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Sat. Jul. 13 to Fri. Jul. 19- Cadillac MI, Empire MI, Sleeping Bear NP, North Point MI, and back to Cadillac

Saturday- Bob took the sheets and towels to wash. I washed the rest of the laundry in the rig. Bob returned and we went to the Michigan Market. Nothing there of interest. We went to lunch at the Over 26 Café, again. I had a Cherry Chicken salad and Bob had the special, a shrimp basket. He enjoyed the french fries, as it was National French Fry Day.

We went to Walmart and Meier’s grocery shopping. We returned home, put the groceries away We grilled a steak for dinner.

Sunday- We worked today, from 8 to 1. We cleaned the bathrooms and laundry room at 8. I watered the plants and pulled some weeds. Bob returned to the rig at 9, to give Karlie her medicine. He returned and worked at cleaning sites. I worked in the store, which was busy up until people left at 12. Then it was quiet. I cleaned and dusted the store.

After work, we ran to Lake City to Tasty Treat for some of their delicious ice cream. We had a quiet rest of the afternoon, sitting with the dogs outside and finishing up laundry. We started to put items away in anticipation of leaving in the morning.

Monday- We kept putting items away and prepared the rig for travel. There were thunderstorms predicted, so we pulled in the slides, quickly, so that there would not be any water on the top of them.

I ran to the Cadillac library and dropped off donations for their book sale this week. Then I picked up a few items at Meier’s. I returned and we left the site at a little after 11. We stopped at the propane and I went into the store and paid Bobbie for the electric for the month and then for the propane.

We traveled across Cadillac to M-115 and turned northwest. We continued until we reach M-669 and turned north. We followed that to M-72 west. We drove into Indigo Bluffs RV Resort. It is an expensive resort in Empire MI. I could not find a place that had sites big enough for our 40 ft. motor home anywhere else. There are not a lot of RV parks in this area, and we would not fit in any of the sites at the National Park. We paid $69 per night, including tax.

When we arrived, we were placed in site 302, right on Shady Lane. I said to the gal, well that sounds like we won’t be able to get satellite. She finished checking me in and I walked out to show Bob the map of the resort and tell him our route to the site. (He always disconnects the car while I check us in.)

I get in the car to lead Bob to the site, and the gal comes out. She said, I would like to move you to our RV resort section, as the same price, so that you can get satellite. So we moved from a $69 site to at $95 site, without paying extra. It is a beautiful site!

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We were thrilled!

We set up and Bob found that the Hydro Hot was leaking water, so he fixed that. He changed clothes, and we drove into Empire Village, which is a small place.

We stopped at the Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore Visitor Center, where we stamped our National Park Passport, and picked up maps of the park.

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We drove south on M- 22 to Esch Rd. We turned west, and traveled into Sleeping Bear. We drove to the beach, to look at the area that the dogs can visit. From this park entrance, dogs are not allowed on the beach to the south, but are allowed on the beach to the north.

We parked and walked out to Lake Michigan. 

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We returned to the car, and drove north on M 22, thru Empire, to Pierce Stocking Scenic Drive, in Sleeping Bear NP.  For this part of the park, we needed our America The Beautiful Pass. We hung it on the rear view mirror, and drove past the gate. the drive is 7 miles long, and is supposed to take 90 minutes. We did it in 45. The road is one way and is a loop.

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The first stop: is the Covered Bridge.

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There is no reason for a covered bridge. The original covered bridge, built by Mr. Pierce Stocking for his scenic drive did not have the NP symbol on the bridge. He just wanted to provide a picturesque detail for sightseers to stop and photograph.

Stop number 2: was a view of Glen Lake. The lake is divided by the M-222 causeway. Big Glen Lake reaches 130 ft. deep in places while Little Glen Lake is only 12 ft. deep.

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The third stop was at the Dune Overlook. This dune area is approximately four square miles ( 2600 acres) and is called the Sleeping bear Dunes complex. This is a high plateau that gently dips to the lakeshore to the north and Sleeping Bear Bay. To the east, the dunes rise dramatically, almost straight up from the water.

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Stop four: was Cottonwood Trail, a 1.5 mile loop through the dunes. Due to  my ankle problems, we did not walk the loop through the sand.

