The first leg of the road trip took me into the middle of nowhere. Well, actually, the middle of the Upper Peninsula of Michigan (fondly known to most as the UP). These were definitely my favorite drives of the trip. There was hardly another vehicle in site for most of the time we were there, and the landscapes were just breathtaking. There were also a plethora of delightfully dilapidated buildings that I just ooed and ahhed over every time we passed (I LOVE creepy old run down things).
After getting a very late start out the door, I decided to just sit back and enjoy the scenery. We drove until evening and then stopped at a Big Boy for dinner (a must for me when visiting Michigan). We followed our meal with a brisk sunset walk along the water before hopping back in the van to drive for a few more hours. Unfortunately the first night of the trip was quite loosely planned (on my part), and with our phones way out of data range we weren't able to find a good place to park for the night, so we settled on a car pool lot quite literally in the middle of bum fuck nowhere. It seemed a bit sketchy, but we were tired, so we just decided to go for it.
That was the worst night for van sleeping as it was a bit chilly, I was coming down with a fever, and after a midnight pee, I severely bruised myself stepping back into the van. Ugh. Restless nights when you're sick just seem like they will never end, but add van living and it's just pretty awful. (Don't get me wrong, van living is THE BEST, but definitely harder to enjoy whilst feverish.) Morning came eventually, and it was a treat waking up to a beautiful sunrise. We quickly got back on the road and headed towards Newberry and our first destination (Oswald's Bear Ranch!). On the way we stopped by Kak's Lake for some photos.
I have never visited Upper Michigan before, but certainly want to go back. I'd love to photograph more abandoned houses and visit some of the recreational parks in the Hiawatha National Forest (I'll be a much better planner next time!). It's a short drive - only a handful of hours - from where I'm based in Wisconsin, so it will be quite easy to take another quick trip!