Al Kaline Delivered and Day With Family

This morning, we drove to Diana’s brothers house and delivered the Al Kaline photo.

  

That was many years coming, and we are glad it is back where it belongs.  🙂

Later in the day, we had the family over to our place for a cookout, some horseshoes, shuffleboard and time at the pool.  

 

Here is Diana’s brother Dan enjoying the  offerings.  

  

Our niece taking a selfie with her daughter.

  

A true Detroit Tigers fan is never without his Olde English D.

  

Chillin’ with Great-aunt Diana.  🙂

 

Our great-nephews taking over the pool! 

 We all had a great day!

Recently, I was invited by Rob at Rockiesoutdoors to take part in a five day black and white photo challenge.

  

 

For my Day 2 photo, I chose a photo that I took in 2012 in the Tetons in Wyoming.  There is something that draws us to that magical mountain range.

As part of the challenge I am to nominate a fellow blogger each of the five days to join in and take part. So today I nominate Gin from Darwin On The Rocks And Around The World.

The only rules of the challenge are:

1. On five consecutive days, create a post using a recent or past photograph in black and white.

2. Invite another blogging friend each day to join in the challenge.

I hope you enjoy my photos, and hopefully Gin will accept the challenge!

 

Made it to Florida, and a Challenge Accepted

“My parents didn’t want to move to Florida, but they turned sixty and that’s the law.”

Jerry Seinfeld 

We rolled into Florida 10 minutes after we left our campsite in Alabama.  Six hours later, we pulled into Recreation Plantation in Lady Lake.  That’s one of the strange things about entering the state on the western end of the panhandle:  it is hundreds of miles of driving east before even getting to I-75 to begin the southern descent down the Florida penninsula.  We will be here for three days visiting with family and friends.  More on that tomorrow.

About the challenge:

I was invited by Rob at Rockiesoutdoors to take part in a five day black and white photo challenge.

  

 

So for day 1 of the challenge I’ve chosen a photo I took a few summers ago of Old Mackinac Point Lighthouse in Mackinaw City, Michigan.  What makes this lighthouse special to me is that my great-grandfather, John Peter Schmitt, built it in 1892.  I was on a State of Michigan fundraising committee a decade ago to get it reopened to the public.  We succeeded!

As part of the challenge I am to nominate a fellow blogger each of the five days to join in and take part. So today I nominate Debbie from Down The Road.  Debbie and Steve visit amazing places in their travels as fulltime RVers, and they know how to find the best each location has to offer.

The only rules of the challenge are:

1. On five consecutive days, create a post using a recent or past photograph in black and white.

2. Invite another blogging friend each day to join in the challenge.

I hope you enjoy my photos, and hopefully Debbie will accept the challenge!

Keep it in the Middle of the Road, Honey

“…there’s a wreeeck on 75 near Cumberland, and a wreeeck over on 675 in Ellenwood….”

An amusing Atlanta traffic copter report we heard one time on a trip through town. In Michigan we are used to them being called accidents 🙂


If only we could have gotten a picture.  We were headed south on I-65 in southern Tennessee, when I spotted something that didn’t look quite right on the service drive to the right of the freeway.  As we approached, we could see the back of a semi trailer sticking out of the trees at an angle.  When we got to the scene, there was the trucker outside of the truck on his cellphone, and the rig was jacknifed into the trees.  The scary part was, he had been on the freeway and not the service drive.  His skid marks went completely across our traffic lanes, down the embankment, through the fence, across the service drive and into the trees.  It had just happened, by the looks of things.  Thank goodness no one else was involved, the truck stayed upright, and the driver appeared to be ok.

The further south we went, the more the leaves appeared on the trees.  Once we turned onto US Route 231 south out of Montgomery, AL, we noticed the wisteria was in bloom along the roadside.

  

©2015 ecoterralandscape.com

Oh my…it smelled wonderful!  We also noticed the Rhododendron bushes in bloom.  Springtime in southern Alabama is a special time.

