Monday, August 15, 2011

The Bridge and Wind!

We planned to head down out of the U.P. last week on Wednesday, but the forecast was for strong winds. If you've ever been on the Mighty Mac, you know what wind and a high-profile vehicle means. . . . white knuckle, nail biting crossings. Actually we would be allowed to cross in the 30 m.p.h. winds, but only at 20 m.p.h. which would make the 5 miles seem more like 10. So we chose not to cross. . . hey, we're retired, don't punch a time clock, so we stayed in St. Ignace for the night. The casino there has 50 amp hookups for FREE! Yes, FREE! At least for now. It's a parking lot, but who's complaining? Not I!

Thursday morning we started out early and drove across the bridge. We were able to run 45 m.p.h. like the rest of the traffic and there was NO wind, which made it a very nice, comfortable ride. We drove down Michigan 23 on the east side of the state along Lake Huron. What a beautiful ride! It was enjoyable. Our plans were to stop in Oscoda to visit Dave and Tammy, friends from our stix and brix days. Dave was the pastor at the church in Mooreland and their one son and our son are best friends. Their church and parsonage are next to one another right on the highway, so it was easy to find. We pulled into the drive and headed around back and parked in the large parking lot behind the church. It was a very nice spot and Dave was outside to greet us. Tammy arrived shortly after and we sat and talked and got updated on everyone's kids and grandkids. What a great time!

We then piled into the car and Dave took us out to the Lumbermen's Monument, a tribute to the men and the industry which plays an important part in the history of the great state of Michigan. The monument and park tower above the Oscoda River which is a great river for canoeing and kayaking. The water is crystal clear and very inviting. We stopped at a couple dams along the way back and looked at the pristine waters and the quiet parks where people can enjoy the solitude. When we got back, Tammy and I grabbed magazines and sunhats and headed for the beach. We sat close to the water of Lake Huron at the city park and visited for an hour or so. Eventually we made our way back to the house. Tammy had prepared supper for us and we enjoyed dinner with our friends.

We spent the night in the motorhome in the church lot and in the morning we went to breakfast with our friends, spending a little more time talking before heading back to the house and the rig. We were all ready to head out, so after saying goodbye, we hit the road. What a great time we had with great friends. It was a special time for us to reconnect with them and we will probably plan another visit when we are in the area.

We drove on to Birch Run and camped at the Pineridge RV Resort. This is a really nice park just a few miles from Frankenmuth. We have been in this area before and stayed at the Jellystone which we hated. It has really tight sites and normally there is not enough room to put out your awning. We were there for a rally and said we would never go back. Pineridge is expensive, but almost half the price of the Jellystone and convenient to Frankenmuth and the Birch Run outlet stores. The sites are much, much larger and long enough for the coach and the toad. This was a great place to camp. Once we got set up, we headed toward Frankenmuth. If you have ever been here to this German community, you know that the big draw is the Bronner's Christmas shop. It is like stepping into a magical world. It is huge and has everything in the way of ornaments and decorations for the Christmas holidays. It is Christmas here 365 days a year. They play holiday music and you truly get into the Christmas spirit shopping in this giant store. I bought a few things. I found two Scotties ornaments, one a black Scottie, and one white. I will find a place for them in the motorhome where I can see them all the time.

Once we finished there, we drove on into Frankenmuth. We hadn't planned to walk the main street, but that is what we did. We started at the one winery (!) and I sampled two that I really liked. I like sweet wines and these were semi-sweet, but they were very good. We didn't buy too much in town, but we had a lot of fun visiting the many shops. One pet shop had a cat who loves people and a boxer who was the official greeter.

We still had daylight left once we returned to the motorhome and ate supper, so we went over to the factory shops and spent some time shopping there. Didn't buy much (are you noticing a theme here), but we certainly got some exercise and had fun at the same time. When we broke camp the next morning, we drove over to the factory shops and parked in the RV parking lot and finished our shopping.

Back on the road, we drove on to Dundee, Michigan, and stopped at Cabela's. That is a favorite of ours and I found a couple pairs of shoes and then we drove on. There was a storm moving toward us and we had some really bad wind around Jackson, but it was short-lived. We had a couple campgrounds scouted out, but decided to drive on in to Shipshewana, Indiana. This is our yearly trek to this little Amish community and we love coming here. We spent today shopping at the bulk food store, the meat market and all the shops in town. Tomorrow we will go to the flea market. We are parked in the RV park right at the flea market, so we can do it in stages and come back to the motorhome and relax a bit before continuing.

The weather is really beautiful. After a rainy Sunday, we are enjoying sunny skies and 80 degrees. Just perfect weather.

Till next time. . .


1 comment:

Nan said...

welcome to Indiana! We ordered this weather just for you~