Bird I.D.

OK, today I saw a bunch of those mystery birds on the ground at the campsite, and they are definitely Northern Flickers!  Some kind of cousin to woodpeckers. They are very pretty!


Today Princess Roxie and I got in the car and drove to Manistique, which is about 50 miles from here.  I wanted to look at some tax sale properties but as usual, I could not find them!  I failed dismally, 0 out of 4.  My GPS says those roads just don’t exist!  They were all within the city limits of Manistique though, so I probably would not be interested anyway, even though they did look nicely wooded.

So then we spent HOURS driving around, looking at Dispersed Campsites in the Hiawatha National Forest between Rapid River and Mamistique.  Found some really nice ones, with both sun and shade, good lake access and even a Verizon signal!  None of them had an ATT signal for my wifi, but I would definitely consider camping at some of them next year.  I especially liked some at Lyman Lake.


Camp Visitor

We ran errands this morning…much-needed laundry, the farmers market and I signed the paperwork to try and get my Ecuador check cashed yet again.  I am not hopeful.

When we got back I tried to sit outside with Roxie but there were loads of flies, BITING flies!  Where the heck did they come from??  So strange how one day there’ll be no bugs, then one day maybe a cloud of little gnats, and today the  hordes of hungry flies.  So far no mosquitoes though!  Anyway, we beat a quick retreat into the camper.  Supposed to rain tonight so I just went out and folded up the lawn chairs and put them away, etc.

But as I was opening the door, I noticed this visitor to our yard, a huge Pileated Woodpecker!  He was keeping very busy eating something out of the ground (I always thought they were tree feeders)


Also as we were driving out today, I saw a flock of birds that I couldn’t identify; a medium-sized bird, predominantly brown, but with yellow on the throat and a large white patch on it’s back, near the tail.  If anyone knows what this might be, please reply in the Comments section!


Happy Campers

I’m so glad to have my little happy pal Princess Roxie sharing my adventures. Roxie is an 8 year old Havana Silk Dog. She makes me laugh every day.  She’s goofy, playful, quirky, demanding and oh so cute. How lucky is that?!

Roxie Ex Pen

At least once a day she gets the Zoomies…she runs madly out to the end of her 16′ flexi-lead, then turns and runs just as hard in another direction.  What makes her do that???  Nobody knows, but it’s so fun to see her joy.  She has a Camping World sling bed that we use outside (too big for inside!) and while she can’t POSSIBLY go up or down more than one step under her own power, she floats effortlessly into her bed which is about 15″ off the ground.  Hmm.  Then she has to dig and scratch at it to get it arranged to perfection, even though it’s a sling and nothing ever really gets rearranged!

Dig dig dig! Butt up, smoosh it with her head:


She smooshes her head into it, then comes up with hair looking like she twirled on her head (she kinda did), Click on the photo below to make it bigger, and check out that mustache and bedhead!


And finally she gets it just right and flops down for her nap.


She has an almost comedic horror of getting her feet wet.  If there’s even a damp spot on the pavement or sidewalk, she will very carefully walk around it. Coming to a wet spot that goes all the way across will cause her to put on her brakes and not budge, she’ll have to be carried over it.  Walking on the beach means I’m down near the water line and she’s as far away as she possibly can get.

She’s very bonded to me and hates when I go somewhere without her.  And yet I can’t let her off-leash because she’ll walk away and not respond when I try to call her back!  What happens to Velcro-Dog as soon as the leash is removed???!!

Sometimes she barks a lot when I leave her in the camper or car.  Telling her “Be Quiet” has absolutely no effect, but yet if I tell her to “Go lay down”, she shuts up!  (But doesn’t necessarily lay down) Hmmm, somewhere alone the line she got her commands all mixed up.

Travel would be so much less fun without my dear little Roxa-Roni!



Starry Starry Night

I woke up at 5 a.m. (temporarily, thank goodness!) and decided to go out and look at the stars while the sky is still pretty dark.  I am NOT afraid of the dark, but I am usually all buttoned up in the camper by the time it gets here.  So OK, I do admit to a little pang of angst when opening the door……hoping the Bogeyman wasn’t waiting to pounce.  Thankfully he must have been off scaring someone else, so I went outside.  Oh MY!!  So many millions of stars, and so bright!!  I sat in the lawn chair for awhile just soaking it up.  Some Northern Lights would have been icing on the cake, but they didn’t make an appearance.   Still….just the stars are so amazing!  I’m going to have to do this more often.  I just checked and there’s a “Watch” for northern lights for the next 2 days, so maybe I’ll get lucky again.

