Au Sable River Camping

I’m back in “civilization” after 11 days of primitive camping at Dispersed Campsite #3 on the Au Sable River in the Huron National Forest (near Glennie, MI)  It was only $5 a night with the Federal “Geezer Pass”, reservations required.

AuSable1    No cell or wifi signal at all!  Somehow when I pictured myself doing this boondocking, it did not include being completely cut off from civilization!!  It was ¼ mile back off the paved road on a little rutted dirt track, but the campsite was right on the river in a pretty little clearing.  I set up my solar panel and then could not get it to work at all!  So I didn’t use the battery the whole time, except for a few 10-second bursts of the Fantastic Fan to clear out hot air after cooking.

There were hardly any mosquitoes there, just a few at dusk, but lots of (non-biting) flies. I’d sit in my lawn chair with flyswatter in hand and whap the ones that were brave enough to land on me.



It did not get fully dark until nearly 10 pm, and after that I used a headlamp to read by. Ugh. Did I tell you that I had quite a herd of little moths in the camper? Well once I strapped the headlamp on, those harmless little moths become crazy kamikaze dive bombers, all aimed at my face!  I ended up having to just hold the light close to the Kindle. I was able to use my power inverter to charge the Kindle, laptop and cellphone while driving in the car, and found a little public library with a free wifi signal in the town of Glennie, about 8 miles away. Just a couple miles away was Alcona County Campground, and I was told I could use the dump station and drinking water for free!  I drove around the campground and never did find a place to dump my garbage though.  There’s a nice little grocery store in Glennie and an Ace hardware that sells propane, fishing licenses, etc. The grocery store has a $1 section where everything costs $1.25.  Hmmm.

One day I went as far as Gaylord looking at some properties for sale but all 7 on my list were already sold! What a disappointment.  Two realtors told me for some strange reason, wooded lots were selling like hotcakes this summer.  Figures.  On the way home I went to check out Pine River CG in the Huron National Forest, and it was also only $5 a night with the Geezer Pass but there were picnic tables, water, trash cans and nice outhouses!  No riverfront sites, but I think I’d have traded that for having the other goodies.

Every day I watched the mergansers come and play, diving for whatever they dive for…minnows?? And there was a bald eagle who went upriver every morning and downriver every night.  Of course it could have been MANY bald eagles using the river corridor, I don’t know for sure.


There were some pretty wildflowers, especially the wild roses, but LOTS of poison ivy also, so we did not do any tramping through the woods!  Flowers Au Sable
My friend Judy gave me a pretty apron that she made, with a Dammit Doll in the pocket! She’s much to cute to whap around though.

Dammit1 Dammit2

I’m now camped in a friend’s driveway in Brighton.  There’s new house construction going on 3 doors down and those workmen arrive & start banging awfully early, around 7 a.m.!


7 replies on “Au Sable River Camping”

I’m enjoying reading about your adventures. I have an AFrame and think they are very cozy and comfortable, but I’m impressed that you’re living in one. Can you post some pictures with your dog and your AFrame indoor set up? -Laurel-


The interior is kind of a jumble, I”m afraid, because I’m carrying virtually everything I own. And it’s the Sport, so it’s really hard to get interior photos since it’s such a tiny space! But I’ll try.


Hi Janis,
That’s an ambitious tarp/awning you have set up! A package or your own creation? Am wondering how you have it anchored to the A, and what the dimensions are on the tarp.
Thanks, and Cheers! N


The tarp is my own creation! There’s a simple hook installed at the peak (set a little bit sideways so the wind won’t just lift it off easily). Then a small rope cleat at the bottom of each side, the 3 poles and 3 ropes! I used a stainless steel hook and plastic rope cleats, all with SS screws. It’s a lot easier to set it up with someone else to help, but it’s not horrible doing it alone. It’s an 8×10 tarp so it gives plenty of shade and/or rain protection.


Got the solar panel fixed today! Just as I thought, it was a little glitch in the wiring. It’d be great to see you guys but I don’t think I’m going to get anywhere near you this trip.


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