After a frantic push to get my 1970 Airstream restored, I was able to finish enough of the work to put her back together this week and head way north to Cheboygan State Park. I had never been there, but available campsites on the 4th of July are few, and it was the first park I looked at on the DNR website that had a few sites still open. I have always gravitated to the west side of Michigan, so heading east to Lake Huron has been a new experience, certainly one I will never regret.
|A Quiet Campsite|
The state park in Cheboygan is one of the best kept secrets in Michigan.My site was shaded and secluded, with lots of privacy and a cool breeze coming off the lake. Temperatures were in the 90's, but the tin can stayed cool under the canopy of trees that framed her. Rooney found the grove of pine trees in my site a comfortable place to sleep. It was so quiet! Even though the campground was mostly full, people were enjoying the sounds of nature and the sight of Lake Huron peeking through the campsites.
|Rooney, hot on the trail|
It was only a ten minute walk, but when the trees fell away to reveal a sandy beach, I was shocked and elated. I could see down the beach forever, and there was not another person in sight! Rooney and I walked for a bit on the water's edge, splashing our feet and cooling off, when in a moment of trust I did something I have never done before; I let Rooney off his leash. He loved it! He ran in the water of Lake Huron, then ran out, shook himself off, and loped down the beach. Every so often, he would stop and turn to look at me, as if to say "C'mon, hurry up!" It was heartwarming to see my dog do what dogs should do, run and splash and get muddy and hurry back to my side. I spent the afternoon walking a deserted beach with my dog running free, and it was good.
|An endless empty beach|
As we returned to the campground, I stopped in to see Rachael at the Check-In Station. I asked her what she thinks makes this campground so special, and even though she has only worked there a short time, she said,
"It's because we are old-fashioned".
|The Perfect Campsite|
|The rocky bottom of Lake Huron|
I intend to return often. For this happy camper, Cheboygan State Park offers just what I need. A quiet and private site, a clean campground, and miles of empty beach with my dog running free. If this was a dream, I plan for it to be a recurring one.