Michigan and U.P. Tour

vandermic07

Veteran Member
Joined
Jun 5, 2011
Location
West Central Pennsylvania
TDI
01 Golf 5 spd, 03 Jetta Wagon
My wife and I and our 4 month old just wrapped up a 2 week, 2674 mile trip clockwise around lake Michigan. Our 03 Jetta Wagon outfitted with a roof rack and bag performed flawlessly. It was packed to the gills and it leveled the towing springs out nice. We average 41 MPGs on the nose with that roof rack. I was pleased since it was like driving a brick on interstate.

Major stops were Milwaukie for 4th fireworks, Keweena Peninsula (Houghton, Copper Harbor, Qunicy Mine), Pictured Rocks NP, Fayette, Mackinac Island, Leland, Sleeping Bear Dunes NP, and tons on neat towns in between. We had great weather 90% of the time, so camping was nice! we only spent 1 night in the car when there were severe storm warnings (not comfortable with all the gear in the car). 4 nights in hotels out of 15 nights.

A special shout out to jmodge for help with POI's, must see's, and asking me if we were taking the TDI or not. We were planning on taking the RAV4 because of more room with the car seat but a little pride slipped in :cool: so I got the roof rack and took the Jetta. We don't regret taking it at all. It took us a few days on the road to figure out how to pack it.

We didn't have enough time to see everything but got a good taste for Northern MI and Lake Superior. We will definitely be going back to the U.P. in the future. We love Lake Superior and all the towns along it.



I will update as I get more pics off of my wife's phone.
 

jmodge

Veteran Member
Joined
Jun 18, 2015
Location
Greenville, MI
TDI
2001 alh Jetta, RC2 5speed daily commuter and 2000 alh Jetta 5spd swap, 2" lift, hitch, stage 3 TDtuning w/502's backroad cruiser
I see you found Brockway Mountain and Calumet. Looks like you enjoyed some diesel toasted hamburg buns also
 

jmodge

Veteran Member
Joined
Jun 18, 2015
Location
Greenville, MI
TDI
2001 alh Jetta, RC2 5speed daily commuter and 2000 alh Jetta 5spd swap, 2" lift, hitch, stage 3 TDtuning w/502's backroad cruiser
Awesome! I want to do that hopefully next year with this:

You have a lot of options with that setup. State, Federal, county and city, Modern campgrounds, rustic, or dispersed camping on or near Lakes, rivers, or streams. Our highways suck, but the State doesn't pinch pennies creating access to public land. If you have any questions feel free to message me. I would highly suggest bug spray, head netting, and a device to cut firewood for combustion therapy to be in your arsenal. Mike got very fortunate we had an unusually dry month of June, bugs were down, can't count on that.
 

jmodge

Veteran Member
Joined
Jun 18, 2015
Location
Greenville, MI
TDI
2001 alh Jetta, RC2 5speed daily commuter and 2000 alh Jetta 5spd swap, 2" lift, hitch, stage 3 TDtuning w/502's backroad cruiser
We will be making our second two week trip up there in August dumping gas through this beast. We generally go up a few times a year. West side this spring, East side and visit a friend on Drummond Island this time.
 

vandermic07

Veteran Member
Joined
Jun 5, 2011
Location
West Central Pennsylvania
TDI
01 Golf 5 spd, 03 Jetta Wagon
oilhammer

It was definitely worth it. Id suggest exploring one area at a time. we spent 4 days in Houghton/Copper harbor area and didn't scratch the surface on what was there. we could have spent the whole trip there and i would have been happy. You live a lot closer so you could probably make more trips over the years.

BTW what is that big red VW camper that i saw (added pic to album)? we followed it around Grand Marias for a day.
 

jmodge

Veteran Member
Joined
Jun 18, 2015
Location
Greenville, MI
TDI
2001 alh Jetta, RC2 5speed daily commuter and 2000 alh Jetta 5spd swap, 2" lift, hitch, stage 3 TDtuning w/502's backroad cruiser
Somebody's toy Unimog in Grand Marias?
 

oilhammer

Certified Volkswagen Nut & Vendor
Joined
Dec 11, 2001
Location
outside St Louis, MO
TDI
There are just too many to list....
That is a Volkswagen L80, the big 4x4 version. A few were sold here (just 2WD dually types) under the Kenworth and Peterbilt name.

The cab is the same as the smaller LT trucks, also not sold here.

 

mkuiper

Well-known member
Joined
Apr 8, 2013
Location
Petoskey, MI
TDI
04 Jetta TDI
We have some great camping and exploration in this area. My favorite is Marquette, and copper country. Heard great things about garden peninsula too, but haven't been down there yet.
 

jmodge

Veteran Member
Joined
Jun 18, 2015
Location
Greenville, MI
TDI
2001 alh Jetta, RC2 5speed daily commuter and 2000 alh Jetta 5spd swap, 2" lift, hitch, stage 3 TDtuning w/502's backroad cruiser
We came down Lakeshore last June and skirted around the east side of Petosky via backroads on our way to Pickerel Lake S.F. Campground. Had a bear and two cubs cross the road in front of us.
 

ryansportwagen

Active member
Joined
Oct 9, 2021
Location
Kansas City
TDI
2014 Jetta Sportwagen DSG
Looks like a really nice trip! Thank you for posting. I'm going up that way in a month and will google some of the places that you mentioned.

I'll also be cruising in my wagon with a roof rack. Heading towards Thunder Bay from Kansas City and up over Lake Superior, and then back through the UP. Hotel in Minneapolis there and back, but camping the rest of the way. 2 weeks long.
 
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