Michigan to Seattle – Summer Travels 2016

If you read my last post this is the same travel map. Here we are on the road again heading west and ending up at our winter home base in sunny Gulf Shores. By the time we arrive all the hurricanes should be out to sea.

Summer 2016 travel route from Michigan to Seattle winding out way down the coast to California then Arizona all the way to Padre Islands in Texas then back on to Gulf Shores

Summer 2016 travel route from Michigan to Seattle winding out way down the coast to California then Arizona all the way to Padre Islands in Texas then back on to Gulf Shores

The last shot before we lock the doors before hitting the road.

Another fun summer planned.  Packed and ready to go!

Another fun summer planned. Packed and ready to go!

We always like to get on the road and leave our cares behind. Our first day is a short one just to get out of Dodge.

Kewadin Casino is a good first night out stay.  It gets us on the road and is only a two hour drive from Traverse City.  It is nice to be on the road with the planning and packing behind us.

Kewadin Casino is a good first night out stay. It gets us on the road and is only a two hour drive from Traverse City. It is nice to be on the road with the planning and packing behind us.

Great place to stop over night.  Park free or ten bucks for a hook up

Great place to stop over night. Park free or ten bucks for a hook up

There is a sigh of relief once we get across the bridge. Seeing the Mighty MAC is always a good thing.

Once we are across the Mackinaw Bridge we are really on vacation.  Although when you are retired it is harder to tell when the fun really starts. This shot is from the Upper Peninsula.

Once we are across the Mackinaw Bridge we are really on vacation. Although when you are retired it is harder to tell when the fun really starts. This shot is from the Upper Peninsula.

Lake Michigan stop along US 2.  The route will be US 2 to Seattle.  US 2 one of the first coast to coast routes.

Lake Michigan stop along US 2. The route will be US 2 to Seattle. US 2 one of the first coast to coast routes.

Our first destination stop is Fayette State Park in the UP of Michigan. It is an old mining town site on a deep natural harbor that processed iron ore from 1867 to 1891. It has a great setting. The State of Michigan is restoring the remaining buildings. Great stop to take in Lake Michigan or for the photographer lots of content to choose from.

Whenever we can we stop at the Fayette State Park.  A 19th century ghost town created to process iron ore in the 1867.  This is the old hotel.  Note the second story door which use to connect to a two story outhouse.

Whenever we can we stop at the Fayette State Park. A 19th century ghost town created to process iron ore in the 1867. This is the old hotel. Note the second story door which use to connect to a two story outhouse.

Fayette Hotel from the front...still hanging in there...

Fayette Hotel from the front…still hanging in there…

Old store and mine offices.  Employees were paid out this building.

Old store and mine offices. Employees were paid out this building.

The upstairs opera house had a side entrance...still pretty much intact.

The upstairs opera house had a side entrance…still pretty much intact.

The manager's house.  Still in great shape.  The State of Michigan is doing a nice job with restoration.

The manager’s house. Still in great shape. The State of Michigan is doing a nice job with restoration.

Middle class workers house.  Every time we come there are improvements.

Middle class workers house. Every time we come there are improvements.

Glimpse into days gone by.  The old out house still stands.

Glimpse into days gone by. The old out house still stands.

Old machine shop still looking good.  Very interesting construction and a good background for a photo.

Old machine shop still looking good. Very interesting construction and a good background for a photo.

The foundry was the heart of the Fayette operation.  Fayette is located on a natural harbor as you can see from this picture.

The foundry was the heart of the Fayette operation. Fayette is located on a natural harbor as you can see from this picture.

Inside the foundry, simple design.  Work was hard and it was hot!

Inside the foundry, simple design. Work was hard and it was hot!

The kiln matches the wall even though it is a replica.

The kiln matches the wall even though it is a replica.

This photo was taken from the ridge across the harbor.

This photo was taken from the ridge across the harbor.

This old building is a perfect place to frame a photo shot...

This old building is a perfect place to frame a photo shot…

From inside the foundry

From inside the foundry

Here are some of our favorite stops in the UP. The pictures and captions tell the story.

Enjoyed a nice sunset over Lake Michigan from Fayette beach

Enjoyed a nice sunset over Lake Michigan from Fayette beach

!

A must stop when you are in the UP of Michigan, a stop at Randall’s for a Pastie or two. Theirs are the best we have found. Just simple mine work food good hot or cold.

We have been coming to the UP for 50 years now and whenever possible we stop to enjoy Sunday Lake.