One thing RVers should always have is a check list.  On that list should be items like ‘Make sure your antenna is down’ and ‘make sure the step is up’.  We are pretty good at doing walk arounds before leaving, but we’ve yet to put a list together.  We came upon a situation today that needs to be on an ‘arrival’ checklist.  We pulled in, set the jacks, put in the wheel chocks and went to open the slide rooms.

  

Oops.  The power pole was interfering with one of the slides.  We got it as close as we could and called it good.  It is only for one night.  It is one inch from being fully open.  Next time, I will check that over more carefully.  🙂

The park we are at, Cherry Blossom RV Park, is right on Alabama Route 1, just south of Dothan.

  

And I do mean right on Alabama Route 1.  We will be serenaded by a flurry of trucks throughout the night.

Let’s hope the drivers keep them on the road.  🙂

Forsythia and Other Observations

“Forsythia is pure joy. There is not an ounce, not a glimmer of sadness or even knowledge in forsythia. Pure, undiluted, untouched joy.”

Anne Morrow Lindbergh

Rolling south into Tennessee, we noticed the forsythia is in bloom.  That was always my sign to put down crabgrass preventitave on our lawn.  Those days are over, as we don’t have a lawn anymore!  It is odd little observations that remind us that life as fulltime RVers is an entirely different life.  My first such observation was driving down the road on a Thursday and seeing trash cans by the road.  First thing in my head was ‘I need to take out the trash!’  Nope.  No house, no curb to haul the trash to.  🙂

We have been RVing for years, taking two week vacations and long weekends when we could.  We’ve known about ‘same house, different view out the windows’ aspect of RVing, but the point was really driven home today.  We were planted in Michigan for 6 months with the same view, and we weren’t able to open the windows, as it was too cold.  Today, we are in Nashville, TN with the windows open and a completely different vista to explore!  It is a liberating feeling, for sure.

  

Saw this beauty in a rest area in Kentucky.  This is a mid 1970’s GMC motorhome.  There are a lot of folks out there who buy these and restore them, as they are unique.  We love seeing them out on the road again.

 

We are at the Yogi Bear campground in Nashville, not far from the Grand Ole Opry.  They need to do a little spring cleaning, but the air is fresh and the trees are starting to bloom!  It is 75 degrees outside right now and we are loving it. We used our Passport America and saved 50% on our camping.  🙂

Part of this trip is a baseball memorabilia delivery mission.  This is a doozey.  Back in the 1970’s when Diana’s brother, Dan, was a 5th grader he won a letter writing contest, making him the World’s Greatest Al Kaline Fan.  For those of you unfamiliar, Al Kaline was a teenage baseball phenomenon out of Baltimore who started with the Detroit Tigers right out of high school.  He played his entire career in Detroit, and stayed on with the team after he retired as a player.  At 80 years old, he still is with the team.  That , my friends, is loyalty at its finest.

Anyway, the family got box seats to the game on Al Kaline Day, and Dan was able to go to the clubhouse and meet Al.   Part of the prize was a 4 foot by 6 foot framed photo of Al that was to hang in Dan’s elementary school….which it did for years.  Finally, the principal contacted Dan to have him take it home, as he was concerned it would get damaged in the hall of the school.  Dan moved to Florida out of high school, and the photo remained in Michigan with his mom and dad.  Dad passed away in 2008, and Mom has been storing the photo.

  

We wrapped up the photo of Al in a shipping blanket and are hauling him in the fifth wheel!  I hope he likes camping!

One other thing I wanted to mention:  March is Passport America savings time, for all of you campers out there.

 

For just $44 a year, you can save 50% on campsites at a LOT of campgrounds around North America.  We joined last year and it paid for itself on our third night camping.  What is unique about March is the Refer A Buddy program.  Use my name and number and you get an extra 4 months free (and so do we).

James Belisle

C-643950

Just go to Passport America and sign up.  Enter my information in the ‘referral’ section of the application.  It’s a nice little bonus for both of us!