Since my time here is coming to an end (sob!) I started making a list of things on the camper that need to be fixed or modified.  Already there are 20 things on the list!   Plus the whole rig, car and camper, really need to be completely emptied and repacked for the winter in AZ.  Ugh! It sounds an awful lot like Work.

I love the plastic bins I’m using in to organize the car.  They are completely weatherproof and the perfect size to sit side by side in the back.                          Wow, they just went up in price, they were $72 for 4 when I bought them in May!  Anyway, they are GREAT boxes. My only complaint is that they do not hold up to being run over by a car. (I don’t wanna talk about it)

I’m really glad I had this summer to really figure out what I do & don’t need for the future.  When I go to AZ I’ll be out for possible 10 months (!) because I’ll probably go right from there back up here to Mich. for next summer, so need to have all the right things and none of the wrong things.  I actually did pretty well this trip but there are some things that need to be changed; for one thing I would like to find space for a 5-day cooler to increase the amount of refrigerator food I can take.  I’d like to be able to go for 14 days without going to town, and my tiny 1.9 cu. ft fridge (with no freezer) just isn’t nearly big enough.  I also will need a way to carry more water; right now I only take 4 gallons. And I have a whole box of “JustinCase” stuff that I never used, so maybe I could whittle down some of that stuff.


Monarch Butterflies?

My car battery was dead this morning, for the second time.  The other time, I waited about 15 minutes and it managed to start the car and re-charged while we were driving.  I’m very glad I’m camping in a place where there’s a bit of traffic going by!  I flagged down a sweet Yuppie couple who gave me a jump-start on their way to the lighthouse.

The guy said that there are thousands of Monarch butterflies that gather at the lighthouse to rest up for the long flight over Lake Michigan and Green Bay on their way south!  I did a little research and he’s right, but most of the action happens in late August and early September.  I’m afraid I missed it.

I went to town and got a new battery.  Turns out mine was 5 years old so probably time for a new one, but the bottom line is that I must have a reliable car if I’m going to camp far from other people & “civilization”.  Boy the price of batteries has sure gone up since I last looked.  $104!!  Also stocked up on groceries, so now I”m good to just stay here and enjoy the peace and quiet for at least a week, though I do have to meet with the banker in Escanaba on Monday or Tuesday.

Here’s a better picture of our lake view:


Still lovin’ this campsite!  And the weather continues to look really good for the next 10 days or so, though I’ll probably leave on Sept. 26; I want go to Hubbard Lake ( N.E. lower peninsula) to check out some wooded parcels on the tax sale list.   The auction is on Oct. 1. I’m in need of a Project!


Back In Civilization!

Ahhh, back in civilization again!  And by that I mean that I have a good ATT wifi signal,  It’s been tough this past week without it, but at least I did have a phone signal so I could get email and texts from friends.  I could get a wifi signal by driving about 10 miles to town, and I did that one day, only to discover my laptop battery was nearly dead, so that was a wasted trip. I guess most of my friends would NOT agree that this was anywhere near “civilization”, in fact it would probably completely freak them out to camp here.

We were camped at Robbins Pond Campground for the past week, near Watersmeet. (Watersmeet, Home of the Nimrods.  What’s a Nimrod?) Nice little free campground, 3 sites with picnic tables, fire rings and outhouses, and a short walk to the pond and a designated picnic area that didn’t have any picnic tables! I thought that was strange; I guess it’s a “blanket on the ground” kind of picnic area.  It was about 5 miles back on a dirt road and very quiet. The first few days there was nothing on the pond, then one day a pair of swans arrived!  Maybe headed south for the winter?  The woods around our camp were beautiful!



Another camper guy came along a few days ago and walked over, said he had been camping there for years and never seen another camper.  A while later he came back and said he was going to head over to the other free campground, Burned Dam, because he liked to drink and play loud music at night.  All righty then, thank you for that!

