Back Again

It’s been forever since my last blog post – seems like home life got in the way of camping life this summer, so there hasn’t been too much to write about. Happily, we are finally on the road again.

What kept us so damn busy that we couldn’t camp?

Yard work – check out our newest addition to our Backyard Bicycle Sculpture Park.

Bike stuff – volunteer duties for our weekly bike club Time Trials, John’s weekend on the National 24 Hour Challenge, and our SAG duties for the Night Shift (100 mile nighttime gravel road bike ride + camping extravaganza).wp-1475114600152.jpg This was our only camping trip since May, and we made the best of it. The down side of this 10 days of camping was that it rarely got below 90 degrees. Even though we were camped on the shores of Lake Michigan, it was ridiculously uncomfortable (but oh so fun…!)wp-1475117531960.jpgwp-1475117416439.jpgFireball repairs – the window that blew out in a freak storm in Death Valley was finally replaced. Whew! We sweated that one out….John wound up taking a trip with the Fireball to Ohio, where a slightly larger window was installed. Since it involved cutting the actual panel of the Fireball to make it fit, he didn’t want to tackle it himself. Pleasant Valley Trailer did a fantastic job. They also installed diamond plate on the front protect the front from stone chips. wp-1475117491721.jpgJohn installed a small 10W solar panel on the battery box to use as a trickle charger to keep the battery up when the Fireball is in storage. Hopefully, we’re done with Fireball repairs for the next year or so. Repairs can suck the joy out of camping, for sure.

Our friends Gail & Sid from Virginia camped in our driveway with their T@DA. Double trouble! We were the talk of the neighborhood.wp-1473178554171.jpg

I had surgery on my right thumb which kept me off my bike and very grouchy (I know that’s hard to believe).wp-1475114514065.jpg After nearly three months, I’m trying to wean myself out of my hand brace, and bring full functionality back. Being able to ride my bike is huge, although not without its trials. I’m finding that riding my road bike is ridiculously painful, so (for now, anyway), I’m sticking to my mountain bike. Not having an opposable thumb for a couple of months is no laughing matter. I wasn’t much handier for day to day chores than Jezzy.

But, enough of that!

I’m a crazy Detroit Tiger fan, so we splurged and bought tickets to two Tiger games last weekend.wp-1475120571787.jpg Although (pitifully) the Tigers managed to lose both games and severely hamper their ability to get into postseason play, we had a great time. We ate coney dogs, drank craft beers, and wandered around Detroit. In addition, we sat behind the cutest Miguel Cabrera fan EVER on Sunday afternoon.wp-1475068847132.jpg Here’s a sampling of the sights.

Nemo’s Bar – a classic old tavern near the old (demolished) Tiger Stadiumwp-1475068879253.jpgHart Plaza on the Detroit Riverwp-1475068711779.jpgwp-1475068659963.jpgGM Headquarters, where we tried to negotiate pension raises for our GM retiree relatives!wp-1475068639748.jpgConey dogs! My favorite was American Coney Island, John preferred Lafayette. Yum!wp-1475068617449.jpgCoolest handmade townie bikes. I want one! Custom Faygo pop colors had sparkles!wp-1475068557796.jpgTree growing on the roof of an empty building downtown. wp-1475068529293.jpgNow, we are finally on the road again for a month or so – heading to the Dakotas to visit Theodore Roosevelt National Park, the Badlands, Mount Rushmore, Crazy Horse, and everything else in between. Our plan is to generally follow US2, which means we went across the Mackinac Bridge – always a thrill.wp-1475119570125.jpgWe spent our first night at Young State Park in Boyne City, MI.wp-1475119612711.jpgwp-1475068408220.jpg The Park itself is gorgeous, perched on the corner of Lake Charlevoix. It’s easy to imagine total mayhem in the summer months though, as the sites are mostly small and very close together.

