Simple joys……

Hoffmaster State Park really was wonderful. We were nearly alone, it rained like the dickens at night but never a drop when we were awake, so we walked a bunch with Ross and Ryan, and the fresh green growth surrounding us made it all…….superlative!

And the practicalities: loaded up with good water and dumped our holding tanks on the way in, so did laundry, then dumped tanks again and topped off the water on the way out! Our lives are clogged with these mundane realities.

Headed up to Muskegon.

What a place! I’ve sold it short my whole life (well, so far), but no more! Nothing like being there just to explore….to help you find what’s really there. They’ve got not just the Lake Michigan shoreline, but also a huge bay. And they seem to realize their treasures are the water and the shoreline, because they devote so much street-scaping, traffic routing, and special parking and turn arrangements along the bay and lake. Everything is about water and sand!

The day began fairly cool and hazy, but by early afternoon it was sunny and hot. Welcome to Michigan summer. We walked, and walked some more. Tried some playground equipment just up from the lake’s waves. Ate a very late lunch in the Taxi.

Decided to start back down the coast a short bit for the night, so went to Grand Haven for the evening and strolled the channel with Ross & Ryan in their push chairs (so we could cover some ground but all live to tell about it). Hot, so we found some ice cream. Started down the pier toward the lighthouse, but it was getting late.

Headed out in the Taxi at 8p for the night’s stopping point: Wal-Mart south of Grand Haven. Oops, the city doesn’t allow living in your coach on streets or parking lots open to the public.

Found ourselves 24 miles father south at the same Wal-Mart north of Holland where we stayed two nights ago!

Figuring we’ll stay around South Haven tomorrow night.

Yesssss, Holland!

The nice evening in the Wal-Mart parking lot included doing a load of laundry, and the constant din of traffic about 5 feet from our windows (which were open because the evening and night were warm enough that a breeze was needed to sleep at all) and the service trucks for the store (which was open all night) kept us from falling into a sleep that was too deep.

Ok, enough whining, it was free and convenient for our route. Nice and level, too. Ate breakfast and showered in the Wal-Mart parking lot, behind our curtains.

Tulip Festival!

We cruised downtown at 10a on a Wednesday, and had the place to ourselves! Drove around, walked in parks, drove right onto Windmill Island, Robyn climbed up inside the windmill, we ate some Dutch food, and we saw, smelled, and touched more tulips than we had ever seen before! Our pictures don’t do them justice! Some very unusual ones, with fantastic shapes to their petals, and beds with fabulous mixtures of color and size.

We celebrated in the early afternoon by going up the coast above Grand Haven to Hoffmaster State Park. There were 3 campsites occupied out of 293; solitude was the word of the day. We decided to rough it, and asked for an unpaved campsite 😉

Our campsite was just a short hike through some glorious woods and sand dunes to Lake Michigan. Check out the happy faces as the boys enjoyed sand and cold lake water on their feet. Ross wanted to just sit down in the lake like he does with bath water, and was most unhappy that Robyn kept him from it!

The day saw temps pushing 80, and we ended it plugged into 50 amps that ran our ACs and another load of laundry. And no curtains, just a panorama of fresh greenery. Roughing it on a gravel campsite.

Onward and northward tomorrow. Maybe back down around Berrien Springs on Sunday. Maybe Cracker Barrel in Stevensville for breakfast on Monday; love to do breakfast with some of you then!

Holland, at last!

Ahhhh, Holland during Tulip Festival! Cloudy day that began with some sprinkles clears up as we travel west, and sun breaks through as we hit the coast! Went straight to the beach and Big Red, the Holland Harbor lighthouse (see Cool stuff photo). Drove through town but never found a spot to stop the Taxi, so kept driving. Tried to book a site in the state park, but even though it was nearly deserted, it was completely reserved through the weekend because of the festival!

We had a blast!

So guess where we stayed? Check out our view of the setting sun:

Postponed gratification

No Holland Tulip Festival this weekend 😦

Needed more $work$ at Spartan Chassis that couldn’t be completed on Friday–not only the multitude of unmet routine maintenance they found, not only some modest premature wear to be fixed, but also 6 new tires needed that are available at a bargain and before prices rise 14% next week. “Bargain” still kills $4000. Already bought 2 tires this week.

So we “camp” at the factory over the weekend. Will run over to Battle Creek on Sabbath or Sunday.

Holland tulips should be even better in bloom when we hit there on Tuesday or Wednesday!

See Why we do this under Photos along the way for some new photos of fun we’ve had along the way.

Happy Sabbath!

Our lives are soooo glamorous!

Summit Lake State Park, IN Soggy day in an empty campground; we’re practically hostages in the Big Taxi! Still, we’re plugged in and hooked up…..meaning we’re using their electricity and water. Ahhhhh, long, hot shower. Aaaaand, let’s do laundry.

Hmm, dryer runs but won’t heat on their 30-amp service; gotta run our generator.

Hmm, not hooked up to sanitary sewer, so two long showers (Doug and Ryan) and two loads of laundry FILL UP THE HOLDING TANK! To remedy, gotta shut down and move Taxi to dump site, then back and set up.

Not gonna happen tonight. Robyn and Ross get sponge baths.

Past Glamour We spent last night at Moraine Airpark, right beside porta-johns from the day’s charity 5k run. Awakened by arrival of car after car, that parked so as to nearly block us in, for some follow-up event. Had to pull in and pull up and get going before showers or breakfast.

Which we then accomplished in the parking lot of the county septage plant (where we dump our holding tanks before leaving town). At least we were upwind.

Good joke, but unfair: the Montgomery County Septage facility is the cleanest, most sophisticated, and most convenient place we have found for the dreadful task of dumping our holding tanks. See the first comment under “What’s Next” by Steve Miller (I want to fly like an eagle); he is the county employee responsible for the operation of the facility, and will go well out of his way to help you understand and operate the service.

More Glamour Two nights ago we parked at the end of a short street that quit at a plowed field, beside a moving and storage company. Parked so close we could touch it, was a flat-bed 18-wheeler there for the weekend.

The appeal to us, besides its proximity to Eastwood Lake Metropark where we intended to spend the next day, was the ability to set up binoculars inside the Taxi and watch Dayton’s Bald Eagle nest out the front window! There’s a live webcam on the nest (http://www.boonshoftmuseum.org/programs-events/special-events/eagle-cam), and we managed to capture a frame that shows the two eaglets: