Camping in manistee

Camping Yankee Springs in Michigan

It’s my 25th birthday weekend and Jeremy and I have decided to go camping for the first time together. We’re eager to see how Zero, our now 6-month-old corgi puppy, will take to going on hikes.

Canopy of trees - michigan | Whole Widen world
We’ve arrived! Our camping spot is perfectly situated under a canopy of trees, their leaves glowing green and softly shifting in the light breeze.

With our little Saturn packed up and Zero sitting in a makeshift doggie booster chair in the back, we make our way to Yankee Springs, Michigan. The journey takes us through long stretches of empty fields and blue skies.

Driving to Yankee Springs, Michigan

When we arrive, we burst out of the car, excited to finally be here. As I awkwardly take direction from Jeremy, the camping expert, I am keenly aware that this process will get smoother the more we camp together. I watch him examine the earth and calculate the best place to put the tent. All of these things are foreign to me, but I tell myself to relax and enjoy the process.

Corgi digging a hole

Zero immediately starts digging holes all over the camp site. I catch him in this moment and capture the look of guilt on his face.

Jeremy and Loretta's first camping trip

After camp is set up, we take a photo to remember our first trip together as a family.

The hike around Yankee Springs takes us 6 miles. We travel through wooded forests, up rocky paved hills, and along a windy creek. We see thick spider webs, banana slugs, and yellow and black spikey caterpilars.

Loretta hiking
Jeremy and Zero hiking
Corgi in a hiking backpack

We learn, that Zero is just as eager to explore as we are. He pulls the leash, sniffs and darts around our feet. He is a born hiking dog. Though he is short to the ground, he does not tire easily. It isn’t until the final mile when he lays down and refuses to walk. We decide to carry him, but we can tell he’s not amused.


Zero passes out under the picnic table, and we pour ourselves a stiff drink and put our feet up.

Corgi - sleeping
Jeremy and Zero relaxing
This precious moment is perfect. Though we’re both exhausted, we feel so content cuddling in our chair together.
Loretta and Zero resting after a hike

We celebrate my birthday with a big steak and s’mores for desert.

Steak dinner

We watch the fire until it burns low, then turn into bed for our first night sleeping under the stars.

Camp fire

If you loved reading about Yankee Springs, checkout our other camping stories.

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