Friday, July 15, 2011

Straits State Park

Roger here....  The opening picture is obviously of the Mackinac Bridge -- The Mighty Mac.  It was taken from one of the scenic viewing areas at Straits State Park in St. Ignace, MI, where we have spent the last four days.  Since we are driving over that bridge tomorrow on our way to the Traverse City area, posting about our current home is long overdue.  

Where do I start?  There are several trails through the very dense woods where we can walk the dogs.    Dianne took this picture of a new pine tree growing out of the stump of an old one.  Many of the trees and shrubs near the lakefront have some very nice labels.  I smiled when I spotted the placard below in front of a very healthy stand of poison ivy:

Our 50 amp (no water or sewer) campsite is nestled in the trees, but there is plenty of sun to enjoy.  A minor miracle -- we found a hole in the trees large enough for our satellite to work.  The site is large and comfortable.  We can see Lake Huron through the trees from the sitting area outside.  Very pleasant.  

Dianne here:  Bandido especially likes the cedar trees here at our camp site.  His breath is now Piney-fresh!

The sign to the right is directly across the road from our site and visible through the windshield.  Cool.

Fifteen yards past the sign is a bench with a view.

Very nice.

And then.... 15 more yards and you are on the beach!
The muddy and overgrown beach -- not quite like the pristine beaches we left on Lake Superior.  No long beach walks here.  Oh well, you can't have everything.  Still, a really nice setting in a great location.

Dianne here:  An added perk of staying right next to the bridge, with a view within a few steps of our motorhome, was being able to look at the bridge at night.  Wow, covered with multicolored lights, it looked like Christmas!  

A word of warning to anyone contemplating a stay in a Michigan State Park.  It is not cheap.  $28 per night is a little high, since there are no water or sewer hookups, but considering the location and setting, that doesn't seem too bad.  However, there is a kicker:  There is an additional fee of $8 to drive your motor home into the park (not unusual), but in Michigan, you pay the $8 for every night of your stay.  For us (five nights) that would have been $40.  We opted to buy a $29 annual pass to save $11.  In addition, there is an added charge of $6 for our towed vehicle.  So, in reality, our site (without water or sewer) cost us $35 per night.   Again, the setting is very nice, the park is well run, and we enjoyed our stay -- just a little salty.

Now for the fun stuff...  Our friends and new neighbors at Retama Village, Bob and Linda, were touring the lower peninsula of Michigan while we were in the upper peninsula.  Through our blogs, we realized that we would be passing each other as we headed south and they headed north.  They were able to get a site here so we could visit for a few evenings.  We had a delicious dinner and good conversation at their place the first night (forgot to take the camera).  The next get-together was at our place.  Dianne fixed dinner.  I grilled some pork.  The food was good (Dianne is a great cook).  We enjoyed a campfire after dinner.

 The pre-dinner entertainment was unique and memorable:  Bob arranged for us to have our own private wine tasting.  Let me rephrase that -- our own private boxed wine tasting.  Bob brought four different boxed merlots. We added a fifth box and some crackers to cleanse the palate.  

We managed to attract some attention from our fellow campers.  Lots of grinning.

After the tasting we rated the wines.  The results are posted at the side.  We did learn a few things:  The more expensive boxes did tend to be better.   Pouring the wine through an aerator improved the taste of all of them.  It was fun doing something that was a little silly.

Last evening, Bob and Linda stopped by and joined us around our campfire.  They left for Sault Ste. Marie this morning.  They brought a small sample of Four Roses bourbon for us to taste.  They had gone on a bourbon tasting tour in Kentucky recently.  We had never really had bourbon before, so it was another new experience.  

The pet picture of the day shows Bandido posing  on his way to the top of the picnic table.  Mr. Fiesty likes to climb.


Jim and Dee said...

What a great park, but you're right a little on the high side. The view is great! Have fun. We're staying at another RV-Dreamers front yard. Having a good time.

I.M. Vayne said...

I.M. were a thinkin' some most interestin' thoughts about that wine tastin' y'all had, but then y'all redemptioned yerownselfs with that Kentucky bourbon. I.M believin' there are hopes fer y'all yet.