To Atlanta, Dobbins Air Force Base, and getting locked inside the RV.

Having completed about two thirds of our trip from Michigan’s Upper Peninsula to Central Florida while Rosemarie spent family time in Norfolk, I departed Arnold AFB and headed to Atlanta to pick her up.  Though decent RV parks in the area are rather pricey, the Dobbins Air Force Base has a small campground just north of the big city in Marietta.  The place is mildly notorious for having extremely long term residents, which means availability for everyone else is quite limited.  Such was the case when I called for an opening.  No worries, they have overflow drycamping, and a space might open up on a cancellation.

Of course, Dobbins is one of those bases where large vehicles have to use a commercial gate, and google maps has no idea where those are.  My less than three hour drive turned into a four hour saga involving two very tight maneuvering situations as I struggled to find the proper entry point.  Eventually I prevailed.  Meanwhile, the first leg of Rosemarie’s flight developed mechanical problems after they pushed back from the gate, eventually forcing her to rebook a later flight with a different connection and a downgrade in class.  Horrors!

Ah well, we would soldier through.  Then Serenity’s phantom entry stair failure reappeared, meaning sometimes they stay out when they needed to come in, and sometimes they stay in when I needed them out.  Arghh, what else could go wrong?!  And then I got locked inside the RV.  That’s right, inside the RV.  No matter of fiddling or hard shoving would get the thing to budge; something was clearly jamming one of the bolts in place.  After disassembling the lock from the inside (which involved climbing out and then back in the passenger window to retrieve the necessary tools) I discovered a broken piece of metal that looked like it was part of the door bolt, but even after pulling it out I could not get the damn thing to open. I beat on it, kicked it, removed every screw I could get to, and yet the door remained resolutely shut.

I eventually had to give up and drive to the Atlanta airport to pick up Rosemarie, which involved it’s own drama due to the incredibly crowded arriving flights zone.  We sorted it out and got on our way back to the base, where I boosted my fortunately petite wife through the window before following through myself and pulling the step ladder up behind me.

That’s supposed to be one piece, not two.

The next morning, clear headed and with renewed vigor, I tackled the door lock, this time assisted by my trusty power drill and a set of carbide bits.  Having tried everything else, I could see no other recourse but to drill through the plate that was covering whatever had the door jammed.  Once I got the 1/2″ bit involved, the door sprung wide.  Turns out that the standard latch bolt had sheared, and the piece closest to the striker plate had wedged in place.  My drill bit had dislodged it, and once open I was able to fully disassemble the lock and remove it.

When in doubt, hammer, if you can’t hammer, drill.

A bit of experimentation revealed that the dead bolt would still lock, so we had a partially working door latch, and I ordered a replacement for the entire assembly from ebay at half the price that TriMark wanted.  Hopefully I can get that installed with minimal additional drama.

Next post: on two Florida with return visits to two great RV resorts.

Divergence: Rosemarie in Norfolk, Jack sprinting south with the rig: Through IL, IN, KY, TN, and into GA.

Having dropped off Rosemarie at Chicago O’Hare for her flight to Norfolk, I continued south through Indiana into Kentucky.  My route planning suggested two stopping points, both at military bases.  One was just south of Indianapolis, the other just across the Indiana-Kentucky border.  After fighting my way through traffic in Chicago, I made good speed through Indiana, and decided to push on.  Unfortunately my late start, road work, and heavy traffic areas resulted in me pulling into the Army Recreation Area at Camp Carlson after sunset, and I had to set up after dark.

I don’t have much to say about this park since I was there for only 13 hours, most of that in the dark.  I debated between a no frills, power only back in site versus a full hook up pull through, but after working with the camp host, I had to settle on neither of those: a full hook up back in.  I needed to dump anyway, so the couple of extra dollars was worth not having to deal with the dump and water fill station.

While Rosemarie was in Norfolk, I worked my way through the rest of the Chicago style pizza we bought in Great Lakes, IL.  Assisted, of course, by our new actually working microwave.

Meanwhile Rose found a true New York style joint in Norfolk with the traditional NYC oversized individual thin crust slices.  Which would you prefer?

