Sunday, August 29, 2010

The RALLY starts tomorrow

Yes the Gypsy Journal rally starts tomorrow, but the fun started when we arrived here at Elkhart CG. It has been exciting seeing other class mates roll in, and to see the ones that watched us roll in. Today I watched the vendors setting up in the indoor area for vendors.

 Tonight we had a good old class of 2007 happy hour.I can't even begin to name the names of all the ones meeting tonight at Mac and Netters rig, but we had to expand the circle (oval really) several times as more and more showed up for the 4 o'clock happy hour. The food kept coming until 6 PM so if anyone left hungry it was their fault.

 After spending several hours eating, drinking, and telling stories we were ask for some help by "the Nick Russell.  The other half of we in Nicks last few blogs picked his wife up today. They had been apart for 10 days, so Nick led several of us "class of 2007" troopers to their rig where we all attempted to "rock" the rig. Then we all started yelling "we know what you are doing". It was fun when Greg came out to see what was happening.

 Then we all had to see the EXTRA LARGE PANTIES draped across the front of someones RV. We all had to go knock on the door to ask the owner about the panties. We knew there was a story behind someone having a pair of panties draped across the front of their rig. (they had to be 6 feel wide). And the next time you see me you can ask me and I will tell you the story............

Friday, August 27, 2010

Elkhart Camping grounds

We are here waiting on the Gypsy Journal Rally to start on Monday, and we are not the only ones waiting. Several couples of the Class of 07 are here, along with many "adopted" class of 2007 members, and many more Escapees. Nick and Terry Russell have been having the GJR for several years now, they have one in the spring in AZ, and in the fall here or in Celina OH.

 I think there has been a lot of confusion about who gets what with the camping fees, we paid for a week and a day through the CG which saved us a few dollars over paying Nick for the four days of the rally and the CG the other four days we will be here.  I know some paid Nick and then decided to pay the CG for a month, which means they really paid for the same 4 nights of the rally twice. With this confusion I don't see things working out for another rally here, but then what do I know about it.

 Today was a laid back rest up day. We made a trip to the store to get some garbage bags for our big yellow, collapsible trash can we use outside, and to fill the jeep up with gas. Later we met 20-30 others under the big tent for 4 o'clock happy hour. It was really good seeing so many of the people we have met all across the country gathered under one big tent.

 After the "social hour" or happy hour Bob and Molly, Paul and Connie, Rich and Mary, and Marcia and I went to Hacienda for a Mexican dinner. We were all celebrating Connie's Birthday. It was good to spend her special day with the 8 of us that had spent so much time together in FL the past couple years. We had a lot of catching up to do.

 Later there were 8 couples that gathered in one of the rooms the CG has to play Hand and Foot. I am very sad to say it was the girls who took the guys to school. 3 tables of the girls won, and the 4th table had not finished when we left. I sure hope the guys of table 4 kept the girls from a clean sweep.

 Tomorrow will be filled with more people arriving, and more reunions of friends we have met in the three years that we have been traveling around in our house on wheels......

RV History

We are settled in at the Elkhart Camping Grounds site #505. Once we got set up the AM we met several others that were heading to the RV Museum so we decided to go too.

The museum is a self guided tour of some really neat older RV's, in the first part of the tour we caught Donna playing "Lets go Camping" in one of the displays.

They do have real older RV's there, not just the replicas Donna was playing with. I'll just show the pictures, if you want more detailed information about them come to Elkhart and see them for yourself.
Here is a neat old RV

This one the name says it all

Then I happened to come across three creatures in the woods

They just kept posing for the camera

Now this beauty was made by Paul Jones in 1988, and since Paul Jones is my dad's name I had some of them believing that my dad built it.

The built looking thing was one of my favorites.

The museum is well worth the $6-$8 bucks you pay to enter, so if your like RV's and Old things, the museum is a must do.

