Fall 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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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.
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.
On Wednesday we went adventuring a little bit….to The Jampot in Eagle River to get some of their really good red cherry jam. It’s run by monks from the Holy Transfiguration Skete.
They were out of the cherry jam, wahhhh! But I did get some really good oatmeal-chocolate chip-raisin-peanut butter cookies. They’re just as good as I remembered. They have GREAT baked goods as well as the jams & jellies. Just up the road a tiny bit is Jacob’s Falls (above).
The Canadian Geese are heading south! The trees are changing color and the maples are really gorgeous but I just read that peak color up here is not expected for another two weeks. It’s really late this year, maybe because of the unusual heat we had?
Finally on Friday we got some sunshine! My camper battery power was getting seriously low since we hadn’t seen the sun for so long. And our campsite is not good for solar power; I have to keep moving the panel constantly. I don’t require much power though, so I think this will be fine for as long as we’re staying.
My only big find after the storm was a frisbee. Big whoop! Seems like there whould be dozens of agates just begging to be found, but I was not the person to find them. In order to really see them, the rocks have to be wet. The storm surge pushed up a 3’ hill of stones and it was impossible to get to the water side without actually getting my feet wet, and I’d already had enough of Lake Superior’s waters! It even changed the whole mouth of the river; closed it off so now the river runs parallel to the shore for about 50’ before spilling into the lake.
Near Calumet there’s a snowfall measure….record snowfall here was 390 inches. Can you imagine?! “Normal” snowfall is only around 20′. TWENTY FEET of snow!
I am so mad! TWICE now the folks at Ottawa National Forest have given me wrong information! Now they say the campgrounds are free after November 1, not October 1. I guess I’ll probably end up back at Bond Falls Flowage then….I’ll have to do more research.
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!
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!
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.
Wood Ducks (?) at the falls pond:
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.
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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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??
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.
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!
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!
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.
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.
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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!
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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.
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.
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.
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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!!
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!
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)
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.
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:
There are several steps down to the little swimming beach, and the water is perfectly clear!
Here’s Roxie in her screen room. She LOVES it out there and never wants to come into the camper!
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!
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
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.