Tuesday, February 28, 2006

06-15 Whitehall Michigan Visiting my Sister

(15) Whitehall, Muskegon, Michigan
Doug’s Birthday, July 10th

Visiting my Sister, Dorothy and Brother-in-Law, Dave. It’s not only a tour of Lower Michigan, but I’m here to visit my sister, Dorothy. You can bet on one thing when you visit the Wilmer’s, Dave is going to cook up one good meal after another. Chicken and bean burrito’s, fish, BBQ’d spare ribs and spicy southwest pasta salad. I know I’ll have to go on a diet, or do a heck of a lot of hiking after this visit. Yawh… (said with that famous Finish accent).

I did a boo-boo the other day. I left my portable satellite dish at the last campsite. Having already traveled a couple hundred miles, I received a call from my camping buddies, Jimmy and Larry, informing me that I had left it behind. They indicated that they couldn’t take it with them as it wouldn’t fit in their truck, so they left it. After trying to make arrangements to have another friend go and pick it up, I was once again taught the lesson, “if you want something done, do it yourself”. UPS will be mailing it to my current site for about $14.00.

Michigan is a land of lakes. Really BIG lakes. My campsite at the county park, Pioneer Campground, is right on Lake Michigan. It’s like being on the ocean, without the saltwater. A bit too many families with kids for my taste., The campsites are stacked like dominos in row after row, but again, we are only feet from the sand dunes and that huge lake. Water temp. approx. 67 degrees. Sandy beaches for miles and miles and miles. there are lots of State Parks along the coast line, but unfortunately, they are booked quite often a year in advance plus you have to pay an $8 entry fee on top of the $30+ campsite fee if your from out of state. So Rv’ers check out the county parks, they’re your best bet.

Black squirrels, boys playing street hockey on roller blades, families herding small children on bikes with training wheels, street lights dangling over cross streets on wires, chilly breezes and warm sun, lakes bordered by marina’s and sail boats, wayside picnic/rest areas, all make up Michigan.

Dave, Dorothy and I had a great Saturday drive through cherry orchards brimming with bright red cherry’s, ripe for picking, green apple trees, asparagus fields at the end of their cycle having been picked in April, May and June. The asparagus is hand picked in Michigan so only the freshest edible portion is picked and the remainder of the plant continues to grow until winter eventually sets in. We stopped in a couple country farm stands and picked up all the great produce, fresh blueberries, Michigan Maple syrup, and horseradish to be had. Oh, including a great hand dipped ice-cream cone. Yum!

The huge sand dunes along Lake Michigan (Silver Lake Sand Dunes) can be explored via dune buggies and by jeep! No ones worried about these huge dunes being harmed by dune buggies or wind. I love all the summer cottages, some more elaborate than others along the shore line. My favorites are the older small cottages with small paned windows and the chocolate brown log cabins. They fit the land so much better than those mega mansions and seem to blend in with the trees and sand dunes that seem to engulf them.

In town there are many small homes for sale, some available for as little as $30,000 on up to the low 100’s. Many with flower gardens bursting with color.

CHORES. I’ve had lots of chores to do on this leg of the trip. Making arrangements to have the satellite dish sent here, getting my mail sent here as well, fixing the wall that got damaged from someone (Larry) rocking back in my recliner, the usual laundry and house cleaning chores, oh and I need to get two propane tanks filled. Needless to say, I’ve done more than my share of the usual “one chore a day“ routine! Whew, I need a vacation!

Oh that’s right, Dave has been cooking every evening and he’s making a special dish for my Birthday tonight, sweet potato sticks, chicken cordon blue, and awesome coleslaw by Dorothy. so I guess I’d better not complain. I’m a lucky dog, lucky dog.

We toured some more and even hit the Indian Casino. Dorothy loves to play the slots. I played until I was ahead about $22.00, then quit. I like to stop when I’m ahead. I won on the Price is Right slots (5 cent slots)… Lots of fun and even got to spin the wheel, that’s when I won the $36.00 that put me in the black. Yippee!

I drove down to Saugatuck and Douglas the other day as well. Saugatuck is a great little resort town with a great sand dune State Park as well.

Heading to Cadillac Mich. and the U.P. Tomorrow…

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