Well, that’s it for today!  The forsythia is calling to us!

Hitch Itch

“Happiness is having a scratch for every itch.”

Ogden Nash


It all started on Friday morning with my statement to Diana:  “I have a bad case of hitch itch.”  For those of you outside the RV circles, that is when an RVer has had enough of the location they are in.  The urge comes over you to hitch up and head out.  After a little discussion, I was going all out at removing the skirting.  We had decided to make a run to Florida for a couple of weeks to get a change of scenery!

 

Kayaks on the truck, fresh tires on the trailer and we set a target of Tuesday morning for launch.  With a half hour to spare, we made it!  It was a good thing, as the temperatures had begun to dip back down. Tuesday morning, the thermometer read 22 degrees.  We really noticed the difference in the rig without the skirting, both in floor comfort and in propane usage. 

As you can see in the photo above, the snow piles in Grand Rapids had dwindled to hardly anything.  As we drove south, we encountered the remnants of the storm that dumped 6 inches of snow on Chicago the other day.  While the roads were dry, we didn’t escape the white landscape until Indianapolis.

 

Tonight, we are at Woods and Waters campground in Columbus, Indiana.  This campground is open year round. It’s somewhat cloudy, and it is supposed to warm up and rain overnight.  Rain: what a concept.  I believe we saw something they called rain back in October.  We will take it!  🙂

So, exploRVistas is on the road…even if it is just for a short getaway.  Stay tuned for updates as we move along.

Itch is officially scratched!  🙂

Laughing our way into Spring!

“Spring is when you feel like whistling, even with a shoe full of slush.”

Doug Larson

No better way to welcome Spring than with a whistle and a laugh!

As stated in a previous post, we are volunteering this week at Gilda’s LaughFest in Grand Rapids.  Last Saturday night was our first show.  We are part of the ‘Front of House’ team, which entails either ticket taking or ushering.  For Saturday’s show, we ushered on the main floor of Fountain Street Church.



This photo shows the venue at a previous LaughFest event.  The main act for our show was Billy Gardell, of Mike and Molly fame.  As ushers, we did get to listen to some of the show.  That was fun!

I’m sure some folks are asking “Blue collar comedy in a church?”  Well, Fountain Street Church (FSC) is quite unique.  Founded in mid 1800’s as a liberal Baptist church in a very conservitave town, FSC has always pushed the envelope to the left.  The congregation has become non-denominational, centering itself with spirituality over any affiliation with a set religion.  Over the years, they have hosted speakers such as Clarence Darrow, Winston Churchill, Eleanor Roosevelt, Robert Frost and Malcolm X.  They have had performers such as Duke Ellington, Frank Zappa, The Grateful Dead and U2 take to the sanctuary.  So to host LaughFest shows for a good cause is not a stretch at all for FSC.  



And the gigantic neo-Romanesque building is a spectacular setting.  If you ever have the opportunity to tour Fountain Street Churchdo so.  The stained glass is outstanding, and quite unique.



The opening act was Dale Jones. We were still fairly busy seating latecomers during his show, so we weren’t able to concentrate much on his act.   From what we did see, he was extremely funny and was quite physical in his comedy.  We definitely would like to see him again sometime.  Near the end of his performance we were told to fan out, as that is when the cameras would come out for Billy Gardell. Per his wishes, no photography was allowed.



Billy hit the stage and the first word out of his mouth was the ultimate expletive.  He then looked up into the rafters, grinned and said “Just checking”. The irony of doing his act in a church wasn’t lost on him.  🙂  We had about 15 minutes of people trying to take photos before they settled in and enjoyed the show.  While still doing our jobs, we did get to catch most of Billy’s act and he was hilarious!

On Sunday, the weather decided that it would get in sync with the time change. We had our first temperatures in the 40’s since January!  The sun was out, the sky was blue, and we headed out to Blandford Nature Center in Grand Rapids for a stroll.



The birds were singing like crazy.  Check out this Downy Woodpecker working away on a branch.



