Saturday, August 31, 2013

St. Ignace

At last post, we were leaving Grand Marais, with a destination of St. Ignace.  We thought there would be a good chance we could get a site at the casino there, and we were right! 
We backed into one of their large grassy sites, with 50 amp Electric and Water and picnic table!... and went in to register. 
The website says $10, but with my players club card they gave me 3 free nights! 
 THEN... they said Jeff could get another 3 free nights with his players card!  We would like to leave Sunday, but that will be determined by if we can secure a site for Sunday night.  We may need to wait until after the holiday weekend.

Thursday we took the Ferry to Mackinac Island.

I was nervous about a ferry ride, because I can get motion sickness just by watching something on the TV... but I told myself for 24 hours that "I don't get motion sickness anymore" AND I took 2 Bonine motion sickness pills.  IT WORKED!  I didn't get sick!  We had an enjoyable ride both ways.

There is a lot of history on Mackinac Island... including Fort Mackinac,
which was built in 1780 by the British during the American Revolutionary War.

There are no motor vehicles allowed on the Island.
So what you find are bicycles and horse drawn carriages.
There are plenty of places to rent bicycles... but we took our own.
We thought it was funny that there would be a Harley Davidson shop...
but look at the bike on display!
It's an original Harley Davidson Bicycle

There is a beautiful shoreline road that we rode for a few miles...
so relaxing and quiet with no motors.

Of course, then, Jeff was on the search for a place where he could get a draft beer.
We found just the place... where we could not only enjoy a refreshing beer,
but also watch people playing 18 holes on a miniature golf course.
I just had to get a picture of this bicycle in the parking lot.
We wandered in and out of a few shops, then decided we were ready to go...
but I needed an ice cream cone first.  Was it ever good!

Days like this are more like a vacation, and very enjoyable. 
BUT... we really prefer the less touristy part of traveling.
This island has become all about tourists...
we like to experience the real day to day life in different places.

 Friday we crossed the Mackinac Bridge,
currently the third longest suspension bridge in the world.

 The bridge connects St. Ignace on the Upper Peninsula, 
and Mackinaw City on Michigan's lower peninsula.
It is a toll bridge, of course, that costs $4 for automobiles, and will cost us $20 when we pull the fifth-wheel across... which we will have to do to continue our travels.

The bridge is also where Lake Huron and Lake Michigan connect.
We are hoping, today, to find a place near the bridge, to launch the kayaks. 
 Hopefully we can kayak under the bridge from Lake Michigan to Lake Huron!
Also... maybe today will be the day that I finally get the answer to the mystery...
What are "Pasties"??

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Sticky Itchy Happy in the UP

Grand Marais - Michigan's UP
Our days in Grand Marais have been wonderful...
Despite tremendous humidity and ravenous mosquitoes and biting flies!
I got 22 new bites in one afternoon/evening... 9 on one leg, 13 on the other. 
It looked like I had chicken pox... but now it looks more like I'm diseased because of the raw sores.
We've been comfortable with our site here at Woodland Park
We've enjoyed our Lake Superior beach, just down a few steps from our site...

The Story of the Chair
(see below)
The Story...
"Hmmm... the chair doesn't want to fold."
"What the heck?? What's with this chair!!"
"Here Honey... let me rinse it off, maybe that will help"
"Uuughh! You're right!  I've had it with this chair!!
"Ok... I cant toss it, we will leave it for someone else.  Good-bye chair."
"Oh, honey... I cant leave that chair... I like that chair"
"Ok dear... I will get your chair"
Of course we put the Kayak's in.
What was really special about kayaking this time, was the church bells we could hear from the lake.
It sounded incredible.
One song that I recognized was Blessed Assurance.  I had to sing!
Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore
We went for a drive into Pictures Rocks National Lakeshore and pulled off into a few viewpoints, and walked a few short trails...
 but to see what there is really to see of this NP, you must take the boat tour. 
The cruise leaves Munising at the South end, not here... so we did not go.
 I don't know about you other RVers who are on the road,
but we've struggled with when to leave here and where to go because of Labor Day weekend.
All this stress because of those "normal people" who think they need to get away. 
Oh what are we to do... what are we to do?
Well the decision is that we are leaving in the morning and going to St. Ignace.
We will just see how it goes from there. 