 I also have some GREAT NEWS to report, Jay Carter went through the surgery with flying colors today. The doctor said they got all the tumor and that he should make a full recovery, and if it comes back in the future they can always do the surgery again. That is the same thing they told me when they cut the cancerous junk out of me. So I guess Jay and I both will be getting regular C T Scans.

 Fay ask us to thank everyone for their prayers, and asks that they continue praying for them. I really think everyone knows there is a God and that he does answer prayers, even if they don't want to admit it........

We will miss the Carters here at the Gypsy Journal Rally, but we know they won't be forgotten.......

Thursday, August 26, 2010

The BIG Move

 Today we are making a big move, 16 miles to Elkhart CG from Elkhart County Fairgrounds in Goshen. We will be very tired after the long trip, but I'm sure we will manage it OK.

Yesterday was a rest up day for me, a cold front moved in yesterday and I knew all about it. We started the day by going to Shipshewana Flea Market, and by 1PM I had done all I could do. Marcia drove us back to the rig where I crashed for the remainder of the day. I sure hope no other fronts come through during the rally.

 We are looking forward to being with so many friends at the rally, there will be too many there to mention everyone by name, but I know several class of 2007 mates will be there along with many "adopted" class mates. I think we have as many or more adopted class mates than we do class mates, but I guess the more the merrier.

 As soon as it warms up enough to roll up the water hose we will make the journey to Elkhart, waking up to 48 degrees isn't my ideal of fun, but it should get up to 75 by this afternoon so that will be great. I'm really looking forward to returning to FL where the highs and lows are a lot closer together.......

Tuesday, August 24, 2010


We arrived at Elkhart County Fairgrounds in Goshen IN today and was greeted by Bob and Molly. It sure was good to see them again, it has been way too long since we saw them in Fl. They told us about the gang having a potato bake at Elkhart CG in Elkhart IN so Marcia and I had to invite ourselves.

It was great seeing so many friends that we have met since we sold the house and moved into the MH. The potatoes were good too, and someone (Ann I think) made a cake in a crock pot and it was sooooo good. I told Marcia she had to get that recipe!

Corey was able to get dad to Andrea's in spite of all the delays caused by Miss Jaelynn and her potty breaks. They said she had to go potty about every other exit, and that makes me so glad my kids are all grown up, and we can give the grand babies back for mom and dad to deal with. Maybe Corey will need to get a MH to haul her around in so he won't have to stop so often.

 Dad will be in good hands with Andrea until we pick him up next week, and we will join our friends at Elkhart CG on Thursday....................

Monday, August 23, 2010

Goshen Bound

Today we did the factory tour here at Newmar, and this one as do all factories tours, impressed me. The tour guide was very nice, but she wouldn't be my pick to give factory tours. We did see how they put all the pieces together to make Newmar RV's.

 We saw several gassers being built, and a couple fifth wheels, there was even a few high end coaches in the factory being built. It was interesting to find out Newmar makes about 15 RVs a week and employees about 500 people. You can't buy direct from the factory, and each RV is sold before it is made here.

 We also went to Focal Furniture today, and yes our bank account is a lot lower after leaving. We had to order what we wanted, although he did have almost what we wanted. We will drive to rig to his shop as we leave Nick's to have the computer desks and the valance installed. It will all be oak like the rest of the wood in the Kountry Star. Pictures will come after the installation.

 We are going to miss the free parking here at Camp Newmar, but it is time to move on. The etch-a-sketch shows us heading to Goshen, the Elkhart County Fairgrounds for a couple days before we go to Elkhart CG where the rally will be. It will be fun seeing some of our friends again.

 Our friend Jay will have the tumor removed on Thursday or Friday, and Fay is recovering from her heart attack and the surgery she had today. They had to put two stints in, and I hope that helps her because she has had her hands full the past couple of weeks, and she will still have her hands full with Jay during his recovery.

Until the next time...........

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Camp Newmar

Today we arrived at Camp Newmar, or the factory where our Kountry Star Motor Home was built 5 years ago. It is a large place as you would expect an RV factory to be. They have 40 + rv sites with full hookups for Newmar Owners to use while at the factory getting things done, and we happen to be in one of them.

