Between the 4th of July falling on a Wednesday, bracketed by 2 weekends, I knew it might be hard getting a room at times. That’s why I had packed prepared to camp or even sleep in my car if it came to that. Well, the campsites have been about as full as the motels but I’ve threaded the room-availability needle and haven’t had to sleep in my car. At least not yet, anyway.
By the time I got to Paradise (I just love writing that), I had some clarity of my trip. So it seemed like a good time to make some reservations. I nailed Newberry on my first call and first choice which was good news as well as told me something about the appeal of Newberry on a Saturday night at the top of the tourist season. But Munising was a different story.
I started calling optimistically my first choice. Traveling by myself, I prefer the independent owners who offer properties with a little personality. While sometimes that personality is mold and odor and really thin towels, more often than not it’s a comfortable room in a quirky building. The owner has trophies of his daughter’s cart racing championships.
So that’s where I started with my Munising investigation. By my 9th call I had worked my way through all the independents. Even the one called by one TripAdvisor reviewer, “full of parolees and convicts”. So now I looked at the handful of Econo-Comfort-DaysInn-Super8 motel options. These are usually options with predictable but mediocre rooms and free waffle breakfasts with bad coffee. I reserved 2 nights at the Super 8.
My layover room would be a box inside a box. No lapping water against the shore, only the swoosh of passing cars, grind of trucks and roar of motorcycles. I checked in and was provided my card key without comment. After all, about what should they comment? Nothing had prepared me for this room. I entered.
Only one bed. In the place where the second bed should have been was nothing less than a red heart-shaped Jacuzzi. I mean, I understand the heart-shaped Jacuzzi at that over-priced Inn in Galena. But I was at the Super 8 in the Upper Peninsula outside Munising, Michigan.
Yes, there’s traffic outside my open window. But you can’t hear it over the roar of the Jacuzzi jets.