Saturday, August 23, 2014

Back to Rochester

August 23, 2014
Tilly's American Traveler RV Park
Oronoco, Minnesota

We will be staying here while we take a break in traveling and visit with friends and family in the area.  After living here for so long it's the closest I have to a hometown.

Friday, August 15, 2014

Da Yooper

August 15, 2014
Bad River RV Park
Odanah, Wisconsin

Our day started with 48 degrees and abundant sunshine.  Before we left the Upper Peninsula we made a stop at "Da Yoopers Tourist Trap".  I will have to give it the award for truth in advertising but they also had a nice sense of humor.

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Rocks and Pasties

August 14, 2014
Ojibwa Casino
Marquette, Michigan

We had beautiful sunshine today, but the temperature did not get out of the 50s all day.  That's quite a bit cooler than an Arizona summer.  Much of our day was spent at Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore.  It truly is a magnificent place.  The water is extremely clear and a very vivid shade of blue and aqua.

This is the first time we have stayed at a place that pays us to use their RV park.  The camping is free (don't even have to pay for the electricity) and we each received $5 in cash and coupons for free drinks when we registered.

We couldn't leave the U.P. without having pasties so we found a small place downtown to enjoy our meal.  After finishing our pasties we noticed a sign for half baked pasties.  We decided to get some to put in the RV for a later meal.  The worker told us that the half baked ones will keep in the refrigerator for TEN DAYS or frozen for TWO YEARS!  I didn't know that rutabagas were preservatives.

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Locks and Pork Chops

August 13, 2014
Elks Lodge 552 Campground
Sault Ste. Marie, Michigan

Thankfully we were greeted with sunshine this morning instead of rain.  High on our list of sights to see around Sault St Marie, MI was the Soo Locks.


We camped at the Elk's Lodge right on the water and just a short distance from the locks.  Where did the sunshine go?

This a great place to just sit and watch both the large and thee small ships go by.

That's Canada across the water.

This freighter going through the second lock.

We were eager to get back to the Elks Lodge because their monthly pork chop dinner was scheduled for this evening.  Naturally any thing I don't have to cook sounds good.  We waited at our table quite a while before the waitress came around to inform everyone that there had been some "technical difficulties" in the kitchen.  It seems the cooker had been turned on, the chops put in and the timer set.  It wasn't until the timer when off that they discovered that the pilot light on the cooker had gone out and dinner was still raw.

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Wet Bears and Climbing Fish

August 12, 2014
Holiday Park Campground
Traverse City, Michigan

Our plans to spend the day at Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore underwent some changes due to all the rain that fell during last night and today. 

This is a covered bridge in the park but the woods on both sides are so thick I couldn't get a photo from that angle.

Hiking up the dunes and along the trails wasn't as appealing when coupled with the bad weather forecast.

Even though it is easier to walk on wet sand than dry sand we could have done without the gale force winds and temps in the low 50s.

It's hard to tell from this photo but the top of the dunes is about 450' from the water.

I wonder what event prompted the installation of this sign.

Usually in the summer the dunes are covered with people climbing to the top, but the dreary weather kept them away today.  Notice the water spot on the camera lens.

Downtown Traverse City has several very nice parks and a bike trail along Great Traverse Bay.  A dam across the Boardman River in town comes complete with this fish ladder.

Tomorrow we will head north to the Upper Peninsula and hopefully sunshine.

Monday, August 11, 2014

Chain Ferry and Metal Marching Band

August 10, 2014
Dutch Treat Camping and Recreation
Zeeland, Michigan

It was such a nice afternoon when we arrived in Zeeland, we decided to take a short side trip to a small town of Saugatuck at the mouth of the Kalmazoo River on Lake Michigan.  This charming town is known for the art galleries, boutiques, restaurants and gorgeous scenery. Little did we know that this is a favorite weekend destination for a lot of people in Michigan. It took us quite a while to find a parking space but we still had plenty of time to enjoy the afternoon.
The human-powered chain ferry across the Kalamazoo River is one of the most popular attractions. It has been in operation since 1838 and is the last chain ferry still running in the country.

 The chain on the river bottom is hand cranked through a series of gears to power the ferry.  The young men powering the ferry get a real workout with each crossing.

Even the rest rooms in this town reflect the artistic tastes of the residents.

A fishing tournament was just ending and several boats were docked at the scale station.  This is my idea of "roughing it" on the water.
We discovered this marching band sculpture at a local university in Allendale, MI.  They might sound pretty good, but their style was a little stiff.

Saturday, August 9, 2014

FROG Rally

August 9, 2014
Elkhart County 4-H Fairground
Goshen, Indiana

We have had a great time at this rally but it has come to a close so we will be heading to Michigan tomorrow.  Luckily the weather is beautiful today and we hope it will as nice for the rest of the week. 

We will certainly miss the new friends we have made, the wonderful meals and also the Tiki Kart and the Tiki Bar.

The first day we were in Goshen we patronized a local laundromat. 
Among all the notices on the bulletin board was this "For Sale" ad.

Friday, August 1, 2014

Airplanes & Teddy Bears

August 1, 2014
Dayton KOA
Brookville, Ohio

Yesterday we moved from the land of football in the Canton, OH area to the birthplace of aviation in Dayton, OH.

This morning began with a trip to the National Museum of the Air Force and the Aviation Hall of Fame at Wright Patterson Air Force Base.

Everything from the beginning of aviation to space travel was represented.

After several hours I was about to OD on airplanes when a very helpful tour guide told Dave about Dayton's "Aviation Trail".  It is similar to the "Bourbon Trail" we did in Kentucky a few years back.  We were each given a passport to have stamped when we visited any of the 14 aviation heritage sites.  When at least seven stamps were collected then we would receive a miniature teddy bear.  Naturally we set off to collect the stamps for our bear.  I think we probably could have bought about a hundred bears with the money we spent on gas.

As we were heading into town to see the Wright Brother's Bicycle Shop I spotted another unusual site.

In case you can't make out the sign on the corner - it's SWEETMAN STREET!  This wasn't exactly the best neighborhood in Dayton.  There were lots of boarded up buildings and on the opposite corner there appeared to be some rather dubious transactions going on.  I got out of the truck, took the photos and got back in in record time.

We visited many aviation sites including a cemetery, flight field, parachute museum, cycle shop and other museums.  All in all it was a very interesting day and best of all - we got our bears!

Meet Wilbur and Orville