Then I got notice that my Ecuador check was returned uncashed yet again!  I found out that the reason was that the payee (my health insurance company) declined to pay the $100 cashing fee and 5% tax.  I had agreed in advance to pay any bank fees but not the tax, so……I guess I’ll make one more try!  We moved to this site near Escanaba today so I can take it back to the nice banker at Wells Fargo to start all over again. The check was returned to NC but Sharon is mailing it directly to the Wells Fargo in Escanaba and I’ll meet with him Monday or Tuesday to sign all the papers again. This time we will designate that I will pay any fees or taxes or ANYTHING that comes up!!  The 5% tax is for taking money out of Ecuador; I had thought it started at $5,000 but apparently it’s much lower. The check is for just under $2500.  This check’s gonna be the death of me!!!

We are now camped in another free site, not far from a paved road outside of Rapid River.  It has no name, but there are two huge sites on the left side of the dirt road going to the lighthouse past Little Bay de Noc Campground.  (18 miles from US 2) I love it here….great ATT and Verizon signals, huge mowed grass site with room for 3 or 4 small campers!  No picnic table, just a fire ring but that’s OK.  It is across the road from Lake Michigan, no lake access but nice view. There are outhouses at the lighthouse right up the road. These sites are not in any of the publications, but the ranger told me about them.  She said they were too small for anything but tents but I definitely disagree!  I was not bothered by mosquitoes while I was setting up, but it’s been storming and now I see a bunch of something-or-others flying around outside the door. I hope they are gnats and not mosquitoes!

View from the door.  The lake is in that direction, hard to see it in the photo but a lot of what looks like sky, is really water.


View in back of the camper.  From this you can tell just how big this site is! It’s at least as deep as a football field, though not quite as wide.


Roxie says “Are we almost there yet, Mom?”


Just up the road are several trees with huge holes in the trunks….we scared up a Pileated Woodpecker, would they do this much damage?  These holes are 3″ high and quite deep into the trees!


Along the way today we ran into miles and miles of bugs.  Constantly smashing against the windshield; I had to stop 3 times at gas stations just to clean the windshield!


Pretty gross, huh?  Turns out they were common house flies!!  Must have been thousands of them.  At one roadside park they completely covered the walls of the outhouse.  I decided I didn’t have to go THAT badly.

The color is changing up here already!  It was just starting to change when we were in Lake Linden and this past week it has really advanced.  I hope I’m still here to see the full fall color display, though it won’t be as spectacular now that I’m out of the hill country.


Alone Again

I felt a sense of loss when I woke up to find Jeanne gone.  We’d said good-bye last night, so it was not unexpected.  So today I leave this great spot right on Lake Superior and head to a free national forest campsite near Bruce Crossing.  I have not been there so don’t know wat to expect, aside from the fact that I’ll be doing without my microwave and toaster again!  And maybe heat.  I’ve ordered a tiny 200 watt electric heater and a larger power inverter from Amazon, to be sent to General Delivery (the post office) in Ontonagon.  I followed the directions another full-timer gave for having it sent that way, but I think it did not work. It looks like it’s being delivered via UPS, who will NOT deliver to post offices.  A guy from UPS in Ironwood called this morning and said they would not deliver to the P.O. so I said I’d pick it up at UPS in Ironwood on Monday. But I also just got an email that said it was delivered and is awaiting my pickup at Ontonagon!!    Could I be that lucky??  I’ll be going to check the P.O.  next!

In Munising I met a lady in an ALiner Classic who’d been living in it for 6 years!! She said she had one of those little $20 Lasko MyHeat 200 watt heaters that she used when she did not have electric hook-ups; she just aims it at her face. It makes perfect sense to me; my alpaca blankets keep most of me warm, it’s just my face that gets cold!  And if it only draws 2 amps per hour (even if it ran continuously), my battery should be able to handle it easily as long as I get sun during the day for the solar panel.  If it works well maybe I won’t have to buy the $250 propane heater I was planning on for going out west this winter!


There was a nice older couple at the campground when I arrived yesterday, (they left soon after) and they came over to chat..curious about me camping alone in such an out of the way spot. They asked me what I used for protection,  and I thought it was intrusive.  I wanted to say “Poise Pads” but I just said that I was well-protected, hoping they thought I had a gun.

