Saturday, August 14, 2010
Highways and byways of Michigan
We were thinking about heading to Sault St. Marie, with ten days remaining till we need to be back in Indiana for our first rally, an assembly of a LOT of RVers who come together for about a week to attend seminars, and to buy from vendors who have things to sell relating to travel and RVing. I will be a vendor at this Eastern Rally in Elkhart, IN,at the end of the month, selling Tastefully Simple products, a gourmet food tasting company. We had to change our plans when we found out that our favorite campground, which is on the St. Mary's River, a conduit between Lake Huron and Lake Superior for all the freighters, was full all the way through September! This campground is located on the St. Mary's River, and you can see freighters--HUGE-- up close and personal as you sit at your campsite. Last year, the campground was hurting so badly that we had no difficulties getting a spot at the last minute. This year, the campground had 500 people write in and try to reserve spots for the season before they even opened and they are full well past September. Darn!
So.....change of plans...Eldy did his great research on the computer as he always does, and found Thunder Bay, a very small RV resort sandwiched between a golf course and cabin style lodging with the RV park in the middle. The RV resort has only 23 full hookup sites, so we were lucky to get one. There is an elk ranch nearby, a golf course right on the premises, and lots of activities in addition to those. From Birch Run, MI, we hopped on I-75 north, then M-33, then M-32, about a two hour drive. If you look on the map, we are almost straight west of Alpena today, in Hilman, MI, in the upper portion of the "mitten" of Michigan.
We were met at the campground by really outgoing and friendly campground hosts and escorted to our site. Shortly after that, we were hit by a cloudburst for about a half an hour, which made leveling the RV and getting set up a longer process today. We had gotten leveled and all our slides out, then read in the literature that they gave us, that they preferred for leveling jacks to be on pads to avoid damaging the asphalt/concrete pads. The pads were sitting at our campsite, but we didn't notice them until AFTER we had all the slides out! So, we had to pull all our slides back in, and start the leveling process all over again. For some reason, the tires at one side of the RV in the rear got off the ground and made the coach seem tippy. In the pouring rain, we took turns going out and checking the pads as we leveled and re-leveled the coach to get the jacks on top of the pads instead of the asphalt. But at the end of the cloudburst, a rainbow graced us for all our efforts.
One of the highlights of this campground is an elk viewing/carriage ride/gourmet dinner and wine tasting package, which is offered every few days and requires reservations. A little pricey at $75.00 a person if you are staying in the resort, but we are considering it for next Saturday, the first available dinner time reservation. They take you for a carriage ride in the summer, a sleigh ride in the winter to a log cabin lodge, then prepare a multi-course gourmet dinner, with wine tasting thrown in for good measure!
In the meantime, we heard that there was entertainment this evening--Michale Lee Seiler, a blues artist and folk singer. He was voted as one of the best acoustic blues artist in northern Michigan. We really enjoyed hearing him, he was very good. We are really looking forward to staying the rest of the week here at Thunder Bay RV resort--they gave us a Good Sam camping discount which brought the price down a little bit, then Eldy's Passport America will give us a 50% discount for a couple of days during the week. This helps us stay within our budget range of 30.00-35.00 a night.
After listening to Michael, we came back to our campsite, and were treated to a fireworks show that was visible in our motorhome from the town of Hillman, about ten miles away. I guess they were having a fireworks show to celebrate a veteran's commemoration of some sort. A wonderful evening to close out a traveling day.....see you tomorrow!