Sunday, November 23, 2014

Wisconsin to Georgia

I’m very late in this blog, I know!! This content in this blog is from Sept 15 to Oct. 18.

I headed to Madison, WI Sept. 15.  The main reason for this stop was to get my RV washed and waxed.  I usually pay someone to do this about once a year and do it myself once a year. 

I left Madison and headed to Illini State Park in Illinois.  I was there just for a few days and had hoped to do some walking and biking.  I did bike to the Marseilles locks, which are just a short distance through the park.  It was fun watching a barge (actually 9 barges tied together) going through the locks.

Below are the 9 barges starting into the locks--

One of the barges before they started letting the water out--

I could not see too much as they 9 barges took up all of the room in the locks.  Below is a picture looking over the tops of the barges after they let out the water and just before it headed out of the locks.

From Illini State Park, I headed to Shipshewana, IN.  The main reason for stopping here was I had an appointment at the Onan repair shop in Elkhart, IN to work on my generator.  A few months before I could not get my generator to start and had about a half a tank of gas (the generator will not work with less than 1/4 tank of gas).  After filling up with gas, the generator started up so the mechanic said that it sounded like the rod that goes into the tank had broken off and would now only work with more gas in the tank.  I had to decide if that was ok or if I wanted to get it fixed.  I decided to get it fixed, so I made the appointment for September.  Once they got in there, they found it was not a broken rod, but I had an extremely dirty fuel line to the generator.  They said it may have been that I got some dirty gas that didn’t bother how the RV ran, but gummed up the generator line.  I hate when mechanics really don’t know, but the generator has worked since then!  While in Shipshewana I rode the same bike trail that I blogged about when I was there in the Spring. 

From here, I headed to Cave City, KY for a couple of days.  I did a bit of hiking on one of the trails in Mammoth Cave National Park, but didn’t go down in any of the caves since I did that not too long ago.

Then I headed to Cloudland Canyon State Park in Georgia where the SouthEast Lazy Daze group had a get together.  It’s always fun to see so many Lazy Daze RVs in one place. I think we had 12 or 13 RVs.


Every morning I walked 3 – 5 miles with some of that on the paved trail at the rim of the Canyon.  We had rain a couple of days so we saw waterfalls that don’t always run. 

From here I headed to Mountain City, GA for a week and then down to Fort Yargo State Park.  I will blog about that later.

Saturday, October 11, 2014


In my last post about Iron River, I forgot one thing.  One morning while walking the trail I saw something that I have never seen before in the wild.  Well I have seen them dead, but never alive and it was a bit scary.  I saw a skunk!!  He was about 10 feet away from me and when I saw him his tail started moving up.  I immediately starting thinking about what you have to do if sprayed by a skunk.  I kept walking and then he turned and went the other way.  Interesting, but one of those things I don’t really want to see again!!!  And no, I did not stop to take his picture. 

While in Wisconsin in early September, I stayed at 2 state parks about 30 minutes apart.  The first was Brunett Island State Park and the second was Lake Wissota State Park.  Both are fairly close to my sister and both were close to a bike path.  I typically stay at Lake Wissota when I visit my sister and her family, but I ended up with an extra week and decided to try Brunett Island.  It is a nice state park on an island in a river and the Old Abe state trail starts (or ends) at this park!

I ended up riding the trail from this end only twice, but really enjoyed it.  It rides through some woods, next to a river and farms.


I went with my sister’s family to Superior, Minnesota and on up to Gooseberry Falls State Park.  We had a great day walking around Superior and then hiking to the falls and lake.

My sister, Amy and her family at the lake shore in Superior --

One of the falls at Gooseberry Falls -

The kids in front of the falls (Summer, Parker and Avery) -

Avery taking the easy way --

Tom made it to the top of one of the rocks and of course Parker had to figure out how to get there --

He made it there and back with a little help --

I also went to some sporting events.  I went to see Summer play volleyball.  The rules of volleyball have changed quite a bit since I used to play back in my twenties. The picture is not that good, but Summer is on the other side of the net in the middle – number 5.  They played 2 matches and won all 6 games!!


I also went to one of Parker’s flag football games. That was a first for me and was fun except for the bugs. Parker is in the very middle. 

From here I headed down to Madison, Wisconsin where I got my RV washed and waxed.  From here I headed south.