We have been coming to the UP for 50 years now and whenever possible we stop to enjoy Sunday Lake.

This time it was a lunch stop at Sunday Lake

This time it was a lunch stop at Sunday Lake

Our northern route is US 2 from St. Ignace to Seattle. Here are some shots along the way as we travel through Wisconsin, Minnesota, North Dakota and Montana on our way to the Glacier National Park.

US Wisconsin Rest stop along US 2

US Wisconsin Rest stop along US 2

Dark and rainy...Grahams Island a North Dakota State Park.  The drive out was on a causeway for the most part.

Dark and rainy…Grahams Island a North Dakota State Park. The drive out was on a causeway for the most part.

Although very early in the morning and still dark, fun black and white shots over the water.

Although very early in the morning and still dark, fun black and white shots over the water.

The long road to Grahams Island.  This was the good section.  After the trip out the RV and Truck had to have a bath.

The long road to Grahams Island. This was the good section. After the trip out the RV and Truck had to have a bath.

It took some time to get rid of the sticky mud!

It took some time to get rid of the sticky mud!

Forth Peck Dam is a Corps of Engineer project in Montana.

Forth Peck Dam is a Corps of Engineer project in Montana.

Nice walking trails.  Seeing the down stream part of the dam was closed.

Nice walking trails. Seeing the down stream part of the dam was closed.

Fort Peck on the Missouri largest earth filled dam.  The term is hydraulic filled.

Fort Peck on the largest earth filled dam. The term is hydraulic filled.

Captures the moment in the past.  One of the tubes to generate power.

Captures the moment in the past. One of the tubes to generate power.

Wheat fields of Montana...went on for a long time.

Wheat fields of Montana…went on for a long time.

US 2 in South Dakota and Montana looks a lot the same.

US 2 in South Dakota and Montana looks a lot the same.

Glacier exceeded our expectation. The weather was great and this being the shoulder season the crowds were easy to work around. We did a number of great hikes and drove the Going to the Sun Road which takes the high road through the mountains. No vehicle over 21 feet is allowed. We stayed for four nights on the east side at St Mary Campground and two nights on the west side at Fish Creek. The east side was more fun for us…

Last time we were in Glacier NP was 2003 and there were major fires.

Last time we were in Glacier NP was 2003 and there were major fires.

Our first hike in Glacier.  The views and the mountains keep calling us back!

Our first hike in Glacier. The views and the mountains keep calling us back!

Glacier is very green and there are waterfalls everywhere.

Glacier is very green and there are waterfalls everywhere.

The higher the trail the finer the view.

The higher the trail the finer the view.

The glaciers are getting smaller and there are fewer now.

The glaciers are getting smaller and there are fewer now.

Lots of trails like this follow the stream up the mountain.

Lots of trails like this follow the stream up the mountain.

Every National Park has its own personality.  East Glacier is a must see for everyone.

Every National Park has its own personality. East Glacier is a must see for everyone.

Glacier Highway Going to the Sun is a great drive.  At some points having a big pickup was an disadvantage...even with the mirrors folded in still got in trouble.

Glacier Highway Going to the Sun is a great drive. At some points having a big pickup was an disadvantage…even with the mirrors folded in still got in trouble.

Going to the Sun views never stopped...

Going to the Sun views never stopped…

Another shot along the highway

Another shot along the highway

Stopped to check out the view close up...Jan takes a shot with her camera.

Stopped to check out the view close up…Jan takes a shot with her camera.

More glaciers along the highway...

More glaciers along the highway…

As you get higher the snow gets closer

As you get higher the snow gets closer

Great view with the sun behind us

Great view with the sun behind us

The big hike 10 miles with 1,600 foot climb to Grinnell Glacier. We got an early morning start to beat the crowds.

The big hike 10 miles with 1,600 foot climb to Grinnell Glacier. We got an early morning start to beat the crowds.

Mountain Goat friends that we found along the trail...

Mountain Goat friends that we found along the trail…

We are only a short way up and already fine views to behold

We are only a short way up and already fine views to behold

It seems like there is a stream everywhere...lots of melting snow.

It seems like there is a stream everywhere…lots of melting snow.

Constant view...love the east side Glacier hikes.

Constant view…love the east side Glacier hikes.

Turn around the view is still good  the other way

Turn around the view is still good the other way

The mountain trail levels out for a bit.

The mountain trail levels out for a bit.

