Categories
Michigan Upper Peninsula

Fall Is Here!

dscn6522Fall is here! I think we’re at peak color now, and the woods around here are just gorgeous.

Today was Unpleasant Task Day, evidently. That’s kinda how it turned out, anyway. Yesterday poor Roxie had dire-rear and got it on her pantaloons. It’s really hard to clean up a mess like that without much water. Apparently I didn’t do a good job at all because this morning when she tried to go again, it got kinda stuck in the poopy-matted hair from yesterday. (No wonder the camper smelled so bad last night) Aaarrrgh!  So I had no choice, I had to figure out how to bathe her nether regions. I dipped a bucketful of water from the lake and heated some on the stove, then dunked her back half in the bucket to get her wet. Then I stood her on a towel on the picnic table and managed to loosen all the nasty gook and wash her up a bit with my no-rinse shampoo, then another dunk to rinse everything off. It worked out better than I thought, as she didn’t fight being dunked. I thought about bathing her in the lake but that would have involved ME having to wade in, and it’s cold!

I absolutely HAD to do laundry today; I’d put it off as long as I could. So I went to town and did that and picked up a few groceries, got some cheap gas as the indian gas station (I think they don’t have to pay tax, so they don’t charge tax?) It’s always at least $.15 a gallon cheaper than anywhere else!   And the third unpleasant task was to dump the porta-potty in the vault toilet.  Phew. I feel so virtuous, for getting all that done in one day!

Here are more leaf-peeper photos. I love being up here for the color change! These were all taken from my campsite.

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Categories
Michigan Uncategorized Upper Peninsula

Bond Falls Again

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Love this view of the campsite entrance!

The weather was pretty decent and I really like being ON the lake, but my campsite at Gratiot River Park was really not very good for solar power. I had to keep moving the panel to try and get ANY sun at all, and it barely kept my battery above half-charge. So I’ve moved back to Bond Falls Flowage and hopefully I’m in a site without so many flies and mice!  Today was one of those perfectly glorious fall days….sunny and cool, with a little breeze, and no bugs! I spent most of the day outside! This time I have a site close to the entrance, and I’m getting a pretty good wifi signal as well as phone, so I really AM a Happy Camper. This is a pretty site (#22) on a little point, so I have the lake on three sides, including a view of the dam. The fall colors are coming along nicely too but not peak yet.

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It looks like I did really good this summer…..since June 10, I spent $17.50 on campsites!  Our site at Lyman Lake would have cost $35 for 15 nights but our visitor Bobbi gave me enough to cover that. (Thanks Bobbi!)  So let’s see…..that shakes down to less than 15 cents a night. Not too shabby! I’ve also found free campsites for the 3 nights on the road going back to NC later this month.  

Categories
Michigan Upper Peninsula

Back to Lake Superior

On Sunday we all split up….Deb left headed for home in Gulf Shores, Donna left for downstate Michigan via Marquette, and I went to the Keweenaw Peninsula (far northwestern corner of the Upper Peninsula). I had heard of a free dispersed campground near Ahmeek. Well I found it, but talk about a bad road! It was about 5 miles after turning off the main road, and I thought my GPS was wrong when it said it was going to take 32 minutes to go the last 3 miles. Nope….it was right!  It’s a teeny one lane 5 mph sand road and since it’d been raining, it had HUGE puddles that were more like shallow ponds, and a lot of squirmy places where I just had to keep pushing through or get stuck. N0w that I’m here at Gratiot River Park, it’s pretty nice; no amenities but the sites are right on Lake Superior!  Maybe it’ll bring up some new agates…. I need more rocks. Riiiiight.  I don’t know how long I’ll stay here; it’s fine if I just want to sit and not go anywhere but the ATT signal is not strong enought to run the wifi hotspot, and very intermittent Verizon signals for the phone.

Donna Morey joined up with us for a few days last week.  She has a gigantic 18 ft. Chalet A-frame camper (it even has a bathroom with shower!)  I met her in Cottonwood, AZ at an a-frame rally she hosted last February. She’s in Michigan visiting her daughters and grandkids and she came to be with us on the way!   dscn6420

There was an old apple tree near our campsite that was loaded down with little bitty apples and they were GOOD!  Here’s a photo of some sitting next to a small store-bought apple. Those little cuties are only about 1.5” in diameter!   dscn6419

We were getting overrun with mice at Bond Falls!  Deb’s had mice in her camper since April, and I found evidence of mice in my car!!  Yikes. I think it’s that time of year where they are looking for indoor accomodations. My car is so stuffed with things, what a horror trying to find mouse nests! I took everything out of the back seat and removed all the food items, and didn’t find any nests so maybe I discovered them early on. I got some traps and caught two and now none for the past 2 nights so maybe that’s all there was??  One can only hope. I’ll continue to set the trap at night for awhile though. Deb has a much worse problem; pretty sure they’ve set up housekeeping in her camper. We think there were a lot of mice at Bond Falls who were looking for a new home. She’s got some big gaps in her camper that need a nice contortionist to fill them. (i.e. someone not as old as us)

Here are some pics from our excursion to Bond Falls, which was just a couple miles up the road from our campsite.  It’s one of the best falls in the whole state, and it’s different because there are stairs going up alongside the falls….you get the perspective from below, from next to them, and from above them!  I did not do the stairs this time….trying to save my knee.

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Wood Ducks (?) at the falls pond:   dscn6458

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Donna and I at the falls

My first full day here we had 35 mph sustained winds, with gusts up to 50! And rain that was driven straight sideways. The camper was rocking and really rather scary….I thought my weight might be the only thing keeping it from tumbling up the road! The lake was magnificently angry, with really high waves & crashing surf. It brought a giant set of tree roots in and then the next day, they were gone….pushed 100’ down the shore. The next day the winds were “only” 18 mph but it rained most of the day. Today is sunny! The lake has calmed quite a bit but still has good sized waves. I went walking along the shoreline looking for agates when a giant rogue wave came at me! I backed up as fast as I could but my crocs didn’t like that and I ended up flat on my back, with the next wave completely washing over me! Oh how fun. Lake Superior hates me! And now I have a soaking wet sweatshirt, sweat pants and socks to try and get dry. I don’t recommend trying to swim in this lake in late September.

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I guess this afternoon we’ll try to get back out of here. The road was bad coming in and now after two solid days of rain, it should be really interesting. I pray we don’t get lost in any of the huge mudpuddles……er more like mudponds!

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Categories
Uncategorized

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??

Categories
Upper Peninsula

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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