Welome to the Mountain View Lodges & Gallery Blog!

Chapter 2

How did you find this place? 

It is true that Mountain View Lodges and the Porcupine Mountains Wilderness State Park are off the beaten path.  One needs to be seeking to find.

For many years when your children were young, we vacationed in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula.  But since we were living in Fort Wayne, Indiana, we usually headed straight up to Sault Ste. Marie.  We toured the locks.  Took trips across the bridge into Canada, where we visited Lake Superior Provincial Park and viewed the pictographs.  We even took the train ride through the Agawa Canyon, two of us loved it, two of us were bored and one was just a nervous wreck.

agawa train

This trip piqued our curiosity.  What is on the North side of Lake Superior?  So in 1999, we decided to find out.  With a two year old, an eleven year old and a thirteen year old we hit the road on our Circle the Lake tour.  If you are looking for unabashed wilderness that is what you will find on the North shore of the Lake!  Nothing but trees for hundreds and hundreds of miles!

Our destination was to be Thunder Bay, Canada.  So after twelve hours in the car, with three girls, we were more than ready to settle in to our accommodations for the week.  Upon arrival, we found that a police convention had come to town and there was not a room left anywhere!  Nothing for more than two hundred miles.  We decided to stop for a much needed break, eat dinner and rethink our plan.  Since Thunder Bay turned out to be a much bigger city than we had anticipated and we were really looking for more solitude, we opted to fill up our stomachs and fuel up the car and head on.

When it began to get dark and we had still not found a place to stay, the rest area in Minnesota was calling our names.  Rick had already been driving more than 12 hours and we were all exhausted.  Another thing we can attest too is that in late July it is too warm in Minnesota to have five people sleeping in the car with the windows rolled up and too buggy to have them down.

img_1507As dawn broke, we continued on in search of a place to have breakfast.  As we dined we also perused the map.  Where to next?  Rick’s vote was home!  But us girls convinced him we would still be able to pull a vacation together.  On the map we found some small dots labeled Apostle Islands.  Sounded like fun.  So off we went.  We pulled into a darling little hotel in Bayfield, Wisconsin.  The proprietor was quick to inform us that it was July!  Everything is full in July.  He was feeling a bit sorry for us and did offer to call someone he knew on Madeline Island that had condos.  Yes!  He did have on condo, right on the shore of Lake Superior for two nights.  We were welcome to take the ferry over and check in.  The cost of those two nights pretty much ate up our entire vacation budget, but my nervous one and I loved it!  Especially the ferry ride to the island.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAAs if the universe was bound and determined to get our attention, we saw a glorious sunset and it was followed by a waterspout (a non-supercell tornado over water).  This knocked out all of the power to the island, and when an island doesn’t have power, you don’t have water either.  By morning all was back to normal and we spent the day exploring the town, library and lagoon.  But then it was quickly time to find our next destination.

Once again pulling out the map, we saw the Porcupine Mountains.  As I mentioned before, we lived in Colorado for a few years, so mountains sounded very appealing.  What we found, along the way, is that the shore of Lake Superior is beautiful.  We pulled into Silver City, Michigan and right on the corner was a Best Western.  Rick headed directly there and reserved a room for the balance of the week.  Everyone was pleased we would have a place to lay our heads, it was time to explore.

On our way to the Porcupine Mountains Wilderness State Park to do some hiking of the more than 87 miles of trails, play at the waterfalls, see Lake of the Clouds and even visit a Bear’s Den, we passed Mountain View Lodges.

We just had to stop and check it out!