The sun is peaking over the top of the mountain...great early morning lighting

The sun is peaking over the top of the mountain…great early morning lighting

Getting close to the tree line.

Getting close to the tree line.

Grinnell Glacier comes into view

Grinnell Glacier comes into view

The color in this scene drew me in...

The color in this scene drew me in…

Much of this trail was about scrambling over rocks or taking big steps.

Much of this trail was about scrambling over rocks or taking big steps.

The Glacier comes into view.  A nice vantage point from here.

The Glacier comes into view. A nice vantage point from here.

The trail is easier here.  Near the peak it gets rocky and requires some scrambling.

The trail is easier here. Near the peak it gets rocky and requires some scrambling.

The Grinnell Glacier comes into view upfront and personal

The Grinnell Glacier comes into view upfront and personal

Glacier melt makes for a colorful lake...

Glacier melt makes for a colorful lake…

Jan having lunch after the climb up

Jan having lunch after the climb up

Ready to head back...it sure is a long way back down...past the four lakes to the trail head

Ready to head back…it sure is a long way back down…past the four lakes to the trail head

At Glacier you are never along...fellow hikers enjoy the reward at the end of the trail

At Glacier you are never alone…fellow hikers enjoy the reward at the end of the trail

The view coming back down is even better plus not quite so much work

The view coming back down is even better plus not quite so much work

Long and humbling view of the mountain's grandeur

Long and humbling view of the mountain’s grandeur

Miss Moose was off in the distance chowing down on the vegetation

Miss Moose was off in the distance chowing down on the vegetation

We meet Mr Grizzly eating anything he can find getting ready for winter.  He was about 500 feet from the trail.

We meet Mr Grizzly eating anything he can find getting ready for winter. He was about 500 feet from the trail.

Love the color of the water

Love the color of the water

West Glacier is wetter and more forested.  Also even more mountain streams.  This is the Avalanche River

West Glacier is wetter and more forested. Also even more mountain streams. This is the Avalanche River

Avalanche trail views are through the trees.

Avalanche trail views are through the trees.

At the end of the trail is Avalanche Lake

At the end of the trail is Avalanche Lake

This early morning reflection only lasted for a few minutes

This early morning reflection only lasted for a few minutes

Avalanche Lake changes color when the sun shines.

Avalanche Lake changes color when the sun shines.

Love the color of the glacier made water...striking stream for sure.

Love the color of the glacier made water…striking stream for sure.

Jan took this one...she liked that all the kayaks were different.  This is along the trail on Lake McDonald.

Jan took this one…she liked that all the kayaks were different. This is along the trail on Lake McDonald.

Lake McDonald behind our RV site at the Fish Creek Campground

Lake McDonald behind our RV site at the Fish Creek Campground

After Glacier we headed west again on US two. Had a nice stop at the Kootenai River and the Grand Coulee Dam. We stayed at another dam site on the Priest River and logging a night in the great state of Idaho.

Kootenai River Stop on the way to Idaho

Kootenai River Stop on the way to Idaho

Kootenai River comes cown from Canada.  The water is still blue green.

Kootenai River comes cown from Canada. The water is still blue green.

Even with a fear of heights Larry made it across the swinging bridge over the river

Even with a fear of heights Larry made it across the swinging bridge over the river

Priest River in Idaho, an Army Corp of Engineer park.  Idaho is one of the states we have not logged an overnight since we retired.  The list is getting shorter as we are down to five or six now.  The plan is to have them all checked off by next summer.

Priest River in Idaho, an Army Corp of Engineer park. Idaho is one of the states we have not logged an overnight since we retired. The list is getting shorter as we are down to five or six now. The plan is to have them all checked off by next summer.

The Corps of Engineer Parks are well done and the National Park senior pass gets you 50% off on the nights stay.

The Corps of Engineer Parks are well done and the National Park senior pass gets you 50% off on the nights stay.

We did not expect to see so many wheat fields in Washington.  They went on for miles.

We did not expect to see so many wheat fields in Washington. They went on for miles.

I love dams and their engineering.  We had to stop at the Grand Coulee to check it out.

I love dams and their engineering. We had to stop at the Grand Coulee to check it out.

This is the back water on the Columbia River for the Grand Coulee Dam.  Nice view from the top of the hill.

This is the back water on the Columbia River for the Grand Coulee Dam. Nice view from the top of the hill.

The Coulee Dam is a mile long...

