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.


Cedarville, MI

Bama Deb and I have met up again, just east of Cedarville, in the Upper Peninsula. After AZ, Deb went on to Wyoming and then leisurely made her way up here. We are parked in nothing more than a long pullout at the side of M-134, which I found in the Days End Directory (from Escapees RV Club). It doesn’t LOOK like a campsite so we did not unhook the campers from the cars, in case we get kicked out in the middle of the night!  Tomorrow I may go visit the police department to find out for sure if we’re legal here. We are only about 75′ from Lake Huron here, with a little sand beach! The water’s COLD, by the way. It’s nice and sunny but breezy, so no mosquitoes (so far). And temps in the 70’s today and high 60’s for the next several days….perfect!  Check out the lovely view from the camper door!  DSCN6318


Property Hunting

Princess Roxie made me get up at 6:30 this morning and take her out! Of course when we came back in, SHE was able to go right back to sleep, but not I. So I’m up early today. I guess we will drive down to Waters, MI today and look at some properties that are up for auction due to unpaid taxes. There are 4 parcels there that seem interesting and their starting bids are all around $500. I would love to find a cheap bit of wooded land where I could camp for the whole summer, maybe even with electricity! Boy, wouldn’t that be luxurious!!  I found one piece that’s nice, near Wolverine, and have more to look at in the Upper Peninsula. I was going to combine the property search in Waters with meeting some old school chums for lunch but the lunch thing fell through.  I’m sure you are wondering how I can purchase any property, being so poor….well so am I!  But if I could get something for under $1000, I would have to put it on my credit card and try to pay it off as soon as I could. I really long for a place of my own, where I could spend summers without having to wonder where I’ll end up. And maybe my friends would come and camp with me too!

Also I cancelled my appointment to get the camper fridge cleaned. I guess it got jealous because as soon as I bought a foam cooler and some ice, it cured itself! I know it won’t last, and it still needs cleaning (or something) but if I could put it off another month, it would really help. I am meeting up with Deb on Sunday and she’s got an ice chest I can use if necessary, since the foam cooler already is cracked. I had water all over the camper floor!

Saw this sign on Facebook……it should be posted right here at my campsite!  Actually the bugs were terrible when I first got here…..fresh warm blood! But now they’re only bad in the early morning and late evening.   Mosquitos Sign

I found one out of the 4 properties to be very nice… met all my criteria…..level and wooded, not too far from a grocery store, with power available and good wifi and cellphone signals. And it’s on a year-round road. It even already has a driveway and clearing cut, and an outhouse and small utility shed!  So I’ll keep it on the list. On the way back to Mackinaw City I looked at the property in Wolverine again and ended up crossing it off the list. It was small and the land was all humpy; it would need a bulldozer to level it all out.

Oh dear, little Veggie’s last remaining offspring has been prematurely ejected. Poor Junior! I guess traveling pepper plants are not feasible. He’s about 2″ in diameter and will go nicely into tomorrow morning’s omelet.  (Oh yeah, you cry and moan about it, but you know you’d do the same thing! Maybe I’ll give him a little funeral before I EAT HIM)


Thursday at French Farm Lake

Yesterday I finally got my Social Security money for the month; I squeaked by with 27 cents left in my checking account, $7.85 in savings and around $7 in cash! Phew. What a bad bad month!  I guess this is a good time to THANK YOU everyone who’s using my Amazon and PayPalMe links! It sure helps.  $136 so far this month from Amazon, and I still have a week to go!

I was running very short on groceries & had been putting off purchases of Other Important Stuff, so I made a Wal-Mart run to Cheboygan, 18 miles away. On the way there I passed Salvation Army and Goodwill stores, and was able to get a nice fitted twin sheet for only $1.35 and a pair of shorts for $2.70 (after my senior discounts)! I’ve been using a flat flannel sheet on the bottom and it won’t stay tucked in, plus it’s kinda warm for sleeping on flannel.

My cellphone has been acting up again & refuses to do anything but call or text. It figures I’d get a smartphone that goes DUMB. Last time I was able to fix it by reverting to the factory settings (which means writing down & then reentering all my contact info) but this time that didn’t work. So I ordered a Tracfone reconditioned Samsung Galaxy Stardust phone; it got great reviews and has a lot more memory than most of the others. And it was only $39.99.I never really liked my SpongeBob Squarepants phone anyway.

This morning I took the BYOP kit back to Wal-Mart. On the way out, I spotted this mama turtle getting ready to lay her eggs in the sand at the boat launch! Thankfully I think she was off the main part enough so I don’t think they’ll get run over. When I got back two hours later, she was gone and the nest was all covered up again.  So funny, I’ve never seen that in my whole life and now I’ve seen it twice in one month; an Eastern Box Turtle was laying her eggs at my friends’ garden in Asheville when I was there.  I’d sure like to be able to see the little babies emerging.