The campground is nice, just 3 sites. I got a nice sunny one so the solar will work well.  It went down to 44 last night and 54 inside. A tad chilly; I could sure use that little heater!  This morning it was rainy and I was glad I’d gotten the 100 watt solar panel, as it does work in the light, even if it’s not sunny.  It topped up the battery nicely by mid-morning, where a smaller panel may not have done so well.  It turned sunny by noon, but today’s high is only 55.  I’m hoping the camper is warming up in the sun!  Tonight’s low 37….gulp….that’s the coldest I’ve camped without electricity.  I sure could use that little heater!!

I’ think I’m going to try to make a SMALL batch of chili.  It’s really hard to not make a big pot of it, but I don’t have fridge space for much in the way of leftovers.  It sure is good chili weather though.

The campground gets pretty decent phone signal (Verizon) but no ATT signal for the mobile wifi hotspot.  😦  However, I just have to drive 4 or 5 miles to get it.


Final Fling

Today’s our Final Fling…tomorrow morning Jeanne leaves and I go back to my solitary lifestyle.  So today we splurged big time and ate all 3 meals in restaurants, including our ice cream snack!   We had a really good breakfast at Lynn’s Cafe in Ontonagon…the cinnamon swirl french toast is terrific!  Then we went exploring.

Bond Falls is about 15 miles south of Ontonagon but well worth the drive.  It is the most photographed waterfall in the U.P, and for very good reason!  We were astounded by the size and volume of it!  It’s massive, and there are steps alongside it to get views from above as well as below.  And the farther up you go, the more falls there are!  It just keeps going and going.  My pictures sure don’t do it justice.







We went to Old Victoria, a Keweenaw Heritage Site near Rockland; a group of old log houses that housed miners of the Victoria Mining Company.




Then we went on to Bergland and checked out the Bergland Township Campground, which is right on Lake Gogebic and only costs $72 per week for sites with lake views and electricity!   And it’s only one block from town. I might come back there if it gets too cold to boondock, since I don’t have a heat source. Sites are only $250 a month, which might be nice next summer…..the jumbo yellow perch fishing is really good in Lk. Gogebic!

Some of the other waterfalls we thought we could see were actually along some of the hiking trails, and since I don’t hike, we missed them.  We went to a nice little park with Lk. Superior access where there was supposed to be an agate beach but the waves are high and there wasn’t much beach; in one place a wave came up and got one of Roxie’s back feet wet, and you’d have thought she’d been burned!!  She looked completely shocked and scrambled up the sand bank to get away from that awful thing…….she seriously does not like water!!

Then we came back to camp for awhile til it was time to go to dinner.  We had a coupon for Syl’s Cafe in town so we got $10 off.  This is the place where a friend of ours, Perin, said she had the best coconut cream pie in her whole life.  We had talked about our favorite pies and coconut cream was way up there, also banana cream and lemon meringue.  We walked in and looked at the pie board and it listed all three……we felt like we’d won the lottery!!  But wait…..what a terrible decision…..what to have???  We ended up getting pieces of coconut cream and lemon meringue and splitting them.  Both exceptional! And OK, I confess, I also got a piece of coconut cream to eat tomorrow.  I must remember  for future reference that Wednesday is Coconut Cream and Lemon Meringue Pie Day at Syl’s.

We had another amazing sunset tonight!  Even better than last night, I think.


So tomorrow morning Jeanne leaves, and I am going to go to a free National Forest campground about 20 miles south of Ontonagon for a week or so,  as long as the weather holds out.  It looks like the next 7-10 days is going to have highs mostly in the 70’s and nights in the low 50’s, so that should be fine.


On to Ontonagon

And then there were two!  Today Jeanne and I moved south to Ontonagon.  We are at Ontonagon Township Park. There are a surprising number of campers here, considering it’s mid-week and after Labor Day!  We got sites 4 & 5 and are happy to be back right on Lake Superior again.  Lakefront sites are just $23 a night, what a bargain!  We’re up above the water about 5′ but there are some steps to get down to the little beach.  The wind has come up a bit so there are big waves and it sounds just like surf at the ocean!  I’m sure we’re gonna sleep good tonight with that as a lullaby.  And there are rocks on the beach, we love rock-hunting!!  It’s not an agate beach but still, there are lots of pretty little stones to discover.  Temps are dropping, it’s supposed to get down to 55 degrees tonight and a sunny 71 degrees tomorrow.  My kinda weather!!!

