Friday, October 18, 2013

The Last Days of Summer....and Fall

     Barb and I both recently retired and embarked on a 3 week Retiree Celebration trip to the Upper Peninsula of Michigan and Central Wisconsin.  It was planned so we could experience all the beautiful fall colors previously unavailable to us as we were working.  We also planned to hit a few casinos and get in some fall golf as well.  We began our trip in Hessel, MI and finished up in Hog Island, MI before heading home.  We camped out utilizing both 'boondocking' and service campgrounds.  We boondocked utilizing solar power for 11 of our 20 days on the road.

     As earlier blogs showed we enjoyed some very tasty Cajun, Pasties, Pizza, Walleye, Italian, and Finnish meals in Marquette, Ishpeming, Houghton, and Waupaca.  I even got to whip out a few mini-feasts myself making Shrimp Po Boys, BBQ Chicken Thighs, Clam Stips, and Pork Stir Fry.  We took the opportunity to stock up by vacuum-packing and freezing 10 lbs. each of Whitefish, Cudighi, Andouille, Polish Sausage, and German Bratwurst for our Alaska Pantry.  I am beginning to hope it all fits in the freezer next spring.

     We also experienced the first of which I am sure will not be the last RV maintenance adventures as we had to fix a broken leaf spring and a small water leak.  We had the leaf spring fixed in Escanaba at Hilltop RV, who got us in and out in a little over an hour at a reasonable $123.

     Our visit to Waupaca, WI brought us together again with our best friends (40 years next year) and the original  'Great Falls Gang'.  The three of us and our families were all stationed together in the US Air Force in Great Falls, Montana in the mid 70s.  We try to get together at least every other year and it always provides for a good bonfire and the same old stories that we never seem to get tired of.  The wives, however might have their own versions.

    We return home now to unload the winterize the RV for this year.  New tires, brakes, and an awning are on the maintenance agenda.  We anticipate getting things ready and once again journeying off on the road once more in the spring; this time on our adventure of a lifetime........Alaska!     
     Listed below are the campgrounds and sites we used, their prices, and a review:

Bay City Lake:  Hessel, MI  FREE Dispersed camping near  pond or in woods 2 miles north of town on Bay City Road.    Boondocking.  Casino & GREAT golf course. 

Pioneer Park Campground:  Escanaba, MI $22/night Elec/Water/Cable TV.  There is a dump station.  70 sites. Kids playground onsite.   DETOUR FOR RV MAINT.

Ojibwa Casino Campground:  Marquette, MI FREE with daily registration every day = free drink pass & $5 cash.  7 sites, no reservations.  Get there early in the afternoon to assure a site.  Electric only.  Close proximity (7 miles) to Marquette and Big Bay sights. 

Hancock Recreation Area:  Hancock, MI $22/night 57 sites.  Most have Electric (30/50 amps) and cable TV.  Only 10 have Elec/Water.  There are 14 tent only sites.  There is a dump site.  Firewood and ice available.  Free WiFi.  Right on the Portage Canal, close proximity to Houghton/Hancock/Copper Harbor & all the sights.

Imp Lake:  Watersmeet, MI $12/night US Forest Service Campground.  Well pump.  Boondocking  Casino & GREAT golf course nearby @ Lac View Desert Casino.

Our Best Friend’s Campground:  Waupaca, WI.  Absolutely free power and water.  Boondocked 3 days.

Island Casino and Resort Campsite:  Harris, MI $20/night for water/electric.  About 50 sites.  Free WiFI Included GREAT bathrooms/showers/laundry facilities as well as courtesy shuttle to and from casino.  Also, we were granted access to the hotel pool and sauna. 
GREAT golf course, but it rained & I was unable to play.

Hog Island Campground:  Naubinway, MI State Forest Campground $13  Well pump.  Boondocking.  Great view & beach.

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