Stop five: was the Sleeping Bear Dune Overlook. This is the iconic landform that gave this NP it’s name and for which the legend is told. The dune lies about 1 mile away, along the edge of the bluff. It hardly looks like a sleeping bear anymore, as the wind has eroded the bump on the bluff. The Native American story, is that a mother bear and her cubs had to swim across the bay, due to a forest fire on the other side. The mother made it, but the cubs did not. So the mother lay on the buff, waiting for her cubs.

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Below you will see people on the dune. There are many signs saying stay off the dune. The reason is that there are avalanches of sand, so the sand can give way and these people, who are off the trail, can fall about 350 ft. to the beach below. They warn, sternly, that it will cost them physically and financially if they fall. It will be a very expensive rescue($3000) that they will have to pay for…. so  of course, these folks ignore the signage, and walk to the edge and go down the dune. It can take 3-4 hours to climb back up, IF you can do it….

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The folks can look from the overlook at the same view, safely…

Stop 9/10 is the Lake Michigan Overlook, which you are seeing above.

Stops 6, 7,and 8 were just signs about the area, and we just drove by.

We returned home to the rig. We ate dinner, then we took the dogs to the Esch Road entrance, down to the beach. Surprisingly, on a Monday evening, the place was much busier that we expected it to be. People had set up umbrellas and staked out their spots on the very narrow beach. The Great Lakes have all been high with water. Lake Michigan is 15 inches above normal, which has taken away much of the beach.

We walked up the beach with the dogs, about 50 yards, and oops, their leashes suddenly came loose and they ran away…. ( dogs are supposed to remain leashed, but none of the dogs on the beach were on leashes. There were a number of dogs swimming in the water. ) Bob went to one end of our small area of beach and I stayed on the other end. The dogs ran in between and sniffed everything!

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We left and returned to the rig. We sat outside on the beautiful patio, Bob with a beer and me with a glass of wine. ( the dogs had water, lol).

Tuesday- We drove north on M-22, thru the NP, to the town of Glen Arbor. As we were driving through town, we noticed a Farmers Market, so we parked and visited.

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The only thing we purchased was a chocolate croissant. There was a long line, so we knew it was going to be good; it was!!

We continued north to Fish Town. Fish Town is in the town of Leland. Leland is a cute little town with shops and restaurants. Fish Town is down at the water, and is a group of old buildings which have been turned into shops.

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We continued north on M-22. Once we left the NP, we were in an area called the Leelanau Penninsula. We drove thru the town of North Port. We continued to Leelanau State Park. We have the Michigan State Park decal, so we can enter any Michigan State Park for free. Our destination was the Grand Traverse Lighthouse. Leelanau is the Native American word for “ A Land of Delight”.

We stopped at the gift shop to stamp our Lighthouse Passport. We did not enter the Lighthouse, but we did wander around outside.

As we were walking to the lighthouse, we passed this interesting tree.

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Below is a planter, which is made of Petoskey rocks.

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Above is the Oil Building, which is a small museum.  Below is the lighthouse.

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Above, a sign which shows towns on the lake.

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We returned south to Northpoint. We stopped at a combo restaurant, bar, and bowling ally for lunch. The chicken cherry salad, was $17! So I had the special, a chicken salad sandwich, for $12. Bob had a club sandwich.

After lunch, we walked over to The Mitten Brewery for a flight of beer.

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We drove back south. When we were crossing the causeway, we stopped to take a picture of the Sleeping Bear Dune.

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We returned to the rig and sat outside with the dogs for awhile. We decided we wanted to go out to dinner, but we could not find anywhere in the area.

We had seen a salad place, in Traverse City, advertised on TV this morning, so we decided to drive there. We arrived and did not find salads we liked. So we both ended up ordering sandwiches.

We returned to the rig and took the dogs to the Empire Beach.

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We did not let the dogs off leash, as we were in town. But there were dogs off  leash and swimming in the lake.

Wednesday- We drove east to Traverse City. There was another Farmers Market, intown, so we stopped in. Then we drove north on M-37, up the Old Mission Peninsula.

It is an 18 mile drive on the Peninsula. Our destination today was the Mission Point Lighthouse.  The lighthouse has a 5th order Fresnel Lens and the Hessler Log Cabin.

We parked and walked thru the trees to the lighthouse.

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Interesting that we were at the 45th Parallel.