This is my view out the camper door:


And from the picnic table:


We went to Lake of the Clouds today, how gorgeous!  It cost $9 to get into the Porcupine Mts. State Park. There’s a wheelchair-accessible boardwalk out to the viewing area which is just 300′ or so from the parking lot, but the first part is uphill a good bit.  There are lots of benches along the way if you get weary.   The view is from the top of the escarpment.



And oh, the sunset!  It was magnificent, and even now, 30 min. later, the whole skyline is still all peachy pink.



We are hoping to see another northern lights display, now that we are right on Lake Superior again and have a clear view to the north…..keeping our fingers and toes crossed, but also oh so grateful to have seen them in such glory last night.


Northern Lights!!

WOWEE WOW! I went on Facebook last night and saw a PM from my friend Diana who lives a few miles from our campground; she said the northern lights were out! So I went and got Jeanne and Deb out of their campers and we saw them a little bit, but there was too much light at our campground., plus we have a big hill just to the north of us. So we jumped in the car in our various stages of dress/undress and drove over towards Dan & Diana’s. We stopped at two places on the road and got out and watched until they faded, then headed back “home” when Deb saw them out the window again, so stopped again and watched awhile. Then as we got back to the campground, they’d flared up again so we drove up on the hill behind out sites, to the nature trail. That was a GREAT place to view them! I wish I had the proper camera equipment to photograph them, but my little point-and-shoot camera just doesn’t do the trick.

They went across in about a 180 degree sheet, pale green and pink stabbing up, moving sideways….so strange how they morph and change. Truly an incredible sight and I’m so glad we got to see them ! THANKS for the heads-up, Diana!


Happy Labor Day!

Happy Labor Day! I’m very glad to NOT be a laborer any more! We are surprised that the campground here is nearly empty. We love it here at Lake Linden Campground, but I guess I don’t mind it being a well-kept secret. Yesterday, Roxie saw some people walking a big Boxer and took off, snapping the line of her Flexi-Lead!! Good thing the dog was friendly, but that meant making a Wal-Mart run this morning to buy a new $13 Flexi-Leash.

But first we went back to the Suomi Cafe & Bakery for breakfast. Jeanne and I shared an order of their blueberry pancakes, and Finnish french toast made with Nisu (cardamom) bread. Both were really good! The pancake shown below is lopping over the edges of a platter, not just a dinner plate!!!


Finnish Nisu Fr Toast

On the way back to camp we stopped to photograph this place just past Dollar Bay that’s filled with cool old cars & trucks and old gas pumps. I would have taken more photos but my camera’s battery died.






Monk-y Business

Yesterday we went back up the Keweenaw Peninsula to Eagle River, so I could get some jam at the Poor Rock Abbey’s Jampot. The monks there make all kinds of jams & preserves, and baked goods. They are a part of the Holy Transfiguration Skete, Society of St. John. The store was packed with people and we slowly made our way past the shelves of jams & preserves up to the table where the candies and baked goods were displayed. Oh my! A whole fruitcake cost $50!! I sure hope it’s better than most fruitcakes, at that price. They had german chocolate cake, brownies, cookies, the biggest cinnamon buns I’ve ever seen, cupcakes and banana bread. I got some red cherry jam, a piece of peanut-butter & jelly brownie and 6 oatmeal-peanut butter-raisin-chocolate chip cookies. Jeanne got some german chocolate cake, honey, and a pumpkin muffin. Since we couldn’t find anywhere to eat lunch around there, we ended up having some of our baked goodies instead. REALLY GOOD STUFF! My brownie was super moist and chewy and those cookies were amazing. I’m thinking I’m going to have to go back again before I leave this area.