We have added a couple more states to the map, but I'm sure this map won't get colored in quite as fast as the first one did even though the newer map has one state colored in that the first one doesn't. ( WI ) We will have fun filling it in though.

We are looking forward to seeing some friends in the up coming week, many will be in Elkhart for the Gypsy Journal Rally (aug 30 - sept 1) Depending on how things go at Camp Newmar we will move to Goshen or Elkhart when we leave here.

We hope to do the factory tour tomorrow, and check on getting a couple parts, and maybe even get a few questions answered. I need to charge up some batteries tonight......

Saturday, August 21, 2010


The bridge crossing into the UP

The boat we saw as we crossed.

One of the "back" roads we took.

A couple of the better waterfalls we saw.

And the Kountry Star parked at Camp Greg and Jean in Hartford WI.

OK I need to find the rest of the pictures I took so stay tuned..............................

Friday, August 20, 2010

Rummage Sales

 Rummage sales here in WI are what we call yard, or garage sales back in the hills of KY. Yesterday while driving around we spotted a few and stopped at a couple. The first one had an 1980 Honda Moped that I thought very hard about buying. I thought it would be nice to have around the CG's and in Key West this winter, but I decided it would be way too small for both of us to ride so I passed on it.

 Today Greg and Jean had appointments so Marcia and I had to fend for ourselves. Which turned out to be a good thing because it rained last night and I don't do well during or after a rain. I spent most of the morning in bed. Marcia and I did get out before noon and hit some more of the rummage sales.

 Again I passed on something I should have went ahead and bought. A jet ski, we are looking for one to take to FL with us to use while we are in Key west. They rent them in Key West, but it is like $75-$100 for half a day, and after doing the touristy things in Key West there isn't a lot to keep you entertained.

 Tomorrow we will leave the hospitality of Greg and Jean, and Camp Greg and Jean to get closer to Elkhart. We aren't sure where we will be staying or going until the GJR, but there are several things around Elkhart that we want to see and do before the rally. From FB, forums, and other blogs, I see there are many RV friends already in the general area of Elkhart so I'm sure we will keep very busy.......

Thank You Greg and Jean, (I guess really Mark and Greg's mom) for allowing us to use the lower forty to call home for the past few days.....

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Hoof and Mouth

 The guys took advantage of the gals again tonight in Hoof and Mouth, (hand and foot the Pinner way). The girls did show some potential and made the last game close, they acutally went out, but we had more points than they did. So it is guys +4 and gals -4.

 We spent most of the day riding around seeing the sights. We stopped at a yard sale and I thought I had found myself a scooter. It was a 1980 Honda, but it needed too much work for the price they were asking. For me to buy anyway.

 We also stopped at a cheese store, and would you beleive they make and sell chocolate cheese? Yes they do, it tastes a lot like fudge, but is made out of the stuff they make cheese out of. We picked up some and some of a couple other kinds of cheeses.

 Jay has a tumor on his brain that is 5X5X5 cm, they will do surgery in a day or two. They have started him on several meds. They are in the VA hospital in Durham NC for now and that is where they will do the surgery, they are not sure where they will do the radiation if needed after the surgery. They may go back to TX, or OK for that, I'm sure it will depend on where he will get the best treatment.

 Tomorrow we decide if we will be hanging around longer, or if we will start our journey towads Elkhart for the Gypsy Journal Rally. We have reservations for the 26th so we do have plenty of time to make the trip....

Camp Greg and Jean

 Yesterday we arrived at camp Greg and Jean here in Hartford WI. Camp Greg and Jean is what I am calling the field in front of Greg's mother's house. We can't see the house for the trees, but we know it is there.

 It was great to see them again, us guys had fun schooling the girls at "hoof and mouth", otherwise known as hand and foot the Pinner way. I knew it was going to be a close game when the score was guys -70 and gals +370 after the first hand. I told them it was almost tied at that point, and at the end of the game the score was guys 1600 and gals 1400.

