Memories that made me determined to dedicate a piece of my writing to this beautiful spot – the picture perfect Munising.
There was something special about this trip and that is, it was unplanned and sudden. An unplanned trip has a charm of its own. Though the mind gets boggled and wee bit anxious about the uncertainties involved in making last minute plans, the excitement of being part of it is incomprehensible .
Now, coming up with a sudden travel plan to a destination never visited before, is like a cloud with a silver lining. It is taking a step towards exploring the unknown-learning about someplace new and splashing your eyes with sights that would adorn your memories forever.
So, are you ready for a virtual walk through the various phases of this trip ? Let’s go then ..
PHASE I – PLANNING AND PLOTTING.
March, 2019 – It was a fine evening , when we were out buying groceries. Suddenly our friends called.
Soon we were taken into a conference call and guess what ? Our entire group was there , laughing and giggling and loaded with excitement. I got it soon enough that we were up for some surprises.
So let me introduce you to my group – a bunch of friends who are basically hodophiles. Two of them happened to plan this getaway to the calm, away from the hustle and bustle of our daily lives, to meet the northern lights.
Munising – a place by that name exists and I have never heard anyone mention it . That triggered my curiosity manifold and I was all set on a journey to discover this place. It was a new word in my dictionary of experiences.
PHASE II – Preparing for ‘Destination Munising’.
We had a few hours in hand to grab some essentials for the trip . Making a quick list , we picked up everything we needed and then packed our bags for the next day. The excitement was too much. So much so that I turned and tossed the entire night. There was no room for sleep .
The next morning, we co-ordinated with our friends and started our journey from our respective locations. It was a road trip for approximately 6 hours from our place.
PHASE III – THE JOURNEY BEGINS.
Munising is a beautiful city, on the southern shore of Lake Superior, on the upper peninsula of Michigan. It has a tiny population , limited network connectivity and is a remote area with very few restaurants and other essential stores nearby. It attracts tourists every year for the beauty it encloses . Mostly, nature lovers pour in during this time of the year when Northern lights become Munising’s guest.
We booked rooms in Holiday Inn Express, Munising-Lakeview , the previous day.
The picture above is taken from ihg. com.
THE ROAD TRIP .
It was a wonderful trip that took us across several cities in the state of Wisconsin, before we entered into the upper peninsula of Michigan.
Beautiful cities from Kenosha to Milwaukee, Oshkosh to Green Bay to Escanaba and finally Munising. Such a lovely journey it was.
THIS IS ON THE HIGHWAY, CLICKED WHILE PASSING BY THE BEAUTIFUL CITY OF MILWAUKEE, WI.
AND NOW WE ARE SPEEDING PAST THE CITY OF WILSON, WI, ON THE HIGHWAY.
AND THEN SHEBOYGAN, WI.
We stopped at a rest area in Sheboygan, WI.
Relaxing and stretching in between long journeys, are so important.
It was afternoon and we were hungry. Yes, lunch time it is and so we headed straight for lunch to Applebee’s Grill in Marinette, WI . It was just a mile away from Menominee, MI. So, we were getting closer to our destination now. Yayyyy.
Below is the picture of a board, carrying information about Wisconsin’s Maritime Industries. This was in the rest area in Sheboygan, WI .
THE PICTURE BENEATH IS AGAIN IN THE REST AREA IN SHEBOYGAN, WHERE WE STOPPED FOR A WHILE.
LUNCH TIME @APPLEBEE’S GRILL.
PHASE IV – DESTINATION MUNISING.
And then, we started for Munising. We were mesmerized by the dreamy scenic beauty on the way . Lake Michigan looked like a vast expanse of frozen land. There were people walking on it. Some were even camping on the frozen lake. That seemed dangerous but looked and felt amazing.
WE PASSED THE BEAUTIFUL INGALLSTON TOWNSHIP, MI.
ESCANABA, MI – LOOK AT THE FROZEN Lake Michigan.
MUNISING, MI – HERE WE COME !
Finally we reached our destination and checked in our hotel.
The Holiday Inn at Munising is a clean and comfortable accommodation for the tourists. The staff is well mannered and helpful. I would highly recommend this hotel for your period of stay here.
We rested for a while and then got ready for our next adventure – MISSION NORTHERN LIGHTS.
Since we had some time in hand we decided to dine in Tracey’s at Roam inn, on West Munising Avenue. It was a wonderful experience there. Such awesomeness in flavors, I’ve rarely tasted in any restaurant here. The most delectable dish I had in Tracey’s was the Brussels sprouts that we ordered from their starters menu. Never knew that even Brussel sprouts could be cooked to taste so delicious. All the food we ordered were meticulously prepared , they were absolute delights.
Then was the time for the northern lights. We drove to a remote location which was filled with people that day. All of us gathered there with one hope in mind, a hope to see the beautiful Aurora Borealis. We waited for quite sometime. But, unfortunately Aurora Borealis refused to appear and put up a show that night for us. We returned to our hotel, little low for not having met our goal to see the northern lights, but, at the same time extremely happy for being on such a joyous trip together.
PHASE V – MUNISING FALLS.
Next morning, we had breakfast in our hotel and left for the Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore to see the lovely Munising Falls. It is a waterfall located in the westernmost portion of the Pictured Rocks National lakeshore in Alger County. The waterfalls drops about 50 ft over a sandstone cliff. It was both scary and adventurous to walk on the paved 800 ft trail up a cool shaded canyon along Munising Creek , that took us to the base of the falls.
The paved trail is wheelchair accessible and pets are allowed on the trail.
After collecting beautiful moments to cherish for a lifetime, we returned to our hotel.
PHASE VI – BYE BYE MUNISING.
It was time to check out.
A one day trip and a great experience that was ! We had plans to visit a few more attractions but it was extremely cold there in the month of March, thus delaying the melting of snow and ice and blocking certain roads,
Hence we had to leave our wishes behind and bid good bye to beautiful Munising.
WE – The best group of friends I’ve ever traveled with.
Reached home, after a drive of approximately 6 hours back again. Returned with a fresh mind and a mixed bag full of memories. Memories that would impart joy and satisfaction for a lifetime.
So, has Munising, MI made it to your bucket list this year ?
If your answer is NO, I would insist, why not give your luck a shot ? ! Who knows, you might be lucky enough to see a beautiful performance by the Aurora Borealis.
A beautiful lesson I learnt from this trip:
Be curious till your last breath and explore the unexplored and live life like there is no tomorrow !
And then, the journey ends for now, preparing for a new journey to begin…..
Bye bye Munising !
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