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Mississippi River: End of Scamp Season

From October 2021 We started and ended our 2021 camping system on the Mississippi River.   We had one last brewpub to visit:  608 Brewing, named after the area code.  In most parts of the country, you would never see children in a bar.  Wisconsin isn't like most parts of the country. There were actually many kids running around in both the outside space and the inside space. The beer was pricey here, but I have to admit the hazy IPA would have my nomination for beer of the year.   With the Scamp put away, we stayed close to home until December.  The blog will pick up from there. 

Upper Peninsula: Ontonagon Township Campground

 August 2021

I had eyes on this specific campground when UP trip was planned.  As previous posts have mentioned, it is extremely difficult to find campsites on the the Great Lakes on weekends without reservations made far in advance.

Ontonagon Township is a weird exception.  There is a method available here to score a prime site on the lake, but it requires some luck and planning.  Technically, the campground is first come, first serve.  The web site suggests calling ahead and getting on the list for that day's openings. 

I guessed that on Monday, August 23rd, some of the weekenders would be leaving.  I tried calling, but the phone kept going to the answering machine.  So I took a chance, hitched up the Scamp and threw myself at the mercy of the staff, more or less.

The guy in charge asked if I was on the phone list, and I replied that I wasn't able to get through.  He noticed that I was wearing a Packers t-shirt, and he was a fan.  He told me that the switchover would be happening later that morning, and he was pretty sure that a site would be available for me if I stuck around.

Switchover happens at 11 a.m. The campground is typically full every night, but if anyone leaves, those sites are available as an upgrade to anyone with a current site looking for improvement.  People on the waiting list can then get into the less desirable campsites that were now open from people upgrading.  The key is getting into any site.  Once you are "in there", you can stay for at least 9 days. 

The prize here is a campsite directly on Lake Superior.  There are new premium 50 amp sites which are huge, modern concrete slabs that have 16 day limits.  There are smaller, more rustic, 30 amp sites on dirt/sand that have 9 day limits and cheaper rates.

At 11 a.m., about a half dozen people on the upgrade list gathered around to scoop up any newly open lakefront sites.  Four sites became available, and those campers scurried back to begin changing sites.  

Even though I wasn't on the phone list, I was physically there, so the guy in charge let me have my choice of the four sites.  It was nothing special.  I was on the other side of the road from the lake in a long narrow site with 30 amp electric.  But I was in the campground, could stay for the next 9 days and was on the upgrade list.

On the next morning, it was overcast and drizzling. Only a few of us were present wanting to upgrade, and four sites on the lake opened up.  I had a choice of a premium site or a rustic site.  From my perspective, there was only one choice.

Best campsite of the trip


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