Sunday, August 25, 2013

Wisconsin to Michigan!

I guess I'm just too busy playing to post!  Now I will try to catch-up real quick.
Ashland, Wisconsin
We stayed 3 days at Kreher RV Park... a City park.
We would highly recommend this park.  Its beautiful... spacious sites, on the lake.
Ashland has a scenic bike path that runs for miles along the lakeshore, including through the park.
We made sure to enjoy it from one end to the other. 
One day we toured the town on the bicycles, the next we rode the path,
with a few stops at points of interest, which included history and fresh flowing artesian water!
Ashland is a town of Murals. 
Old buildings all over downtown display colors that tell stories of earlier days.

We made some new friends.  They were parked next to us our first night there. 
 We chatted and watched the sun set over the Lake together.
They were lucky enough the next day to score a lakefront site as soon as they saw the other RV leave.  That's one advantage of having a motor home over a fifth wheel... it would be too much work for us to switch sites like that, but no big deal for them.
How's this for a site?  You cant live much closer to Lake Superior!
We put our kayaks in right next to there site. 
The water was a bit rough, but lots of fun.
Fortunately, I had taken a Bonine (motion sickness pill) !
We're so glad we bought these Kayaks.  It really adds a lot to the adventure.  I still don't miss the motorcycle... with the bicycles and kayaks.  Of course, if you ask Jeff... he misses having a motorcycle, but he doesn't regret not having it for this trip.  and he never complains about it.
We enjoyed the Sunset and an evening of getting to know new friends, 
both our second and third nights.  
We said our good-bye to new friends, Bob and Betty, on Thursday morning.
They live 5 hours South in Wisconsin.  Now we have another invite!
Thursday's travels took us into Michigan!
Destination... Marquette's City Tourist Park
I had read that Marquette had 12 miles of paved bicycle paths...
and THAT was what made our stay there enjoyable. 
The park itself was not impressive.  The price was as if they thought they were impressive, but Not!
There were a lot of campers there, it was the weekend...  and perhaps for the locals who live in town, this is a great getaway in the woods.
But for a traveling RVer, this park was a pain.  Very Narrow TWO-WAY roads, low hanging branches, and NO Organization.  No markings for what sites are down what road, so you drive around trying to find your way hoping that no one else is coming the opposite direction doing the same thing... which there was!   Trying to reach the utilities that you are paying for was difficult. 
BUT... we could ride the bicycles right out of the park to the trail and into town.  So we stayed.
On our ride into town, we had mapped out a stop at Ore Dock Brewing Co.  A very comfortable friendly brewery, where Jeff had their Reclamation IPA and I selected their Dreamweaver, after a few tasters.
IF... you don't care about the convenience of riding your bicycle out of the park to the
bike path, there is a much better option. 
Ojibwa Casino has about 10 more spacious wooded sites with electric... for FREE!
Munising, MI
Our next destination, for Saturday, was Munising.  Munising had a Tourist Park as well,
and that's about all that is there, so that was where we were headed. 
We were hoping that if they didn't have a site for us, we could stay at the Free Kewadin Casino Lot,  but their RV spaces were the size of a Camper Van or Truck Camper, so that wouldn't work. 
Fortunately, the Tourist Park had a site available in their overflow area.  It had electric and water so we were fine, and had plenty of room, but it was uncomfortable where it was situated.

So we stayed only for the night, and headed out for our next destination this morning.
Grand Marais
The historic village of Grand Marais, Michigan is located on the south shore of Lake Superior at the eastern gateway to Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore.
Woodland Park campground is another City park, but a first come first serve park. 
We arrived early, and were really happy to find an available site with plenty of space, 50amp Electric and Water... AND Cable.  Wow... we haven't had that in awhile.
It is a Lakefront site too...
but here that only means there are no more sites between you and the Overlook to the Lake.
There are stairs to take down to the beach. 
It isn't far at all, but we probably will not carry our kayaks down there.
Next Post... all our happenings in Grand Marais!!