 We did get some bad news last night, Jay Carter has some major medical problems and as of last night he was being transported to a hospital in Duram NC. Fay is having to drive the MH. Jay had been having a few problems and Fay took him to a hospital in Marion VA yesterday where he was diagnosed with a mass on his brain. The hospital wasn't equipped to say much else about it, so they were making the arrangements to get him to a better hospital.

 Please remember them in your prayers, as most of you know they are full timers originally from Tulsa OK, and they bought a park model in the RGV last year because Jay figured he would be having surgery in he good ankle soon.

 We will see what there is to do and see here in Hartford WI today, and we should head toward Goshen tomorrow. I will keep you updated on Jay as I hear new news.......

 Before I posted this I talked to Fay,
 They are in Raleigh Durham NC, Jay is in the Durham VA hospital, the doctor said he would be having surgery sooner than later. They are waiting on a second opinion. Jay's daughter is flying in, and a friend is flying in to get the MH and Lulu. To top it off today is their anniversary!
That is all I know as of now....

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

How does 1561 equal 46?

 A very good question, but I have the answer and I will share it with all who read this.

  Today marks a mile stone in our lives, we have entered the 46th state! Wisconsin is the 46th state we have been in as full time RV'ers. We left Baraga MI this morning and drove south, we entered WI around 1 PM. Tonight we will spend the first night in WI, even though we are not in the Santara any more our quest to sleep in all 48 of the lower 48 continues.

 Now to answer the question, how does 1561 equal 46? It was 1561 days ago that we moved the mattress out of the house into the Santara, thus becoming full time RV'ers. It took us 1561 days to get to 46 of the 48 states. I am not counting Alaska or Hawaii because we have not intention or desire to go to these two states.

 We have heard so many stories about how we would love Alaska it is almost tempting to go, but the fact is, Alaska is C O L D and we try our best to avoid C O L D!!!! Now my definition of cold may differ from yours, but my definition is what I go by, and if it gets below 60 degrees it is  C O L D. If you agree or disagree makes no difference to me, I still think and say it is cold, and you can't get to Hawaii driving an RV so we don't care to go there either.

 That leaves two states for us, Minnesota and North Dakota. I know it will have to be summer time when we visit these states because they tend to be C O L D any other time. Maybe next summer we will get them!

 We had a short visit with Fran and Sharon today, they live (during the summer) in Appleton WI and we were passing right through there so Marcia gave them a call and we met at Wal-Mart for a visit. We had not thought about the time difference so the timing of things just didn't click for a longer visit. (I re-set my watch)

 We rolled on after our visit and stopped in Oshkosh with the intention of spending the night at Wal-Mart and enjoying a steak dinner at the steak house next to Wal-Mart. Those plans were quickly changed when we ask the manager of Wal-Mart about parking the rig in their parking lot, only to be told they had no problem with it, but the city had an ordinance against RV'ers staying in parking lots.

 Rather than causing any trouble, we chose to roll on,Without spending any $$ in the town. I am also thinking about sending the steakhouse and the city council an e-mail telling them they lost my business and prevented me from spending any $$ there because they don't want me to park the rig in a parking lot.

 Tomorrow we will get to see our friends Greg and Jean, and we are looking forward to that so much..........

 So 1561 is how many days it took us to enter 46 states.

Monday, August 16, 2010

Baraga County

  We picked up a pamphlet at the visitors center with a map showing several waterfalls, and other attractions in the county. Today we went in search of the hidden treasures in Baraga County.

 The first few waterfalls listed were in a town named L'Anse so that was our first stop. There was road construction between us and the falls so we passed on seeing them, after all I didn't expect too much of a waterfall in town. We turned the jeep north on Main Street in search of some of the other attractions.