The Coulee Dam is a mile long…

Another angle for the Grand Coulee

Another angle for the Grand Coulee

Next stop was the North Cascades in Washington. We made a day trip through the mountain about 10 years ago and have always wanted to go back. We did some hiking and the drive through the mountains. The weather was good and it was all we expected it to be. The pictures and captions tell the story.

Next stop...North Cascades in Washington

Next stop…North Cascades in Washington

Cascades come into view...they just seem to rise out of the ground

Cascades come into view…they just seem to rise out of the ground

Washington Pass is an impressive stop

Washington Pass is an impressive stop

Washington Pass the long view

Washington Pass the long view

The views are best on the Cascades Highway driving west

The views are best on the Cascades Highway driving west

There are three dams along the drive.  All different and interesting to check out.  Plus the lakes in the valleys make for great views.

There are three dams along the drive. All different and interesting to check out. Plus the lakes in the valleys make for great views.

There are many views like this right from the car window

There are many views like this right from the car window

Another dam created lake...note the tour boat in the lower right.

Another dam created lake…note the tour boat in the lower right.

This dam is owned by the City of Seattle.  It has an educational center and provides boat tours of the dams.

This dam is owned by the City of Seattle. It has an educational center and provides boat tours of the dams.

I took this photo standing on one end of the dam...

I took this photo standing on one end of the dam…

The Cascades are very green.  Almost rain forest like.  Enjoyed hiking several of the trails and seeing all the colors of green.

The Cascades are very green. Almost rain forest like. Enjoyed hiking several of the trails and seeing all the colors of green.

The Blue Lake Trail was through the forest with a lake at the end.  The was one of the few views through the trees on the way up.

The Blue Lake Trail was through the forest with a lake at the end. The was one of the few views through the trees on the way up.

Blue Lake has a small glacier.  It was very cold and windy when we reached the top.

Blue Lake has a small glacier. It was very cold and windy when we reached the top.

There are several very interesting towns in the Cascades.  Our stay was in Winthrop which looked very colorful with lots of things to do.  Our stay was too brief to check it out.  Here is an evening shot from our RV site.

There are several very interesting towns in the Cascades. Our stay was in Winthrop which looked very colorful with lots of things to do. Our stay was too brief to check it out. Here is an evening shot from our RV site.

We had heard about Leavenworth. A Bavarian Village in the lower Cascades. It is a German themed town that has been doing their thing for many years. Many of the people we have met along the road ask “are you going to Leavenworth”.

We heard about Leavenworth last time we visited Seattle a decade back.  It is known for its strong German theme.  We planned an overnight.  There was plenty to do and we could have used one more day here.

We heard about Leavenworth last time we visited Seattle a decade back. It is known for its strong German theme. We planned an overnight. There was plenty to do and we could have used one more day here.

There was a two day old fire when we arrived.  It had burned 300 acres and by the time we left looked to be under control.  However it does make one pause and take stock.

There was a two day old fire when we arrived. It had burned 300 acres and by the time we left looked to be under control. However it does make one pause and take stock.

The setting has a Bavarian theme and is very well done.  It looks like they have been at this for a long time.

The setting has a Bavarian theme and is very well done. It looks like they have been at this for a long time.

Downtown Leavenworth

Downtown Leavenworth

Leavenworth is certainly a destination.  There were lots of tourist having a good time including us.

Leavenworth is certainly a destination. There were lots of tourist having a good time including us.

There was German band playing fun music.  I think they were having a good time too!

There was German band playing fun music. I think they were having a good time too!

Jan caught me taking a picture of the flowers.  There sure were a lot of them.

Jan caught me taking a picture of the flowers. There sure were a lot of them.

What is a German town without beer.  Leavenworth is the home of Icicle Brewing.  They had very good beer...liked their IPA.

What is a German town without beer. Leavenworth is the home of Icicle Brewing. They had very good beer…liked their IPA.

It was an easy drive from Leavenworth to Seattle where we spent two days. We love Seattle. Taking in the downtown, the Pikes Place Market and the Harbor is a good adventure. It is a great city to visit with lots of diversity and lots of interesting things to see and do. This time we stayed north of the city and took the bus downtown. The traffic is always very heavy and getting around takes a lot of time. The day we left we tried to get to REI with the RV in tow. Now that was not a good idea.

Next stop was downtown Seattle.  The downtown square.

Next stop was downtown Seattle. The downtown square.

This could be an iconic shot of Seattle...the harbor and lots of traffic...