Then I noticed the trail she left in the sand….she sure took the long way around!  DSCN6298

Here’s a view of our campsite. Pretty, isn’t it!

French Farm Lake Site #5

And Princess Roxie, dragging around her leaf collection…….


Michigan Uncategorized

French Farm Lake, Mackinaw City, MI


Okay! Starting over on my second attempt at this, I was 99% done and then I did something that made everything except a few letters disappear, and of course that’s when WordPress also chose to Save the drafted document!  Timing is everything.

Princess Roxie and I walked down to the boat ramp access this afternoon. My knee is not hurting any more, unless I accidentally twist it!!!  I’m sure it would not be up for a hike, but I can finally walk without pain for a reasonable distance.  It’s a perfect day, only 70 degrees with a slight breeze. I see I caught some cloud reflections in the above photo! This is a very shallow lake, just a maximum depth of 10′, with a lot of water lilies. Supposed to be good for fishing though; I’m guessing the bass would love all those lilies to hide in.

Pretty “blue flag” wild iris on the shore:  DSCN6286

It was a busy day at the boat launch! First this pretty little guy, sunbathing on the beach: froggy

Then this SNAKE, swimming toward the beach!! He was small and slender, only about 18″ long. I think it’s either a Western Fox Snake or an Eastern Milk Snake; I’m leaning toward the Milk Snake.If I was in NC I’d think it was a Copperhead, but he didn’t have that ugly wedge-shaped viper head.  He didn’t appear to be hunting Mr. Froggie, so I let him go on his way without trying to make him detour. Can you find him in the second photo?  DSCN6292


One of my chores in NC was to clean the propane jets on my refrigerator, which wasn’t cooling well at all. It works fine on electric, so I think that’s all that’s wrong with it. I looked at You Tube videos and pulled up the manual on line, but was only able to remove one part, which didn’t look dirty. The more important part, I couldn’t get loose at all. So I put the other part back on and it actually seemed to be fixed! It was cooling down to the high 30’s for a week or so. But it’s again failing….temps are only staying around 50 degrees. I called the nearest RV place which is almost 40 miles south, and the earliest appointment I could get was for next Monday, a whole week away! I guess I need to go buy a foam cooler and some ice today. Turns out those things are supposed to be cleaned more than once every 12 years; who knew?!  Actually I’m pretty sure it was not used on propane much at all until last summer when I started full-time boondocking & dry camping. I’ve only had this camper for 5 or 6 years, can’t quite remember when I got it.  It’s a 2004.


Homeless or Full-Timer?

Back in April I stayed for about a week at a free campground in Clints Well, AZ. The Camp Host (who was pretty over-zealous) told a story about an old guy who arrived in a beat-up old motor home. He was told that if he was homeless, he could only stay one night. I asked the Host what the difference is between a homeless person and a full-timer??  He didn’t give me an answer but went on to tell me that I was obviously a full-timer. “We don’t want people just living in the national forest full-time”, he said. That really bothered me. Does the difference between homeless and a full-timer have something to do with the age and condition of your camper??? And it’s a National Forest, right….doesn’t that mean it belongs to everyone equally, no matter what their financial status?  *I* was living full-time in the national forests…so what?! As long as I followed the rules and only stayed at a campsite for 14 days at a time, that’s all that should matter. Why shouldn’t the same rules apply to everyone?  That whole conversation still bothers me.

It’s been quite hot for the past couple of days, around 81-82. That’s WAY too hot for me if there’s no electricity to run the A/C, but unlike in AZ where you can just run to a higher or lower elevation to change the weather, this was about the best I could do. Most of the places around me were up closer to 90 degrees. So I toughed it out, sweating and cursing. The temperatures inside the camper got up to 86 both days. What’s worse, this campsite is not very good for solar power. There are small patches of sun that move constantly and that usually also have some patchy shade in them. So I have to keep moving the solar panel and even a tiny amount of shade on it, reduces the power down as much as 80%! So I have to be conservative about the battery power I use. No running the Fantastic Fan for long periods of time!  I can’t wait for the cooler temps to hit, starting tomorrow (high 74, yay!)

I bought some chicken that really needs to be cooked but I couldn’t stand the thought of heating the camper up even more! So I had cold cereal for dinner. I won’t eat it for breakfast, but it makes a fine lunch or dinner occasionally.

So far this has been a very quiet and relaxing campsite, except for the mosquitoes. I dug out my Thermacell and lit it up in the screen room, and have had a nice un-buggy past two days. It’s very effective, just pretty expensive to run for hours on end.