Thursday, May 30, 2013

5/28 Aloha State Park near Cheboygan, MI

I needed a place to stay over the Memorial Day Holiday and a comfortable place to rest so I could get over my really bad cold, so a friend recommended this park and suggested a specific spot. Being so far north, it is not as packed during the holidays as the parks in the lower part of the state.  I was very happy to have reserved this site because most of the park was muddy and full of puddles after the heavy rains last week.  State parks really should put down asphalt or at least gravel pads because it is too easy to get stuck in the mud.  Plus, having a pad makes life a lot easier because it reduces dirt and mud from tracking in.  This was really a handicap spot which was too far from a bathroom to officially qualify as ADA.

This park is mostly open and with grass, and is located on Mullet Lake, which is one of the bigger lakes in Michigan.  Here are some photos of the lake and the boat launch.

 And a picture of the friend who recommended this park.  Thanks, Sue.

Saturday, May 25, 2013

5/24 Tawas and Oscoda, Michigan

My parents had a cottage west of Port Austin, Michigan, on the tip of Michigan's Thumb from 1948 until when we sold it in 2001.  The closest point of land across Saginaw Bay was Tawas, which was about 25 miles away, too far to see any land during the day. For most of the first 30 years, all you could see across the lake at night was the Tawas Lighthouse.  I had never seen it in person, however.

I needed a place to stay for a few days over the Memorial Day weekend, so I made reservations at Tawas Point State Park on my way up to Aloha State Park, near Cheboygan.  Tawas was pretty deserted on Wednesday and Thursday, which is just the way I like campgrounds!

It was cold and rainy, and I have a horrible cold, so it was not until Friday on my way to Aloha that I got a chance to drive over to the light.  Here are some photos of the lighthouse and the beach nearby.


I also took an hour to visit a cousin I had not seen in a while.  She and her husband lives near Oscoda, and I was happy to see that she and her brother were still using the old furniture from the cottage that my dad had bought in 1951!  I also spent a couple of hours doing laundry in town.  I headed up the coast and found a very nice Michigan roadside park where I felt comfortable parking and opening my rear slide so I could put things away.  Nice beach, also.


Monday, May 20, 2013

5/20 Warren Dunes State Park

I have not posted lately because not much has been happening.  I spent a weekend camping with my son and grandchildren, and then 10 days staying with their family while my motorhome was at the factory service center getting some warranty work done.  I had a couple of soft spots in the area in front of my sofa, the kitchen lower cabinet was pulled away from the wall, the shelf under the window was loose, and the one drawer in my bedroom wardrobe needed a new latch. 

The floor was the biggest issue, and this took removing both slides, tearing up linoleum, fixing a broken weld in the floor frame, replacing some plywood, putting down new linoleum throughout the coach, and putting it all back together again.  They said they spent over 200 man-hours doing all of this. 

From my point of view, I had to remove all of the stuff from my kitchen cabinets and pack up all of my pills, valuables, electronics, and enough clothing to last me for a couple of weeks.  It was a lot of work.  I picked it up on Friday, loaded up all the stuff I had removed, and drove here to southwestern Michigan for several days of rest, grading papers, and cleaning and putting my kitchen back together again.  I also waxed the new floor, did some grocery shopping, cleaned my refrigerator, and generally rearranged and cleaned everything.  Whew!

Heading out tomorrow to get a tire that has a cut in it checked and switched with the spare if it is safe to drive on it.  Might have to buy a new tire to replace the spare.  Then on to the Detroit area for an overnight before heading north for a week or so. 

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

4/30 - 5/3 Virginia to Michigan

After my two weeks in the Outer Banks, I headed north to Virginia Beach, where I spent two nights, and then on to Michigan for several doctor and dentist appointments.  Did not take many photos on the way, but it was a beautiful drive.  Here is the beach at First Landing State Park in Virginia Beach:

And I wholeheartedly recommend the drive along I64 to Ohio.  It was a relatively unbusy freeway that meandered through some very beautiful West Virginia countryside:

I stayed for a second time at Sterling State Park in Monroe, Michigan, along Lake Erie.  There are really no campgrounds in the Detroit area, so this was the closest.  It is a nice place to relax because of the view along the lake.  Not a place to swim or do much beach walking, but it had electric or full hookup sites and was pretty. 

Next stop was Decatur, IN, to leave my vehicle for some major warranty work.  Not much of a campground, but the parking lot for the Fleetwood Customer Service Center had electric hookups and was free.  The deal is that you pick a spot, hookup, and the next morning go into the office at 6:00 am for your appointment.  Someone brings your vehicle in, and you are given a pair of safety goggles.  Once you do that, you are welcome to stay in your vehicle while they work and walk around the shop floor. 

I have a couple of soft spots in my floor, so they have to pulls the slides off, tear up the linoleum, and replace faulty plywood, so it is quite a process.  They have estimated 240 man-hours for this project, or a total of two weeks. I will stay with my son and his wife in Ohio while all of this takes place.