Phannie

Phannie
Photo taken at Winchester Bay, Oregon

Monday, August 19, 2019

We Head Up the UP

At Vacation Station RV Resort, Ludington, Michigan...

I suppose I had better begin posting about our trip up the Upper Peninsula before I forget the subjects of the photos I've taken. (You young people who still have your memories fully functional had better enjoy it while you can; you annoy me to no end.)

Gosh, where to begin? After we left White Pigeon with Phannie's new jacks, we made the fairly short hop to Montague, Michigan, for a brief stay before heading to Ludington, where friends Eddie and Jan were parked for the month. One of the first things we do when we get to a new location is look up the best places to eat. We found a real winner at Pekadill's Deli in Montague (pronounced Mont-ah-gyew), where we were actually able to sit outside and enjoy dinner in perfect 75-degree weather in the afternoon:


  
As we ate our oversized sandwiches, enjoying the fine weather and beautiful landscaping around us, unbothered by flies or other insects, it was hard to believe this was real. Such an enjoyable outdoor dinner would have been unthinkable in Texas in August. And the flowers! Oh my! Small-town Michiganers are serious about flowers, as you can see from the photo above. There will be more to come.

On the advice of Eddie and Jan, we made a side trip to Muskegon, for another outdoor dinner, this time at the yacht harbor. We just couldn't get enough of the amazing weather that allows this sort of thing as a matter of routine. For us, it was almost chilly here in the low seventies, and I don't think some of our friends in Texas, where there is a real heat wave going on, are speaking to us at the moment.



Then it was farther north to Ludington and Vacation Station RV Park, where we would finally meet up with Eddie and Jan. They are very special to us--fellow Texans whom we got to know through other good friends, Ed and Marilyn, mentioned in a number of posts over the years and also in just a few posts back. Eddie and Jan were extremely helpful in giving us suggestions for scenic drives and things to see in the area.



I should mention that this is one of the nicest RV parks we have ever visited, as you can tell from the photo above and the one below:



A plus about the park is that it is not overpriced, surprisingly enough. (I should mention that it is listed on the "Best of the Best RV Parks" page linked on this blog and has been listed there for a long time.)

Remember my mentioning flowers? Take a look at a few photos I took around Ludington. Many of these small towns are just breathtaking in the beautification efforts of their citizens:







Thanks to our hosts, we got an unexpected chance to see the S.S. Badger docked in Ludington. It is the only remaining steam-powered ferry on the Great Lakes. 



Built in 1953, she shuttles across Lake Michigan from Ludington to Manitowoc, Wisconsin, a distance of 62 miles, carrying vehicles and passengers, serving as an extension of highway U. S. 10. The voyage takes four hours and rarely cancels due to weather. Just as a bit of trivia, the ship burns 50 tons of coal each day, and the ash, previously dumped in Lake Michigan, is now removed from the ship daily, to be used as an ingredient in making cement.

By the way, here's some trivia about vessel nomenclature: Did you know that "S.S" preceding the name of a vessel indicates that it is a steamship? This is opposed to "U.S.S.," indicating "United States Ship" or "U.S.N.S.," indicating "United States Navy Ship," both of which are used to identify a ship operated by the U. S. Navy. There are many other of these identifiers in use among seagoing vessels, but I'm not going to list them here; that is probably enough trivia for this post.

We took a couple of day trips based on recommendations from Eddie and Jan. Highlights of these were a woodworking shop with some remarkable woodcraft for sale and an owner who was an absolute hoot. We also checked out Sanders Meats, a 90-year old meat market in the middle of nowhere--tiny Custer, Michigan--that had some of the best smoked meats and cheeses imaginable. Here is Eddie in one of the walk-in coolers along with a likeness of John Wayne. (This part of Michigan is not exactly a liberal stronghold.)



Of course, we couldn't leave without buying some goodies, so these were among my purchases, all of which were wonderful:



I'll have to say that finding little gems like the woodworking shop and Sanders Meats represent some of my favorite aspects of traveling in the hinterlands. You never know what kind of nugget you'll happen upon completely unexpectedly. I just love it!

