Free Willy (the worm)!

When I was a pre-schooler I always had lunch with Soupy Sales on TV. One of his characters was Willy the Worm who would stick his head up out of a flowerpot and say happy birthday to kids. One time he wished ME a happy birthday! Well today I liberated my Willy the fishing worms. The poor things had spent the past 2 1/2 months in that tiny plastic box in my fridge, and who knows how long before that in the store’s fridge. Sometimes when I’d get them out to check on them, their box would be full of water from the melting ice (because my fridge doesn’t work right)! Sometimes I would get out my bucket and dump them out to have an exercise day and to let their dirt dry out. Occasionally they’d get some yummy coffee grounds or newspaper to eat. Today I dug a little divot in the dirt and dumped them out, and before long they had all run away! Run free, Willys! I hope they’ll be happy.

The other day I dropped a full 20 oz. glass water bottle on my big toe. Oh oh oh! I thought for sure it was broken but it’s not, just bruised. Luckily (?) it’s on the leg that’s already gimpy.

We have loons! We’ve heard them but have not seen them, though some of the black specks way out in the lake might be them. I love hearing the loons. We also have plenty of flies here. I don’t know why this year is so bad for flies; I didn’t notice that many of them last year. And they are superman flies. When I do get lucky with my aim and hit them with a flyswatter, they laugh and get right back up.

And our campsites have a lot of food that some idiot has thrown out. Beans, eggs, even some steaks! The minute Annie gets loose she heads off to gobble some forbidden junk food. Deb buried some of it, and the steaks mysteriously disappeared last night. (don’t look at me! They were gross-looking!)

And I didn’t mention the other day that this campground is owned by the Upper Peninsula Power Company. Awfully nice of them to provide this great place to camp….for free!

We are expecting some company in about a week….Donna Morey, who I met out in AZ at an A-Frame rally last February! Looking forward to seeing her again.

We’ve been getting some cold nights. Tonight’s low is supposed to be 38….is it time to get out the fleece sheets??

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Bond Falls Flowage

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Here’s the view from my camper door. Stellar, eh? We were headed for an Ottawa National Forest CG near Watersmeet, which I was told on the phone was free after Labor Day. Wrong information! All the campgrounds in the NF (if still open) are free after October 1. So we spent a night at nearby Robbins Pond and the next day drove over to check out Bond Falls Flowage near Paulding. I knew about this place last year but never went & looked at it. Wow! Deb moved over there immediately and I went over on Sunday, when more spaces opened up. We got sites 19 & 20 which are lakefront, as you can see. There are million dollar views, but no lake access from these sites because there’s a steep bank. If we were younger and nimbler we probably could do it, LOL!  Our sites have trees around the outside and open in the middle, so they’re good for solar power. Most of the sites are grouped in 2-3-4 together so it’s great for friends who camp together. They have picnic tables, trash containers and we even have our very own outhouse!  And it’s FREE! Usually for 14 days but after Sept. 15 you can stay any amount of time.  We’re getting pretty good 3G Verizon but zero ATT so I have to go out to write blogs, etc. Deb discovered a flaw in her camper placement this morning when pinecones started to fall on her camper….it sounds like rifle shots! Poor Annie hates loud noises so she’s suffering.

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I accidentally whacked the side of my knee on a ledge alongside the bed so had a setback but it is doing much better now. I can straighten the leg out with no pain and when I first get up to walk, no pain! The more I walk the more it hurts though, so I’m still trying to take it easy. Still, WAY better than the hopping days!

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Casino Camping

We’re still at the Ojibwa Casino in Marquette.  Deb has been winning lately at the slot machines; she came home with $80 the other day! I haven’t been going over there much because Deb has to drive me over & drop me at the door, then find a place to park; it’s a hassle. Once inside they have loaner wheelchairs to use. When we return from a casino visit our clothes and hair REEK of cigarette smoke, ugh. Nasty.

My knee is much improved; it’s almost miraculous, the difference a week can make. It still hurts but it’s way better than it was.

