Campers are typically very friendly, polite and love to help out. These are the kind of people you love to have around you as you camp. In fact this is very characteristic of most campers anywhere we have been. This fact was exceptionally true on our current trip to the Algonac State Park.
The purpose of this trip was to observe the passing Lake Freighters on the St. Clair River. We had done this for the first time last year and we couldn’t wait to come back again. The weather yesterday was beautiful. Terri and I gathered along with my parents to watch the passing ships from between our sites. These sites are situated directly across the road from the river. This provided us with a perfect vantage point to observe the ships. We were outside the entire day and well into the night. The ships looked incredible at night as well. They would be all lit up. At 4 am we watched 5 ships pass within 20 minutes. These vessels actually blew the welcome “Toot” with their enormous horns as they passed by our park. We got very little sleep and it was great.
We knew the ship viewing would be great, but we didn’t realize how friendly all the people would be. We met more people here than we’ve ever met in one weekend. We chatted about RVing and shared some spectacular stories.
As I write this it is already Go-Home Day. The weekend has been much too short. We have seen 29 ships go by and have made countless new friends. This will be a hard place to leave today.
Pooh and Blue Bunny love to watch ships pass as well.
We are at the Ludington State Park for the Labor Day Weekend. They call this park “The Queen of the Michigan State Parks”. It really has a lot to offer. It has an enormous beach front located on Lake Michigan which goes all the way up to one of Michigan’s oldest lighthouses, Big Sable Point Lighthouse. It also has a smaller beach on Hamlin Lake. The water in the area attracts many fishermen. As you can see this park is extremely popular. We had to book our site 6 months ago when they first started taking reservations for this weekend. Even then there were only 3 sites available to choose from out of the 352 they offer.
Most of the sites are quite small. This makes for quite the challenge when backing in and out. We had a hard time finding room to park both our RV and Truck on our site. The sites are mostly shaded. All of them offer 20/30 amp service and a few offer 50 amp electrical service.
Because it was a holiday weekend not only was the park busy, but the beach was packed as well. Even with all the people here we found the park to be relatively quiet and relaxing.
I have been sitting outside in front of our RV thinking how great this weekend had turned out. The weather has been gorgeous. The rain we were supposed to get last night never even showed up. Yesterday we sat for hours on the beach soaking in the sunshine, listening to the waves of Lake Michigan and reflecting on how great the day was. I even got a chance to take a dip in Lake Michigan.
Back at our campsite we made some new friends. John arrived with a large trailer that proved to be a challenge for him to back into a small site. Jeff and Loretta ran out to assist John as he tried to squeeze into his slot. The guys across from us even came out to help. Chad and his wife were in need of some fresh water so I loaned them our water jug. After that we had a chance to chat a bit. These are the kind of people you love to have around you as you camp. In fact this is very characteristic of most campers anywhere we have been. Campers are typically very friendly, polite and love to help out.
We took a ride into town to check out the Harley Davison riders as they got off the car ferry. They had gone over to Milwaukee to celebrate its 100th Anniversary. My parents counted 109 bikes as they left the ship. They sure produce an incredible sound as they emerge from that enormous steel hull of the ferry.
We are back again this year to join our friends and family at Wilson State Park in Harrison, Michigan. We all had a great time at this park last year, so we thought we would give it another go this year. The park has lots of shade trees, a nice lake, and a small beach. It is also not too far from town if you don’t feel like cooking.
This year we decided to move our party down the hill to the end of the park where we could all be more closely grouped together. The sites we chose were now back to back, instead of in a row. They were also a bit larger than the sites we had last year.
The night of our arrival we made our way out to the park entrance to watch the Harrison Fireworks display. For a small town, these are quite remarkable to view.
On the Fourth of July we all gathered for our annual feast. We were then joined by some non-campers for the day. Even though they don’t camp, these people know where to go for GREAT campfire cooking. The food was most excellent. There is no better way to celebrate the holiday than with plenty of good food and friends.
The next day we headed out for a kayak trip down the Muskegon River. When we arrived at the river Gary found a feather and stuck it in my cap. I called it “Macaroni”.
The Muskegon River is truly a nice river to travel if you just want to sit back, relax and enjoy the ride. In fact you may even say that some of us on this trip may have gotten a bit too RELAXED!
At night we setup the TV and Wii outside to play the trivia game “You Don’t Know Jack”. This is a really fun and exciting game.
When the weekend rolled around, my kids dragged me out to the golf course. This is the second time this year. In fact it is only the second time I have ever played the game. I enjoyed myself. I think it may be more fun if I could get more time to learn how to do it properly.
Then it was Sunday. It was already Go-Home-Day. Time sure does fly when you are having fun!
