Upper Peninsula

Bond Falls Flowage


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!



Upper Peninsula

Casino Camping

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

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

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

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

Upper Peninsula

Dr. Visit

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Upper Peninsula


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

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

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

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

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



Knee Update

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

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

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

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

Upper Peninsula

Stonington Peninsula, Rapid River MI

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

Lake Michigan view from my camper

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


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.

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

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


Lyman Lake

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

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

Here’s the view from my camper door:



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

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

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


Still at Munising

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


Janis & Princess Roxie
Deb Hunting Agates


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.




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.


Moab, UT

My first choice of campground in Moab was completely full by 11 a.m. (Goose Island CG on Hwy. 128). It’s right on the Colorado River and has shade trees, and is only a few miles from town. We ended up at Williams Bottom (??) CG about 6 miles up Hwy. 279, so it’s about 10 miles from town. We have a little shade too, and beautiful views in all directions. The river is across the road from the campground.  The weather is perfect…high 70’s day, 50’s night!  It costs $7.50 per night with the Geezer Pass. The only drawback is, there are lots of foxtails around, so dangerous for the dogs. There are vault toilets…..with no doors!!  Maybe that’s how it got it’s name, someone saw William’s Bottom! Hope no one sees mine.     DSCN6035

Moab is a pretty cool town! I was SO glad to see a “regular” grocery store, City Market…part of the Kroger chain. Back to reasonable grocery prices again! There are people on bikes everywhere, this is mountain biker’s heaven. We ate an OMG-good pizza at Pasta Jay’s, had a really good group dinner of grilled pork steaks, home made potato salad and sweet corn, and today was Pancake Day; we had really good cherry cheesecake sourdough pancakes and sausage! They were a big hit.

Deb is declaring a vacation from her vacation…she’s just been vegging out these past 4 days. The rest of us went to Arches N.P.   Sadly, a number of the arches can’t be seen without at least a short hike.

Yesterday we took a day off and today we went to Canyonlands N.P. and Dead Horse Point State Park. The ranger showed us on a map where Thelma & Louise’s car went off the cliff! He said they really did send it over the cliff, and they pulled it back up with cables.

Tomorrow we head south to Valley of the Gods for one night, then on to Canyon de Chelly!


Capitol Reef National Park

We went out to dinner at Bryce Canyon Pines Restaurant. It was rated the best in Bryce Canyon, though frankly there’s not a lot of competition. It was OK at best. I ordered fish & chips and I swear it was Mrs. Paul’s frozen fish sticks! The fries were good. The other two got strip steaks; Jeanne’s medium-rare was pretty good but Deb’s med. well was not, but the mashed potatoes and gravy was very good. Then we all had pie because it was HIGHLY recommended. Meh.  Strawberry-Banana Cream Pie and Blueberry-Banana Cream Pie, the cream part definitely came out of a tub of something they purchased, and it cost $5.50! Yikes, if I’d seen the price I probably would not have gotten any pie at all.  Syl’s Restaurant in Ontonagon, MI still takes the prize for best pie anywhere.

It was very cold last night, around 25 or 26 degrees, we think! For a while before I went to sleep I had two heaters going; my little one plus the stove! It’s supposed to be about that same temp tonight too. Brrrr!

Today we moved to Capitol Reef National Park. It gets way less visitors than any of the other parks in Utah, but it might just be my favorite! We came via Scenic Byway 12….a gorgeous drive through the mountains. Deb, who hates twisty-turny & steep roads, was the last to arrive. She said  she had to stop and take a xanax and a beer! (She was kidding)  There were several 8% grades and even a 10% grade, but they were fairly short. I only took one photo along the way, of this amazing overlook. It looked like a golf course down below!DSCN5927

We got free campsites just outside the park, and check out the dramatic backdrop! DSCN5932

We rested up a bit then drove through the park, since we’re only here for one night. We went up a little 1.5 mile one-lane dirt road to Grand Wash and saw some amazing water-eroded rocks. Jeanne wanted to take this one home for her front yard:

Here are some more weirdly eroded rocks

Inside the park is the old town of Fruita, which is full of orchards. When the fruit is ripe, visitors can eat as much as they like! (If you want to take some with you, they charge for that). A lot of deer were eating in the orchards.

Other photos from the main park roads. There are also some petroglyphs in the park but they didn’t photograph well.


We tried to have pie at Gifford House (inside the park) but they were closed. So then we went to Torrey to have pie at Ricky’s Redneck Pies but we couldn’t find it. Sigh. We are pieless tonight.



Woo, we had hard frost on our car windshields yesterday morning! And a cool day, with highs only in the 50’s.  Last night was really decent though, with a low around 42. At that temperature, we can be fairly comfortable sleeping without any heat. We are having high winds for the next two or three days, but it’s sunny.

My friends have really taken to boondocking! The free aspect is very appealing, of course, and we’ve had our struggles with keeping their camper batteries charged up. We got a tip that the TV antenna booster sucks battery power so we turned those off and that seems to have really helped. Right now I’ve got my old solar panel with the broken glass hooked up to Jeanne’s camper but we have to keep an eye on it since there’s no charge controller, and it also can’t be allowed to get damp or wet or it’ll short out the electronics.

We are all very happy that the weather is cooperating and it’s not going to be super-hot in Moab….so we were able to cancel our expensive ($42 a night) campsite at the RV park. Four nights, that’ll save us $168!!  Yee Haw! We’ll find a nice boondocking site in the national forest, or there are a few NF campgrounds near Moab for under $10 a night. We have also decided not to go to Monument Valley, with it’s $54 a night campsite fees.  Sheesh, all that money just to get electricity……talk about a high power bill!  So now we’ll have a free day between Moab and Canyon de Chelly; we may end up at either Goosenecks State Park or Valley of the Gods. I’m leaning more towards Valley of the Gods because it’s free camping, plus it’s sort of a mini-Monument Valley. If that’s the case, we’ll have spent only $59 for campsites on this whole 5 week period of time! Not as good as my previous record, but still pretty darned good. And we’ve had gorgeous campsites without sacrificing too much comfort!!   I am patting myself on the back for being such a good Scout/Wagon Master.

I hate to admit it but with the high price of groceries lately, we are desperate for a Wal-Mart run! But there aren’t any around here, or anywhere that we’re going until early June when we get to Durango. Yesterday on the park shuttle bus Deb said “Does this bus stop at Wal-Mart?” LOL! Jeanne is going to St. George to pick up her sister Joanne tomorrow though, and has offered to shop for us at the Wal-Mart there! Yayyy!  Joanne will be with us for the next 10 days, then Jeanne & Joanne head to Kansas and Deb & I head to Durango.

I found a great rockhounding place about 20 miles from here. The info said it was an entire hill of agate, and of course we were skeptical. But it really WAS a whole hill of agate; it was terrible!!  What to take, what to leave??!  I brought home probably at least 50# of rocks and now will have to lay them all out and see which ones are the real “keepers”, and toss the rest. (Then pretty soon someone will report this location as a “hill full of agate”!!)  Here’s my best one, it’s a big one, about 5×8″.    Agate

To find the agate hill, from Bryce Canyon City take Hwy. 12 West and turn right onto Hwy. 89. Go about 2 miles & turn right on Casto Canyon Road. (my GPS found the road).From the pavement, go exactly 2.4 miles to hill on left.