Wheres Ray/Wendy yr 2

Monday, August 14, 2017

Enjoying Upper Michigan

Hi all,
Hows it going eh?? Seems the lingo here is a cross Minnesota and Canada, yes I'm sure I fit right in. We have been having some great weather with sunny days and cool nights and the mosquitoes and flies are behaving themselves to.
 I think late summer is the best time to visit although fall during color change I'm sure would be stunning. We have even seen a few trees with outer limbs beginning the transformation.
 The jeep has been getting a good work out. Not on to many trails but some of blacktop roads here are worse than many of the dirt roads we have driven, but that just makes it fun to me.
 We took a short ride to Fayette Historic State Park on one day. It lies on a peninsula with Lake Michigan and Big Bay De Noc on its sides.
 Fayette was a bustling community that centered around the iron smelting industry from 1867 to 1891. There are more than 20 buildings that have been restored to show what life was like in a nineteenth century company owned town.

a  furnace used in the coal producing required for iron ore production


Home to the company supervisor




                          There is a campground and a small marina also run by the State Park.
 Drive number two was to the north to the Munising and Pictured Rocks area. Along the way we stopped at a couple waterfalls. There are so many waterfalls in Upper Michigan that one could spend all thier time checking them out. I know that from past experiences some years ago, this time we just wanted to hit a few.

 The Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore along Lake Superior was the first lakeshore to be designated a National Lakeshore in 1966. It offers over 100 miles of fabulous hiking trails.
Many enjoy sea kayaking along the shores or you can choose one of the many commercial boat trips offered out of Munising.



Miners Castle
 Our plan was to enjoy some of the famous views as we jeeped along, stopping where ever we felt the itch. We had picked up some smoked fish and had an impromptu picnic on a beach.
Lifes a beach
 Another quick side trip while here was Palms Brook State Park and the Kitch-iti-kipi,(The Big Spring) The spring looked like many we had seen in Florida but at a year round temp of 45 not one you would want to dip in. It measures 200 feet across, 40 feet deep and 10,000 gallons a minute flow from its fissures in the limestone below.  The neat thing here is riding the man or kid powered raft out into the trout filled pool. It has a glass bottomed viewing area to view the sand being ever changed by the incoming waters.

       Next up for us is to relocate to the northwest a bit and do some more touring of the U.P.



Thursday, August 10, 2017

Off to the UP

Hi all,
Nothing better than time on the road. After a quick one week stay at our old hometown we headed north to spend some time with Wendy's mom and dad.
 At 87 and 85 respectively they are doing pretty good. Wendy's mom sure hates to be idle long. She barely gets one meal done and she is prepping for the next. Meals are big here and we have a hard time to keep from gaining weight while here.
 Her dad stays on the go to, he spends a lot of time in his huge garden and taking care of a couple dozen chickens. In the past he hired on part time during the cranberry harvest, working in the processing plant. He hinted that he wants to do it again this year. He says when the garden is done he gets bored sitting around, he already has filled the wood shed for the winter. I guess this shows how to live to a ripe old age.
 So while here Wendy helps doing some of the things her mom can't do. We also helped by making some blueberry jelly. We sure have done our share of canning this year and tomatoes are just starting to ripen here.
 On one Saturday Wendy's sister Patsy planned a family reunion at her place in Pardeeville. It has been a number of years since the family has tried to gather.It was nice seeing many of the gang again. The turnout was fair as two of her sisters were unable to attend and many of the grandkids were missing.
Wendy's dad with the Great-great grandson Carson

Back left, Patsy, Peggy, Wendy, Rich front Donnie, Barb, Ed, and Randy
 They want to try it again next year giving better warning to some for a better turnout.
 Another day we got a visit from our son Nate and grandson Alex with Emily his gf. Alex also has a jeep so we took the tops off for a ride about. We drove the Sandhill Crane Refuge in nearby Babcock. We had a great weather day and Alex was able to get some cool drone shots along the way. Nice way to spend some time with the boys.

