Elvis has left the building

And we have left the lower penninsula of Michigan.

We crossed The Bridge! That means for tonight we’re Yoopers. Yep, this message and these photos come to you from the UP, and yep, I feel fine.

We started our travels this morning with quite a downpour, and were afraid we’d lost the glorious skies. HA, Michigan has plenty more.

Check out The Grand Hotel on Mackinac Island, and one of the jet ferry boats passing in front of it. Afraid that’s as close as we’ll get to them on this trip. As you can tell if you’ve mapped our journey at all on this trip, we’re running the coast from Saginaw up and around to the west.

This foray across The Bridge will end tomorrow when we head south and begin to trace the western coast of lower Michigan. We’ve been sticking to state parks at night, mostly because they’re everywhere and usually lead to glorious lakeshore vistas! Some are a little dear, and when we don’t really need their services (electric for AC or clothes dryer, or water or dump station), we might return to a parking lot.

We want to stay at Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore, but have found all their 68 electric sites are reserved for the next several weeks (and we started looking weeks ago!). However, they have a precious few sites that are not reservable but held each day for first-come, although in recent days people have been lining up the night before! We’ll see. We may stay nearby and day-trip into Sleeping Bear Dunes.

If one tree was removed in front of us tonight, we could see The Mackinac Bridge from our front window! Robyn just checked, and it’s all lit up for the night. I’m not. See you tomorrow.

Blue, blue, my world is blue

We’re singing the blues, alright! Blue sky, blue water, blue railings, blue shiplift….

Check out that tall ship! We’re trying to learn something about it; will report what we find.

Ross and Ryan really enjoyed the walkway along the breakwater. Talk about the blind leading the blind….

Staying for the night at Hoeft State Park, one of the first 14 state parks established in Michigan. Even though our site is sandy, it is almost like a parking lot to drive across. Completely surrounded by very tall trees. Ha, only needed AC for about an hour, then the soft breeze and falling temps brought comfort from open windows! NOW we’re camping.

Well, sort of. This camper still has a granite floor, leather sofas, all the electric lights you could dream of, and a huge refrigerator. Still, we smell pine forest and campfires as we go to sleep.

Pouring rain in the night. Grateful for the Taxi’s tight roof.

Maybe The Bridge tomorrow!

Look, up in the sky….

Wow, the sky was the star of the show again today! Lake Huron was a close second.

We left our campsite at 1pm today, having slept in from yesterday’s traveling exertions, so we were a little late getting around to lunch. After one stop for exercise and photos, decided to stop by a nice state park just 18 miles up the road.

Hey, they have a campground. Hey, they have an open site facing the beach. Hey, let’s stay!

Plugged in at 3pm. Started laundry. Went for a walk on the beach (whoa, water’s cold!). Took pictures. Made some new friends.

We’ll get going tomorrow.

Promise.

In the meantime, pictures:

Oh yeah, I can top that!

Just when we thought we’d hit the bell with a room at Hampton Inn and its bathtub brimming with nice, warm water for Ross and Ryan…..we’re given a day with the skies you see below!

We were so pumped today by the glorious weather, the scenery of Michigan in all its finery….being shown to best advantage by the bright sun, blue sky, and tons of scattered white clouds….well, we drove 238 miles across the landscape from below Battle Creek to waay the other side of Saginaw.

We’re camped on the dunes alongside Lake Huron!

Check out Tawas Point Lighthouse, just yards from our coach!

The twins seemed to catch the fever, perhaps because we kept stopping to walk with them under those magnificent clouds and breathe the lakeshore breezes.

Robyn and I both have rich memories from our childhoods growing up in southern Michigan with sand between our toes. The endless lakeshore was always a part of life, but it’s something we’ve missed while living so far inland for so long.

The last picture below was the scene directly behind our campsite tonight as night fell. As I write this, we have more stars overhead than either of us has seen in the sky since….well, childhood.

Odd bedfellows

No, no, no, not Robyn and her sweet mother!

The Taxi and Hampton Inn.

We’re staying the night in a hotel, because we had “frequent flyer points” that were about to expire, and we thought a free night with some n i c e l o n g baths in a real bathtub for Ross and Ryan would be a nice way to use the points. We thought we’d show you the coach, rather than the boys’ smiling faces in the tub!

The other highlight of the day was the sight of this strange pickup truck, during a brief stop to eat our lunch.

We continue to speed toward the Mackinac Bridge; we’ll slow down once we get there. Speeding past Battle Creek tomorrow, even though the National Hot Air Balloons will be in town for the week…but not until Tuesday. Maybe next year, when it will be the International Hot Air Balloon event there.

On the road again

We landed in Dayton for the mandatory monthly “eyes-on” meeting with Robyn’s nursing supervisor….which occurred in the coach while it was being washed at Yankee Auto Bath!

Drove the coach a block away to an unused parking lot, and Doug spent the next hour putting a coat of wax on the whole thing. Wowser, this new liquid stuff is not wax, it’s a sealer/shine/coating. Nearly zero effort, and no dusty residue. We’ll see.

Spent the evening with Jared, parked out behind The Greene. Robyn and Ann strolled the streets. We ate frozen yogurt and fresh red raspberries. Ahhhh, life is good!

Tried to spend the night at The Greene, but security thought otherwise. Moved to Wal*Mart on Wilmington at 11:30pm. (Today, arranged with chief of security for The Greene to give notice of our arrival in the future, and he’ll get word to staff to let us park there overnight; told you life is good!)

Haircut for Doug today, shopped groceries, and restocked meds. Took off.

26 hours in town.

On the road to Kokomo, on the way to St Ignace, MI.

You know, the town at the other end of the Mackinac Bridge. Yesssss, we’re heading up to the tip of lower Michigan, and crossing over.

Have decided to break our routine and blast up there in 3 days, spend 10 days up there, then spend 10 days getting back by way of the western coast of Michigan.

Today’s drive to Kokomo covered territory we know by heart, and yet it always changes. America the Bountiful is in full song this time of year. The red barns will soon be busting at the seams. And what camera can resist a yellow flower glowing in the fading sun’s golden rays?

Yes Willie, it’s good to be back on the road again.