Sebastian Inlet State Park – March 11 – 19, 2022

Sebastian Inlet is a man-made cut between the Atlantic Ocean and the Indian River Lagoon, in Brevard County, FL. It was cut across a barrier island in the late 1800’s. The state park is located on either side of the inlet on the barrier island. It has three miles of beaches, a swimming area on the inlet, a small campground, two gift shops and couple of museums. The inlet, the lagoon and the piers are very popular fishing spots, as well as photo opportunities for birders. Over 190 bird species have been identified there.

Pelican Island National Wildlife refuge is about 4 miles south of the park. It was the first National Wildlife Refuge (NWR) in the country. We hiked the trails and boardwalk. There were far more birds at Sebation Inlet, but it was definitely worth visiting the historic location.

We enjoyed time on the beautiful beach, walking and running near the park, and seeing all of the birds and dolphins. The familiar sound of boats in the area made us feel at home, as it was like the sounds near our home in Michigan, during the summer. I also realized I like being around people who are fishing. They tend to be quiet and relaxed and generally in a good mood. It was sunny, hot and humid, with the exception of  a major storm, with 40 mph wind gusts. After leaving, I really regretted not taking my paddleboard out in the lagoon, on the calm days.

The weather was nice. The restrooms and showers were in good shape and very clean. The campsites were pretty well-maintained. The employees and camp hosts were very friendly and seemed happy to be there. The only problem was the no-see-ums. They were as bad as black flies at their peak in Michigan. Every bite was extremely painful for me, so I was covered from head to toe, while in camp, sweating in the 85-degree humid weather. Dave did not feel the bites, so suffered from the itchy aftermath, looking like he had the measles.  We purchased the recommended repellent, but it didn’t help much. We were forced to keep all of the windows closed and leave our noisy air conditioning running because the bugs can fly through window screens. We had reserved two full weeks there, but were happy we could leave early, for an ocean-front site at Gamble Rogers State Park. Though it’s a great park, we will not likely return because of the bugs.

Sebastian Inlet State Park, Vero Beach FL
On the fishing pier at Sebastian Inlet State Park, Vero Beach, FL
A Wood Stork eating scraps from a fisherman at Sebastian Inlet State Park, Vero Beach, FL
View of the fishing pier and inlet from the upper deck of Surfside Grill and Adventures, Sebastian Inlet State Park
Walking Tree Brewery, Vero Beach, FL (Walking Tree is another name for Mangrove Tree, which can be seen everywhere in this area)
Pelican Island National Wildlife Refuge, Vero Beach, FL
A Strangler Fig wrapped around a palm tree at Pelican Island National Wildlife Refuge, Vero Beach, FL
Pelican Island National Wildlife Refuge, Vero Beach, FL. The board walk commemorates each National Wildlife Refuge in the country.
Pelican Island National Wildlife Refuge, Vero Beach, FL
Slushie enjoying his second favorite holiday. I was happy to finally wear my shirt (pandemic and other obstacles the past few years) – Hell’n Blazes Brewing Company, Melbourne, FL
Hanging with the locals on St Patrick’s Day in Melbourne, FL. Dave’s Maui to Molokai shirt was the perfect color.
Trying to minimize no-see-uhm bites.
Sebastian Inlet State Park, Vero Beach FL
Sebastian Inlet State Park, Vero Beach FL
At Sand on the Beach, Melbourne Beach, FL


2022 Spring RV tour – Heading to warmer weather, Mar 6 – 10


We left Michigan on Sunday, March 6. The snow was pretty much gone and it was a good travel day. Most of our first few days were planned around avoiding driving in bad weather. Overall, it worked out pretty well. Our last day at Faver-Dykes was really rainy, but we fit in a decent hike, early. We did not feel like going to see anything in St. Augustine, after experiencing the traffic and crowds there, last year. Maybe next time… Our main goal was to get to Sebastian Inlet on 3/11 and to start enjoyng some warm, sunny weather in a new location.

Clinton/Knoxville North KOA Journey, Clinton, TN – We drove further than planned, the first night, to avoid storms. It was worth it! We stayed one night.
Forsyth KOA Journey, Forsyth, GA – one night here.
Fox City Brewing Co, Forsyth, GA – Great microbrewery. Forsyth used to be known as Fox City, likely because of the all-womens college that used to be there. The brewery used to be an ice house and a yarn factory. We also went to a Mexican place that was almost as good as the ones in S Dakota. 
Buc-ee’s BBQ  – The brisket and turkey sandwiches were great. Huge place – lots of food and shopping.
Buc-ee’s BBQ
Eagle’s Roost RV Resort, Lake Park, GA another quick overnight stop. We left quickly in the morning to avoid storms.
Faver-Dykes State Park, St. Augustine, FL – stayed two nights, to have a break from travel. Very quiet here. We stayed in the campground, hiked and cooked dinner. I worked on my blog.
Hiking at Faver-Dykes State Park, St. Augustine, FL – We hiked about 3.5 miles here.
Hiking at Faver-Dykes State Park, St. Augustine, FL

Cross country skiing in Grayling, MI – Feb 25 – Mar 1, 2022

Between Maui and our spring camping trip, I was able to fit in my annual cross country ski trip with my friend, Marcy. We have been friends for 29 years and she is definitely one of my BFFs. We met at GM and started skiing together soon after. We discovered Stokely Creek Lodge in Goulais River, ON a year or 2 later, and that became our only ski destination. We used to go 2 or 3 times a year, but since Dave and I started going to Maui, we’ve gone once a year. I’m pretty sure some people initially thought Marcy and I were a couple. I noticed some surprised looks when I showed up with a ring and started talking about Dave. I guess it wasn’t just at Stokely. Some people in my own family also suspected…Hahaha!

We were not very good skiers for the first few years. In fact, we did not know how to slow down or stop. We simply wiped out to stop. Thankfully,  Chuck, the original owner of the lodge, showed us how to snow-plow, one day, when he was skiing with us and noticed our awkward and painful technique for stopping. This is one of hundreds of great memories of skiing together.  We both love gliding along in the snow, enjoying nature and staying warm while doing it. We both love classic and skate skiing, though we are not very fast. We travel with at least 3 pairs of skis each and  at least 2 types of boots.

This year we decided we didn’t want to deal with crossing the border and having to pass Covid tests. We didn’t want to risk losing our deposit, if one of us tested positive or if something else went wrong. We decided to go to Grayling instead, because we know some avid skiers who skied there last year and liked the trails and grooming. Apparently, last year they had snow when Traverse City did not. We booked Finley’s Riverside cabins because the pictures looked great, the price was reasonable and they had the best cancelation policy.

We had a great time. The cabin was cozy, but still had plenty of space, with 2 double beds, a well-equipped kitchen area and bath. The owners were friendly and left homemade zuchini bread for us. It was very close to the Cross Country Ski Shop, where I could have new ski bindings mounted to my skis, by someone who actually knows about cross country skiing (there is no such place in SE Michigan).  We cooked most of our own food, which was really nice.

We skied at Forbush Corners in Frederic, MI. The trails and grooming were pretty nice. They actually have the ability to make snow on some of the trails, when necessary. It’s owned by a non-profit and run by volunteers.  It was really busy, with a lot of really good skiers. Hanson Hills Recreation Area in Grayling had nice trails and grooming. I prefer that place because there is no freeway noise and there are more miles of trails without really steep hills. At Forbush corner the longest easier trail runs along I-75, though it is still quite pretty. I did have a moment at Forbush where I felt like Jessie Diggins for about 5 minutes. I was flying along with my new bindings on my waxable skiis and just laughing because it was so fun!

Stokely Creek Lodge has many more miles of trails, amazing grooming, tons of lake effect snow, a cozy lodge, fabulous meals and always some familiar faces.  Though we miss it, we really enjoyed Grayling and are happy to know of another much closer alternative to ski, especially for a last minute quick trip. I will be hoping and praying for some early snow this year in November or December.