Mr. Squirrel was having a blast hopping from tree to tree.



And the buckets were hanging from the taps on the maple trees, gathering sap in preparation for the spring maple syrup production that Blandford hosts.  A sure sign of Spring!

Our temperatures are forecast to be in the 40’s and 50’s for the next 10 days, so that should take care of most of our snow.  That ice we have been showing you on Lake Michigan will take a long time to melt, so our temps inland will be better than those at the lakeshore.  Our propane usage has gone way down…thank goodness…and it won’t be too long before we shed the trailer skirting and the plastic on our windows.  Michigan has a way of surprising us with late season snow, so we will hold off on those projects for a bit.  In the meantime, we will be whistling away, totally oblivious to our soggy sneakers!

Winter Wonderland

“You can’t get too much winter in the winter”

Robert Frost

 

On Sunday, March rolled into West Michigan just as February had departed…clear and frosty cold.  It was a perfect day to head back to Lake Michigan and one of the unique attractions we have here; the Muskegon luge track!

The Muskegon Winter Sports Complex is located in Muskegon State Park.  It is a partnership between the Michigan Department of Natural Resources, the Muskegon Sports Council, the Muskegon Luge Club and the West Michigan Speed Skating Association.

The first thing you encounter at the complex is a large skating rink.

Next to the concession and warming building is a fire ring with benches surrounding it.  It was bone-chilling cold on Sunday, so the fire rings were well used!

There were several folks in the concession building, and everyone seemed to be having a great time.

Off the back side of the building is the start of the skating trail through the woods.  This is a lighted trail that is very well maintained and smooth.  The trail to the right is the ski, snowshoe and hiking trail.  It is also the path to the luge track.

At the bottom of the track is another large fire ring, and the meeting place for the lugers.  The Muskegon luge course was designed by Olympian Frank Masley and is where the most decorated American luger, Mark Grimmette, got his start.  He grew up just up the road from here.  This course is not as massive as the courses in Lake Placid and Salt Lake, but it is challenging nonetheless.

And it is open to the public!

Public sliders start about 3/4 of the way up the hill.

 

The run goes quite a ways up!

The top of the hill bears the champion’s name.

Here is the next group getting ready to head up the hill.

Hmmmmm…..should I give it a shot?  Not this trip!

While we were there, several snowshoers trekked by.

This woman and a boy who appeared to be her grandson were out Nordic skiing.

Once we finished checking out the sports complex, we crossed the road and checked out the campground.  Muskegon State Park has several campsites plowed and ready for campers.  No one was taking them up on it, but it certainly would be a beautiful place to stay in the winter.

There are also a few camping cabins available.

At the center of the campground is the trail to Lake Michigan.

Wow!  Perched up on the dune, you can see a long way! About 80 miles across that ice is where Peter and Peg from Life Unscripted used to live in Milwaukee.

Like we saw in Saugatuck, the ice piles were huge.  West Michigan just endured the coldest February ever recorded, and that is a major contributor to these formations.  Grand Rapids averaged 13.3 degrees!

There were several ice caves a ways out.

There even was some open water in the distance.  Could spring be far away?

Or perhaps the dog days of summer?

Our forecast is calling for temperatures in the 40’s next week.  It is going to feel like a heat wave, for sure.  This winter has been tough, but we have really enjoyed it.  During our working years, we never had a chance to really experience winter like we were able to this year.  It sure has been a lot of fun!

 

With that said…bring on Spring!  🙂

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A Cracked Shower, a Cute Doggie, and a Prized Pig!

“You will enrich your life immeasurably if you approach it with a sense of wonder and discovery, and always challenge yourself to try new things.”

Nate Berkus

Last week, we noticed that our shower floor was cracked.  Back when we first bought the trailer (used), we noticed the shower floor was ‘soft’.  I had made an attempt to beef it up as best I could through the access panel in the front, but it was really a temporary fix at best.



The photo above shows the OSB supports I slid in.  There was still quite a large area unsupported.  