There’s a pretty waterfall just around the corner from the Jampot, so we stopped for a few minutes. There sure are lots of waterfalls around here!
Jampot Waterfall

We went to the park at Eagle River to eat and to look for pretty rocks but it was slim pickin’s on the rocks, everything there was red and not too exciting. We’ve actually had some of our best luck finding good rocks right in the driveways here at the campground. We also went to Allouez to Prospector’s Paradise, billed as a Rock Wal-Mart. There are rocks everywhere…in bins and dishpans and buckets, and just laying around on the ground. Then there’s also a big building full of rocks and even some dinosaur bones. I got a handful more pretty stones; small ones, of course, since I don’t have much space. Jeanne got some nice larger rocks for her rock garden at home, including a really nice big puddingstone. The guy was willing to dicker & deal with us, even!

The other day I took Roxie to the Do-it-yourself dog wash in Houghton. She was way past needing a bath, to the point of desperately needing a bath! She hadn’t been washed since May. It said it cost $8 and there was a machine that said it took $1, $5 or $10 bills. I put my $10 bill in, expecting to get $2 change but instead it gave me a few extra minutes, which I didn’t need! It was pretty slick though, kind of like a car wash, you could dial for rinse, shampoo, conditioner, and deodorant. They also had a high-powered hair dryer that Roxie really hated. I had her all bathed and damp-dried and still had more than 6 minutes on the meter. Oh well, it’s done and I guess it was worth $10 anyway. She smells so nice now!

Very hot today….in the mid=80’s. So glad I’m hooked up to electricity! We are expecting thunderstorms later today and then the forecast for the next week is highs of low to mid-70’s and lows in the high 40’s. Yay!! Tomorrow we’re going to have a Labor Day dinner of brats on the grill, baked beans & corn on the cob.

I finally got to the Keweenaw Co-Op in Hancock today, got some good organic eggs, organic peppers and sweet potatoes and some grass-fed beef. Places to get organic food here in the U.P. seem to be few and far between.


Suomi Cafe Houghton

This morning we all went to breakfast at the Suomi Cafe & Bakery in downtown Houghton. I’ve been wanting to go here for years, and finally made it on my 3rd visit to the U.P. The place was packed at 10:30 a.m. on a Friday morning, with a bunch of people coming in behind us too. It was worth the wait. We all had their specialty, Pannukakken. It’s a Finnish pancake, but more like a baked custard than pancake. It comes with warm raspberry sauce and coffee, for $4.60. YUMMM!!! They also had dinner-plate sized cookies in the display case, and we decided we HAVE to go back for the gigantic regular pancakes.


Every time we go into Houghton we have to go over the bridge. Luckily I haven’t been caught waiting for the bridge to open or close…yet. The bridge operators work way up in that big room on top. We noticed today that they have to climb 7 stories high on the outside metal stairs to get to work!! Not the right job for me, but I’ll bet the workers keep in shape!



Bear Belly’s and Copper Harbor

Today Jeanne, Deb, Perin and I went to Copper Harbor. On the way there we stopped to take a photo at The Gay Bar. It’s not a “gay bar”, it’s the bar in Gay, Michigan!


Then went to the Bear Belly Bar & Grill in Lac LaBelle for lunch In spite of a very ordinary look on the outside, the inside was gorgeous! Lots of stuffed critters on the pretty pine walls (bears, a big fat beaver, big fish, and deer). The bar overlooked the lake (or should I say lac?) and you could get your food and sit outside if you wanted. We stayed in. We tried their award-winning chili, burgers with fries, another had a marinated steak sandwich. All very very good!



After lunch we went on to Copper Harbor and went to Ft. Wilkins; cruised through the campground and thought the sites were awfully close together. We went to the old fort too, that was pretty interesting! The old buildings have been refurbished by the CCC back in the 40’s, and in summer they have people all dressed up in the old garb, ready to answer any questions.


The enlisted men’s quarters were actually outside the fort gates!! Hmmm.

The log construction was pretty interesting, had not seen this type of log notching before.

The fort has a great view over Lake Fanny Hooe.

We made a quick stop at a rock shop and then of course after all that walking around, we had to have some ice cream. I tried the lingonberry sundae…HAD to sample the lingonberries, after all! Then we got back in the car and went on the Brockway Mountain Drive. It goes almost 800′ above Copper Harbor with really incredible long-range views! This would be gorgeous during color season, I’m thinking about coming back for that.