If you are camping here, every day they give you $5 in free play. I was thinking I should just get my $5 free and cash it out, not play at all! But that seems like cheating. So far I’ve lost all the free play money within minutes. Deb has been winning on a game called Kitty Glitter and she’s only betting 9 cents at a time! The most I’ve won at one time is $1.80.

Here’s a photo of our campsite, finally. Isn’t it nice!  I think we will stay til Tuesday or maybe Wednesday. It’s supposed to be quite hot (83 on Tuesday) so we are reluctant to leave the electric hookups. The average high right now is supposed to be 68….quite a difference!    DSCN6401

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To Eat or Not to Eat

I ran the air conditioner all night our first night here and Deb did too. It wasn’t hot, but muggy. When I got up this morning, Intellicast said it was 68 degrees here with 95% humidity!  And it wasn’t raining!  I didn’t know you could have humidity like that without rain. UGH! But the temps are really nice for the next 4 days…in the 60’s, my favorite!  But humidity still running high…85% right now. Yhen last night the temps got down tp 46 degrees and I was freezing with just my sheet and flimsy light blanket!!  My heavier quilt was in the car and I didn’t feel like getting up and limping out there to get it so I stole Roxie’s fleece throw. The forecast was for a low of 55 so I didn’t think I needed extra blankets. the humidity is still high.

OK so I’m not going to say I’m on a DIET (the dirtiest of the 4-letter words) but I am trying to lose weight. I don’t want to be that gigantic woman riding a motorized cart everywhere. Because let’s face it, when you see someone like that, do you think “Oh poor dear, she must have terrible arthritis or a knee injury”? No, you wonder if she lost weight, would she be able to walk. Er…don’t you? I kinda do. However lately I seem to keep slipping towards being her and not me, the girl who’s only chunky, not huge. Especially since I originally hurt my knee in February, I know I’ve gained weight since I don’t actually DO anything any more. My ortho doc in NC told me that for every pound you gain, it puts 20 extra pounds on your knees! Would that be 20# each, or 10# each? I don’t know but either way it’s pretty horrifying. Bring on the Hover-Round. It’s really a Catch 22 situation because once you have limited mobility, it’s way harder to lose weight.

I called a friend tonight and she mentioned buying cans of frosting and eating it with a spoon. Well YUMMO, what a great idea; I love frosting!  (I hate her and I’m never calling her again.)

Another friend told about a way of losing weight where you eat conservatively 5 days a week, and every 3 days or so you eat only 500 calories a day. He’s losing a pound a week and is down 30# so far! Sounds good except I’m pretty sure I could never do a 500 calorie day since I don’t like salads or vegetables. What would that be, one mini Snickers bar?

So I’ve written down some Eating Rules:

  1. Don’t eat anything more after a meal (like dessert) until at least 20 minutes have passed since the last bite. I’ve been setting a timer and it works pretty well; usually after 20 minutes, I can maybe be satisfied with only one cookie, not a whole candy bar or two or three.
  2. A la “The Zone Diet”, try to always eat some fat & protein to balance out the carbs. It slows down the rate of glucose production.
  3. If you want candy, try to just eat a cookie or something not 100% sugar instead. Sometimes that backfires and you eat all kinds of “better” stuff but are never appeased until you eat that one thing you originally wanted.
  4. Don’t buy frosting in a can.
  5. Don’t eat after 10 pm.
  6. Really, don’t eat after 11 pm.
  7. Absolutely no eating after midnight.

I’m sure there must be more good, sensible rules that I’m missing….but I think these are a pretty good start.