Monday, September 22, 2014

Iron River, Michigan - 62

I know I am very behind in my blogging!!  Surprise, surprise!! I am currently sitting in the waiting room at the Cummins/Onan Shop in Elkhart, Indiana so I brought my PC so I would have something to do while waiting.  I’ll blog about that later!

I spent the month of August in Iron River, Michigan at the Iron River RV Park.  I have been here a few times in the past so like the last couple of months I didn’t take near as many pictures.

Most days, I walked and/or biked the Apple Blossom Trail which starts right beside the campground.  Part of the trail goes beside a mining museum that I never went to, but saw some interesting things from the path including equipment and buildings.

I also revisited several waterfalls that I have seen in previous trips.  One of my favorites is Bond Falls -

One day I visited the Black River Harbor area which has several waterfalls.  You can visit these by parking at the different trailheads and walking 1/4 to 1/2 mile to see each waterfall or you can take a trail that connects most of them.  I took the trail part of the way, which is part of the North country Scenic Trail.  I hadn’t been doing much hiking recently and really enjoyed the hike. 

Sandstone Falls (and area)-

Lots of steps going down to Sandstone falls --

I think this is Gorge Falls (or maybe Potawatomi?) -


I didn’t visit Rainbow Falls from the Rainbow Falls trailhead.  I had read that the better view was from the other side of the river, so I went to the end of the road and the trail from the Black River Harbor Park and marina heads back to the falls, I was glad I saw it from this side.

One day, I saw this interesting bug on the side of my RV. 

From Iron River, I headed to Wisconsin to visit my sister.  The first week I stayed at Brunette Island State Park and the second week, I stayed at Lake Wissota Falls State Park.  I’ll blog about that soon!

Saturday, August 23, 2014

Houghton, MI - 62

I spent the month of July on the waterfront at Houghton RV Park.  I really like Upper Peninsula of Michigan and especially enjoy this area and have stayed at this park several times.  Most days, I walked and biked and then either went hiking, shopping or just relaxed beside the canal. 

Most of the places I went I have blogged about before so I didn’t take as many pictures as I usually do.  If you are interested in the area, you can look at the blogs I posted in August of 2011 by clicking on the links to the right or here Travelingwpam blogs for August 2011 

Of course I have to post some pictures!!  One of my favorite hikes in the area is Canyon Falls. 

Above is the falls and a look up into the gorge. 

One of my first sightseeing days, I went up into the Keweenaw Peninsula.  I stopped at Brunette Park, a park I had found really interesting several years ago.  But it was quite different, the rocks I had found so interesting were not to be seen.  I later heard that Lake Superior was about a foot higher than normal, so I figured that the rocks were covered up with water.  I went back a couple of weeks later and realized that was the case.   The first picture below is the one I took this year, the second picture I took in 2011 and called the rocks “bacon like”.  

While at Brunette park, I kept hearing a bird calling and finally saw him/her about 20 feet above my car.  I think it was trying to scare me away or else let others know I was around.  It appeared to be a young bird, but I don’t know what type.


One day, I drove up to Copper Harbor.  I walked around town some and also went to a hiking trail that I had not been to before, Hunter’s Point.  The first picture below was taken at the point, the one below that was view just off the trail.

Most mornings I walked 4 to 5 miles on the paved trail that led from the park to Nara Nature trails.

houghton bridge fog

On my second or third day in Houghton, I biked the 4 miles to the Nara Nature Trails.  I planned on walking both boardwalks.  But as I started walking the first one I saw the boardwalks were damaged. 

As you can see in the picture above one side of this part of the boardwalk had partially collapsed and this was one of the not-so-bad ones.  The first few I saw, I walked carefully on the non-collapsed side, then after 4 or 5 of these I came to one that had fallen on both sides.  I decided that I didn’t know if I could trust the boardwalk so I turned around.  I found out that all the snow they had this winter and the heavy spring run-off damaged the boardwalks.  Luckily for me they started repairing these just a few days after my first walk and I was able to enjoy them the last couple of weeks I was in Houghton.

One day I drove out to Porcupine Mountain State Park to hike the East and West River Trail that I have enjoyed so much in the past.  Below are several pictures I took while hiking this trail.  I really like this loop because you get to see the waterfalls from both sides of the river.  Again, more pictures of this area can be found in the August 2011 blogs.