As shown above, the floor cracked in two places.  This left us with little option other than to replace the shower floor. After a short period of self pity, I sized up the situation. I briefly considered installing a residential shower, but felt that it would require too much customization, and I was concerned about the lack of access to the plumbing.  When I pulled off the access panel from the shower base, I noticed the manufacturer label on the back that indicated the unit was made by Duo-Form.  I did a little web search and found that they were located in Edwardsburg, Michigan, just north of South Bend, Indiana.  I called them and found out that they still manufactured these showers.  Road trip!  This is where the cute doggie comes in….



We are watching my sister’s schnauzer Sophia for a few weeks.  It has been really fun to have a puppy around for a little bit, and Sophia is just about as adorable as they come.



And she likes to ride in the truck!  She wasn’t happy about the big snow piles in Edwardsburg, as it is hard to find a place to pee!



Duo-Form was easy to find, and the people there were very nice. We were in and out in a flash.  Seeing it was around noon, we decided to find a place for lunch.  My gluten allergy always makes it a challenge to find places to eat, and we usually check out the app ‘Find Me Gluten Free’.  We prefer local over chains. Bingo!  There was a bar-b-que joint listed about 8 miles from us.



On the outskirts of Niles, we found The Prized Pig.



This was a pleasant restaurant with a full parking lot…always a good sign!



All of their meats are gluten free, as are their cole slaw and beans (and possibly other sides…I didn’t check).



Diana and I both had chicken and beans, she had potato salad and I had slaw.  She got both hers and my cornbread.  🙂  The meal was amazing, to say the least!  After looking at the map, we determined that The Prized Pig is ‘on the way’ to my Aunt Marge’s place in Indiana, and we will be coming back to try the ribs!  They are located at 33331 US 12 just southeast of Niles.  Hours are 11 until they run out, Wednesday through Sunday.

Of special note to history buffs:  Niles, Vandalia, Cassopolis and the surrounding area are all Underground Railroad historical sites.  We definitely want to come back and check out the remaining ‘stations’ and learn about this part of American history.

Back home, time to dig into this project!  Following is a sequential journey through this five hour long project.



The first step was to remove the glass door and frame, which came out as an assembly.  It was held in by three screws on each side.



Next, I removed the three screws on each of the side glass panels, thus allowing their removal.



After that, I removed the three screws holding each of the C channels that the side panels were anchored to.



I had also debated whether or not to remove the aluminum channel from the base at this time, but decided to wait until I was ready to reassemble the new base, so as to not damage the corners on the channel.  There isn’t a lot of room to set things in an RV in the winter.



Hmmm…how is this shower head bracket attached?  There are no visible screws.  There is a tiny notch near the wall, though.



Putting a screwdriver in there revealed that the cover slides off.



And there are the screws!  It was mounted with three…I got ahead of myself before shooting this image.  🙂



Once the shower head bracket was removed, I started working the plastic wall away from the back wall.  The manufacturer had used a low-grade two-sided tape for this, and half of it wasn’t even stuck.  That actually worked to my advantage.  



Once I knew the wall had come off without damage, I shut off the water and  disconnected the plumbing.  I then set the surround out of the way.



Wow…look at that access hole.  It does serve it’s intended purpose, though.



I removed the drain connection and the four screws that attached the flange to the wall.  The arrows point to the cracks.



It is easy to see the indentations in the foam from the platform.  That entire front area was unsupported.



The platform itself was only made of 1/2″ thick MDF board.



Looking at the old platform, it is easy to see why it wouldn’t support much weight. Off to the trash it goes.  🙂



This is the area I had left to work with.  The floor insulation can be seen below the subfloor.  I trimmed off the loose linoleum to provide a flat surface.



Here is my new and improved platform..  I used 3/4″ thick OSB and 2×4’s.  It is solid as a rock.  It did add a little weight to the rig, but that it perfectly OK.