Thank you everyone for the PayPal donations and for going through my Amazon link to place your orders! I get a smkall percentage of the order, based on number of items shipped. So even if you are only ordering an inexpensive item, it might be just the thing I needed to push me up into another percentage bracket!  Here it is:     http://amzn.to/2bQjE0z

 

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Dr. Visit

I saw Dr.Dixon today at Advanced Orthopedics in Marquette. Deb drove me over there and parked right in front of the door. My heart sank when I saw what a huge building it was in, but they had some loaner wheelchairs right by the door, yay! Everyone there was very nice; the Dr. was a young guy and I really liked him. They gave me some classy paper shorts to put on (as the nurse said, “one size fits none”) and I got wheeled off to x-ray. I’ve got some really big bone spurs in there, the kneecap has been pushed to one side by one of them and of course the knee is bone-on-bone; I knew that 10 years ago. He thought it’d be worth it to try a cortisone shot first, so that’s what we did. The next step, he thought, would be to try the synthetic joint fluid SynVisc. Everything I had done today was “covered” by Medicare (a relative term; I’ll probably have to pay about $300 out of pocket) and the SynVisc injections would also be covered; I’d have to pay 20% which would be around $800 or so for the series of  3 injections.  So I hope this cortisone fixes me up!

He couldn’t tell if the meniscus was torn but felt it was a non-issue, as he’d just read the newest study on that and they don’t recommend arthroscopic meniscus surgery for anyone any more. They don’t go in there and actually FIX anything, they cut off the ragged edges of the tear.  He was very positive about continuing to use the infrared light though, and also suggested cold laser therapy as another option. He says the only ones using cold laser up here are veterinarians but they’re having GREAT success with it.  Duh???  If it works for dogs, why aren’t we using it more for people??  Same with stem cell therapy, veterinarians are having huge successes with it but the human medical community is still fearful. I didn’t have to pay anything today, they said they’d bill me. So I’d better put some money in Savings, as I know I’m gonna need it in a couple months. Hope I can hold onto it.

After the Dr. appointment we went to our third Main Street Pizza, this time in Marquette. We each got two huge pieces of pizza for $2.75, and it was really good. We took it to a nice park right on Lake Superior to eat and there was even a big garbage can there so Deb could throw away the big box she got from Amazon! That’s one of the hardest things while boondocking, finding legal places to throw the trash.

Deb went to the casino last night and bought some food and dropped some cash on the slots so she is helping to justify our existence here.  This is a pretty small casino so there’s no restaurant, but they have a snack bar. She said the smoke was pretty bad. I guess the indians can do anything they want, the laws don’t apply?  My only complaint is about the flies here, there are a lot of them. They don’t bite (right now) but they like to land on me and I imagine them licking me or something awful. Ewww, fly tongues!

And then we went to my bank and to a smallish IGA store for groceries. Their prices were horrible! And they didn’t have any electric carts but they did have a wheelchair…without a shopping basket. I had to go along with Deb and use her shopping cart. Boy you’re really SHORT in a wheelchair! Thank goodness I am able to stand up; some people can’t. I wonder if they just buy stuff from the lower shelves, or do they have to ask for help? I wanted an item on a top shelf and I thought Deb was right behind me….I said “Hey hand me that” and some nice lady on the other side of me got it for me! I was very embarrassed & told her I hadn’t meant to be ordering HER around!!  The wheelchair was non-painful but it took a little while to get used to it. I’d just get going good and it would veer off to one side or the other.

Sorry I still don’t have any photos of our campsite. I’ll try to get Deb to take some soon.

So anyway, we don’t have to hang around here unless we want to; I have no follow-up appointments or anything. I’m SO glad I didn’t have to get an MRI! The lady I talked to on the phone said they would require it but I’m glad she was wrong.

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Waiting

I am still (impatiently) waiting for my appointment with the sports doctor tomorrow. How embarrassing is THAT going to be….it’s ridiculous to even say “sport”  and me in the same sentence!  Never the twain shall meet. I have spoken to his assistant and I already know he’s going to require an MRI. I hope it won’t take long to get that scheduled.

My knee actually felt somewhat better this morning!!  I’m doing some infrared light treatments twice a day, keeping it elevated and trying to stay off it as much as possible. I am able to straighten the leg more than before without extreme pain, so that’s  hopeful. It hurts quite a lot now, as we have moved and no matter how much I tried not to walk, there’s no way to accomplish packing up & moving without a good bit of it.

