Sunday, August 01, 2010

Back in the land of traffic

Our travels the last several weeks have put us in the extreme northern part of the central U.S. and we have been enjoying the cooler weather and the reduced traffic. Not as many people live in those areas and the towns are normally small and there is less traffic. You don't have to plan your turns as carefully because if you have to pull out into traffic, there will be an opening quickly. Not the case the other day as we drove down into Mt. Pleasant, Michigan, hoping to find the casino. When I did finally see the sign, we were in the extreme right hand lane and had to turn left. The only option was to drive until we could turn around. That actually didn't happen. There was heavy traffic and lane changing was nearly impossible. But no matter, as full-timers we have no set schedule or stopping point, so we continued on. Terry did some more investigating while I was at the wheel and found a mom/pop campground near Ithaca, Michigan, known as Leisure Lakes Family Campground.

This camp is a jewel in the country. The county roads getting here are quite good, wide and spacious and paved. We pulled in and were greeted by the owner and his wife and daughter-in-law and visited with them as we checked in. They take Passport America for one night, but we signed up for two and later added another night. These people are really nice. They were very accommodating and allowed us to scout a little to find a site where we thought all our satellite systems would work. They have only young trees here, but we weren't sure the direction. As it was, our equipment would probably have worked from any of the sites. They have a large number of sites and a rally section. In fact, there is a Good Sam Rally going on right now.

The owner was a farmer and this was his farm ground. At one point, a gravel company approached him and wanted the gravel from one area of his land. He sold them the rights to the gravel for a percentage of the loads and apparently did quite nicely. They built this campground and now he has these beautiful ponds and offers kayaking, swimming, tubing and fishing in the campground. You can also have a lakeside lot. There are some seasonals here, but they do regulate what they can set out, so it doesn't look trashy. They have individual showers which are decent and a nice camp store. We had full hookups, 50 Amp, and paid $33/night. That is a bit more than we like to pay, but a good value we thought.

There are two playgrounds that I have seen, they have a new miniature golf course and pavilions for the rally folk or general use. There was a "pickin' session" most nights we were here. The owners live on site in the summer in their own travel trailer and work hard to make sure things run smoothly in the camp. If you find yourself in this area of Michigan, you should give them a try. They also sell LP in the small bottles or for the motorhomes.

A real treat is the little goat pen. They have three goats, including Oreo and her baby, Waggles. They are SO people friendly and love to be petted. . . and fed. You can buy feed for 50 cents in the store which is reasonable well stocked.

We did take a little side trip to Alma, Michigan, just about 12 miles away to get some prescriptions filled and a few miles from there in St. Louis, Michigan, was a "small" attraction. It is called the "Mini Mac" and is a small replica of the Mackinac Bridge. A very SMALL replica. Terry found it on his "oddities" add-on for Delorme. We did hunt it down. It is a foot bridge across a pond and quite cute.

Today we leave and head down to Shipshewana, Indiana, for our annual pilgrimage to the flea market. We don't buy a lot, but think the exercise is worth it. And we do enjoy shopping in the town. This is a new, cheaper campground at the flea market. They actually built it in a portion of the parking lot. All full hookups and mostly pull throughs, gravel sites with grass. It is self-service, but they will take cash or a check. Info on price is available on the Shipshewana website. They do not take reservations, so if going to the flea market on Tuesday/Wednesday, plan to arrive a day or two early to get a spot. It is cheaper than the other camp in town and since this one is on the flea market grounds, you don't need a car to access that.

Till next time. . .


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