This could be an iconic shot of Seattle…the harbor and lots of traffic…

Pike Place Market is a must see.  This was our second time in Seattle and the market called us back.

Pike Place Market is a must see. This was our second time in Seattle and the market called us back.

The market place has been there for many years .  It draws in everyone tourist and the locals.

The market place has been there for many years . It draws in everyone tourist and the locals.

You have to experience the throwing of the fish at this fish market.  There were so many people I did not get a good picture this time.

You have to experience the throwing of the fish at this fish market. There were so many people I did not get a good picture this time.

Market color is fun to look at

Market color is fun to look at

Nice display that catches the eye.

Nice display that catches the eye.

Lots of fish here just like back home in Alabama

Lots of fish here just like back home in Alabama

Love old signs...not much changes here.

Love old signs…not much changes here.

This sign has been around for awhile too!

This sign has been around for awhile too!

...and of course there are plenty of food stops.

…and of course there are plenty of food stops.

There is a National Park downtown.  It features the Klondike Gold Rush.  Since we had seen and heard the Alaska and Yukon story had to check out the Washington side of this time periodl

There is a National Park downtown. It features the Klondike Gold Rush. Since we had seen and heard the Alaska and Yukon story had to check out the Washington side of this time periodl

The harbor is a great place to explore.

The harbor is a great place to explore.

Do you like to shop then take in Pier 54!

Do you like to shop then take in Pier 54!

Last time we were here took in Ivans.  It has been there since 1938 so will catch it next time we are here.

Last time we were here took in Ivans. It has been there since 1938 so will catch it next time we are here.

You see a lot of families hanging out here...

You see a lot of families hanging out here…

Note the mountains in the back ground.  They come and go from view depending on the weather.

Note the mountains in the back ground. They come and go from view depending on the weather.

What is a visit to Seattle without a coffee stop!

What is a visit to Seattle without a coffee stop!

One last Seattle shot from the harbor.  The downtown skyline.

One last Seattle shot from the harbor. The downtown skyline.

As we have said before time flies when we are on the road. We have been on the road for three weeks with only six left. The next leg of our journey starts in Mount Rainier and Olympic National Park in Washington. Then comes Oregon and California which will take us another three weeks. Then the final leg will be back to the Gulf Coast via Arizona, Texas and Louisiana.

God Bless,

Larry and Jan

5 thoughts on “Michigan to Seattle – Summer Travels 2016

  1. Peggy

    Oh, thank you much for sharing your trip with me. Magnificent photos of magnificent scenes! I spent much time looking at each photo and oohed and awed all the way. I am so happy that you two are out there enjoying our beautiful country, America! (kinda away from all the tv political mess.)
    I miss you but so glad to hear from you and looking forward to your return to Gulf Shores. Keep having a great time. All is well around here. Your plants are still happy.
    Love from your neighbor, Peggy

    Reply
  2. Dale Snyder

    Great pictures. Sounds like your having a good time except for the weather. All is fine here, we had a great time with the family at the lake around Duane’s birthday. We all missed seeing you guys maybe we can do better next year.

    Reply
    1. llsjkstvc@gmail.com Post author

      Dale, We have been in the world of no internet for several weeks now. Yes, Jan and I missed seeing everyone. Next year we will be hanging out in Michigan longer so hope we can catch up with everyone then. We love winter guests so if you and Bonnie find yourself in the South we would love to see you…we have a bed waiting for any northerner. This is our last two days in California exploring Joshua Tree National Park. Hope you are having a great summer. Larry

      Reply
  3. Alberta colbry

    What a trip.
    Is there any chance you will be in the Grand Canyon area between Sept 26- Oct 4th. It would be fun to meet up.
    Norm and Alberta

    Reply
    1. llsjkstvc@gmail.com Post author

      Alberta, For the past few weeks we have been living in the world of no internet. Getting on the blog site has not been possible so forgive the tardy response. Tonight we are in Twenty Nine Palms, California for two days while we explore Joshua Tree National Park. We will be in Arizona for four days starting the September 27th. Our stops are in Phoenix and Tucson so we will be 200 plus miles south of you. Last summer we spent several days at the Grand Canyon and loved it. We did the south rim and next time will do the north rim which I think will be in two years. After Arizona we move to New Mexico and Texas. Thanks for sending the pictures…we really enjoyed catching up on your 50th milestone. If you are close to either Phoenix or Tucson we can surely find a way to catch up with you. Safe travels…Larry and Jan

      Reply

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