Have Pug, Will Travel – Part 4

After celebrating Sid’s 11th Birthday (for two full weeks, per his instructions!) we are back to continue the recap of our “Have Pug, Will Travel” road-trip from September. If you need to catch up with earlier installments, here’s Part 1, Part 2, and Part 3.


When we last left you, we had set up camp at Tahquamenon Falls State Park, which is located on the east side of Michigan’s upper peninsula. In the lower falls area, you can row a little boat out to an island that is surround on all sides by several cascading waterfalls. We definitely weren’t going to pass this up!


After acquiring his sea legs, Sid enjoyed the easy rowboat ride to the island. On the island is a trail that winds around the perimeter so you can get right up close to each waterfall. I made a little video of some of the lovely sights that Sid and I observed.

The shots at the end of video are actually of the giant upper falls. With a drop of nearly 50 feet, it is one of the largest waterfalls east of the Mississippi.


I asked Sid if he wanted to try riding over the upper falls in a barrel, and this was his response:


There were quite a few sets of stairs around the upper falls that connected the various viewing locations, and even though I had to carry a 24-pound furball up and down each set, the views were totally worth it!


After a fun day of exploring the falls and some nearby trails, we hopped back into the car and headed south towards the lower peninsula of Michigan. My flat-faced navigator decided to switch to auto-pilot.


We soon approached the enormous suspension bridge, affectionately known as “Mighty Mac“, that connects both the upper and lower parts of Michigan. I was slightly terrified as we crossed, since the roadway is over 200 feet above the water at the midpoint! Eep!


Our next stop was Petoskey State Park, where we set up camp. The campground was fantastic, with lots of tree coverage, and a quick walk right to a lovely beach.


We parked our van, got settled in, lit a campfire, and had some dinner.


After we filled up our bellies, we headed to the beach as the sun was beginning to set.


There was a picture-perfect sunset over Lake Michigan that evening.


The moon was full and bright, making the conditions ideal for some dramatic pug posing.


After a good night’s sleep, we awoke the next morning and headed straight for the beach!


There were lots of smooth round rocks on beach. Sid insisted upon sniffing every one in the event that one of them was actually a disguised treat.


We had a great time exploring the beach and dipping our toes in the soft rolling waves. After we had our fill of sand, we went for a hike on one of the nearby trails: the “Old Baldy” trail. The woods were very beautiful, especially when the soft breeze would make all the leaves flutter.


I wished we could have stayed another day in Petoskey as the campground and beach were lovely. However we had to get back on the road and make way to our next stop: Traverse City and the Sleeping Bear Dunes! We’ll tell you all about it in Part 5!

Ecstatic to Be Turning Eleven!

Hello everyone! We interrupt our Have Pug, Will Travel recap because today is the best day of year here at Pug Slope because it’s Sid’s Birthday! Woo hoo!


I can’t believe my little guy is turning ELEVEN today! Instead of the typical apple-based cake I’ve made for him in the past, I assembled three mini towers consisting of a crunchy treat foundation, banana walls, peanut butter ceiling, and strawberry roof.


Sid could barely contain his excitement as I was making it. There was lots of scrambling around beneath my feet, screeching & whining, and even a few barks to ensure I was putting things together as fast as possible.


Needless to say he wolfed it down in a matter of minutes and then promptly passed out in his bed. He’s a pug, what more can I say!

Before he zonked out, he said to make sure if you have a pup to give them an extra treat (or five) today to celebrate!

Have Pug, Will Travel – Part 3

We hope you have enjoyed hearing about our adventure around Lake Michigan. Be sure to check out Part 1 and Part 2 if you missed them earlier.

Onward to Part 3!


So as we were sleeping that night in Munising, we awoke to the sound of pinging and plunking noises. They started getting more frequent and louder in volume. It sounded like a steel drum band was having a concert right on our campsite. When I peaked out the window, there was no steel drum band, but rather a HUGE thunderstorm coming in and millions of raindrops bouncing off the metal panels of our home. The wind and rain were fierce! In the morning, this is what our view looked like:


Luckily we stayed nice and dry inside our van, though the poor folks in tents did not fare so well. Most of the tents were flat on the ground and sitting in large pools of water.


Sid didn’t really mind since he just ate his breakfast in the car instead of outside. But little did he know he’d have to soon run out in the monsoon to do his business (He was not happy about this!).


The wind and rain did not abate so we decided to leave our campsite and hit the road towards the Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore. We were hoping to do some more exploring there, and possibly a kayak trip to see the enormous striped cliffs along Lake Superior, but the weather was not cooperating. We were still able to drive to a few lookout spots to see some of the wonder of the lakeshore.



The rain eventually subsided, so we were able to explore a bit at the north-east end of the park. Here’s a shot of the lovely Sable Falls.


As we continued on, now back in the van, the pavement started getting very rough and then suddenly it just ENDED! I kept rechecking the map to make sure we weren’t lost, and sure enough I had missed a small detail that explained that the dashed line we were now riding on was an “improved” road which really dirt and/or gravel. Well, add some heavy rain to an “improved” road and you end up with mud. Lots of it!


We bounced and splashed along for many miles – not sure when, or if, we were ever going to see pavement again. I laughed out loud every time we made it through a huge puddle – it was pretty thrilling and the forest around us was really breathtaking.


I’m not sure how we survived but we did eventually reach pavement again. Our pristine white van was now a brown splattered mess. It was ok though because all the vehicles up there looked exactly the same way. Now we finally fit in!

When we arrived at our next campground, Sid didn’t want to emerge from his bed-cave – for fear of getting soaked or splattered with mud.


He eventually came out when he saw I was whipping up some food.


Our campsite at Tahquamenon State Park was really lovely and was right in the heart of the lower falls!


We’ll see you next time in Part 4, when we actually visit the falls up close and Sid rides in a boat!


Have Pug, Will Travel – Part 2

If you didn’t catch Part 1 of our Have Pug, Will Travel adventure, you can click here.


After we visited Au Train Falls, a quick drive took us to our next campground – Munising Tourist Park– which is located right on Lake Superior in the town of Munising, MI.


Of course the first thing we did was head to the beach so Sid could take a little dip and I could stretch my legs and take in the view.


This was our first time ever at Lake Superior, and Sid didn’t hold back when he hit the water. He even dunked his entire face! Although he was disappointed to find that the hundreds of small dark objects under the water’s surface that he was bobbing for were small rocks and not treats.


The beach was very relaxing, especially when the dune grasses swayed in the breeze.


After checking out the beach, it was time to set up our camp.


I was feeling a little hungry so I made a peanut butter and banana sandwich. Sid wanted to know where his sandwich was.


Since we had arrived at the campground so early in the day, I had plenty of time to get a roaring campfire going which helped set the mood.


While we sat by the campfire, I made some popcorn on our little Coleman butane stove. It actually worked really well! Sid was pleased to know he would be partaking in the noshing this time.


Sid kept watch from his lookout post in the van anytime I had to use the restroom at the bathhouse.


The sunset that evening was truly magnificent.


The next morning, we had to sleep in and eat breakfast inside the van because of something we’ll tell you about in Part 3


Have Pug, Will Travel – Part 1

Ahoy everyone! Sid and I have finally returned from our week-long camping and road-trip adventure around Lake Michigan which I’ve dubbed Have Pug, Will Travel. This is Part 1 of our story of the trip; we hope you enjoy it.


For this adventure, I had originally considered renting a small RV. But after looking at the costs involved and also the size of an RV, even a small one, it was just overkill for one human and one pug. So I ended up renting a Ford Transit Connect cargo van because it provided ample room for sleeping and storage in the rear cargo area yet was as easy to drive as a normal car. So on the first day of the trip, I loaded loaded up the van with our camping gear, food, pug supplies, and mostly importantly: the pug.


Welcome to our tiny home for the next week!


We left Chicago on September 8th and made our way north through Wisconsin, into Michigan, and up to the charming Gladstone Bay Campground located in the small town of Gladstone.


The campground was right on the shore of Little Bay de Noc, which is a bay of Lake Michigan. Our site was just a short walk away from the beach and as soon as Sid caught site of the water, he just had to take a little dip.



At one edge of the beach was a cute little boardwalk that snaked along the water’s edge through an area with lots of tall grasses and plants.


Sid liked the boardwalk so much he decided it would be the perfect place to take a little nap in the sun.


The next morning we got up and had some breakfast while the sun was still pretty low in the sky.


After breakfast and another visit to the beach, we got on the road and headed further north towards Lake Superior. Along the way, we stopped off at Au Train Falls. It was a lovely sight!


The adventure will continue with Part 2

Charting the Course

In less than a week, Sid and I will be setting forth on a week-long epic camping trip all the way around Lake Michigan. I’ve been busy gathering up all the camping supplies and paraphernalia we’ll need so I’ve left all the route-planning in Sid’s capable paws.


Although, I took a quick peak at the route thus far, and there seem to be way more stops at pet supply stores than state parks.

Hmmmm, might need to just keep him in charge of something he’s more qualified to do: meal planning.

Rascally Rabbit!

Greetings and salutations to all you wonderful Pug Slopers out there!

This is Sid here with you today and I wanted to tell you all about a new member of my gang.


As soon as I set my bulging pug eyes on his magnificent long ears and puffy white tail, I couldn’t resist inviting him to play. Get over here, Rabbit!


We had a wondeful time playing chase and tag and basically all the games that rabbits like.



We ended the day with a relaxing cuddle and talked about our mutual love of baby carrots.