It is currently 5 degrees (-28 degree windchill), the wind is howling, it’s snowing and we are both not feeling well. A post about our fun summer is just what I need right now. It also fills a huge time gap in this blog.
After returning from our winter trip, we decided to take a break from traveling and to have a more relaxing summer and fall. We split our time between our “sticks and bricks” in SE Michigan and our “Northern Outpost” in Frankfort, MI. While at home, we took care of the house and other responsibilities and met up with family and friends.
I am posting a lot of photos from the outpost, where we spent 47 nights, this year, camping off-grid in the RV. Highlights were meeting up with many friends we haven’t seen in a long time, hiking, paddling, cycling, mountain biking, bald eagles, sunsets, great weather, and just enjoying nature.
-inspected and repacked wheel bearings
-inspected and adjusted trailer brakes
-inspected and greased suspension
-painted RV frame, springs, and rear bumper, stabilizers
-sanitized fresh water system, flushed and winterized.
-inspected and cleaned roof
-installed new awning
-installed new microwave
-washed, cut, waxed entire exterior
-plugged or re-plugged all mouse entry points
As October approached, we planned for our annual RV maintenence, based on the weather forcast. The plan was to bring the RV home, to work on it, stopping at some new campgrounds along the way. I was hopeful that this would not be our final trip for the year.
Last days in Frankfort 2022
We headed up to our Northern Outpost in Frankfort, MI for our last two nights of the year there. We did a couple of final short hikes and visited a couple of microbrewries. We packed up or put away everything for winter and closed up the outhouse/tool shed. The only reason leaving for the year wasn’t so bad, was that we were headed to a couple of new locations, on our way home.
South Higgins Lake State Park
We had never been to Higgins lake, so we booked a couple of nights at South Higgins Lake State Park. It was a pretty, 2-hour drive from Frankfort, with the beginning of fall colors near the center of the state. The campground was nearly empty and our site was beautiful. We know it is an absolute circus during peak season, as South Higgins Lake is known to be the “party camground”, with a boat launch area. The North Higgins Lake campground is supposedly more family-oriented. We hiked at the Mari Lake trails, nearby. We drove around the area, checking out Roscommon and Houghton Lake and had a nice campfire.
Port Crescent State Park
We headed to Port Crescent State Park next. We were a little bummed that the microbrewery in Caseville and a couple of great places on Port Austin were closed because it was mid-week and off-season. When we saw our campsite we did not mind at all. It was a beautiful, calm afternoon, perfect for enjoying some quiet time on the beautiful beach. We happened to notice our neighbors’ bikes looked equipped for touring, with Brooks saddles and panniers, so Dave asked if they did any bike touring. It so happens that they had recently completed the Transamerica trail, just as Dave did when he was 20. The main difference, though, is they were 60! We had a lot of fun talking to them.
The highlight of our time at this park, was running into Skallywag, the German Shepherd and her owners, Bob and Wendy. We first met them at Fort Pickens, last winter, 2021 . (I wrote about them near the end of this post: Fort Pickens Area – Gulf Islands National Seashore – Pensacola Beach, FL Feb 25 – Mar 3 ). They live in Owosso, spend a lot of time in Cheboygan in summer, and enjoy Florida camping in the winter, so we figured we we see them again, somewhere. I saw the dog, when we were first driving into the park and I thought of them, not realizing it was actually them until we walked around the campground later. It was so great to catch up with them. It was just like when we were at Flagler Beach in spring, and realized were were camping near a couple from Maine, who were also at Fort Pickens at the same time. Bob and Wendy got a kick out of that, as they also remember the people from Maine.
We headed home to start our annual RV maintance after 119 nights of camping, this year. That is a total of 497 nights since we purchased the RV in fall of 2018, with Port Crescent State Park being our 79th camping location.