June 20th, 2017
We woke and left the Cracker Barrel parking lot and headed toward Orchard Beach State Park on the western coast of the lower peninsula of Michigan. It is located just north of Manistee, MI. We quickly attempted to set up camp at our assigned site, but it was an extremely uneven site. After several attempts, we arranged a different site with the park ranger. We quickly set up the RV in the new site and then got in the car and headed north to a town called Arcadia.
Arcadia is home to our friend’s parents; their grandkids are good friends with Hadley and Nolan back home. It was our plan to spend the next few days visiting with them. We always enjoy their visits to Denver, so it was a fun treat to visit them! We arrived at their home and were instantly greeted with a nice home cooked meal, just like being at Grandma’s house! They have a beautiful spot overlooking Lake Arcadia. The kids quickly fell into being ‘adopted’ grandkids by taking over the living room with toys.
As sunset approched they drove us to a bluff overlooking Lake Michigan. So vast that lake is! Looks like an ocean – complete with choppy waves in the wind.
June 21st, 2017
This morning we did laundry – let me rephrase that, Cortney and the kids did laundry while I worked. Work and normal chores don’t take a vacation while full timing in a RV.
We then met up again with Tom and Ilene at 1st Street Beach in Manistee. We enjoyed a picnic while the kids played on the beach. We never expected such beautiful turquoise and blue water in Lake Michigan, it was like being in the tropics without the humility. This beach had insanely tall metal slides, the vintage, dangerous type we rode as kids before helicopter parenting was a thing.
I am pretty sure the memories they made today were bigger than those slides!
We also did some digging in the sand as well as enjoyed a great picnic lunch while soaking in the Michigan summer sun.
That evening before dinner we rushed back into town to watch a large coal ship go out the river to Lake Michigan. Truthfully, we put dinner on hold which was impressive for grandparents who like to eat on schedule (and early). Ilene has made a hobby of tracking these great ships. Midway through cooking dinner she was altered that one was on the move, so she turned the burners off and quickly moved us all out the front door. Off Tom and Ilene went in their red Cadillac, with us struggling behind to keep up in the Civic. They had obviously made this mad dash before, they were zippy and wasted no time making it into town to catch this ship! They are still full of as much life and adventure as our kids!
Seeing this ship up close was an incredible sight. The passageways are so narrow, they have to navigate slowly through several drawbridges in town. It would be a pretty gnarly experience to captain that ship! There seemed to be just the right amount of room for the large ships to pass down the river and into the lake.
June 22nd, 2017
Simple day today. Hung at home in the morning. Checked out the state park trail (staircase) down to the lake.
For the remainder of the day, in the afternoon and evening, we again spent it with the Wass’s for some more games and a dinner.
We are sad to leave tomorrow. Each leg of this trip is special in it’s own way. This detour over to the west coast of Michigan has been a splendid one. It’s been relaxing and has felt wonderful. Great friends make it that much more grand!
Tonight as it rained (very, very heavy rain) we discovered there was a leak in one of our slides. Water was collecting on the slide, underneath the awning of the slide, and because of the uneven site and the fact that the RV was slowing sinking in the saturated grass, the water was running downhill into the side of the RV. The rubber seal that created the water tight seal was worn. And well it was no longer water tight. The fix was urgent and required a late night repair of caulking to stave off the water. (Our experiences with Michigan State Parks were not great, very muddy, uneven and super small & odd shaped sites!)
Then of course once you bring out the tools to make repairs on one thing you start working on other projects you have put off, like tightening screws in the dinette.
This post is part of our Live Like No One Else series, a retelling, through journal entries kept along the way, of all the sights and memories we made during our 2017 #getlivingadventure. We were so busy living the adventure we missed sharing many of the experiences with you. Just happy to have you along as we relive many of the great memories that we hope one day our kids will have to read and remember!