Once in place, I secured it to the floor with screws toenailed in from the sides.  Note that, instead of the U-shaped cutout that was in the old platform, I simply cut a hole for the drain.  By doing so, I left the structural integrity of the platform intact.  There was still plenty of access below the platform to reattach the drain line.



On the bottom of the new shower base, Duo-Form had the same area unsupported.  Knowing that this would pose the same issue down the road, I filled it in with foam pieces from the old platform.



I then secured it with duct tape.  It isn’t going anywhere, especially since it will be sandwiched between the base and the platform.  Duo-Form, please take note of this, as this is a simple solution to a pretty big issue.



I reinstalled the new base by screwing the flange to the wall.  I then reattached the drain.



Using 3M two-sided tape from Home Depot, I placed strips on the back of the surround walls next to where the old foam tape was.  This allowed better adhesion.  I had removed as much of the old tape as I could with a scraper.



The walls went right back into place!  Note that Duo-Form no longer makes the marbled color base.  We felt the tone of the parchment colored base matched the old walls and were just fine.



I then attached the aluminum flange on the shower base, followed by the wall flanges and the shower head mount and plumbing.



Next, I reattached the side glass panels.



After that, I reinstalled the door assembly.  Of all the work on this project, this piece of the puzzle was probably the trickiest.  It required a bit of finagling and patience, but it finally went in.  I then reinstalled the access panel and recaulked and was finished.

This project was a challenge to say the least, especially given the lack of space to do it in..and it being below freezing outside.  Nate was right… it feels really good to have tackled this project and have it completed, and the repair should last as long as the rig.

Acadia National Park – Throwback Thursday

“Did you ever see a place that looks like it was built just to enjoy? Well, this whole state of Maine looks that way to me.”
Will Rogers

Every three years, from 1986 through 2010, we would make our pilgrimage from Michigan to Maine. (We missed 2013, as we needed to stay closer to Diana’s mom.). Just driving across the border into Maine from either New Hampshire or Quebec, we felt as if we were ‘home’. Our ultimate destination was Acadia National Park. From the first time we set foot in Acadia, there was something about the place that spoke to us.

IMG_0424

It is at this geographical point that the Appalachian Mountains meet the sea. Acadia is located mostly on Mount Desert Island (pronounced ‘dessert’, as the French explorers noted that the tops of the mountains were deserted…or devoid of trees). In national park terms, Acadia is rather small. It is also known to be one of the most heavily used parks in the system.

IMG_0422

With that being said, we have never failed to find solitude here when we have sought it. Acadia is also unique in that they allow dogs on the hiking trails. Our favorite hike has always been the summit of South Bubble Mountain, which overlooks Jordan Pond and the Atlantic Ocean beyond.

IMG_0417

Here we are with Jenny in 2010 at the summit. This is a hike that can be done with all ages and a good set of athletic shoes. Our friend’s four year old, Billy, did it with no trouble at all.

IMG_0418

Jenny absolutely loved it up there, as did our two previous Golden Retrievers, Katie and Dakota. (Katie’s full AKC name was Belisle’s Acadian Sunset, a testament to the love we have for this place). Maine is chock full of wild blueberries in early August, and Katie was an expert at picking them off the bushes on South Bubble. Dakota, on the other hand, would try to devour the entire bush and would end up spitting the whole thing out. :). Our advice for this hike: get there early, and you won’t see another soul for hours.

Another story I am compelled to share occurred in July, 2004. We had just lost both Katie and Dakota to cancer in May and June. Before we got Jenny, we made the trip to Acadia dogless. As we were coming out of Trenton on Route 3, there above the island was a beautiful double rainbow. Yes, indeed…this place speaks to us.

Acadia boasts of having the highest point on the eastern seaboard; Cadillac Mountain. While it is only 1530 feet high, that is from sea level…and the sea is within view.

IMG_0426

The summit of Cadillac is the first place in the continental US that sees the sunrise each day. Every morning, weather permitting, people make the trek to the top for the spectacle. With Acadia being on the extreme eastern edge of the Eastern time zone, it requires getting up really early! We did it one time with Kate and Dakota. Our preference has always been the sunsets from up there.

