Camping & travel summary – 2022

2022 summary
nights camping  – 119
nights at northern outpost – 47
cross-country skiing – 4
Maui – 46
All-time camping summary (since we purchased the RV in fall of 2018)
nights camping – 497
camping locations – 78
states – 17
nights at the Northern Outpost – 126

Updated Campground log

Campground State Year
Rickwood Carverns State Park Alabama 2021
Gulf State Park Alabama 2021
Heaton Bay Campground (White River Nat’l Forest) Colorado 2021
Redstone Campground  (White River Nat’l Forest) Colorado 2021
James M. Robb – Colorado River State Park, Fruita Colorado 2021
Matterhorn Campground (USFS) Colorado 2021
Ouray Riverside Resort Colorado 2021
Lightner Creek Campground Colorado 2021
Bruce Spruce Ranch Colorado 2021
Antlers Rio Grande Lodge/ Campground Colorado 2021
Cheyenne Mountain State Park Colorado 2021
Big Lagoon State Park Florida 2021
Fort Pickens Area – Gulf Islands National Seashore Florida 2021
Henderson Beach State Park Florida 2021
Dr Julian G. Bruce State Park Florida 2021
Anastasia State Park Florida 2021
Gamble Rogers Memorial State Recreation Area Florida 2021, 2022 (x2)
Favor-Dykes State Park Florida 2022
Sebastian Inlet State Park Florida 2022
Fort Clinch State Park Florida 2022
Rodman Campground, Rodman Recreation Area Florida 2022
Rivers End Campground & RV Park, Tybee Island Georgia 2021
Forsyth KOA Journey Georgia 2022
Eagles Roost RV Resort Georgia 2022
Skidaway Island State Park Georgia 2022
Geneseo Campground Illinois 2021
Fisherman’s Corner Illinois 2021
Starved Rock State Park Illinois 2021
Walnut Woods Campground Iowa 2021
Sanilac County Forester Park Michigan 2018
Stafford County Park (we do not recommend) Michigan 2019
Holland State Park Michigan 2019
Young State Park Michigan 2019
Fayette State Park Michigan 2019
Marquette City Park Michigan 2019 (x2), 2020
Porcupine Mountains State Park Michigan 2019
McLain State Park Michigan 2019, 2020
Wilderness State Park Michigan 2019, 2020
Brimley State Park Michigan 2020
Cheboygan State Park Michigan 2020
Orchard Beach State Park Michigan 2020
Hartwick Pines State Park Michigan 2020
Lake Michigan Rustic Campground, Hiawatha Nat’l Forest Michigan 2020
Wells State Park Michigan 2020
Fort Wilkins State Park Michigan 2020
Tahquamenon Falls State Park Michigan 2020
Straits State Park Michigan 2019, 2020
Wild Cherry Resort, Leelanau Michigan 2021
Warren Dunes State Park Michigan 2021
Grand Haven State Park Michigan 2021
Ludington State Park Michigan 2021
Manistee River Trail, Huron-Manistee Nat’l Forest Michigan 2022
South Higgins Lake State Park Michigan 2022
Port Crescent State Park Michigan 2022
Myre-Big Island State Park Minnesota 2020
Blue Mounds State Park Minnesota 2020
Cloquet/Duluth KOA Journey Minnesota 2020
Oregon Inlet, Cape Hatteras National Seashore N. Carolina 2021
Island’s Choice RV Park N. Carolina 2022
Ocracoke Campground, Cape Hatteras Nat’l Seashore N. Carolina 2022
Frisco Campground, Cape Hatteras Nat’l Seashore N. Carolina 2022
Eugene Mahoney State Park Nebraska 2021
Ogallala KOA (we do not recommend) Nebraska 2021
Hunter Cove Park Nebraska 2021
East Harbor State Park Ohio 2022
Fox Den Acres Campground Pennsylvania 2021, 2022
James Island County Park S. Carolina 2021
Huntington Beach State Park S. Carolina 2021, 2022
Badlands National Park, Cedar Pass CG S. Dakota 2020
Buffalo Gap National Grassland (USFS) S. Dakota 2020
Whistler Gulch Campground S. Dakota 2020
Custer State Park S. Dakota 2020
Tower Campground, Sioux Falls (we do not recommend) S. Dakota 2020
Clinton/Knoxville North KOA Tennessee 2022
Fredericksburg / Washington DC South KOA Holiday Virginia 2021
Newport News Park Campground Virginia 2022
Misty Mountains Campground Virginia 2022
Goose Island County Park Wisconsin 2020

Looking back on a great summer in Frankfort, MI – June thru Oct 2, 2022

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.