When I was driving to the state park, I noticed a sign that I found so interesting that I saved it on my GPS so that I could take a picture of it when I was headed home.

I’m not sure what it means, aliens abducting cows or maybe it is a drone taking pictures of the cows?????

A sunset picture taken from my site--

From Houghton, I went to Iron River, Michigan where I currently am for the month of August. 

Saturday, July 5, 2014

Grand Marais, Mi

My first stop in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan was at Woodland Park in Grand Marais.  I stayed here a couple of years ago and really enjoyed the area, so I thought I would try it again.  Unfortunately this trip the bugs were very bad.  I was there for 9 days and I only sat outside 2 of those days and not for long either time. 

I usually just put bug spray on and go hiking or whatever, but for some reason the bugs really got to me (physically{bites} and mentally) and I just didn’t want to do much hiking.

For regular readers of my blog this may seem like a repeat as everything I did this trip I did when I was here before!  But I did see a few different things. 

I enjoyed the walk to Sable Falls, which is part of Pictured Rocks National Seashore.  The walk from my campground was about a mile on the Lake Superior shore and then a very short walk into the woods.  The mosquitoes were so bad in the woods that I walked in quickly took a few pictures and walked back out.  They were not as bad on the shore.

I also visited Seney National Wildlife Refuge, where I saw quite a few babies.  Including some baby swans (below), baby ducks and baby Sandhill Cranes --

I only saw a few Loons this trip and they were far away.  But I did get to hear them, which is an amazing sound!

Once or twice a day, I walked 2.5+ miles to the coast guard station.  On one of my trips I saw a man pushing a bike out of the garage, then I realized it was not just a bike--

It’s a mower cycle, at least that’s what I’m calling it.  I was hoping he would be outside when I walked by on the way back because I wanted to know if it worked, but he wasn’t. 

I took a trip to the other side of Pictured Rocks where I had to go to the main overlook and get a shot of Miners Castle. I attempted a hike to Miner Falls, but the bugs chased me back to my car!!

From Grand Marais, I headed to Houghton, MI where I am staying the month of July.  By the way, there are very few mosquitoes here!!!

Sunday, June 29, 2014

Mackinaw City, MI - 45

I stopped in Mackinaw City for a week in the middle of June.  I have always liked going over to Mackinac Island and planned on going over at least once (I ended up going twice).  Also there were other places I hoped to visit while there.

My favorite thing I did while there was to visit the island.  The only way to get to the island is to take a ferry and since cars are not allowed I took my bike.  Both times I rode my bike around the island 4 times for a 32 mile bike ride (plus the 1.5 miles to and from the campground to the ferry for a total of  35 miles!).  I thought about going inland, but decided to stick to the perimeter road.  I have been to the interior before and should have gone again, but I didn’t want to have to bike the hills!!! 

A busy day on M-185 – Michigans only public road where cars are not allowed --

Another shot from M-185--

The downtown part of Mackinac Island can get a bit busy with pedestrians, buggies and cyclist.  Below is a shot taken before 10:00 before it got too crowded.

On my first trip over to the island, I waited an hour to go on a Mighty Mac trip.  This is where the ferry goes under Mackinac Bridge.  To get to the island, they don’t need to go under the bridge but once or twice a day they take this special trip.  In the picture below you can see 2 cars crossing the bridge.

The only time they allow pedestrians on the bridge is during the labor day bridge walk.  I have done that 3 times in the past 25 years and it was always interesting looking through the grates at the lake below.  Well this was different.   Looking up at the bridge, through the grates at the cars and sky. 

In the picture above, you can just make out two people just to the left of the platform that is attached to the wires in the upper right.  They are painters.  On the ferry ride, we learned that it takes their crew 7 years to paint the whole bridge.  By the time they finish, they start all over again! 

I missed the lilac festival by a week, but they were blooming.

A close up of another lilac--


There was some type of bug near the water in Mackinaw City that was driving me and others crazy.  They didn’t bite, but they were annoying.  When I got on the ferry, of course I headed up top and they were all over the seats and sides of the boat.

Mackinac point light house with the bridge in the background—

Mackinac Bridge -

I had planned on going to Petoskey and biking on the Little Traverse Wheelway, but I had biked so much on the island that I just walked a few miles while there. 

After leaving Mackinaw City, I headed to Grand Maris, MI.