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We went into the gift shop and spoke with the volunteers. This light house has a volunteer program, where you can stay at the lighthouse and volunteer for a week. Unfortunately, they do not appear to have RV hook ups. You actually stay in the light house and work the gift shop for a week or more. I have the info if anyone is interested. The Keeper’s quarters include a full kitchen, bedroom for two adults, bathroom with laundry, living and dining room, free WiFi and cable TV.

My pictures of the beach did not come out, but the volunteer did show me a beautiful picture of a sunset she had taken last night!

We stamped our Lighthouse Passport and wandered over to the log cabin.

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We drove south, stopping at Haserot Beach.

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There are a lot of swimming beaches on Grand Traverse Bay and Lake Michigan. This was a very nice one!

We drove past the Old Mission Inn.

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We continued on to the Old Mission.

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We returned to Traverse City and stopped at the Crepe Shop for lunch. We both had a nice crepe. Then we stopped at Costco. Gas was $2.63.

We returned to Indigo Bluffs and sat out reading for awhile. We ate dinner, then took the dogs to the Esch Beach again. They had a great time running off leash, until Roxie found a sand covered Oreo Cookie. I told her to drop it, she did and I threw it into the lake. She kept looking for cookies, so we finally left.

We returned to the rig, and sat outside enjoying the beautiful patio.

Thursday- The weather was against us. The forecast was for severe thunderstorms, with 60 mph winds. So we moved rapidly, to pack up and travel south. We hooked up the car in the parking lot, turned in the gate opener, and drove down M- 677 to M-32. The road on the map appeared straight, but the road actually took many turns. The GPS kept saying turn right on , then turn left on, and they were all just turns in the road. It was only 11 miles to M-31, but seemed longer.

We turned east on M-31, then south on M-115. We drove thru some light rain, just enough to wet down the car and the motor home, to make them both very dirty!

We arrived back at Camp Cadillac at around 11:30. We quickly parked the rig, as the weather radar said we were going to have showers in about 10 minutes. Bob backed the rig in perfectly, with me guiding him back into our tire tracks. We missed by 2 inches. We think that we must have gone back two inches when we arrived, then moved forward the two inches. Oh well! Still pretty close!

We quickly set up. Bob had to put some boards under the jacks, as they had made deep holes. Because the weather is supposed to be so hot and humid tomorrow, we ran to Walmart and picked up some Gatorade for Bob. I already have some Propel.

We ate dinner at home.

Friday- We worked from 9 to 2 today. Bobbie had asked that Bob clean 3 of the cabins. I was to assist him with the Eagle cabin, if the bathrooms were okay. They were, so I assisted him. Then I entered the store, at 9:40. We did not open until 10 today, so I did some tasks before I opened.

It was a steadily, busy day, taking reservations,and checking folks in. We had almost 50 arrivals scheduled.

A guy came in and said that a trailer was smoking. Did I have the ladies phone number.The guy had  helped her to park last evening, so she knew him. So  I called. I gave him the phone, banged on the window for Bob and told him to get Dan ASAP. The guy and Dan had permission to enter the trailer to turn off the water heater. It was a new trailer, but other than some smoke, no damage.

I then had a call from the Ford Dealership. They had a guy who had a broken down pick up truck and his 5th wheel. We were full, but I had some folks leaving due to the awful heat. Unfortunately, I could not put him in one of those sites, as they were booked for the rest of the week. Bobbie was gone, so I went to Dan to see if we could use the emergency site. Bobbie has one for in case there is a mess up.

Dan called Bobbie, as the site is not in the computer or on the map. It only has electric, but we could fit him in there, and move him on Sunday, since we don’t know how long he will be here. So I did my good deed for the day!

Bob got finished with all of his tasks, so he came into assist me with bagging ice. I had been keeping up pretty much, but he was able to squeeze some bags into the freezer. I had been putting the name and phone number on the bags between customers. It is a Michigan regulation that the business that sells ice, has to put their name and phone number on the bag.

Bobbie relieved me at a little after 2. Bob had taken some expired hamburger buns and placed them into the trash, so I had pulled them out. We are having burgers for dinner!! They were only expired for 1 day, with no mold! We returned home, put our clothes in the washer, and went to Walmart to get more Gatorade for Bob.

We ate our burgers for dinner and had a quiet evening inside the air conditioning.  The temp hit the 90’s and with the humidity the heat index was over 100. Ugh!!

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