IMG_0423

A great spot to watch the sunset is the Blue Hill Overlook. It is there that we learned (from a Kodak representative who was set up there) the trick to stick around for a half hour after the sun actually sets, as the clouds erupt with color and provide a spectacular show. It only works if there are some high clouds. Next time you watch a sunset with a crowd, watch everyone leave when Old Sol disappears. Stay put with the few who know this secret. You won’t be disappointed.

MDI is dotted with several lakes and ponds.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

This photo is of Bubble Pond. While it looks small, it is deceptively long, and it is crystal clear. While there are usually quite a few people present on the northern shore of this pond, it is rare to find anyone with their kayaks on it. We took the time to get our boats off the truck and paddle it one time, and we were not disappointed. Our favorite paddle is Jordan Pond. Even though this body of water is surrounded by a well used trail, there is a certain sense of solitude once you pull away from the shore. It is on Jordan Pond that our kayaks got their names, Catsup and Mustard. (Ask us around a campfire about that). Just a note to anyone wanting to paddle the ponds on MDI: these waters are public water supplies, and body contact is against the law. There are local water officers that are authorized to write tickets. We wear wetsuit boots to get in and out of our boats, and we have been personally thanked by the officers for doing so.

In the previous photo of the top of Cadillac Mountain, you can see a four-masted schooner with red sails. That is the Margaret Todd. The first trip we took to Maine, we took an evening sail with Captain Steve Pagels on his two-masted schooner Janet May. Each trip back, we made this a tradition. After a few trips, Captain Pagels had sold Janet May and renovated a fishing schooner to become the three-masted schooner, Natalie Todd. A few more trips down the road, and he stepped it up to build a four-masted schooner, Margaret Todd.

IMG_0420

As you can see, his cruises have become quite popular.

IMG_0421

He employs a young crew who spend their summers in the area, and he enlists the help of passengers to help raise the sails. These trips are always a great way to spend an afternoon or evening.

IMG_0419

A favorite destination is Bass Harbor Head Lighthouse. While it is not open for visitors, it is a great spot for photographs.

Most of the visitors to Acadia limit themselves to the Park Loop Road….but Acadia is so much more than that. The park has hundreds of nooks and crannies to be explored, some of which you will find complete solitude. Most of the trails are easy hikes, even up the mountains. Some are strenuous, and some are even technical. A visitor can go from complete serenity to the nightlife of Bar Harbor within minutes. It is possible to go from seeing a lobster boat in a fishing harbor to seeing the Queen Mary II in Frenchman Bay. A cyclist can navigate their mountain bike on the fifty miles of carriage paths left by John D. Rockefeller (no cars), and sunbathers can spend the day at Sand Beach. A visitor can climb on the rocks with the crowds at Thunder Hole, or explore the quiet side of the island with no one else around. For our 25th wedding anniversary, we chose to celebrate by hiking to the top of Penobscot Mountain.

IMG_0429

I couldn’t think of a place I would rather be than up there with my sweetheart. 🙂

IMG_0425

As you can see, Maine and Acadia have become second homes to us. We could write volumes about our experiences there. Even with our numerous two week trips to that slice of heaven, we have only scratched the surface of the many things to do there. We have caravanned with our friends Karen and Bill and their children Nina, Christine and Billy twice, and with Mike and Cindy and their boys Brian and Eric once. They loved every minute of it. Diana and I chuckle when we meet people who tell us that they spent the day there and ‘saw everything there was to see’. We have yet to become bored with Acadia, and we discover another layer each time we go. We have to agree with Will Rogers, as Maine has been, and will continue to be, pure enjoyment for us.

Wild Weekend Weather

“Iceberg right ahead!”
Frederick Fleet, Titanic Lookout

While those words were uttered in the North Atlantic, seeing these icebergs reminded us of that night in 1912, and the sheer power the Great Lakes hold within them.