We’ve moved about 70 miles to the Ojibwa Casino in Marquette for a few days., if not forever! They have 7 nice FREE campsites with electricity, picnic tables, a little shade and even garbage cans!! Whip Hop!!  Deb went in to register for her site (there was only one site available) and they told her she can stay as long as she wants. And they give you $15 in play vouchers, and they even have loaner wheelchairs!!  They said it was OK for me to park in the same site so I backed in as close as I could to Deb’s camper was able to hook up to the 110v outlet. Wow…ELECTRICITY!!  I can’t remember the last time I had that…..I guess back in early June when I was on the way up to Michigan?  I’m so glad I don’t have to park out on the hot pavement. I’ve got the A/C cranked up and waiting for it to cool down in here.  I love this place….we’re never leaving.

Sorry for no photos again. Maybe I can snap some of our campsite later on but right now I’ve got to be kind to my knee.

Thanks everyone for using my Amazon link to place your orders! I get a small percentage of sales if ordered through that. Even if you’re ordering an inexpensive item, it helps because the percentage is based on number of items sold. Your small item might help me get to another level!   http://amzn.to/2c5csu8

 

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Knee Update

Not much to report except that I have an appointment with a sports doc in Marquette on Aug. 30. That was the soonest I could get in to see him, and I wanted this doctor because he may have some non-surgical solutions to my knee problem.

I’ve been keeping the knee elevated and not getting around much at all but yesterday we went to Gladstone for groceries & free wifi at the library. I used the walker and hopped along but I had no idea how much work that is. Today my shoulders are screaming. It seems to me that if you have to use the walker and put most of your weight on it to hop, it’s like repeatedly bench pressing your own weight! And my weight is significant. I need either a lot more upper body strength, or a lot less lower body weight! It also hurt a LOT so I won’t be doing that again any time soon.

We had some really excellent pizza-by-the-slice at Main Street Pizza in Gladstone…only $1.50 a slice, and they’ll add stuff if you want (for a small extra fee). Deb got green peppers, onions and pineapple added to her ham pizza and it still only cost $5 for two big pieces and a small drink!

Thanks everyone for your good wishes, PayPal donations and Amazon purchases through my Amazon Associates Link! I get a small percentage of sales and it doesn’t cost you any extra if you use the link: http://amzn.to/2aSm3CA   And if you’re REALLY feeling sorry for me, here’s my PayPalMe link:  https://www.paypal.me/littlebittyliving  (Nothing like blatant begging, eh?)

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Ow.

Hmmm, it seems my plans may change abruptly. I’ve been having a lot of knee pain the past few days…..more than ever. And then yesterday I blew the whole thing all to pieces. I believe I have a medial meniscus tear, since I can no longer straighten my leg without extreme pain. It doesn’t feel instable but I can’t put any weight on my knee at all, so I am in effect confined to the camper. For once it’s a really GOOD thing that my kitchen and “bathroom” are literally one step from my bed, as that’s all I can do; one step om the good leg. I can hop a bit and/or swivel that one leg around to maneuver around in the camper. I can even “walk” Roxie by attaching her Flexi-Lead and letting her go out the door by herself.  Deb has been great about taking Roxie for longer walks & putting her in & out of her exercise pen, though it’s been raining nearly all day today so Roxie’s been mostly inside with me.

Deb even went out to the thrift store in  Gladstone (50 miles rd trip) and brought back a walker, a pair of crutches and a quad cane (with 4 little feet)! I’m afraid to use the crutches for fear I’ll fall and break something else! It looks like the walker will work fine for outside, though there’s no room for it inside.

Now to decide what to do. I have a couple options…..either way I will wait til Monday to do anything.  First I will call the Escanaba hospital and see what their criteria is for financial assistance. Maybe I will qualify. If not, I will try to get a quick appointment with an orthopedic doctor in Escanaba and at least try to pinpoint what the problem is. That’d be a lot cheaper than an emergency room visit. If it’s a badly torn meniscus,  it won’t heal on it’s own and I’ll need surgery.  I already had meniscus repair on that same knee about 10 years ago, with really good results.

Friends Cheryle and Jenni in Asheville have made a great offer; if I want to go back there early and have the surgery there, I can recuperate in their home which is well set up for the handicapped.  So I will also check out the criteria for financial assistance at Mission Hospital in Asheville. It does seem that recovering on a nice flat indoor floor would be easier than a lumpy outdoor campsite littered with roots, sticks & stone.  It’s just the 1000 mile drive when I can only hop on one foot that’s a little daunting…..even if I stayed in motels I’d have to be able to hop around to fill the car with gas, hop into restaurants & rest area restrooms, etc. And I’ve been keeping the knee elevated; I don’t know how it would feel if I’m driving 6-7 hours a day. At least it’s my left knee and not my “driving leg”!

Well. It’s always something, isn’t it! Sure makes life more interesting.

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Still Homeless

Well I didn’t get the property I wanted. It went for $1400 and I bid $1300. I would have bid more but since I’d have to pay for it with a credit card, I really couldn’t afford to. And there’s no telling, maybe that other bidder would have kept going higher and higher anyway. So…I’m disappointed. But thank you for your finger-and-toe crossing!

One of the properties that I had earmarked as interesting was 1.74 acres in Negaunee. It sold for $3500  three days ago and it’s already listed on Craigslist for $15,000!!  Talk about a fast turnaround; the buyer won’t even get his new deed for 30 days!!

 

 

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Stonington Peninsula, Rapid River MI

We sadly left Lyman Lake today, as our 14 day stay limit was up. It sure is a great campsite! But we’ll be back; we are meeting friends Bobbi (again) and Cindy there for Labor Day weekend. In the meantime, we can stay 16 days at the dispersed site here, near the Stonington Peninsula Lighthouse. We are on Lake Michigan but without access, I think. There’s a weedy shallow area between us and the main part of the lake…..but if it gets too hot, we might be checking that out for swimming. If it’s sandy bottom we could easily walk out to the lake. But no more yucky-mucky wading for me!  This is a great site, one of my favorites from last year’s travels. It’s a bit small for Deb’s big camper but I’m pretty sure she can wiggle in, maybe with  a lot of to-ing and fro-ing involved. She’s staying for 2 nights  at Vagabond CG nearby to get water, dump tanks recharge her battery, take a shower and do laundry. It’s a Passport America park, so only $12.50 a night. Then she’ll come here.

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Lake Michigan view from my camper

On the way here both Deb and I got stuck in a huge traffic jam in both directions that lasted 1.5 hours! A lot of people were turning around but I didn’t know of any other alternate routes so I just waited. And waited. A very fancy Class A motor home was burning……was glad to hear from Deb because I knew she was ahead of me and I was worried that it was her! Hope these folks have good insurance, and that no one was hurt. This is a photo that Deb took.

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Now that my internet addiction was nearly cured, I’m back to having great phone and wifi signals! I’m sure I’ll backslide into my addiction very quickly.

There’s a lot of traffic going past our site to the lighthouse, as it’s a resting and gathering point for Monarch butterflies, before they make the long trip across Lake Michigan to Door County, WI. This happens in late August-early September…..I was a little bit late for it last year but hopefully this year we’ll get to see the thousands of butterflies. Traffic should be much less after the weekend.       http://www.visitescanaba.com/monarch-butterflys-26/

Tomorrow is the auction for the delinquent tax sale property I want! I’m very excited but I am also resigned to not winning it. I bid $1300 and I see that most of the properties in other counties have sold for more than that. Last year there were a bunch of wooded lots that sold for under $500; this year it’s 3 times that!  What’s the deal?!  Well keep your fingers and toes crossed for me anyway. I’ll let you know how it comes out.

Thank you everyone for using my Amazon link! I hear it’s difficult to locate, so I’ll try to put it at the bottom of each post from now on.  I get a small percentage of sales that are initiated through this link, and it sure helps with my money situation to get that $150 or so each month!!  Here it is: http://amzn.to/2aSm3CA

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Lyman Lake

We are into our second week at Lyman Lake. What a great campsite, especially for only $4 a night! Our Womens A-Frame Camper (WACS) friend Bobbi from Wisconsin has joined us for 6 nights; she’ll be leaving tomorrow to meet up with other camping friends in Wisconsin. My only complaint is about the biting flies. They are voracious on hot days, and they don’t seem repelled by anything.  We’ve been kayaking and swimming a lot, and I’ve even been fishing! I caught about a dozen little fishies, or maybe it was the same two fish 5 or 6 times! They were all too small to keep, anyway. I’ll keep trying. We all definitely want to come back here next summer, but maybe get size #3 which has a larger beach area.

We’ve been eating most dinners together, which is unusual for us. We’ve had some good meals….pork chops on the grill, Joe’s goulash, sloppy joes. Today we went to lunch at Jack’s Restaurant in Rapid River. We loved the whitefish there last year but today it wasn’t as good. Good desserts though! Next door to the restaurant is a shop that never seem to be open, but they have the coolest “found object” sculptures in the window! I’d love one of those fish!!

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We have my little folding table set up in one of the screen rooms. We really miss having a picnic table…..they usually are not provided at the free or dispersed campsites.  We found this critter inside the screen room……Deb calls it the Creature from Hell! It looks like a scorpion/dragonfly!

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Deb bought a nice lightweight nylon hammock that rolls up into a tiny football-size package. She used it a lot at Hovey Lake but when she put it up here, EPIC FAIL! She crashed to the ground and is now nursing a very sore (possibly cracked or broken) tailbone.  Ow!

Since we only have two kayaks, Deb uses mine to go out with Bobbi. We sort of take turns. Finally after nearly an entire year, I get to use my “new” kayak! I really like it, it’s very comfortable and I can easily get in and out of it with my bad knee. I wade out to almost knee-deep and just sit down into it, and to get out, I do the same; swing my legs over and just stand up in knee-deep water! It’s SO much easier than trying to get up out of a sit-inside kayak. Deb says it’s the most comfortable kayak she’s ever used! (Mine is the orange one with built in backrest; it’s a Jackson Riviera)

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Bobbi and Deb kayaking

We had some really hot days but lately it’s been pretty perfect….mid to high 70’s with nice breezes. Love it!  We’re really going to hate to leave here.

Today I have to get 3 new tires, ugh! There goes the savings plan for this month. I guess it’s just always going to be something. I got an oil change and asked for tire rotation and the guy told me I’d be wasting my money to rotate them; they were nearly bald and had cracks between the treads. So 3 tires….$340. Sigh.

 

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Lyman Lake

Yesterday we moved to Lyman Lake #5. It is $4 a night with the Geezer Pass, for as many campers as you can cram into the site! (More or less) It MUST be reserved ahead of time though, no walk-ins allowed. It’s considered a dispersed campsite and there are lots of them in this general area, and they are all very populat so you have to plan way ahead. I think I booked this site in February and was lucky to get it. It’s not far from Chicago Lake, where we were last month. So that means about a 50 mile round trip drive to Manistique for groceries, etc. And no wifi signal, though I am getting 1-2 bars of cell service. Deb is still having a lot of battery problems so she opted to go to Camp Seven Lake Campground for 2 nights to get her battery fully charged with an electric site for $13 a night.

Lyman Lake is great!!  Our site is gigantic; there’s room for 8 or 10 campers, as long as they didn’t all require sun for solar power.  And the lake has a nice sandy bottom, so no more creatures from the green lagoon when we swim.  The only drawback so far (besides no wifi signal, and I AM addicted to the internet, you know) is lot of mosquitoes at night. I wish I could figure out how they all find they way into my camper! During the day, our biggest problem with bugs if the big stable flies that are almost an inch long, with sharp teeth!

Here’s the view from my camper door:

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There are several steps down to the little swimming beach, and the water is perfectly clear!  DSCN6371

Here’s Roxie in her screen room. She LOVES it out there and never wants to come into the camper!   DSCN6369

I am REALLY going to get the kayak off the car and kayak this lake!!!  Really, I am! And maybe do some fishing from the kayak as well. Free food would be good!

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Still at Munising

We’re still near Munising. We’ve had some quite hot days, and when that happens we pack up some stuff and go to Lake Superior. There are several really nice state-owned access sites just west of the Munising Tourist Park, nice sandy beach with shade and good rock-hunting. It’s the best place for finding agates that we’ve found! Deb found two really good ones; I found some kinda-sorta-wannabe agates but nothing really great. (She spends a lot more time hunting than I do) There’s almost always a nice breeze and it’s about 10 degrees cooler at lakeside.

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Janis & Princess Roxie

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Deb Hunting Agates

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She found a good one!

 

 

There are also two really nice dispsersed campsites on this bit of state land, but they are both really too small for trailers.  Darn! We would love to be on a lake we can swim in. We had some new neighbors from Vermont at the campground and the wife came and chatted a bit. I told her how awful the lake was and she said she was going to swim anyway.  Hah! Later she told Deb that I was right about the lake…..she came out festooned with green and black slime just like I did!

Between beach days we just hang around camp and do our best to keep the solar panels in the constantly-moving sunny spots, and read on our Kindles.  We both are having trouble getting enough sun to keep the batteries charged.

Thanks again to everyone who used my PayPalMe and Amazon links this past month!! Thank you for not forgetting about me even when I don’t post a whole lot. By the way, if you get the blog via email link, you have to click on the title to take you to the actual WordPress site and see the links.

On July 31 we’ll be going to a new campsite on Lyman Lake which is good for swimming, and I hope to do some kayaking and fishing there too, so there should  be more to report! We’ll also be getting a visit from our friend Bobbi from Wisconsin in early August, and she’s always fun to be around.

 

 

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Pictured Rocks & Munising

We spent 5 days at a large $4 a night dispersed campsite ïn the middle of nowhere¨, 25 miles from Manistique.(Chicago Lake #4)  It was a great campsite though, with good swimming in the lake. When I arrived there were two forest service workers there wearing long sleeved shirts and headnets. Uh oh. Yeah…swarms of mosquitoes, deer and stable flies! That first day was a bit miserable but strangely enough, that was the only really bad day there. There were still some bugs but never a huge problem. Those stable flies are huge, about 1″long, and they have big sharp teeth! They like feet and ankles and the bites itch like crazy for about 3 days.

 

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Chicago Lake

Then we moved to Hovey Lake Campground (FREE!) about 10 miles from Munising. There are just 4 campsites there and they even have picnic tables, a real luxury not often found at the free sites! Hovey Lake is very shallow though, and not good for swimmimg. We had two really hot days in a row and Deb swam the first day, said it was a little mucky. The next day I was so hot and sweaty, I couldn’t stand it. Ugh, I shudder just thinking about it!  My feet sank about 6″ into the muck. I waded out about 100′ and the muck got deeper but the water didn’t! Even that far out, it only came a little above my knees! I was floating on a piece of ensolite and if I put my arms down, I felt creepy weeds. Coming in, I went too far towards shore and then couldn’t get my feet under me. Deb waded over and gave me a hand and I nearly dragged her in with me, trying to get up! All the while wallowing around and stirring up nasty green and black bits of goo.  GROSS!  Deb said if someone had been taking a video of that, it would have gone viral for sure!  My clothes were full of nasty green goop. I don’t care how hot it gets, no more swimming in Hovey Lake!!