Then back home to the dogs who were very glad to see us after being gone for 7 hours! Mudslides around the campfire completed our day. Wow, so good!
Chi Chi's Mudslide 1.75L


Kayaking Au Train

I forgot to tell about our river trip! A bunch of us went down the Au Train River from the 2nd bridge to Lk. Superior. Nice leisurely paddle most of the way, except for the last hour when we had to paddle pretty constantly against the wind. It’s a very pretty river! Two of our group were together in an inflatable kayak which provided lots of laughs, you’d think that one would be the least likely to get stuck in the shallow spots, but it wasn’t! The sand around there is very loose and deep, so when one of them stepped out of the kayak to get it off the sandbar, they’d sink up to their knees and flounder around in the water, and of course the rest of us found that hilarious!

Some got out before the river opened up into Lake Superior, but 4 of us went the whole way to where we’d parked the cars. Then WE found out about that loose shifting sand! We all got out of our kayaks and promptly fell on our butts….I’m sure we looked like a bunch of drunks! I made it out and dragged my kayak up onto the beach, which was also really deep loose sand. I thought I’d go back and just get my feet wet to rinse them off but it sucked me in deeper and deeper… saying “oh no, oh no, oh no” with each involuntary step, until finally I fell right on my face in the water! Yep, that old lady’s drunk for sure. Well now I can say I swam in Lake Superior. Thank goodness it’s not horribly cold at this time of year, probably a balmy 60-65 degrees or so.

It was a real strain to get the kayaks up to the parking lot in that deep sand, and Jeanne hurt her back doing it. She’s feeling better today but had a rough couple of days, with everyone offering all the drugs they had. Hydrocodone and 800 mg. Motrin did the trick!

Anyway, pretty nice 4 hr. paddle on a very pretty slow-moving river.


Keweenaw Peninsula

Here’s our happy group at Munising (sans two). Good people, good times!
wac group

And here’s one of me kayaking on the Au Train River:
j kayaking

The group is now down to 5 people and we’ve moved from Munising to Lake Linden Township Park, kind of in the middle of the Keweenaw Peninsula. $23 a night for water & electric sites, or 7th night free…$138 a week. The campsites are about 100′ from the lake and dogs are OK in the lake as long as they’re not at the designated beach area. We have a really great black lab in the group, Carly, who LOVES to swim and she’s been in heaven these past couple of weeks with us always having lakefront campsites.


Also, on the way here we stopped at a highway roadside park and a man told us about Ojibwa Recreation Area campground near Baraga (pronounced BEAR-uh-guh),with water & elec. sites right on Lake Superior for only $20 a night or $100 a week! The the off-water Red Pines camping area is even cheaper, $15 a night or $65 a week. There’s also an old lighthouse to explore, and a marina. I may come back to that place later, if it gets cold and I need electricity for heat.

I LOVE all the Roadside Parks in MIchigan! There’s one every 10-20 miles, and they are always very well maintained and often right on lakes or rivers. The one we stopped at yesterday had a nice river running through it with a waterfall. At the beginning of the summer I was so impressed with how clean the outhouses were, and they didn’t smell! Well I found out yesterday, that’s just because in early July the chemicals in the toilets were brand new. They don’t smell so sweet now at the end of the summer. Noooo, not at all.

Jeanne & I went to lunch at the Lindell Chocolate Shop in town, just two blocks from our campground. We both had hot fudge sundaes with chocolate ice cream for lunch. Only $4…and very Yum! The exterior of the place looks quite run-down but on the inside it’s gorgeous! All the original 1922 golden oak walls and stained glass, even a cool carved mezzanine, with really old jukeboxes (?) at all the outside booths. At least that’s what we think they are. FYI, if you click on a photo, it will open up bigger so you can see it better.


Lots of antiques all over the place, and stained glass lamps….very cool. They also serve breakfast and lunch and are supposed to have one of the better Friday Fish Fries in the area. (I’ll let you know about that!)

After our “lunch” we drove into Houghton and went to the Seaman Mineral Museum, only $5 admission ($4 for seniors). It was filled with beautifully-displayed rocks & minerals from this region and all over the world and I wanted some of each! Sigh. I did buy some very pretty stones to spice up my teeny tiny collection. They were each $1.25-$1.50.




Last night 3 of us went to Quincy’s in Dollar Bay for dinner. Meh…..we had a hamburger, lasagna and a french dip sandwich. all OK but certainly nothing special. We will not be going back.