So happy to ski again, after 2 years! Hanson Hills Recreation Area, Grayling, MI

Finley’s Riverside Cabins, Grayling, Mi
Finley’s Riverside Cabins, Grayling, Mi
Nicely groomed trails through the woods. We mostly had the whole place to ourselves! Hanson Hills Recreation Area, Grayling, MI.
Skiing at Stokely Creek Lodge. View of Walker Lake from Evans Lake Trail – one of my favorite trails. (Feb 2019)
Skiing along Stokely Creek (Feb 2019)
Skiing at Stokely Creek Lodge. (Feb 2017)

Maui – Jan 3 – Feb 18, 2022

I may eventually post more on Maui, when I’m not traveling. We have been going there for about 23 years and purchased a condo there about 16 years ago. Over the years we’ve been spending more and more time there, with the exception of 2019 and 2020, due to the pandemic,

This year we decided to spend only 6 weeks there. Since I retired, we can spend as much time as we want to, except for during Dave’s pre-holiday busy season. We had made reservations for a spring southern camping trip, in case the pandemic prevented us from going again. We decided to follow that plan, cutting the maui trip short and recouping some lost rental revenue in Hawaii. Rental rates on Maui are more than double what they have ever been.

We were extremely happy to be there again. Many things have changed. A lot of people have left the island, some have passed away, many happy hours have been discontinued, prices for everything are much higher, places have closed and people have changed jobs. We have gotten used to not going out much and cooking, so we continued that. We had the best winter weather we have ever experienced there, with no rain and very little wind. It was wonderful. We saw more whales than ever, icluding the birth of a baby, all from our condo. We also saw monk seals, turtles and dolphins. We were also happy to see friends again.

Maui morning view of Molokai from our lanai
With our long-time friends Ron and Rhowena in Lahaina. We actually met them through SUP racing in Michigan, but they live in Kihei. We met up with them  this trip, but didn’t take photos. They made some awesome fish tacos for us.  (photo taken April 2017)
Sightseeing northwest Maui
Finally having a beer at Hula Grill with Kawika again! A local musician, he was our first friend on Maui, over 20 years ago, and the first person to know we were engaged. The name Kawika in equivalent to David. Their birthdays are a couple of days apart, so it’s an excuse to celebrate together.
Honolua Bay
Happy hour at the Hula Grill with our friend, Jeffrey. I call him “my twin brother from another mother and another year”, as we have the same birthday. (photo taken April 2018)
Maui sunset view from The Kaanapali Beach Hotel Tiki Bar in 2018. The Tiki Bar is gone and there is a new restaurant where the palm trees are. We miss the casual atmosphere, great live hawaiian music, hula dancing and much aloha from the staff.
Dave with lengendary bartender, Uncle Dale, at the Kaanapali Beach Hotel Tiki Bar, aka “Tiki”. Several days ago, he left this world. RIL, Uncle. You are dearly missed by so many. Your Aloha lives on. (Photo taken March 2018)
Maui sunset view of island Lanai from our lanai

Summary of our 2021 camping adventures

Before I start posting for 2022, I will summarize our travels in 2021.

We took two major tours – a 4-month RV winter trip to the southern US and a 5 1/2-week Colorado trip. We traveled over 13,000 miles through 18 states: AL, FL, GA, SC, NC, VA, PA, MI, IL, NE, CO, IA, OH. KY, TN, MD, IN, KS.

We camped in 12 states:  AL, FL, GA, SC, NC, VA, PA, MI, IL, NE, CO, IA. (We have camped in 15 states, total, in our RV, including WI, MN and SD in 2020.)

We camped 24 nights in Michigan including 4 different campgrounds and 18 nights at our own Northern Outpost. We spent 181 nights in the RV, totalling 309, since we purchased it in August 2018.

Running log of Michigan campgrounds (since we purchased the RV in 2018):

Sanilac County Forester Park
Stafford County Park (we do not recommend)
Holland State Park
Young State Park
Fayette State Park
Marquette City Park
Porcupine Mountains State Park
McLain State Park
Wilderness State Park
Brimley State Park
Cheboygan State Park
Orchard Beach State Park
Hartwick Pines State Park
Lake Michigan Rustic Campground, Hiawatha National Forest
Wells State Park
Fort Wilkins State Park
Tahquamenon Falls State Park
Straits State Park
Wild Cherry Resort, Leelanau
Warren Dunes State Park
Grand Haven State Park
Ludington State Park

Our first camping trip with our newly purchased RV. Sanilac County Forester Park October 2018