 About 6 miles north on Main St which turned into Skanee Road was our next turn. We saw the sign indicating a boat ramp, and the directions said to follow it to the end of the road, so that is what we did.
Slate River is the name of the "creek" where the falls are. I really don't see how anyone could launch a boat in that river. We did find a scenic "creek" flowing over some rocks, and being from the hills of KY I couldn't call this a "waterfalls", so I guess their definition differs from mine.

 After being disappointed in a couple other falls we drove to see we decided to check out another attraction listed in the County's pamphlet. Pequaming was listed as number 16 on the list, and it was in the general direction we needed to go to return to the rig. The pamphlet says "Wander along former site of once busy model community owned by Henry Ford. Some buildings are still evident. It also has a marina and is well known for fishing."

 Once we arrived at the marina we saw the BOLD sign telling everyone the marina was for their customers ONLY. There were a couple driveways leading to several buildings that looked like they might be old, but there were signs posted saying "Private No Trespassing". So we headed back to Baraga where we prepared things for our departure tomorrow.

 We did stop to see the shrine of the "snowshoe priest". A remarkable 35' statue of what I guess was the priest. There was also a gift shop and several areas for people to pray. It was an interesting place, and really neat once you got across the RR tracks. It is a well maintained place across the street from the tip of Keweenaw Bay.

 The weather has turned a bit on the cool side, a front came through and I have been paying for it, so I'm thinking we will skip Marquette and just head south. We want to get to Hartford WI so we can visit with Greg and Jean before they head back towards NE.

 I'll let you know where we wind up if we have Internet service when we stop for the night. (where ever that may be)...............

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Just passed through Marquette

  Our plans changed today after we stopped at the visitors center in Marquette, they have their county fair and a big motorcycle race going on, add that to it being a weekend we found all the CG's full, so we will have to come back another time to catch all the fun and excitement around Marquette.

  We drove another 70 + or - miles today and arrived in Baraga, we are at a little casino that has 10 full hookup sites for $20 a night and 2 that are out of service. Too bad they were all taken when we arrived, so we are parked in one of the 2 sites that doesn't have any hookups. That is A O K with me because we can take that $20 and donate it to the casino slot machines.

 The Indian tribe also has a CG down on the lake. Really nice view but only 110 electric with a dump station, and for non tribal members it's $20 a night. The water in Lake Superior is way to cold for us to swim in so it doesn't bother me to stay at the casino.

 Tomorrow we are not sure what we will be doing, several ideas are flashing in my mind. Once we get back to fast Internet service I'll try to post some pictures......

Saturday, August 14, 2010

GPS and Maps

  I rely on our GPS way too much, but then I figure if it takes us somewhere other than where we want to go we need to go there. Yesterday was a prime example...

  We left Saulte St Marie yesterday heading in the general direction of Marquette MI. No real plans, and in no hurry to get there. The thing is, up here in the UP there are very few Wal-Marts to spend a night, but there are a lot of casinos that welcome RV'ers.

 We, or I guess I should say I, decided to drive to the Pictured Rocks National Shoreline in hopes of finding a CG there. I punched it into Charleen (the GPS in the MH) and off we went. I didn't bother looking at a map to see where she was taking us. We wound up in Grand Marais, which is right on the big lake. It has one way in and one way out for motor homes. Hwy 77 crosses MI 28 about 25 miles south of Grand Marais, and it ends there. When you get to Grand Marais there is the little town, one CG, and a few primitive Forest CG's and one way out, hwy 77.

 Which was OK with us, except it is summer time, and a weekend. Grand Marais was having one of their two major weekends. The fourth of July being the first, and the second weekend of Aug when they have their annual music and arts festival. Every CG was booked to the max including all the overflow areas. The town also has "no overnight parking" signs in all the large parking lots, so I had to drive the 25 miles back to MI 28 to get to anywhere else.

 We retraced our route back to MI 28 where we headed west again. We wound up at a small casino in Christmas MI. Once we found a place to park the rig we unhooked the jeep and took it to check out a few places in the area. A NF CG right across the road from the casino was full, as was another CG we looked at, but that is no problem for us we have water so we can boondock here at the casino. It has a few electric posts for RV's, but they were full and they were also too short for us to fit on without blocking the the road.