We already had reservations for the second half of the week following the 4th of July Holiday. We now needed to find somewhere to go for the first half. In our attempt to locate a place to go, we stumbled upon a couple of sites in Cadillac, Michigan at Mitchell State Park. This is a very popular campground and we were very surprised to find any spots at all let alone two 50amp pull-through sites. Thinking there was something wrong with these two sites, we took a chance and waited until we happened to be passing through the area to check them out first. We found them to be some of the choice spots that we would have chosen if we would have had a choice.
The weekend was off to a rocky start due to some news I received on Friday. Putting that aside, we both made the best of it and headed up to the State Park. We arrived a bit late but had just enough time to head over to Timbers for a bite to eat. I ordered “The Lumberjack” sandwich and enjoyed every succulent bite.
Mitchell State Park consists of two lakes: Lake Mitchell and Lake Cadillac. Alongside of the campground is a small channel connecting the two lakes. During our stay we went for a stroll along the beach, did a little fishing and a little boating. We really enjoyed our stay at this place.
I am waking this morning to the rhythm of waves pounding onto the sands of Myrtle Beach. It is as spectacular as we had expected. The ocean breeze is whistling through the palm trees causing them to sway like a conductor would orchestrate to the approaching waves of the sea. The sun is glistening across the ripples in the water and reflecting disco ball patterns into the windows of our RV.
Last night the gentle breeze had kicked up a notch. With a storm approaching our RV was actually rocking back and forth as if we were aboard a cruise ship. The rain came down hard and the trees bent over and touched the ground. Today however, is going to be great.
I want to thank Maite at Ocean Lakes in Myrtle Beach for helping us find some great spots close to the ocean when we checked in. Even though we hadn’t made any reservation, she was able to provide us with a couple of front row ocean sites during our stay here. We had to relocate a couple of times, but it was well worth the hassle to be right on the oceanfront.
The campground at Ocean Lakes is just as nice as it was last time we were here. The sites all offer full hookups including: 23/30/50 electric, water, sewer, cable and wifi. This place is always exceptionally clean and well maintained. On this visit we found the golf cart activity to be much more acceptable. Last visit here there was a continuous parade of kids cruising up and down the road in front of us all hours of the day and night. This was most likely due to the time of year that we are here.
We went down the road to check out two nearby state parks. We found Myrtle Beach State Park to be congested with small sites and muddy. We had read in the brochure that you should not wear open toed shoes and to use a flashlight at night due to the possibility of Copperhead Snakes. When my wife saw one of these serpents cross the road right in front of us in broad daylight, I was instructed that we would not be staying here…EVER!
The other state park we saw was Huntington. This park was really nice. It has an abundance of wildlife. We saw birds, fish, deer and even alligators. It is also located on the ocean. The sites are mostly large with electric and water. This would be a real nice place to stay if you can get a reservation. I see why they go so fast.
We took a drive down the boulevard downtown. We stopped in to visit with Cathy from the Sea Horn motel. Before we had our beloved BugSmacker RV, we would stay at the Sea Horn. This place is spectacular and the owners treat you like family. It was really great reminiscing about all the great times we had here.
We headed over to Murrells Inlet for dinner. Murrells Inlet is known as “a quiet little drinking village with a fishing problem”. Terri and I split a plate of Calabash-Style Fried Shrimp at the Dead Dog Saloon which was terrific. Afterward we took a stroll along the Marshwalk.
We returned a couple of days later to Murrells Inlet for dinner. This has become our favorite place to go while in the Myrtle Beach area. Judging by the crowds, we are not alone. We stopped to eat at Drunken Jacks. They had a 45 minute wait, so during our wait we headed over to Creek Ratz. Here we shared a Shrimp basket. As we finished our page came in for Drunken Jacks. We returned to honor our reservation and had a couple of (you guessed it) shrimp plates. This meal also included a salad bar and some of the best Hush Puppies you have ever eaten. We love the creek shrimp they serve in Murrells Inlet. Our favorite was at the Creek Rat, but if you want a complete dinner, you can’t go wrong at Drunken Jacks. Plus the people there were exceptional.
We aren’t much for buffets, but tonight we took the advise from a group of really nice people we met on the beach and tried one. We headed to what is refered to as restaurant row in North Myrle Beach to a place called The Original Benjamin’s Calabash Seafood Buffet. This place had more food than china. The selection was enormous. It wasn’t just the volume that impressed us, the food was delicious. I want to thank our waitress, Catie for making sure we had anything we may desire and making us feel so welcome.
Following dinner had us stop into a shop called “Purpleologist”. It was filled with all things purple. She fell in love with the place.
As always, Myrtle Beach is going to be hard to leave.