We both have Coleman Instant Screen Rooms and we’ve been putting them both up, one is for the dogs’ exercise pen and our chairs, and the other is the cook shack, with the bbq grill and my propane stove. So nice to have a picnic table to cook and eat on! Neither of our campers has space for 2 people to eat together!   DSCN6330

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Our Asheville friends Cheryle & Jenni were camped at Otter Lake Resort, just a few miles from us so we all drove out H-58 to Grand Marais yesterday. We met at Superior Brewing Company and got flights of beer to sample. Jenni & Deb didn’t really like any of them, but I did! I liked the Puddingstone Wheat best. Granted I’m not very knowledgable about beer. When we arrived, the waitress told us they didn’t have any whitefish but they were cleaning a new batch and it would be available in about 30 minutes. It sure doesn’t get any fresher than that! Cheryle and Jenni had the whitefish and loved it. Deb and I shared a pizza and it was really good too. Then we all went to the agate beach and picked up pretty rocks. (As usual, didn’t find any agates). Jenni and I were going to go fishing at Otter Lake last night but it was too cold. In two days we went from being so hot we could hardly sleep, to last night’s low of 42 degrees!!  Welcome to Michigan weather.

Wifi and cell signals are nonexistent at both of these last places, so we have to drive a ways to get any kind of signals. We’re both getting a little frustrated with that situation! So we may not stay the full 14 days here.

 

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Quick Update

Just a quickie update so you know I haven’t fallen off the face of the earth or anything. We spent 5 days at a beautiful $4 a night dispersed campsite, #4 at Chicago Lake. It was about 25 miles from Manistique, had a wonderful sandy bottom and we even went swimming when it was hot! (I seldom swim)  Now we’ve moved to a free campsite at Hovey Lake, about 10 miles from Munising, and plan to stay here the full 14 days. Very poor cell & wifi signals at both places and that’s why I haven’t posted. I promise a full update soon!

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Everything’s Just Beachy

We’re still camped at the Lake Huron beach. Someone complained and the Michigan DNR guy came by to investigate. He didn’t know if we were legal or not, but he was very nice and said if we did have to leave, he’d try to find us another free place. After about 15 minutes, he came back and said we were on state land, and we’re legal! Yippeee!  It’s good to KNOW that for sure.  Lots of locals use this pullout for beach access, and there are people coming & going all the time……huge freighters going by way out there, sailboats, Canadian Geese and loons paddling past; all manner of exciting things to look at!  The past few days we have not been sitting outside much though; the flies are vicious! They slash away and draw blood, and the bites itch for days. I guess they don’t bother Roxie, as she loves spending the day outside in her sling bed.

On Wednesday and Thursday the beach was full of kids. The Fundamental Baptist Church bus brought 47 kids and 3 chaperones at a time, dropped them off and came back a couple hours later to pick those up and bring another group! How many kids can there BE around here?!  I’ll tell ya, 47 little boys make a LOT of noise!

We have bought fresh whitefish twice and had fish fries…..oh soooo good! I’m glad Deb likes fish as much as I do; I see a lot of fish dinners coming up this summer. I think I’m going to get a fishing license, then maybe I can supply our own fish.  (For the price of the fishing license, I’ll need to catch of LOT of them!)

We went to the De Tour Botanical Gardens and had a nice time walking around looking at all the flowers & plants. It’s a collection of memorial gardens; a bunch of small plots all planted with different flowers, hostas & ferns. That same day we looked at a piece of auction property near De Tour but it didn’t pass inspection….the ground looked bumpy and it was awfully close to the neighbors and would have required a good bit of bulldozer work.  The next day we looked at 3 more properties a little farther away. One was within 1/2 mile of a state prison, an airport and a speedway!  Ya, no thanks.

We’ll be here until next Wednesday, then we move over to a large national forest dispersed campsite between Rapid River and Manistique, only $4 a night for both of us! There are a few more parcels of land to look at over in that area.

The other day a guy came with his kayak and stopped to talk a bit. He said last year at this same spot, he saw a cougar come up from the lake and go across the road to the woods. Yikes.

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