9/19/14

JW Wells State Park, Michigan

Yesterday was a good news, bad news kind of day. I'll start right off with the good news that the RV is fixed, and we were able to get on down the road a piece, headed toward home. 

It started off with good news when our kindly neighbors came over and helped Mike push the slide in manually while I operated the switches inside. After that, we took off for Ishpeming, and felt as if we'd met our saviors when we pulled into the Hillstop RV Superstore we'd seen on our way to Munising. (We'd stopped in Ishpeming on the way in while I went into a brewery to buy a t-shirt for Erik. While Mike waited in the truck, he saw the RV place. It seems a little like a portent of things to come, in retrospect, but it was good to know such a place existed when things went bad.)

Mike had been speaking to these folks for two solid days. We had a 10:00 appointment, and high hopes that they already had the part we needed.

But not so fast, cowboys and cowgirls, because things went to sh*t pretty quickly from there.


We walked into the store only to discover that in fact, we'd been talking with the folks at the Escanaba, Michigan, store, which was an hour and a half down the road. We'd already driven 60 miles in the wrong direction! Now we needed to turn ourselves around and go back the other way. So, what are you gonna do? Right? Nothing to do but get in the truck and drive on. 

When I say "the other direction" I really mean south instead of west. As we drove south to Escanaba, we caught our first view of Lake Michigan. (Fanfare, please!) And that means I can add Lake Michigan to the side of the RV now! Yeah, baby!


Eventually, we arrived at the Escanaba Hilltop RV Superstore...Same sign...I had a good laugh when I noticed the RV in the lower right of this image with the decal that says, "Take-It-EZ". Sure thing. Thanks.


And from here the news is all good. They had the right part, they fixed it quickly, they didn't take ALL of our money, and they sent us off with a smile. Here's Mike saying good-bye to our friendly repairman, Bill. And Bill taught Mike some things about the operation of the slide as well. Nice folks.


Our plan was to try to get to Green Bay, Wisconsin, today. It was 2:30 by the time we life, and we decided to stop for lunch at JW Wells State Park along the actual bay of Green Bay, on Lake Michigan. We'd only just seen glimpses of the lake, and we wanted to really see it. Gorgeous, gorgeous, gorgeous...and so fricking big it's hard to believe. Smaller than Lake Superior, but still so big is stretches all the way to the horizon.


And this campground was so utterly beautiful that we decided to stay for the night. We decided we'd filled our stress quota for the day, and it was a great decision to stop.


They had a nice paved level spot so that we didn't have to unhitch the truck and deal with the still-broken jack. (Mike is replacing those with a part that will take longer to get.) Here's where we're parked tonight.


We are about as close to the lake as we can be without actually being *in* the lake.


And let me tell you, nothing would do until we got Smitty out for a walk. He hasn't been able to walk for the past couple of days because the previous park was over-run with approximately three large woofies. And we're not even going to talk about the golf-cart racers running all over everywhere. It was absolutely terrifying, I say.


Today, a dose of courage took over his loins.


While he was outside, Gracie took the opportunity to occupy the catio, and even she decided it was safe to venture out.


The lake shore is marshy, but Smitty blazed a trail...


At a spot where we paused a bit, I discovered happily that we were standing beneath an apple tree loaded with apples!


Cool! Well, I just picked that one right off the tree and took a bite. It was just slightly tart, but oh, so delicious and crisp.

When Smitty got going again, he blazed a trail right over these large rocks. It was a lot easier for Smitty than it was for the hapless human tethered by a leash.


He marched right on down to where the lake begins, and he would have kept going except that his leash suddenly grew a lot less, um, freedom-loving. Sometimes the leash is just too short.


Guess we'll just have to look elsewhere for that righteous Michigan weed.


Here's how it looked where we were standing. Beautiful.


Just past that bush, we saw Mr. and Mrs. Duck standing on a rock flapping their wings.


Eventually Smitty had to go back inside. He went straight to the litter box. Go figure.

I went back and picked some of the apples that I could reach without breaking any bones. Nice.


The walk just about wore poor Smitty out, and he climbed up in his cubby for an hours-long nap.


And that's where we spent the night. Today...onward. The miles and miles and miles and miles of driving toward home. We have about 2,500 miles and eight days to do it. Let's hope for smoother sailing ahead, shall we?

12 comments from clever and witty friends:

Linda M @ Pieceful Kingdom said...

That is a gorgeous campground. And it looks like the campsites are pretty far apart. Very nice. Drive safely.

Vroomans' Quilts said...

Yes, that looked like the best campground so far. Still keeping my fingers, toes, and eyes crossed for much luck on your travels home.

gpc said...

I love Lake Michigan. And I love the great lakes tshirts that say "unsalted". "Ducks" look to me like they might be cormorants.

Tami C said...

Sorry about the mix-up concerning the location of the RV store and very happy that you were able to get it fixed so quickly. Looks like you found a really nice place to relax and enjoy! Glad that Smitty was able to get out and run around for a bit.

quiltzyx said...

I've found that "Bills" tend to be pretty good guys on the whole. Glad the slide is fixed, even if'n ya had ta go down south a ways.

Great shots of Lake Michigan - the color changing in the trees...well, hard for me to imagine coming off of out HEAT wave here. Very pretty. The campground looks so nice with all the green trees about. Glad that Gracie & Smitty got out for some fresh air and exploring too! And fresh-picked apples to boot - hooray!

Jeanie said...

All in all, it looks like your mix up in directions brought you some delightful surprises for the four of you.

Christine M said...

Glad to hear you got your slider part sorted out. I hadn't realised how big your rv was until I saw that photo with Mike beside it. We don't really see big rv's like that here in Australia (although I'm sure there are some around).

Junebug613 said...

So glad to hear that you got the slide fixed and were able to find such a lovely spot to park. Smitty is a lucky boy to have people who would take him along AND let him explore. Best wishes for the rest of the trip being uneventful.

Lyndsey said...

What a great place to camp, so beautiful. Lucky Smitty and Gracie being about to go outside, Smitty really is a bold explorer. That is a serious number of miles you have to drive.The perimeter of England is 5581 miles whilst the coastline of mainland Britain is recorded as 11,073

Janarama said...

Whew, glad to hear you're on the road back home again. I used to swim in Lake Michigan in Chicago when I was a kid and at the Indiana Dunes when I was in my 20's. It really is beautiful from the west, east or south.

Michele said...

Phew for a fix and keeping my fingers crossed that you'll have no more of that kind of stress for the rest of the journey.

Kate said...

Glad that you got it all fixed up and were able to get back on the road. It looks like you found a great place to recover from the stress of the morning.