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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.

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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.

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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.

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: http://amzn.to/2aSm3CA

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Back In Civilization!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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