Friday, September 09, 2011

Last day in the UP

Yesterday we camped at the MI State Forest campground at Hog Island. There are 50 sites. When we arrived about noon time we had our choice of all 50. We had a large, sunny site with a path leading straight to the water. I scrounged up firewood and we had another campfire. Regrettably, we were out of marshmallows.
By dark there were two other campers.

From our campsite at Hog Island.

We parked along Lake Michigan during the drive to St. Ignace.

Just before we got to St. Ignace on US #2, I saw a sign for a pastie store. The sign said "In business since 1959". It was lunch time so I got one last UP pastie. We stopped in a rest area and ate lunch. Of all the pasties I've had in the UP, this was by far the best. Should have gotten some for the freezer.

When we arrived in St. Ignace we stayed in the Straits State Park. Once again, we found a super campsite. The picture of the bridge was taken leaning against the back of the camper. The really good campsites are right on the water but don't have any electrical hookups. That works for us but most campers just have to have that electric cord dangling from their RV. Good, let's keep it like that, saves the best for us.
We watched the freighters come and go and enjoyed a beautiful, sunny day.

Tomorrow we cross the bridge and head south following the west coast of MI.

We'll be back to the UP. Most likely for a September-October trip some year. We would like to see the leaves change and really enjoy camping after Labor Day. Our favorite part of the UP is along Lake Superior. It tends to be sparsely populated and we like the cobble stone beaches.
There is a Lake Superior Circle Tour that runs through Canada. Perhaps that.

Wednesday, September 07, 2011

Another 30 minute driving day

This morning we went into Manistique for gas and groceries. Jack's Fresh Market has a decent selection of salads, veggies, etc. for a small town. After shopping we drove about 30 minutes to our next campground, the Michigan State Forest campground at Milakoia Lake. There are 33 sites here. It's us and two other campers. We're on a large site with our own private beach. There was a downed cedar tree nearby that provided us with wood for a campfire just right for roasting marshmallows.
There are still wildflowers in bloom and industrious bees at work getting ready for a long winter.
The view from our campsite

Tuesday, September 06, 2011

Indian Lake State Park

We left the Little Bay de Noc campground on Labor Day, the 5th. The weather forecast was for record setting cold weather with possible frost. While the camper has a good gas furnace plus a Wave 3 portable heater, we thought we would treat ourselves to a campground with electrical hookups. We have a small, electric cube heater that does a great job.
First we went to the Fayette Historic Park campground near Garden. The campground wasn't much. Very heavily wooded and dark. We were looking for some sunshine, plus this SP didn't have a dump station like we needed. We continued east to the Indian Lake State Park which is located four miles west of Manistique. There are 145 campsites. Labor Day has past and today there are perhaps a dozen RV's here. For the rest of our trip, we should find prime campsites available anywhere we go. Our sight is on a low bluff with an unobstructed view of Indian Lake. We chose a site with no trees so we could enjoy the warm sunshine. The park has a nice paved multi-use trail. The three of us took a walk this morning then mostly poked around. This is a very nice campground; we'll be back in the future.

We discussed, once again, our winter travel plans. Here is todays version. Leave home in mid-December. Weather permitting visit with John & Marge in KC,KS then go to Suzanne's in Longmont, CO for Christmas. In December a trip on I-70 from KC to Denver can be complicated by winter storms. If the weather doesn't look good, we'll take the southern route to ABQ then north to Longmont. After Christmas, we'll head south to AZ & NM joining our friends at "Q" like last year. We have an invitation from John & Linda Leach to see their new house in CO as well as their new "granddaughter"; Sadie the pup. Jeanne Gaffney is planning a big get-together for the Southeast and Northeast Lazy Daze clubs at Hanna Park in Jacksonville during the first week in March. We'll return to FL for that event. That will be the sixth anniversary of the SE Lazy Daze club.

Sunday, September 04, 2011

Little Bay de Noc

Since Labor Day weekend is coming up we decided to just stay put until Sunday the 5th. We have a very nice site right on the water and it’s only $6.50/night.
I called the Monarch Butterfly hot-line today. No help. They said the butterflys were still headed south but they had no idea when they would be in this area. We did see one Monarch Butterfly today. Hopefully by Sunday more will be in this area.

Our campsite

Drove into Escanaba to get propane, dump the tanks, fill the water tank and go grocery shopping since we would be here for four more days. Carol wants to cook hotdogs and toast marshmallows over an open fire so these items were on top of the shopping list. We’re camped on the Stonington peninsula. Right across the bay from us is the Gladstone City Campground where we stayed one night last week. The GPS says it’s 1.1 air miles away but it takes a 7.5 mile road trip to get there.

It was supposed to rain all day but it didn’t. It was just us in this part of the campground today so, once again, Gopher has free rein. In the evening we had a campfire so Carol could do her marshmallows. Hot dogs tomorrow perhaps. Tonight Carol had leftover Chinese for dinner and I had my last pastie.
Carol & I have the most wonderful time just being together. It doesn’t matter if we’re doing something special or just poking around. We simply enjoy being with one another.
By 6:00pm the other campsites in this area were occupied so Gopher is back on her leash. Unfortunately, if she saw another dog, even at a distance, off she would go to visit. I won’t have that.
We saw one Monarch Butterfly today. Maybe tomorrow.

Saw two Monarchs at the same time. Not exactly a major migration, but twice as many as yesterday.
It rained on and off all day. The first day like that on this trip.
We had a nice campfire, a weenie roast then marshmallows.

Toasting marshmallows. Gopher waiting for her share.

The current topic of conversation is what to do this winter. Stay at home and go to Lazy Daze and Escapee rallies and take short trips to the state parks or go to Suzanne’s for Christmas then spend the winter in the Southwest. Next summers plans all depend upon the family reunion that Carol’s family is talking about. If it comes to pass, we’ll stay East. If not, we’re going to go to California then follow the coast north to Canada. We both agree; what wonderful choices we have to make. Should we have a great time here or there or someplace else?

A cold, grey, rainy and blustery day. Forecast wind gusts to 30 knots. Gopher and I took a nice walk this morning in spite of the weather. Every campsite we saw was taken.
There are six campsites in our immediate area. By 3:00 three of them had packed up and headed home. Tomorrows forecast is for a high of 60* and a low of from 30* to 40*; not very nice family camping weather. If we were locals with children we’d head home as well. For two old folks and one dog it’s not a problem at all. Sure beats the weather at home.

Carol read books on her Kindle and I played with the computer. Mostly doing research on public campgrounds in the Lower 48.
Carol has really taken to the Kindle. She has almost a hundred books in her library. Before this Kindle, we had two cardboard boxes filled with Carols books. What a space and weight saver. She gets a lot of the books for from free to $.99. The most she’s paid for a book has been around $5.00 with from $2 to $3 being typical. Each day Amazon has a good selection of free books. I just “bought” an interesting sounding mystery story to read. I can download these books to our iPad via the computer then I can read a book on the iPad while Carol reads on the Kindle. Amazing stuff.

By about 5:00 it became clear that the solar panels were not going to be able to get the battery charged so I turned on the generator. Since it was running, I used the heat strip to take off the chill. It was 60* inside.

Tomorrow we move on. It’s been nice to get off the road for a few days. We will be back to this campground again.

A giant fungus of some type.