So today was the first “real” day of our adventure. I flew in late Friday night from Seattle, and after running some errands and stopping by my parents house, we got on the road with the nose pointed northbound a little before noon. Later than expected, but it was good seeing my mom once more before our journey began, and it was nice to have the errands checked off the list. We had planned on spending last night on Mackinac Island, but a last minute change of plans found us heading straight to Marquette. It turns out that the travel gods were smiling upon us, as it was rainy and gloomy passing Mackinac, but the sun broke through and the skies began turning blue as we drove further and further northwest in the Upper Peninsula.
We had been looking at renting a cabin west of Marquette, but were concerned about cellular and data coverage since we both use USB data cards for our laptops that run off the cellular data network for internet access. We decided to make the cabin our first stop on the way up and just finding it was an adventure in itself – a remote heavily wooded cabin on the Escanaba River with no street address. Fun. But with GPS and a map from the owner, we managed the back roads, washouts, and local Jethros only to discover that our fears were well-founded – no internet or cellular access at all.
Time for Plan B.
I had booked a room at the Holiday Inn in Marquette using frequent flyer hotel points. One reservation for the first night in the event that we found a place to stay on the first day, and another reservation for the remainder of the first week. Being homeless isn’t quite so bad when you know that you have somewhere to stay for free, and you can always fall back on using up some points if you don’t find the dream vacation spot.
Ad-hoc dinner plans led us to a nice bar & grill in Ishpeming called the Jasper Ridge Brewery, and it scored good reviews with us both for it’s sandwiches and their in-house brews.
While we ate, we scooped up the local newspaper and circulars and scrounged through them for local cottage & cabin rentals. We stumbled across one called “Queen Cottages”, and an email to them resulted in a very quick response from the owner that they had some availability and to call them in the morning. A quick hit on their website delivered a terribly design with limited content, but enough to give us an idea where we were headed. Perhaps I’ll redo their site with a nice WordPress version in return for some lodging