 So we don't get sucked in to all work and no play Wendy and I planned a little vacation. In the past we had taken a few vacations to Michigans Upper Penninsula and has been many years since our last visit.
 And almost on the way is Lambeau Field home of the Green Bay Packers. So a little twist of Wendy's arm and a stadium tour was in the plan. And when Wendy's sister Patsy heard of our plans they drove up to Green Bay and joined us.
 Luck had it they were holding practices and the public is allowed to attend. So we got to attend a practice, get a stadium tour, and enjoy a great day with Patsy and Sonny.
a neighborhood fence, all things G.B.

Sonny and Patsy and us



A Packer tradition area kids offer there bikes to players for a short ride.


Great way to end the day
 Tuesday we headed up to Indian Lake State Park just outside Manistique, Mich. We will camp here for five days and do some jeep drives. Then we will head to other parts of the U.P.




Thursday, August 3, 2017

On the go

Hi all,
 Yeah, finally back in Wisconsin. We rolled into Country View just outside Mukwonago on Wednesday (July 19). This has been the park we have used most since going full time. Not loaded with much frills or activities it is located near family and friends.
 We wasted no time and began our visits with family. Our plan is to stay here a week then travel to central Wisconsin to visit Wendy's parents. There is a family reunion planned which will be nice as it has been a while since the whole family got together.
 On Thur. we stopped to visit Wendy's brother Randy and fiancĂ© Lyn. Then on Fri. a fish fry to celebrate my sister Darlene and Dennis 45th anniversary, also along for the celebration was my brother Russ and his wife Mary.
 Sat. we went with daughter Colleens family to the Farmers Market in Madison. None of us have gone, so we didn't know what to expect. The market is around the capital, you go one way around with the crowd. Lots of veggies, fruit and cheese. The capital is open so we took a little tour. We got to go to the observation deck.
Lukas, Colleen, Goyo, Isaiah
  After we ate our way around the market, we went to the Henry Vilas Zoo. This is a small free zoo.

 On Sunday we went for a ride on our son Nate's pontoon boat. Enjoyed a swim with the grandkids.
Isaiah

We also enjoyed a couple of visits with Dad at the nursing home.
We are now at Wendy's parent house until Sunday. Then we are headed to Green Bay and Upper Michigan for a couple of weeks. We will return back to Wendy's parents till after Labor Day then head back to the Mukwonago area to visit family and friends.

Sunday, July 23, 2017

Heading north

  Well it's been awhile since we blogged. Ray said it was my turn, so here it goes...
We watched the fireworks in Live Oak on the 4th. We decided to leave FL on the 6th of July hoping the holiday traffic wasn't heavy.
 We left by 9:00 and drove the back roads through FL, GA and into AL. We made it to the town of Troy, AL for the night. In the morning we headed north taking more back roads. Alabama has some hills and curvy roads but the drive was beautiful. We made it to Athens at the top of the state.
 Seeing how it was the weekend, we decided to spend 2 nights. On Saturday we drove over to  State Park. It's on the Tennessee River and has a marina, lodge, campground and restaurant.
 Our next drive was only 190 miles. We made reservations for 4 nights at Poole Nob ( COE park) southeast of Nashville. After we arrived, we met up with Jim & Nanc ( fulltime RV friends) for dinner. It was great seeing them and catching up on their travels.
Ray, Jim, Nanc
 We thought we were going to leave all the hot weather in FL but we were wrong. Nashville area had there hottest week while we were there. We didn't feel like walking around downtown in the heat. So we just relaxed at the campground.
 One day we did take a ride about 20 miles south to Stone River National Battlefield. Very informative visitor center on the battle which was one of the Civil War's bloodiest encounters. The park preserves a small part of the original battlefield. Points of interest can be reached on a self-guided auto tour. you can hike or bike the route.
 We left that area and continued our travels north. We did take the interstate for awhile and then went on more back roads. We have been getting used to the new rig and pulling the jeep.
 We have been at Rend Lake Corp Park in southern IL. This is a very large body of water with many campgrounds ( COE, state park and private) boat launches and day use areas.
Onward north we planned a visit with camp host friends from Arizona Bob and Rose, they summer host at Shabbona  Lake State Park just south of DeKalb, ILL. We had a great time catching up with them. Shabbona Lake is one of Illinois better fishing lakes and the campground is pretty nice. Note they do not allow lake swimming so no need to pack your speedo's. haha.
Shabbona Lake
Dinner with Rose & Bob