The Distance: 1,173 miles. The first ten days of the month finished off our time with Kalynn while traveling from New York to Pennsylvania, West Virginia and Ohio before making a westward sprint through Indiana to Michigan. We spent the rest of August working out way up the shore of Lake Michigan and across the Upper Peninsula. Our 2016 total is 5,826 miles.
The Places: We enjoyed eight campgrounds in August as we worked our way around the Great Lakes, starting with Whispering Winds Resort positioned within the Allegheny National Forest of Pennsylvania. From there we headed west, deviating south to visit Tomlinson Run State Park in the “spike” of West Virginia before continuing west to Country Acres Campground in Ohio near the Cuyahoga Valley National Park. From there we crossed through Indiana (with a one night stopover at Grandview Bend Campground) before reaching the first of three stays along Lake Michigan.
We started with the excellent though somewhat half-hazardly arranged Weko Beach County Park, then the overpriced and overcrowded State Park in Grand Haven, finishing lower Michigan with three nights at Platte Campground in the Sleeping Bear Dunes National Forest. We crossed the Mackinac Bridge into the Upper Peninsula for our final stop of the month at Woodland Park Campground in Grand Marais on the southern shore of Lake Superior.
We did not spend a single night drycamping, enjoying at least partial hook ups the entire month: full for 3, electric and water for 19, electric only for 9. Broken down differently, we stayed in private campgrounds for 8 days and public places for 23 (national 3, state 6, county 14.)
The Budget: 1.4% under budget. Yes, cutting it a bit close, but we had significant additional costs hosting our niece, three gas fill ups for Serenity’s 75 gallon tank (“normal” months we count on two) and nearly $60 in tolls going through Ohio and Indiana. In fact, were only able to stay under budget because of a well timed farmers market vending experience at the end of the month combined with our careful selection of quite affordable campgrounds with substantial discounts. That helped counteract the egregious cost of our one Michigan state park. We received our 50% Passport-America discount all eight nights of our private park stays, and a 14.3% weekly rate discount for the last eleven days of August at Woodland Park Campground in Grand Marais.
The Drama: We had yet another flat tire, this time on Loki. We grabbed up a nail while out running errands, but because it was a slow leak didn’t discover it until the next morning. I put on the spare and eventually got it plugged in Grand Marais. Other than that, nothing significant.
The Improvements: Big things are afoot with The Big Kahuna (yes we still own it) but I will keep that under wraps until next month.
All of our monthly reports, as well as our first full year report, 2015 in Review, are linked below.