View of lake Michigan from a favorite local hiking trail. This is one of the trails, where we regularly see bald eagles. We usually see them, on average, every 2 or 3 days. One day, we saw four – two while paddling, another on our way home from paddling and a fourth while hiking on this trail. That was an amazing day! For me, it is always a reminder of freedom, on many levels.
Checking out the weekly live concert in downtown Beulah (photo by Ron S. J.)
Hanging out at the weekly live concert in downtown Beulah. Ron, Johnny, Mary, Dave, Lisa (photo by Ron S. J.)
Watching the sun setting over Crystal Lake, from Beulah Beach (photo by Ron S. J.)
The sun setting over Crystal Lake, from Beulah Beach (photo by Ron S. J.)
View of Frankfort from across Betsie Bay
Boat dock at Beulah Beach
The end of one of our favorite hiking trails, Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore
Wild strawberries growing along our driveway. There aren’t many and they are very small, but tasty.
After a bonfire with friends, Mark and Suzi, we began to make s’mores on a regular basis. Hanging out with them was really fun, and the new s’more habit was a bonus.
Sunset at the end of our driveway
Sunset at Frankfort Beach
Mountain biking in Thompsonville, MI
We came across a field of sunflowers while mountain biking in Thompsonville, MI
Frankfort Lighthouse at sunset
Dave, cooling off in the shade on our deck, aka ‘observation platform’
The full moon rising over the observation platform at the outpost
Sunset at Frankfort Beach
Sunset at Frankfort Beach
Point Betsie Lighthouse
Point Betsie Lighthouse
Dave and Mary, getting ready for a downwinder from Point Betsie to Frankfort Beach.
Ron, Dave and Mary, heading out for a downwinder from Point Betsie to Frankfort Beach.
Johnny, Ron and Lisa, eating fresh rasberries on Frankfort Beach
Stopping at the beach at Glen Haven, during a bike ride
View of Betsie Bay from the distillery
We have red and black raspberries growing wild at the outpost
An abondoned Indigo Bunting nest. This is one of our favorite birds on our property. It’s definitely the most beautiful. We also have, Eastern Towhees, Cedar waxwings, Black Capped chickadees, Robins, Hawks and more.
Tiny, somewhat secret beach on Crystal Lake
The end of another favorite hiking trail, Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore
Slushie, chillin’ at camp (he’s always chilling, even when it’s above 80 degrees)
A favorite hiking trail, with views of Lake Michigan and, on a calm day, a ship wreck.
Fourth of July firworks over the Frankfort Lighthouse
Dave’s new water supply system, The Water Buffalo. We are really happy with it.
Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore
Checking out the Betsie River
View of Lake Michigan from a local hiking trail
Beulah Beach


End-of-season maintenance – 2022

End-of-season maintenance:

-inspected and repacked wheel bearings
-inspected and adjusted trailer brakes
-inspected tires
-inspected and greased suspension
-greased stabilizers
-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

-vacuumed and deep-cleaned entire interior

-cleaned windows

-restrung broken blinds


-awning $165
-microwave $185
-grease $10
-supplies $40

-labor $0

TOTAL $400

Dave washed, polished and buffed the entire exterior, while I cleaned the windows. He also vacuumed and I deep-cleaned every surface of the interior.
Dave, greasing the bearings.
Dave, working on all of the suspension-related maintenance.
The awning was in pretty rough shape after many years of sun and weather exposure. With a few minutes of assistance from our neighbor (who is taller and stronger than me), we replaced it ourselves.
The string on some of the blinds had almost completely frayed. I restrung them, which was a tedious process, but I saved a lot of money.
After 497 nights of camping, we replaced the original microwave. I can’t wait to use it! It was taking 3 minutes just to reheat a cup of coffee.


Frankfort, Higgins Lake and Lake Huron – Oct 1 – 5, 2022

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.

Sunset at our Northern Outpost, Frankfort, MI
Campfire at our Northern Outpost, Frankfort, MI
During our last couple of days up north, we had a couple of really good Oktoberfest beers at our two closest breweries.
South Higgins Lake State Park, Roscommon, MI

South Higgins Lake State Park, Roscommon, MI

South Higgins Lake State Park, Roscommon, MI
Marl Lake Trails, Roscommon, MI
Marl Lake Trails, Roscommon, MI
Boat launch area at South Higgins Lake State Park, Roscommon, MI
South Higgins Lake State Park, Roscommon, MI
South Higgins Lake State Park, Roscommon, MI
I am a true fan of Bob Ross and was happy to see these signs at the parks. Apparently, the Michigan DNR and Bob Ross Inc. partnered on programming to help raise awareness of tree planting and forest protection efforts in state parks.
Another Bob Ross “Happy Little Trees” sign at Port Crescent State Park, Port Austin, MI
This is what is left of the town of Port Crescent 1841-1888. The town site is now Port Crescent State Park, Port Austin, MI
Port Crescent State Park, Port Austin, MI
Port Crescent State Park, Port Austin, MI
Port Crescent State Park, Port Austin, MI
Skallywag (from Owosso) at Port Crescent State Park, Port Austin, MI. We originally met Skallywag and her owners at Fort Pickens, in the Florida panhandle, in March 2021.