As we drove along scenic Michigan Highway 22, we got our first really impressive views of Lake Michigan's blue waters--with no horizon visible, of course, making it indistinguishable from an ocean:



I'll leave this with something that really gave me a chuckle. We were all having lunch at a small roadside eatery just outside Ludington when I made a visit to the men's restroom. Hanging over the urinal was this painting of a rooster that provoked enough giggling from me that I, well, sort of forgot for a minute why I was there. Finally, my stream of consciousness returned, but I still laugh when I see this photo: 



Little quirky things like this bring to mind the reason I get so much enjoyment out of this nomadic lifestyle and the indescribable value to us of this blog, soon to reflect 15 years of our life with an RV from the very first trip in 2005. It also amazes me that, in all likelihood, it has had well over a million page views. (The Feedjit counter you see near the top of the right column started on zero only about six years ago. I set it at zero because I didn't know how many looks it had had in the previous nine years, but I''m guessing it would be over a million by now.) Many thanks to those who have followed along with this nonsense. I hope it has been as enjoyable for you as it has for me to write it. I get the feeling it helps exercise my memory, and there's something else that I don't remember right now. Anyway, we will relive these experiences via these pages long after we hang up the keys, and that will be worth it all.

So, stick around; who knows what we'll find at the next stop!


Thank you, Lord, for this wonderful life; 
please forgive me if I fail to appreciate it each day as I should.

We don't stop playing because we get old; we get old because we stop playing. 
 ---George Bernard Shaw


"I get up every morning, and I just don't let the old man in." ---Clint Eastwood





14 comments:

  1. Why oh why do we spend summer in Arizona?? Like you say that weather and scenery looks absolutely unbelievable!

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    1. Summer in Arizona? Hopefully, it was in the mountains. It's pretty there, too.

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  2. It appears that you are having a good trip, but don't you have to get back to Texas for the continuation of the "painful" physical therapy?? It really looks nice after us being stuck in this 100+ heat with "feels like" temps above 110 nearly every day!! We leave on 9/8 for the NE, and can't wait. Enjoyed your pics......... we remember those sites in the cooler temp area.

    Be safe, but get back to the PT ASAP!!!!!!

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    1. Yes, Richard, that's quite enough scolding, but I know you live to make me feel bad. (LOL) I have a set of PT-style exercises that I am adamant about performing daily. This was a condition of my being released to go on this trip. But yes, I will have to get an evaluation when I get back to see what more needs to be done. I will say that my progress has been remarkable; there's not much I can't do now with my right arm but, when it reaches a limit, it lets me know in no uncertain terms.

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  3. That is a great area to visit. We have spent a lot of time there over the years, thanks for the memories:)

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    1. Lucky you! We just hope we won't miss something we'll regret. We've gotten so many good suggestions, I don't see how we can visit them all. But we're going to try.

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  4. This amazing lifestyle is wonderful and we enjoy every minute of if So glad that you can enjoy more of Michigan and the amazing scenery, we enjoyed quite few years ago before going funlltime. The small towns and villages are places to treasure in your adventures.

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    1. You're so right, George. And the wonderful cool weather is so invigorating. I'm not so sure about the winters, though. I admire those who stick around for the below-zero weather.

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  5. Love traveling with you!
    Hope you go on the boat tour to see Picture Rocks!!!! It was wonderful scenery....

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    1. We do intend to do that! Thanks for verifying others' similar suggestions. And thanks for riding along with us.

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  6. The UP is a great place to escape the heat. Enjoyed the ship info. I enjoy going back to 2007 in my blog and seeing what I was doing. They are great for trips down memory lane. I am on my fourth blog now as I keep my older ones private. We are in dense smoke this afternoon in Anchorage. The smoke is forecast to stay around tomorrow also and I have a flying lesson, dang timing. At least the temps are staying in the mid 60's.

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    1. Way to go on the flying. We loved what little we saw of Alaska on the cruise. Dying to go back and really see it as we should.

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  7. Mike, if I saw that rooster (or a chicken!) in the ladies' room, I think I might have turned around and walked out. Talk about "all eyes on you!" In the ladies' room at Peggy Sue's Diner in Barstow, California, there's a painting on the wall of a cowboy using a urinal. Quite realistic and humorous, but a little unsettling!

    The dining deck at the yacht harbor looks like our kind of place. I'm adding that to our Michigan trip notes - thank you! I'll be soaking up your tips - keep 'em coming!

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    1. It was quite an experience, for sure--exactly as I described. I hope we can provide some good tips for you, Mary. This is a great place to be in the summertime.

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