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Our Visit to Duluth, MN

I better do a post before there is so much to show and tell that I'm too frustrated to even try!

Duluth, Minnesota

Before reaching our destination near Duluth, Jeff could not wait any longer for a break... so we stopped at Mark's Bar in McGregor, MN (I think that's where it was). 

We asked about all the old bottles on an enclosed shelf behind the bar, and there was a good story there.  Before guys went off to WWII, they brought an unopened bottle of liquor to Mark's Bar.  When they returned from war, they opened the bottle and drank it with Mark. 
All these bottles (and many more) are the unopened bottles from men who never made it home.

We had a reservation at Knife Island campground, West of Duluth, on the St Louis River. 
We had a nice site, with 50 amp Electric and Water!

Our second day was a tour day...
We took a back road to the local Harley shop.

We weren't at all impressed with this Harley shop.  But we did purchase a shot glass and cap.  I collect shot glasses, and Jeff really needed a new cap.
Then we made our way toward downtown Duluth... and what we saw ahead took our breath away.  Amazing... it was like an Ocean!  We had never seen any of the Great Lakes!

 We went down Lake Ave to Canal Park, and found a place to park. 
We walked along the lake some, but realized we should have brought the bicycles.
 Jeff's foot just doesn't hold out very long for walking anymore.


We visited the Maritime Museum there at Canal Park

From there, we were going to visit the Railroad museum and Fitgers Brewery, but in the attempt to find the places and find a place to park, we got too frustrated.  Town was so busy and crowded, it was wearing on us.  We just don't do well with crowds and traffic.
So I also had a brewery mapped out that was across the bridge in Superior, Wisconsin. So we hopped over there, to Thirsty Pagan Brewing.  They made an IPA that pleased Jeff, and a Raspberry Belgian beer that suited me well.

We made our way back to Knife Island, and enjoyed a campfire. 
Really... we were ready to move on.  But we had paid for 3 nights, so we stayed the third day and just stuck around the campground and spent a little time playing at Black Bear Casino down the road.

We left the next morning for Ashland, Wisconsin... and that's where we are now. 
But that will all be in my next post... which I will do tonight or tomorrow!

Friday, August 16, 2013


Yesterday was Travel Day...
from Bismarck ND to Buffalo River SP, not far over the border into Minnesota. 
Lots to see... the rolls of Hay lessened, the fields of Corn remained, and the Sunflowers increased.
We planned a stop at Jamestown, ND to visit Frontier Village
and hopefully see a white buffalo.
I called ahead to be sure that they had RV parking.  If I hadn't called ahead and verified that, we would have panicked a bit when we arrived.  This didn't look very hopeful for parking or turning around.
But they told the truth... around the corner was a large parking lot.

 There was a herd of Buffalo near the fence, but none of the white buffalo were nearby.  The woman in the museum said they were out there when she had come in the morning... shucks!

Frontier Village had everything one would need...
We had quite the experience ourselves...

We visited the school house... but it is Summer, so school was out.

We found a good church...
I read some Scripture, we sang a hymn,
and Jeff had opportunity to preach a fire and brimstone message.

Then like every good church goin' person would do...
We went to the local Saloon for a brewsky, and played us some poker...
but then Jeffrey got himself thrown in the pokey!

They couldn't hold him long... there wasn't a lock on the jail door!
So we had time to continue our tour of the village.

I guess that whole jail experience left Jeff a little flustered... he didn't quite know his place...

So that's it for our stop at Jamestown, and visit to Frontier Village!
Like I said in my post last night, we stopped for the night at Buffalo River SP in Minnesota.

Now we are on the road again, making our way to Duluth, MN where we will settle in for a few days.
We're stuck in a long line of traffic right now, on Hwy 210.  Yay.