RV Adventures with Bug Smacker

122 Days on the Road

CampsiteWe started out the summer camping season pretty much like any other year. For Memorial Day we camped in Traverse City, Michigan as we have done for the last several years. Following the holiday weekend, we headed to Standish instead of going home. After staying there for a couple of weeks we decided to hop over to a new campground to fill the gap until our next planned trip which was at Burt Lake State Park on the 4th Of July.

This is about the time we decided that we wouldn’t be going home for the rest of the summer. We still had to go to work throughout the summer, so our arrangement was this. Since my job requires me to drive great distances to various locations, my starting point really didn’t matter so much. Terri, on the other hand, agreed to drive up to 1 hour each way to get to work. This gave us an area radius to pick places to camp from.

We didn’t want to stay in one location all summer. We also decided that we wanted to stay in small towns and camp long enough in each one to see exactly what each one had to offer. This turned out to be a great plan. We stayed in places like Mt. Pleasant, Clare, Bay City, Beaverton, Midland, and Frankenmuth.

We were gone from home a total of 122 days this summer. From the end of May until the end of September we continued to travel and explore. In this time Terri and I had a blast. We discovered some relly amazing parks, restaurants, bars, cafes, shops, festivals, parades and other things. We can’t say that we ever got homesick. Sure there are some benefits to being back home but none that would prevent us from doing this more “full-time”.

 

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Little River Casino RV Park

For my dad’s birthday, I promised him a trip up to Little River for the All-you-can-eat Crab Leg Buffet. Let me tell you that he was not disappointed. We were also joined by our sweet little Granddaughter. She was so excited to be able to spend the night at Grandpa’s House. It was a 2 hour trip up to Manistee filled with Nursery Rymes , laughter and non-stop conversation by our little Arleigh.

Little River littleriver2 ice_cream

 

 

 

 

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Valley Plaza RV Resort

Valley PlazaWe chose to stay at Valley Plaza a few days between stops. We like the fact that they have an indoor pool and hot tub. However, it really saddens us to see just how run down this place has become. We understand that the place has changed ownership several times in the past year or two. We just wish someone would acquire it and return it to the glory that it had been in the past. When I asked if I could speak to someone about the condition of the place. I was told, ” you don’t want to waste your time, he is a slumlord and doesn’t care.”

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Churchgrove Park

Churchgrove Churchgrove

Labor Day finds us heading back to Churchgrove Park to grab a camping spot for the Auto Fest.  The Frankenmuth Auto Fest is one of the largest car shows in Michigan and we have never experienced it. Knowing the crowds would be huge, we decided to get back early in the week to make sure we could get a campsite. Glad we did, the campground was packed by the time the weekend rolled around. In fact, there were people setting up camp everywhere. Hookups or not, if there was a spot to camp, it was occupied.

The Frankenmuth Auto Fest was HUGE! The entire town was packed with people. The car show was everything that I had heard it was and then some.

Frankenmuth Auto Fest 2016 Frankenmuth Auto Fest 2016 Frankenmuth Auto Fest 2016 Frankenmuth Auto Fest 2016

The following weekend was the Frankenmuth Oktoberfest. If you enjoy beer then this party is for you!

Octoberfest Octoberfest cheers

I think this little guy was trying to sell my wife car insurance when she slammed the door on him…..LOLlizzard

 

 

 

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Grand Haven State Park

It was darker than we had expected when we arrived at Grand Haven State Park. It is always so much easier setting up camp in the daylight. What made it even more difficult was the fact that what clearly was marked as the entrance to the park was NOT the way in at all. In fact, this way in had a locked gate. The sign to the new entrance was difficult to see in the daylight let alone trying to spot it in the dark. Therefore we ended up on a drive that had no apparent way back out.

Don’t miss this sign-

Sign

And mistakenly go to this sign-

Sign

You should have turned here-

Sign

I started walking aimlessly looking for some help. A kind lady pointed me in the direction of the new entrance and told me there would be someone who could help me out. On my way over I came across a guy who had a Host Camper shirt on. I explained my dilemma to him. He rudely replied ” Hey, I just arrived here today myself. Your going need to figure this out for yourself. Go look for help over there or maybe there (pointing in two different directions).” This host was very uncooperative and didn’t deserve his position. There are lots of people waiting to get jobs like his that I am sure would be better suited.

I headed over to the check-in gate. There was nobody in the building. Next, I went over to the maintenance garage. Same thing here, no one around. Discouraged, I headed back to the rig. Upon returning I met a couple of park helpers waiting for me. They had seen my predicament and most likely heard my frustration. They were able to help me get turned around, headed me towards the new entrance and then on to my campsite.

The sites here at Grand Haven State Park are real tight ( and that may be an overstatement).  Each site is outlined with yellow markings. You are not allowed to go over these limits. There is sand directly behind each site. The tires of your unit must remain on the pavement. Our site was listed to allow rigs up to 35 feet. We found our site measured 27 feet from the front line to the rear edge of the pavement. All camping units must be backed in. Our 34-foot trailer was going to be a challenge.

I backed into our site after several attempts to get it right on the line. I had it somewhat easy since no one was in the site next to me and there was a walkway on my other side. Most of the other campers did not have it this easy. In fact, the guy who owned the rig shown below not only smashed his front cap with his cab corner. He also mangled his tailgate when he pulled away in haste. This was all after he crashed into the RV next to him.

smashed rv

After setting up camp we opened the rear shades to reveal our wonderful view of the men’s bathroom (which by the way isn’t even open all the time, I feel sorry for the Tenters at this park, they need to hold it all night long.)

smashed rv

Campsite Campsite

While visiting the Grand Haven area you must eat at Pronto Pup. Don’t let the enormous line in front of the place discourage you. It is worth the wait.

Pronto Pup Pronto Pup

We also found a nice little meat market called Frank”s Market and picked up one of their fabulous bone-in ribeye steaks to grill. Just remember if you take it back to the campground you are prohibited from enjoying a beer with it.

ribeye

After what seems like a lot of negativity, what draws everyone here, including us, is the BEACH!!! Grand Haven State Park is one of the best beach campgrounds that you will find anywhere.

Grand Haven

Grand Haven

Grand Haven

Grand Haven

 

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