 Even though we run into obstacles like we did yesterday, I still enjoy not having a destination planned for every night. If not for the music festival, Grand Marais would have been a nice town to spend a day or two in. Tomorrow we will drive to Marquette and find a CG to spend a few days at. We will return to Christmas and the surrounding area in the jeep, if not this trip maybe next year........

Friday, August 13, 2010

Map added to Blog

  After seeing several blogs with maps showing the states the bloggers have visited I thought it would be nice if I added a map showing the states we have visited. I went to and made a map, but after making the map of where we have been since we started living full time traveling the USA in our RV I thought why not add another showing where we have been since we bought the new to us Kountry Star Motor home. So now you can look to the right and see the maps showing where we have been.

   The top map shows where we have been since we bought the Newmar Kountry Star back in Feb of 2010, and the second map shows where we visited the first 32 months of our journey as full timing RVers. Some RVers are really hung up on these maps, especially the sticker maps you buy to put on the RV. Some say you can't add the state unless you have been to that state, others insist you can't add the state unless you have been there in the RV. Then there are those that say you have to have slept in the RV in that state before you add it, and some insist you have to have had the RV in the state, slept in the RV, and had sex in the RV in the state. I figure you bought the map or made it so you can decide when to add the states.

  In a few hours we will be pulling up the jacks, rolling in the slideouts, and unplugging the electric cord so we can venture west in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan to see sights we have only read or heard about thus far. Having a house on wheels allows us to see so many places. We see and visit places that most people will never see.

  Every where we go people ask us where is the best place, or where is the most special place to visit. All I can say is every place we have been has it's own unique beauty. The UP is a beautiful place but you couldn't pay me to be here in December or January, and I also wouldn't want to be in FL in July or August. I wind up explaining that living in an RV gives us the option to be where we want to be, when we want to be there, and that is one of the many things that makes living full time in an RV so perfect for us.....

Thursday, August 12, 2010

The Etch-A-Sketch

 Today we got the etch-a-sketch out to see where we would be heading, after all we have been here in Saulte St Marie long enough. We knew the etch-a-sketch had the Lima OH area on it when we parked here Sunday evening, but today it had something different on it.

 Another night here just to relax and unwind, and then west bound was what the etch-a-sketch was showing today. I wouldn't mind if the west bound didn't stop until we hit Yuma AZ, but I also know that isn't happening this year. It is more like west to the center of the U.P. a small town called Marquette. From Marquette we can take the jeep in three directions to explore the U.P. while the weather is perfect. I know the locals are saying it is hot, but then they don't think 40 degrees is cold and the low 80's is perfect for me.

 Today we have done almost nothing but relax. A couple trips to the hot tub, and I sat in the steam room for a few minuets. We also spent our comp points in the gift shop, and that wasn't fun at all. Going into a shop and have to spend a certin amount of money, when their prices are already too high, and there is NOTHING there that we really need, or even want, but we did it.

 Tonight we will watch the new episode of "Burn Notice" on TNT (I think). I'm sure we will socialize with some of the other campers that are here, it is interesting to hear their way to beat the casino and win big bucks. I'm sure they don't out right lie to us when they tell about winning the hunderds and thousands, but I'm also sure they don't tell us about the hundreds or thousands they donate to the casinos to win the $$ they tell us about.

 We did watch a man sit down at one of the slot machines, he put in his money, played two credits on the first pull and hit $1000.00. The kicker is a couple camping here had showed us these machines earlier today, and we watched their grand son put in $5 and 5 minuets later he cashed in $60. Now the big kicker is I was walking up to that maching to put my $5 in when the man sat down and hit the $1000. So I guess I'll just wait until the next time we are here to try my luck in it.

 If there isn't any big winds or storms to mess up the etch-a-sketch tonight we willl meander west tomorrow, and I may find time and desire to post up some pictures we have taken while here in Saulte St Marie.......

Wednesday, August 11, 2010


Why do so many of us write a daily, or weekly blog?

I started doing a blog so our friends and family could keep up with our daily travels. That said you and I both wander why I don't keep up with my blog like I did when I first started it. My reason is lack of interest! When I started I felt good telling everyone about our adventure, but then as time went on I felt like it was just taking up time.

 When I stopped doing the blog daily I had a few tell me they would miss reading about us. I had no idea there was a few that read it daily, and to those I am very sorry. The few that would read it every now and then I felt like writing it every now and then would make it easier for both of us.

 Well trying to do it every week didn't work out for several reasons, lack of interest being the main one. So I think I need to commit to doing it on a daily basis again. Please remember when we don't have good Internet service there may not be a blog that day, and when we sit for several days the blog will not be as informative as when we are seeing new things everyday.

 OK enough about blogging being boring...

 We are in Salute Ste Marie MI in the Upper Peninsula of MI. We are staying at an Indian Casino Campground. $10 a night for 30 amp electric. Most casinos allow RVer's to stay free on their property, but then most of them don't have 30 amp electric. Paying to stay at a casino doesn't really set well with me, but then it is the cheapest place around.

 The CG sits on a hill above the casino, it has about 45 sites, and a restroom with showers and a washed and dryer in the ladies room. I guess single men have to go elsewhere to do their laundry. Staying at the casino CG also gets you all the amenities of the casino. The swimming pool, hot tub, sauna, weight room, and steam room, so the $10 a day isn't bad.

 Yesterday Marcia and I went to use the hot tub but found it looking a little green, and the smell of chemicals was terrible. We skipped the water and went into the sauna where we sweat out a few gallons of liquids, (maybe not gallons), before utilizing their showers in the pool area.

 We also took a side trip to Canada yesterday. Crossing into Canada was a lot more involved than our quick and easy trips into Mexico. We were drilled with questions as we entered, the guy even went as far as asking me if I owned a gun. I really thought about telling him it was none of his business if I owned a guy, but I wasn't wanting to cause any trouble, and I wanted to be complaint.

 He didn't like the answers I gave so we had to park the jeep and go inside to be checked out. I'm sure they ran our names for warrants, but after their checks we were told we could go. As we walked out to the jeep we were met be two more "inspectors" telling us they wanted to search our jeep.

 We said no problem and they ask us to stand in front of the jeep after unlocking all the doors. They quickly searched the jeep and told us we could go. I ask if the reason for the search was because I confessed to owning guns? I knew he couldn't/wouldn't answer, but I also knew I could get the answer from his expressions. Yep it was because I answered truthfully. After standing in front of the jeep being watched by everyone that passed by we were able to continue our trip into Canada.

 Canada is a place we more than likely will not be returning to. The prices of almost everything is higher than the states, and frankly I didn't like being treated like a criminal and being embarrassed by standing in front of the jeep while everyone watched as they drove by.

 I know they we only doing their job, and I am happy that they do check people coming and going, but there is really no reason for me to be going into Canada..................

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Loving the U.P.

We stopped for fuel and I spotted this little guy hitching a ride, and when we arrived at Camp Grayling he was still hanging on until I started washing the bugs off.
He or she, was hanging on to the front of the motor home. Interesting little creature I thought.

Here is a shot of Camp Grayling, a military RV Park near Grayling MI.
The "locals" have really spent some time and $$ on their sites fixing them up pretty neat. They have the entire back row, but then it costs only $900 for a site from May 13th through September 18th. (the dates may be off a few days ) and then for $200 extra you can leave you rig there all year. Pretty good deal if you want to hang around MI all the time.
It is a neat CG even though the sites are a bit on the small side, and the restrooms and showers really needed some attention, and some fresh paint, but for $15 you got all the water you needed and 30 amp electric service and sewer.

Down a path about 1/4 of a mile from the CG was the lake and a fairly nice beach area.
Marcia saw this unique squirrel wandering around.

                                                    I almost got him all in an action shot.

Black squirrels are common up here, but down south they are only talked about and a lot of people will actually laugh at you if you try to tell them about a black squirrel. (but you can see them for yourselves)
Since Marcia got her jeep, and I am having to deal with riding around town in it on a daily basis, I too am taking advantage of situation by taking in on some of the less traveled roads. We are getting to see a lot more of places than most people will ever see by driving the jeep down these dirt roads.
Can you imagine trying to drive a motor home through this? I guess jeeps are good for something.

While we were in KY I talked to a guy about making some graphics to put on the jeep, but with it being close to elections and us not hanging around long he never got around to making them. On our last trip through Middlesboro I bought some of the stuff and decided I would make them myself. I played with some pictures on the PC and got a decent pattern to oversize and print off. I then took the 10 pages and taped them together so I could cut out the graphics almost as they are on the Kountry Star. This is what I finished with.
I had contacted an online company to do it, they would take my pictures and copy the graphics, cut them and mail them to me to put on, all for only $550. Mine cost me $20 and a couple hours of my time.
You can tell the jeep and the Kountry Star belong together even though the graphics don't match 100%.

We crossed the bridge into the U.P.
 These are really some large boats that Marcia was able to get pictures of while we were on the bridge.
 We parked the rig at the first casino we came to. We thought we would park the rig there for a day or two until we searched out a decent CG. The lady at the visitors center told us about a couple that she likes and uses, but you can never really tell how one will be until you go there.

 After checking with the security office in the casino we were pleasantly surprised when they told us there was no charge for hooking up to the electric and that we could stay for several days if we chose to. So since we had a full tank of fresh water, and had just dumped our black and grey tanks, why would we want to spend money to park in a CG. After all we are here to see the UP, not really to camp out.
 With a safe and secure place to leave the rig we are free to see the sights of the U.P. and on our first trip out we spotted this machine.

         I really hope I NEVER see the need for one of these things, unless it is on the TV or computer.

                                           I am very pleased to be able to see sights like this one.

Did I mention that I am enjoying driving the jeep on all these nice dirt roads? The U.P. has plenty of these roads to explore, and today Marcia spotted this little guy.

Shortly after Marcia spotted Bambi I spotted the grand daddy of bucks. I even had to turn the jeep around and go back just so Marcia could also see this monster.

We had a good day driving the back roads of this area today. Forest service roads are gr8 roads to ride.

Later on Janice and Dean stopped by the rig, they just arrived in St Ignace today, so we showed them around the casino after talking and catching up a while. Inside the casino we continued the conversation over a meal. They had all you can eat crab legs tonight, but I was a good boy and got the all you can eat soup, salad, and DESERT bar.

 After we ate we played in the casino for a while. Janice and Dean got 2 rolls of tokens for signing up, (we got it the other night) and Janice and Marcia got a roll because it is ladies night. Janice turned her rolls into $29 before she donated it all back to the casino. I was able to walk out of the casino tonight with a few more dollars in my pocket than I walked in with, so it was a gr8 day.

 We have yet to decide what adventure will arise tomorrow, but I do know we will make every attempt possible to have FUN.............................

Monday, August 2, 2010

Camp Grayling

Pictures will come later, ( I hope)!

After leaving our friends Walt and Donna we drove north to The Soaring Eagle Casino where we spent the night. Marcia got her bingo fix for a while, (didn't win any $$) and I got to relax a while. Today we finished our journey to Camp Grayling where we will rest up a couple days before heading up into the Upper Peninsula of Michigan.

 We will also explore around this area in the jeep. I am really looking forward to riding around on the back roads in the U P. From what I have heard we should see a lot of wild animals if we stop long enough. Today we saw our first black squirrel, I have heard about them but this was the first one I have actually saw. as fate would have it both the cameras were in the Kountry Star so we will have to take a few walks to try and capture the little rascal in a picture.

 I will try to get some pictures posted for you to enjoy, but for now I just want to let everyone know where we are and that we are having a good time.............