Today, we’re in Little Bay de Noc Campground in the Hiawatha National Forest, on the northern shore of Lake Michigan in the Upper Peninsula. This is camping at its finest.wp-1475119452139.jpg We have a huge site in a 38 site campground, which we are sharing with only one other trailer, plus a camp host. The wind is roaring, and we can hear the waves lapping on the shore. Along the way today, we stopped at Seul Choix Point, and wandered around the lighthouse, which was built in 1895.wp-1475113118477.jpgwp-1475113147430.jpgI’m a bit shy on photos for this post, but I’ll try to better going forward. It’s so great to be rolling again.

Let the camping begin!



15 thoughts on “Back Again

  1. dit :Je voulais participer, mais on m’a dit que je n’avais pas le droit de faire une vidéo, qu’il fallait un article. Pas vraiment ni d&;iouqrsdées ni le temps , alors je soutiens ta candidature.


  2. I know that fall is a great time of the year to visit the places that you’re going, but you’re leaving Michigan when it’s the best time of the year to be here. Say hello to the Little Bay de Noc for me, it’s one of my favorite places in the UP, and it’s been a few years since I’ve been there.

    I hope that the thumb improves as you use it more! And, I’m really looking forward to your photos from the Badlands and Theodore Roosevelt National Park, i’ve heard great things about them, and have driven through the area, but mostly at night when I couldn’t see anything.


    • Hi Jerry. We were awed by Little Bay – I could have happily hung there for a week. Our campsite was spectacular.

      We are feeling a bit rushed to actually get to the western Dakotas, so we can spend as much time lapping up the sights out there as we need. If we have to haul ass back to be home on our ‘schedule’, we will, although we think we will be able to mosey thru MN at our usual slacker pace. Seems like we usually get some great weather around Halloween, so we are counting on not missing Michigan fall. I’m sure we will be home in plenty of time for leaf-raking and other fall homeowner delights.

      Hope your apartment repairs are coming along. What a pain!

      There isn’t a day that goes by that I don’t wish I had your camera skills and passion.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Nice to see you back on the road. You must like the cold weather to be visiting the Dakotas in October. Fall is definitely in the air. We’ve been hanging in Prescott AZ and aren’t ready for the cool temps just yet so decided to head to Phoenix next week for the warmth of the desert. Safe travels and enjoy the Badlands and Black Hills (one of our favs).


    • We weren’t able to leave as early as we usually do for our fall trip. But, we had such an ungodly hot summer in Michigan, that cool air is most welcome. Our only other camping trip this summer occurred when the temps were in the 90s. With rustic camping, we had no a/c to fall back on – it was truly miserable.

      Maybe we will stumble across you this winter. Plans are uncertain, except for spending February in Green Valley (AZ). Can’t wait!


  4. Great Picts guys! During the front window install did John take pictures? I’m curious as to hoe exactly they enlarged the opening (tools, tips, etc) perhaps a post devoted to this would be helpful for others.


  5. Good to see you guys back on the road! Great photos and love your back yard. Hopefully next summer we will be the other T@da in your driveway around “Night Shift” time. The Fireball looks terrific with the new window and diamond plate. Happy trails!


  6. So glad you’re on the road again so we can track your fun adventures! Your post made me slightly homesick, for about a minute! Remember we’re gathering at Mackinac City next June, more details to follow! Hope you had heals quickly and nothing happens to slow down the Fireball! It looks great along with your yard! Happy Trails!


    • Hi Sandi. We are still in for lilacs with you in June. Detroit was fun – other than visiting for a ball game, then rushing home, this was the first time in years I had been downtown. As always, I wished we had more time to explore.

      Any fall travel plans for Santa Baby?


  7. Gosh. Seems like we hardly saw you when you were here. We kept saying that we would call you up and go out for a beer. Will you come back for Christmas?


    • Hi Carolyn. No, we’re not gone for the winter (yet). Well be home in time to pass out Halloween candy and watch election results! Think we are going to stay in Michigan for the holidays this year. See you then.


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