Last weekend, we posted photos of the ice at Grand Haven. Since then, Lake Michigan had a strong storm roll through with winds coming down it’s length out of the north/northwest. Yesterday, after the storm passed, we went to Oval Beach in Saugatuck to take a look. This is the same beach that taught us to respect Lake Michigan when we took a day trip from Holland on a friend’s 16 foot Prindle Cat. We were tossed into pilings by a squall that kicked up and snapped our mast rigging. (Ask us about that at a campfire sometime).

IMG_0394

As far as the eye could see, the ice that lined the lakeshore the week before was broken apart and lodged into the lake bottom at odd angles.

IMG_0390

Wind gusts in excess of 60 MPH broke the ice into large bergs. Did these chunks originate in Michigan or Wisconsin?

IMG_0391

This gentleman ventured out for a closer look.

IMG_0392

Last week, most of the lake was open water at Grand Haven. This week had broken chunks out as far as we could see. It should be stated that Saugatuck is 30 miles south of Grand Haven. It is 100 miles north of the southern end of the lake. When the wind comes down out of the north, the southern end of the lake fills with ice.

IMG_0398

The sand and snow on the beach were swirled together into a parfait.

IMG_0393

Even though the winds were fierce, the temperatures broke record lows and the wind chills were well below zero, the sun was out through most of it. It was absolutely beautiful.

IMG_0387

Once again, Lake Michigan did not disappoint in either its beauty or its power. We never know what we are going to find when we arrive at the shore. We are very fortunate to live so close to this natural wonder. And just so you know, it is really beautiful in the summer too! 🙂

Jim and Barb's RV Adventure

Don't just see it..BE it! ©

Metamorphosis Road

Don't just see it..BE it! ©

Bill & Kelly's American Odyssey

Traveling Across America

The MoHo and Other Traveling Tales

Don't just see it..BE it! ©

Smiles per gallon club

Bert and Kat's RV travels

On The Road with Maxine & Me

What we have been doing

Trekking with the Bs

Don't just see it..BE it! ©

The Traveling Todds

Sharing a quest to see America

Our Future in an RV

Digital Notebook of Our Planning Stage

Geogypsy

Travel & connecting to nature

Camper Chronicles

Travel Tales from Somewhat Experienced Full Timers

Living The Dream...

Don't just see it..BE it! ©

The Chouters (Linda & Steven)

Don't just see it..BE it! ©

MNdrifters

Don't just see it..BE it! ©

The Nordic Light

VAA ERIKSEN PHOTO

Life Unscripted

Life doesn’t have to be scripted, planned, and pre-defined. Embrace the slips and falls, celebrate the uncertainty, revel in the unexpected.

Paint Your Landscape

A Journey of Self-Discovery & Adventure

2 Hearts & 2 Wheels

Not all who wander are lost...

therestlessyoungs

Don't just see it..BE it! ©

FOSJ

Don't just see it..BE it! ©

Darwin on the rocks and around the world

Photography and travel blog

Travel Tales of Life

Travelers. Adventurers. Storytellers.

Wandering With Us

A Journey Through Life with Shannon and Mariel

HappiLeeRVing

Don't just see it..BE it! ©

Michigan Traveler

The life on the road of Bob & Pat Wangen - Not all those who wander are lost

Wandering Dawgs

Wandering around Georgia and beyond

The Lowe's RV adventures

Jammin' on down the road - hop in and enjoy the ride!

Oh, the Places They Go!

Two retired educators touring the country in their motorhome

Travel With The Bayfield Bunch:))

Don't just see it..BE it! ©

Liv2RV

Living and working around the country in a 5th wheel

Live Laugh RV

Our next Chapter

Winnie Views

Don't just see it..BE it! ©

Down the Road

Don't just see it..BE it! ©

Adventure 69°North

Adventure and Photography - Passion for the Outdoors

Wheeling It

Living the Fulltime RV Dream with 12 Paws, 40 Feet and the Open Road

%d bloggers like this: