Thursday, August 25, 2016

August 22 - 28, 2016, MN

Thursday, August 25.  I knew this was going to be a bit hectic and it has.  I had all 3 girls on Monday and Wednesday and we even succeeded in having outings to the park and I managed to get them all in the van, buckled up and they stayed near me while walking and at the park.  Charlotte has been a bit help, especially by setting a good example and then Norah and Camille are just interested in being like her.  

Tina (the Nanny) spent her last day with them on Tuesday, so I went to see a few subsidized apartment buildings.  The first two were about a 15 minute drive but both have 20-24 month waiting lists and the changeover isn't real quick, like 15 a year.  I attempted to visit a senior community with garden homes but my GPS led me astray, I drove 20 miles too far and never did find the place.  A couple of places were in construction zones and I didn't feel like stopping there, although I probably should another time.  They were also in a very busy part of Edina near the Southdale Mall and would be convenient to shopping, but I'm not sure I really care that much about that.  The last place that I stopped at was discouraging, as it appeared to be more for assisted living type arrangements, like 80-90 year olds.

I think I'm going to just focus on the neighborhoods that I would like to be in and maybe use a rental management resource.

Charlotte went to spend the night with Granny and Papa, so I have been in demand a little bit less.  I took them for special treats this morning - an ice cream cone.  Both chose blue and I'm not Ben sure what the flavor is, just blue.

Friday, August 26.  It has been a quiet and mellow day with Norah and Camille. Both have been in great moods and have been very cooperative with the exception of a meltdown by Camille at nap time this afternoon.  She forcefully took a ring from Norah, I made her give it back and she went berserk because she wanted it.  When she wouldn't stop screaming, I put her on her bed and she settled right in, listened to a couple of stories and drifted off to sleep.  Boy, a 2-year old sure does get agitated when she doesn't get what she wants.

We are preparing for Charlotte's 5th birthday party tomorrow (her actual birthday falls on Labor Day weekend). It will be held at an art studio, all of the guests will paint a picture on a canvas and take it home with them when they leave.  It should be a fun time.

The sentencing trial for Travis Standlee, the slug who murdered my brother, Ray, is scheduled for Monday and he is facing 50 years.  I spent some time this afternoon writing an impact statement to be read at the hearing.  It is always difficult to lose a family member, but the way that Ray died was brutal and I hope the man gets all 50 years of the sentence.  He goes on trial in October for the death of Sharon Mead, murdered just 6 days after he killed Ray, a day after he was let out of jail because they didn't feel like they had sufficient evidence. He deserves another 50 years for her murder.

Saturday, August 27.  Birthday party day for my little birdie girl.  She is all about the birds the days, her favorite is the Peacock and the theme is definitely birds.  We went to 
and 10 of her friends were invited.  They started by choosing a canvas, getting a painting lesson and making their own creation.  That was followed by snacks and cupcakes and dress up.

Thursday, August 18, 2016

August 15 - 21, 2016, WI, MN

Wednesday, August 17.  My week has been busy, running errands and seeing some folks one more time before I leave Stoughton next Sunday.  On Monday, I headed up to Pat and Roger's house, loaded a few bins and boxes in my car, and followed Pat to their new home near Montello.  The inspector was there today, so the house was open and I could see the inside. It is cute as can be, has a beautiful lot with nice, tall trees, and will be a comfortable home for them.

On Tuesday, I went downtown and scheduled a haircut appointment for Friday, shopped for food and treats for Frisco, and stopped to see my cousin, Fran. We had a great visit.  I also ran to the grocery store to get a few things and just as I was parking my car back at Pat's house, my friend Judy called and asked "are you coming"?  Here I had forgotten that I had arranged to meet her for lunch, so I did a u-turn and scurried to the restaurant where I had a very nice visit with her and Virginia.

Today, I went with Tracey, Donna, and Caroline to Oconomowoc for some shopping at some of Donna's favorite places; Stein's Garden Center, K-Mart (I'm not a fan), Ben Franklin, and a book store.  I got a few gifts for the grandkid's but that is about it.  On our way back home, we stopped at the outlet mall in Johnson Creek and I tried to find another pair of walking shoes like I have now - they had a few, but they were hot pink or hot orange, so I walked away empty handed.  Naturally, I just love a shoe style that has been discontinued - guess I will shop online for a new pair.

We had lunch at Maxim's Old Depot Inn, an old railroad station, that took you back a few years with the photos and banners on the walls.  Lunch was delicious and the company was fun too.

This evening, Tracey and I chopped veggies while Pat prepped for the canning process and we put up another 6 cans of salsa and 2 quarts of tomatoes.  It will be great for them to have yummy garden veggies during the winter.

Friday, August 19.  Happy 47th Birthday to my oldest son, Pat!  

I spent the morning yesterday finishing up my research on apartment complexes that I want to check out when I get to Minneapolis.  The list has 6 possibilities.  Wouldn't you know that my first choice place is the farthest away, but still only a 20 minute drive to the south and the next 2 choices are the most pricey.  These are all large complexes that are age restricted and have some amenities that are similar to what I have now.  I have not ruled out the possibility of a small flat or duplex near Ben's neighborhood.

We had some pretty serious storms during the night and I slept right through them.  I just love it when I'm in a good sleeping pattern.  Frisco got walked in the pouring rain this morning and neither of us liked it very much.

I made lasagna and Caesar salad for dinner, broke out the bottle of wine that I bought in Michigan (not a very good one) and then we had my favorite apple crumble for dessert.  Tracey's folks stopped over to wish Pat a happy birthday and stayed around for a nice visit.  Pat ended up getting rained out at work this morning, so he got the day off on his birthday too.

Saturday, August 20.  Happy Birthday to my daughter-in-law, Jill and my mother-in-law, Jane who would be 98 today - I love and miss you, Mom.

We all walked to Mandt Park this morning for the annual Coffee Break Fest and car show and I was glad to see several of my cousins from the Ganshert family.  I thought I would be seeing them at a birthday party this afternoon but I had the dates mixed up and that event is tomorrow.  I really wanted to get to see Larry and he was right at the entrance when we walked in.  I bought a souvenir coffee mug and sampled some different brews, chatted with a few folks, and then it started to rain so we high tailed it home.  

Tracey caught a Pokeman on me,

I got my laundry done, cleaned up the trailer a bit, got beer to deliver to Ben and to take with me to AZ, and got things in the car organized and ready for the trip to Minnesota tomorrow. It was a good day.

Sunday, August 21.  Naturally, on a day that I want to be alert and focused, I didn't get much sleep the night before.  Grrrrr.  I last looked at the clock at 11:30, was up at 3:00, then awake again at 5:30 this morning.  

I had coffee with Pat, then hooked up, said my goodbyes, and was on the road by 8:30. My first stop was the state park to empty all of the tanks, then to McFarland to fill up on gas and get some breakfast and then I was headed north.  I took the Garmin's suggested route that took me through Eau Claire and right through downtown St. Paul and that was a big mistake.  There was lots of construction on I94, a detour at the exit that I wanted to take, I was rerouted way south near the airport and Mall of America and then I finally got on the right road that took me to Ben's.  In the past, I have taken I90 through LaCrosse and Rochester and come in from the south - a much easier way to go and the route I will take in the future.

It was great to see the kids again. Charlotte had me making critters out of play dough in no time at all, then when Norah and Camille woke from their naps, we all made whales and islands for them to swim near.  We had dinner in the patio and then bath and bedtime that stretched way close to 9:00.

Thursday, August 11, 2016

August 9 - 14, 2016, WI

Thursday, August 11.  It has been another busy week in Wisconsin, evidenced by my lack of writing.  I have continued my walks with Dawn in the morning.  The early days of the week were comfortable, without a lot of humidity, but come Thursday, the conditions became pretty sticky.

I met up with classmates at Culvers on Tuesday afternoon.  Pat, who has been cleaning out her house for a move, brought along solo photos from our freshman and senior years - they brought on a contest of who's who and remember who this is?  Lots of laughs too.

On Wednesday morning after our walk, Pat and I canned 7 quarts of tomatoes that were ripe and ready to be canned.  

When we finished that, he, Dawn, and I walked to Main Street to watch the half-sized replica of the Vietnam Wall come through Stoughton, escorted by bikers from the American Legion.  It is on its way to a 3 day event to honor Vietnam Veterans.

I then headed to Portage to spend the next 2 nights with my sister-in-law, Sharon.  She invited her and Dan's kids and their facilities to join us for dinner, so I could see everyone at one time.  We had a great visit and it was nice to see them all - the kids are getting so big!

Front row:  Reanna, Ryan, Brianna.  Back row:  Elizabeth, Cody, and Brooke

Sharon and I

This morning, I went to Westfield to see my cousin, Jo and her new apartment.  Her friend, Joyce invited us to breakfast and her friend, Susan (who came to Arizona with Jo last spring) joined us.  Joyce made good old southern biscuits and gravy and fried green tomatoes for breakfast.  We had a great visit and lots of lively discussion.

Heading back to Sharon's house, I drove the county roads to Montello so I could drive past and see Pat and Roger's new home.  It's a very nice log home situated on a pretty lot with lots of nice evergreens, a peaceful setting. They will be happy there.

Tonight, Sharon, Becky, Elizabeth, and I went to Endeavor to play Bingo.  I got lucky and got a $5 concession prize when I was buying my cards.  Then, I won one of the $20 games.  A good night of fun.

Sunday, August 14.  After helping Pat and Roger with their garage sale this morning (pretty steady rain, so few customers), I headed back to Stoughton.

Yesterday afternoon, Pat, Tracey, and I met Guy and Al at the Operation Badger Base event in Madison.  I found the names of 2 of my classmates, Mike Mulcahy and Larry Bender and Mike's friend, Paul Gerlach on the wall.  In addition, they had photos of all those from Wisconsin who were killed in action.  Such a shame that +58,000 of our young men were lost in that senseless war.  I also saw one of Mike's friends from Oscar Mayer there, hadn't seen him since Mike retired.

Strange, this morning I woke up to someone saying to me, "good morning, darling".  It was so real that I sat up, looked around, and opened the shades to look out the window.  Maybe Mike is with me today because later on, I had to hook up the trailer to take it to the dump station at the state park.  On my way home, our song, Patsy Cline's "Sweet Dreams", came on the radio.  I love it when that happens.

Monday, August 1, 2016

August 1-8, 2016, WI

Monday, August 1.  What a pleasant afternoon today.  Last week when Rene, Jonnie, Dawn and I were together, we decided to try to get some of our other cousins together, so we gathered in Middleton this afternoon for a late lunch.  Ken and Gerda, Fran, Donna, and Wanda joined us at the Craftsman brewery and we sat and talked for 3 hours.  It had been several years since Rene had seen many of them, so she was really delighted and Ken was happy that he got to be there with his harem.  All are first cousins except Dawn and Wanda (Wanda was married to my cousin Dick and Dawn is her daughter).  It was a truly enjoyable time, so glad it all worked out.

Jonnie, Rene, Me, Gerda, Ken, Dawn, Donna, Fran, and Wanda

Fran and Jonnie, the only survivors (oldest and youngest) of the Muetz family.

Gerda and Ken

Rene and I

Dawn and Donna


Thursday, August 4.  In some ways, it has been a busy week.  On Tuesday and Wednesday, Pat and I canned 15 pints of salsa.  I walked - feeling better about going out by myself again. That attack set me back and instilled fear in me, but I'm much more aware of my surroundings and I've been carrying pepper spray along with me (thanks, Tracey).  I can't believe how many dogs I see off leash or on leash but not under the owners control.  I was given the last of the vet bill money from the person whose dog attacked Frisco.  I also shopped for birthday gifts for my granddaughters.

In other ways, it has been a lazy week - taking naps and lounging around, even watching a movie in the middle of the day.  The humidity has been high again and it sure seems to drain the energy right out of you and makes you want to stay inside in the AC.  It also took a while to recover from last week's 3 nights out in a row, I am out of shape on that front.

Tonight, Dawn and I met Chris and Norm at Country Corners to hear Frank and Bob playing old time country music.  Pat and Roger were going to join us but didn't make it. Mike and I were regulars there for many years and were loyal followers of the house band.  Their song selection and sound is just as it was back in the nineties.

Friday, August 5.  Happy Birthday to my dear friend, Pat. You are now as old as I am. We celebrated at Naugti-gal with her son AJ and several of her in-laws whom I have come to know through the years.  It was an enjoyable evening of conversation, food, and drink.  The place has gone to the dumps as far as service and cocktails are concerned.  I was looking forward to having an Old Fashioned, but what I got was a poor excuse for it.  Several others complained about their weak and watered-down drinks. Our dinner order was messed up and one person didn't get his meal until several of us were finished eating.  And then, they rushed us away from our table so they could accommodate the next group that was waiting for a table.  Because of that, 4 of the 11 of us got free drinks - strange.  Why only 4?  I wouldn't have taken another drink if offered, since I had heard on the news that they were having OWI checkpoints in Stoughton and Oregon tonight and I'm not willing to take a chance on getting busted for that.

AJ brought sweet corn from his Dad's farm to share with all of us and I came home with a couple dozen ears of some of the best corn around.  Yummy dinner tomorrow night.

Saturday, August 6.  Pat and I drove out to Verona this morning so he could get the lay of the land and know where to report to his job site on Monday.  He will be working at Epic, a huge corporation that employs more than 9,000 people. Pat will be working on the fifth phase of expansion where five new buildings are going up.  It is a healthcare software company that provides compute systems to doctors, hospitals and clinics for about 60% of that market.  A huge campus with unique building structures, the size of a small town.  It was pretty amazing to see after hearing people talking about it for years.

Pat's job site, they do the exterior plaster portion.

When we got back home, he, Tracey, and I walked to the new Norwegian Heritage Center, Livreise (Life's Journey) in downtown Stoughton.  It is a beautiful building honoring the history and experience of the immigrants that settled in this area.  The exhibits are nicely displayed and there are several multi-media displays, cultural stations, and digital story books about personal experiences.  A very nice contribution to the city.

Sunday, August 7.  The only plan that I had for today was to blanch and cook the remaining sweet corn that we got from AJ and then I got a text from Leslie asking if I wanted to meet her for lunch somewhere between Stoughton and West Allis.  It took seconds to reply and we came up with a plan to meet at Hering's Sand Bar on Rock Lake in Lake Mills.  It is a rather dumpy old bar but the patio is great - on the beach, surrounded by the city park with lots of activity going on.  The boat landing had vehicles lined up and ready to launch or bring in boats or jet skies, the beach was full of families and kids, folks arriving on bicycles, and we sat in the shade of a big oak tree and took it all in.  

On my way back home, along the scenic county roads of southern Wisconsin, I came through the small village of Utica.  The village swelled with folks attending the annual Utica fest that consists of a craft fair, tractor pull and most important around here, the beer tent.  Cars were lined up on both sides of the road for a mile before and after the fairgrounds.  I was just fine with passing through - the dust was flying and the music blaring.  

Tracey made pizzas for dinner tonight - an assortment of 4 different toppings from meaty to veggie - delicious!

Tuesday, July 26, 2016

July 25 - 31, 2016, WI

Tuesday, July 26.  My heart is thumping after witnessing a terrible attack on Frisco by a pit bull and a Great Dane.  Pat and I were walking, across the street were 2 women attempting to get their dogs in the house.  Pat warned me to keep ahold of my dog as I was waiting for a car to go by so I could cross the street.  The woman in the car stopped to let me cross and as soon as I stepped off the curb, both dogs came running toward me and the pit grabbed Frisco by the neck and pulled him right out of his collar.  There was pandemonium as the women tried to get the dogs to let go - yes, they were taking turns grabbing Frisco, and Pat was kicking at random and we were all screaming. Frisco broke away and ran toward the house and when I got there he was sitting on the stoop.  At first, I didn't see any cuts and he wasn't limping, but shortly after, I discovered that he has several lacerations on his neck. 

The vet that I saw was my old friend, Claire, and she checked him out good - he has no broken bones and the cuts did not retire stitches. She put him on an antibiotic regimen for the next week.  He is moving pretty slowly and slept right up next to me most of the night.

This experience has reinforced my fear of pit bulls.  They may be very nice pets but are uncontrollable in these types of situations.  

Thursday, July 28.  Frisco is done no much better today.  The wounds are healing nicely and he has been a bit more spirited.  I did notice that his bark sounded really scratchy, like his throat is sore. I hope that heals as well.

Savana got home from her trip to Scotland last night.  Unfortunately, her grandmother was having back problems the entire time and they were not happy with the structure of the tour that they were on, unable to spend time at the places that they really wanted to see and very little time for walking around by themselves or doing some shopping.

Today, Pat, Savana and I went to Madison to the Veterans Museum to see a collection of World War II posters that is new and then we walked down State Street to the Chazen Art Museum and took in the collections there.  On our way back up State Street, we stopped at The Parthenon for a gyro, although I chose a Greek salad instead.  Good stuff.

It was a busy night too. I picked Rene up and then met Jonnie, Dawn, and Rich at Rotary Park in Stoughton, to listen to the McCloskey family band, very entertaining bluegrass music.  Then, we all headed to Madison to hear Marcia Ball in Central Park.  We got an easy parking spot, just a half block from the stage and a place to watch the band and boogie for the next 1.5 hours.  What a great time it was!  

At one point, I turned around and right behind me stood an old friend of Mike's who I haven't seen since my father-in-law's funeral.  

Friday, June 29.  I hooked up the Gypsy and headed out to Kegonsa State Park where Pat and Rog and I are camping over class reunion weekend.  Tonight was an informal gathering at Springers on Lake Kegonsa, where a classmate, Brett, entertained us with his guitar and singing. It was a really good turnout, so much fun, and great to see so many classmates and friends through the years, 50 to be exact.  It's hard to believe.

I also ran into Mike's Aunt Joan and her family, there to celebrate her 83rd birthday.  

Vicki, Lindsay, Me, Louie, Joan, and Jeri Jo

Saturday, July 30.  The day got off to a slow start since it was close to midnight when we got home last night (thanks to Susan and Dean for the safe ride home).  Pat fixed us biscuits and gravy for breakfast and then we took a nice, long walk with the dogs along the Tall Oak trail.  Back at our campsites, we played a game of 500 Rummy.  Just as we were playing the last hand, Chris and Norm came by for a visit and we sat and chatted with them for a few hours.

They left, Rog left to go to s baseball game, Pat and I took showers and got ready for round 2 of our class reunion.  Tonight's activities were held at the Stoughton Country Club and we had a turnout of 120 people, the best turnout of any reunion yet.  The person who traveled the longest distance came from Okinawa, Japan and the shortest lived just across the street.  There were a few who had never come to a reunion previously.  It was a wonderful, fun evening with lots of laughs and plenty of story telling.  I stole a couple of photos that friends posted on Facebook.  

Tom Carleton, Karen Santos, Brett Peterson, Me, Steve Sproul, Pat, and Jim Cowee

Monday, July 18, 2016

July 18 - 24, 2016, WI

Monday, July 18.  We are settled in at the North Bay Shore County Park, just south of Peshtigo, the best place we have been at since this trip started and for half the price.  I am disappointed in the KOA campgrounds that we stayed in on this trip, they are usually consistently nice and clean.  The sites were dirt, with very little grass and the hookups in both of the places were very difficult to work out.  This morning, I had to hook up my car and pull it forward about 10 feet in order to dump the tanks, had to run the hose under my camper and then found that the hookup was wiggly - I had to ask Pat to hold the hose down so it didn't jump out and splatter yuck all over the place.  A Shitty setup it was.

This place is gorgeous with level paved sites, nice layout with plenty of space in between, tall shade trees, clean facilities, and right on the western shore of Lake Michigan - I would love to stay here again some day.

We played cards, had steak, mushrooms, and salad for dinner, and shared a bottle of "Marquette" wine from the Threefold Winery in Stephenson, MI - an Honestly UP wine.  While Pat and I did dishes, Roger got a fire going and we played s couple of games of washers, Pat won both games agains Rog and I.  We took the dogs for a walk out to the lakeshore and watched the almost full moon casting its reflection on the water. Once again, I wasn't able to stay awake long enough to see the starlit sky.

Tuesday, July 19.  Pat and Rog were on the road by about 8:30 and I proceeded to clean my house - boy, did it need it after a week of tracking in sand and dirt and the usual layer of Frisco's hair.  When I finished that, I loaded up all of the laundry and headed into Peshtigo in search of a laundromat.  It was right on the edge of town, my two loads took an hour and I chatted with a friendly local gal and that helped to pass the time.  

I picked up a few groceries and stopped at the local museum to learn all about the Peshtigo fire that occurred on October 8, 1871 (the same day as the great Chicago Fire) and more lives were lost in this one.  The docent told me about 1,200 lives were lost, the entire town burned to the ground and thousands of acres of forest were burned.  She told me how the people that survived had to stay in the river, dunking their heads to keep their hair from burning.  They had to stay there until after the ground cooled down and many lost their lives to hypothermia - it is cold around here in October.  The museum carries a few items that were recovered and the cemetary next door has a monument with a mass grave of over 300 local folks.

Friday, July 22.  I'm back in Stoughton after a wonderful week and a half vacation with great friends, seeing places that I've never seen before, and enjoying the gorgeous landscape of Wisconsin and Michigan. 

I spent the last 2 days with my long-time friend, Carol, near Sheboygan and we caught up on lost time over the last 2 years. There is nothing like seeing someone after a couple of years and just picking up where you left off.  Richard got home from a week of work in Wausau and it was nice to catch up with him too - I hadn't seen him since Mike's Memorial.  They were leaving early this morning for Michigan, so I headed back to Stoughton then too.

I took the long route, through many small towns and then I stopped to walk along the paths at Horicon Marsh, a 32,000 acre wetland that is a nesting area for waterfowl and migratory birds.  I saw several species of birds on my short walk including Canada Geese, White Pelicans, A Green Heron, and various kinds of ducks.  The colorful roadsides on the drive home were dotted with white Queen Anne's Lace, pretty blue Cornflower, yellow Black-eyed Susans and bright orange day lilies, all against the varied green backdrop of grasses, crops and trees.  

A cool sculpture at the Horicon Marsh Welcome Center.

Monday, July 11, 2016

July 11 - 17, 2016, WI, MI

Monday, July 11.  I had a nice walk with Dawn this morning and we sure did talk about lots of subjects, mostly family and health issues.  I washed the car when I got back home, it really needed it after the buildup of bugs from KC to MN to WI.  Speaking of bugs, the fireflies have been numerous and fun to watch in the evenings.

We all went to Costco this morning (Tracey bought a printer for her mom that they didn't really like) and then Pat suggested Players Pub as a good place to have a burger.  There is nothing quite like a good bar burger and our choices all proved to be yummy.  If I weren't the designated driver, I would have had a beer.  

Tuesday, July 12.  I hooked up my trailer last night, so I could pull out by 7:00 this morning.  My first stop was to empty my holding tanks at Camping World, then had the air in my tires checked and was right on time to meet Pat and Rog in a large lot near the interstate.  We headed north to I-39 through Stevens Point, Wausau, Tomahawk, and Minoqua on our way to Jim and Sue's Shady Rest in St. Germaine.  The woods gets thicker and thicker the farther north you get - it's beautiful!

It was great to see them again and we got right down to business with conversation over Bloody Mary's, or another cocktail of our choice.  We all have the recent sale of homes to celebrate and, as always, just plain getting together.  We enjoyed the beautiful north woods surrounding their home, took a walk, had a great dinner, and then played "Pass The Pigs" and "Farkle".

Wednesday, July 13.  After coffee and a yummy breakfast this morning, we headed out to Lake Shannon and hiked the path around the lake, stopping every now and then to enjoy the beauty of our surroundings.  While there, we spotted some loons and Bald Eagles flying overhead.

Can you see the Loons behind me?

There's a fungus among us.

My spot at Jim n Sue's Shady Rest.

Thursday, July 14. Happy Birthday to my dear, sweet, niece, Monica.  We said our goodbyes after breakfast this morning and headed down the road, going east instead of west.  Earlier this week, there were terrible storms and flooding along US Highway 2 that caused many sections of the road to flood and much of it is closed between here and Duluth. We came up with Plan B which is to head east toward Sioux Ste Marie and see the southern shore of Lake Superior instead. 

We had light drizzle and rain and had to slow down for a few turkeys but the 3-hour drive to Ishpeming, MI was easy with good roads and not a lot of traffic.  Once we got setup, we headed to Marquette and took Lakeshore Drive all along the beautiful lake and stopped to take a walk with the dogs along the hiking/biking path.  It is cold - 63 degrees with a strong wind coming from the west.  The shoreline is rocky and you can see several scattered islands not far from shore.  We drove through Presque Isle Park and it was gorgeous, with many pull offs to get to view the rocky shoreline.

This is a memorial to all who have lost their lives in Lake Superior.

The drive through Presque Isle Park was gorgeous!

We even made a stop at Da Yoopers Tourist Trap and it lives up to its name - a tourist trap.  Mike and I attended several performance by da Yoopers - a show that was always good for lots of laughs.

Pat made chili for dinner - I couldn't have asked for anything more appropriate. I think the rain is done, but tomorrow will not warm above 62 degrees, better dig out the longjohns.

Friday, July 15.  Today started out like an January day in Arizona - chilly, like 50 something, then gradually warmed to about 62.  The 62 was unite comfortable as the sun was shining.  The drive from Ishpeming to Newberry was only a couple of hours and the only wildlife that we saw along the way was Sandhill Cranes - none of the moose or bear that we were warned of along the roadsides.

We arrived at the KOA in Newberry and were pretty disappointed when we saw our sites - nicely wooded, but all dirt, uphill to get in them, difficult to level, and the connections are on the front and not the back and also on the wrong side for one of us.  I don't think my hose would even reach, so I didn't even try, it would turn from white to brown after a one night stay.  I came real close to complaining. But decided to write it in my review instead - the place isn't cheap.

We headed out to see the Tahqamenon Falls but when we pulled in at the state park, the line of cars to get in was about 10 long, so we decided to go to the shipwreck museum in Whitefish Point first.  I was impressed with that place and learned a lot about the Great Lakes and especially, Lake Superior.  We saw a few things that were salvaged from the Edmond Fitzgerald that sunk in 1975 and a few it s that had washed up on the shoreline of several others.  It is estimated that some 500+ ships have sunk just a short distance from this point, either from extremely bad weather conditions or from visibility and crashing into other ships.  The lighthouse and buildings that were used to staff and maintain it are left in good condition and provide a pretty good picture of what life was like for those hearty souls.

From there, we stopped at the Lower Falls at Tahquamenon State Park and walked the trail that led to the falls, then a bit farther down the road to the Upper Falls - gorgeous views and a nice, walk.

Lower Falls

Gotta try a selfie now and then.

Upper Falls

It's Friday - there must be a fish fry somewhere.  We found one at the Newberry Eagles Club - I had the local whitefish and it was yummy. I can't say much for the drinks - I guess beer would have been better.  We had a nice campfire (a challenge to get it going) but very nice once it took off. Good times.

Saturday, July 16.  Our drive was pretty short, we cut south to US Hwy 2 and drove along the north shore of Lake Michigan - the shore is beachy and pretty calm, compared to what we saw yesterday on Lake Superior.  It was a beautiful drive and we quickly checked into our sites at the KOA in St. Ignace.  The sites are so strangely setup here - one electric tower is shared between 2 sites and the water/sewer are not conveniently located either.  My electric and water had to go under my trailer and the hookups are right there where I exit the camper.  I'm not even sure if my sewer hoses will reach - we shall see.  We had sites 10-11 but Roger couldn't figure out how his connections would work, so he switched sites with the guys that were coming into 12.  All worked out, they were friendly and good neighbor's - both father and son were retired fishing guides.

Pretty clouds in a clear, blue sky.  I thought it looked like flying Angels.

Roger stayed back with the dogs and Pat and I went into town, strolled the main drag, saw the Ojibway Museum and the final resting place of Father Marquette, the missionary who brought Christianity to the local Indian tribes, and we saw Mackinac Island and Lake Huron.  I really had no desire to go over there - from what I hear it is just a bunch of t-shirt shops and the Grand Hotel.  We saw what we wanted to see, then went back to the campsite, started a fire, then I fixed sausage and peppers for dinner.  Pat and I got silly and had a nice time.

Sunday, July 17.  I slept in until 7:30 this morning and it sure felt good.  Pat fixed breakfast and then we walked the dogs and got ready for the day, heading to Sault Ste Marie.  Rain is predicted and we plan to cross into Canada, so we left the dogs at home.  

The drive was about 50 miles and we headed straight to the locks to watch boats going from Lake Huron to Lake Superior through the St. Mary's River.  It sure is interesting how that works.  Once the Federal Churchill got into the locks, some of the crew left the boat to collect their mail and laundry while the locks filled up, then they returned and the ship went through.  We then walked along the downtown streets, browsed in a couple of shops, and watched a fund-raising basketball tournament on courts that were marked off on the street.  We then crossed into Canada, walked a path in a park along the river, and hoped to get a bite to eat but there was nothing open.  We stopped at the duty free shop before crossing back into the US and stopping at a diner called Studebakers.  The strawberry rhubarb pie that I had was delicious and hit the spot.

We drove back to St. Ignace in the rain and it continued until about 7 pm.  Pat put a corned beef, potatoes and carrots in the crock pot before we left this morning and it made for a delicious dinner.

Made it to Canada