Thursday, June 25, 2009

June 25, 2009 Grand Blanc, MI

We slept on our bed at home last night for the first time in two and a half months and it was fine! It was great taking a shower in a shower with great water pressure and plenty of hot water! Now that we have relaxed, let's go again, huh? When we were traveling, we used to give us ideas of unusual sites to see. While in Welcome, MN, we came across a drinking fountain that both horses and humans drank from. We photographed it and posted the shots in our blog and our Facebook page. We also sent it in to roadsideamerica as a suggestion and they took it. It is now listed on their site as a "must see" in Welcome! WOW!

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

June 23, 2009 Davison, MI

It looks like this is the finishing touch for this trip. We went where we wanted to go, we saw what we wanted to see and we have met the most interesting people. We wish to thank all of the MOCers we met with along the way. You gave us even more to seek and eventually find than we knew about before we left in Mid-April. Our list for the next journey is already growing longer by the day. Every time we saw some place or thing it seemed to spawn directions to even more adventures in the same area. Most of all, thank you for the fabulous company - It is nice seeing old friends and meeting new ones along the way. We also wish to thank you who followed our journey through this blog and Facebook who contributed just by being there. It would be of little value if no one read these pages and shared our adventures through words and photos. We will be taking shorter hops throughout the summer and going to a MOC Rally in Mackinaw City, MI at the end of July. We will be reporting occasionally on the planning and execution of these plans. Have a great summer - Jim and Carol

Sunday, June 21, 2009

June 21, 2009 St. Ignace to Davison, MI

The last leg of our latest journey was today! It was a bittersweet trip. As we traveled, I was called by all of the kids and grandchildren. That made it a beautiful day! As we left St. Ignace and started onto the Mackinaw Bridge, we saw that the middle of the bridge was actually in the clouds. When we got to the top, Lake Huron was to our left and Lake Michigan was to our right. As you can see, we saw very little of either. That shot shows blue sky, gray mist and white clouds on the water. As soon as we got off of the bridge the mist cleared and we could see for long, sunny, treed miles. The mist and low clouds were only over the water. We immediately got into the hills and trees that we have grown to love in Michigan and, although we really enjoyed the treeless, flat prairies, we are glad to be back for a recharge. We got set up in Smoke Rise Campground, our Outdoor Adventures home park and one of our daughters, Richelle, and her family came over. A perfect ending to a really great day!

Saturday, June 20, 2009

June 20, 2009 St Ignace, MI

A beautiful, lazy day was our to be had today. So we took it! St. Ignace was having an Old and Historic Car Show on their beautiful bay. There were some very old autos from the 1920s and 1930s that were in what looked to be mint condition. There were also the cars from our era of the 1950s, too. It has been forever since we have seen a red on a car like on this 1955 Ford. As close to Candy Apple Red as either of can remember. Carol had her sunglasses on and was commenting on many of the red vehicles and the "orangish" color that was on them. She took them off at this Ford and realized that the "orange" had disappeared and red had returned. Amazing! We had dinner in the BnL Diner in town. What a treat! They made many of their items from scratch including home made soup and even home made potato chips. The booths were red vinyl and even had red tape over rips in the seats. An old juke box was in the back. The only thing missing were the 1950s prices but they were really quite reasonable. Of course, now it was nap time so we returned to the Monte. In the evening we went to Bridge View Park and saw the Mackinaw Bridge from the northern side. The Southern end was enclosed in mist making the bridge look like the Bridge to Nowhere! We returned to town and saw a quaint lighthouse at the end of the City Marina. Out in the bay are four concrete objects. We discovered that they are Mooring Dolphins. At one time there was a US Air Force base just north of St.Ignace. This was part of the SAC. These Dolphins were constructed so that tankers bringing jet fuel to the base would tie up to the Mooring Dolphin and discharge their loads of jet fuel into them sending it through pipes that ran to above ground tanks on shore.The fuel then was transported to the Air Base. We then watched the sun set into the trees around the bay. The sea gulls were thick in the area and some can be seen on one or more of these sunset pix. Tomorrow we travel from St. Ignace to our home park in Davison, MI. We will spend a night or two there while we clean and empty what has been our home for over two months.

June 19, 2009 Gladstone to St Ignace, MI

The day was dark and cool and gloomy but dry and nice for traveling. These seagulls shared their beach with us for our lunch stop for the day. They were so happy to see us that they serenaded us all the while we were there wigh their harsh screeches. I grew up along Lake Michigan and still love it. Many good times swimming and fishing on it and we can see that many more are now doing the same thing. No one was swimming on this portion of Northern Lake Michigan on this date, however! Northern Michigan is so green and lush - we never tire of looking at it. Smells so grand, too. This area is still very lush with lilacs, too. Other areas we have been in have had the lilacs either already gone or on their way out. The last shot reminds us that we are really no longer in the High Prairies! We will look around St. Ignace Saturday and then leave for our home park in Davison, MI on Sunday. Almost home!

Thursday, June 18, 2009

June 18, 2009 Rapid River Falls, MI

We thought we had seen our last waterfalls for a while but, happily, we were wrong. Rapid River Waterfalls are just about ten miles from our campground. A sign near the falls explains that limestone is the bedrock for this river and much of the Upper Peninsula, making for fast, shallow waterfalls. These falls ARE shallow and rapid. Oh, yes, and BEAUTIFUL!! In the fourth photo, there can be seen water falling from underneath the covering waterfall. It must be coming from cracks in the limestone just a few yards upstream from these falls. However it is done, it adds another dimension to this set of rapids. Of course, we have another Daisy for Carol. Then we have a dandelion, a WEED, that looks so delicate and nice as a puffball and then adds to the color when the seeds blow away and become yellow weeds. Thought you might like to see how BIG they grow birds and bugs around here. Big as a dumpster! We now have St. Ignace in our sights for tomorrow. We will probably be there for a couple of nights and then back to our home park in Davison Sunday afternoon.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

June 1, 2009 De Pere, WI to Gladstone, MI

This was a three hour jaunt through the woods and fields of Northern Wisconsin into the wooded hills of Michigan's Upper Penninsula. As soon as we got through Green Bay, the traffic thinned and the drive became very comfortable. We entered Michigan at Menomine. The last time we were in Menomine, we were working and went to bed after watching a beautiful sunset and awoke to about six inches of snow and slush. Not this time. It was beautiful! When we got to our campground we were pleasantly surprised. Gladstone Bay Campground is a city owned park. It is great! We have full hookups and cable on a nicely grassed site with fresh crushed rock pads. Our lot is very large and across the way from a wetland that has a boardwalk through the wetlands and alongside the shoreline of Little Bay de Noc. The bay is an inlet from the northern portion of Lake Michigan. We will spend two nights here and then maybe go to St. Ignace, MI. We found another great home cookin' restaurant in Gladstone, Debby's. We each had the chicken pot pie and it was delicious. It had a fresh, flakey home baked very light pastry on top and was very filling. We had no room for the home baked pies tonight. (that may be a good thing, huh?)

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

June 16, 2009 Green Bay, WI Bay Beach Wildlife Rehab Refuge

What a full day we had! We started by having breakfast in De Pere, at the Nicolet Restaurant. This is located in an old train station. The home made raisin toast with breakfast was worth the trip by itself. Then we went to Green Bay. Here we found the Bay Beach Wildlife Rehab Refuge. They advertise that sick or injured animals may be dropped off here, hence the "rehab" portion of the park name. We have been seeing baby wildlife since the baby Bisons in South Dakota. The geese let us know today that they didn't want to be left out of our blog. The Cottonwoods are spewing their lint all over the area and here, in the park, it looked like snow - both while falling and when piled up along the paths and on the ground. Then there were the little critters saying "We really 'Otter' go swimming, don't you think?" You probably thought that it was easy being a Puma but you just don't know what this guy goes through when trying to take a nap - the incessant chatter of children, the conniving adults trying to make it pose, not easy! This is the closest we have ever seen a coyote. We have seen them in the wild but at a distance. This feller is in the middle of shedding his winter coat and sure look scroungy. We were looking for the bay and found this great little county park. Beautiful but the water is also covered with the cottonwood debris. The last shot is just Serenity! No other words needed to describe it. Tomorrow we move to a city park on Lake Michigan in Gladstone, MI. We ended the day at a jewel of a restaurant we found in the middle of dairy and farm country. D&G Restaurant in Greenleaf, WI, a small agricultural town away from the other tourists, was full of locals at about 5:00PM. All was home made, delicious and very reasonably priced. We will return the next time we are in this area.

Monday, June 15, 2009

June 15, 2009 Wisconsin Dells to De Pere, WI

It was a very pleasant journey today from the Dells to De Pere, WI. We are in the Apple Creek Campground, a Passport America Park. Our lunch spot for the day was across the street from a city park in Montello, WI, just short of half way in our journey. This is a beautiful park in the center of a small town across the street from a small theater. It has boulders and waterfalls - what a combo! We have really enjoyed our waterfalls and boulders! We are situated about a dozen miles south of Green Bay and will go there in the morning. Bay Beach City Park is in Green Bay and is a wildlife rehab refuge, whatever that means. We are going to find out soon enough! This journey is nearing its end and we have bittersweet thoughts about that. We have really enjoyed our travels and are already planning where we will go next. We also have family that we are really missing so we will push ourselves on them for a while soon and they will then wonder when we are traveling again!

Sunday, June 14, 2009

June 13, 14 2009 Necedah and Wisconsin Dells, WI

Yesterday we motored over to Necedah, a small town just northwest of Wisconsin Dells. There is a quaint dam on the edge of town and there were many stones where we observed the dam from. Carol had her pick from a thousand eighty sparkley stones to cheese from. Added a quarter ton more of these beautiful stones to the box in the rear of the truck. Soon we're gonna run out of power to haul both the stones and the Monty. Just north of this quaint little town is the Necedah National Wildlife Refuge. The Necedah National Wildlife Refuge is home to a large flock of Whooping Cranes. Several years ago there were fewer each year and so they started with birthing boxes for the Whooping Cranes. Now the former youngsters return here after wintering in Florida and the flock is growing. The shot across the wetlands has a white spot in the upper center - That is a Whooping Crane. I saw it with another person's telescope. More birds would come later but we were hungry and being eaten by bugs. There were also signs warning about Tick Bites and how sick one would become if bitten by one. I was able to photograph this beautiful orchid. That was my gift to Carol. Of course, leading off this pictorial was Carol's favorite - the Daisy. When I see daisies, I am always reminded of that day in 1980 when I was surrounded with our beautiful daughters and Carol with daisies in her hair and a daisy bouquet in her hand became my wife. Love those daisies!!! Today we went to Rock Arbor State Park and found a thickly wooded park with rocky bluffs. Trees and ferns were growing out of the boulders. How beautiful this was! This is the sort of park we were looking for since we arrived here. Now we have it and Necedah for next time.