It had been a hard day, but I reaped the benefit with my far shorter drive to Arnold AFB in Tullahoma, TN the next.  This was the second in a string of four AFB Family Camps we hit during our 2016 sprint from Iowa to Florida, and was one of our favorites.  A truly peaceful wooded campground six miles deep into the AFB owned forested land, this lakeside spot is one of the best values we experienced last year.  I had planned an aggressive push to Atlanta in order pick up Rosemarie after he brief visit to Norfolk, but arranged it such that I could get at least two days here, even if it meant one night stays everywhere else along the route.  At $15 a night, this is one of the best RV campground deals we have experienced, and if in the area I would gladly return.

A pause in Tennessee allowed me to do something better than left overs: A small piece of sirloin steak covered in farmers market roasted garlic, shallots, and wild mushrooms with heirloom tomatoes in olive oil on the side.  Unidentified liquid in the upper right.

Rosemarie had three solid days in Norfolk to visit Titi Linda and the family (Jayson, Titi Mari, cousins Nathaniel, June June, and Christopher, and their wives and eight children.)  As a result of Linda’s ALS (Lou Gehrig’s Disease) she has been handing out items she can no longer use.  This resulted in a three women fashion show with Linda insisting that the ladies “Say yes to the dress” as Rose and daughter-in-laws Amy and Kaytarra went through the closet.

Throwback picture with several of the sisters, nieces and nephews, including Clari, Mari, Junior, Yvette, and Rosemarie 

Rose, Meri, Linda & Jayson enjoyed a day trip to the new waterfront, finishing off the day with an as close as authentic New York style slice as you can get from Benny’s, and a nice sunset across the bay.

And with some last minute drama, we make our escape before the real cold hits

So our plans to head south had been delayed due to Serenity’s additional critical repairs.  I got hold of American Airlines to cancel or change Rosemarie’s flight, and they offered me the choice of either paying $150 to get the points back or getting a voucher to fly the same route sometime within the next year.  The latter was the obvious choice for us since we still planned to execute our “Rose goes to Norfolk while Jack moves the rig south” plan.  After that we headed to our fancy Ojibwa Casino spot and settled in for three days, continuing to take advantage of the casino’s exclusive promo for RVers (free drink, $5 slot free play, and $10 blackjack matching coupons for each of us every day!)

And of course, we can’t have just one thing go wrong at a time, right?  While making a grocery run following heavy rains, Loki decided not to start in the parking lot.  Thinking it was the battery I got a jump from a kind stranger, and once back at the casino pulled out my battery charger to make sure things were topped off, the nearly two year old battery was a very cheap Walmart special and might have failed.  A simple problem if so, but no, the charger told me the battery was just fine.

Having visited Hilltop RV several times this month, kitty feels right at home in their customer waiting area.

Based on the specific symptoms (full charged battery, lights and wipers all work, heavy clicking when the key is turned but not even the slightest bit of engine turn over attempt) and the timing (occurring as it did right after driving in wet roads) the internet informed me that the likely culprit was the starter.  Fortunately the local Napa could get a refurbished one by early Tuesday morning, allowing us to pick it up on the way to Hilltop RV for repairs.

Once at Hilltop Elizabeth got the mechanic started on our propane furnace valve and refrigerator installation, and even hooked us up with one of the other techs that agreed to install the new starter after hours that same day.  I had taken a look to see if I could do it myself, but the position of the bolts would necessitate more knowledge and tools than I could provide.  Besides, he offered to do it for $50, which was a great deal, particularly since it took him a bit over an hour to do it since the bolts fought back so hard.  Once it was installed… it still didn’t start.  After a bit more exploration he cleaned off a section of the cable connection points that I had not spotted, and she fired right up.

Now, I think the starter was in fact bad, but it is possible I wasted $116 for a new one and it was only the connection point corrosion that was the real problem.  Who knows?  Bottom line, we were all fixed and ready for the road by 6PM that day.  It was too late for us to make our next planned stopping point, so we parked at the far end of the nearby Shopko, and went undisturbed through the night.  The next morning I called American and rescheduled Rosemarie’s flights, and then we were off, pointed south into Wisconsin.

The view from out stealth camping site at Shopko

After crossing the border, we made one unexpected stop, lured off the interstate by a big cheese shop billboard.  No way we were going through Wisconsin without stocking up, and we left with a hoard of block cheese, mozzarella, and curds from Kugel’s Cheese Mart before finishing the day’s driving leg.

I had found yet another casino resort that had an actual RV park with electrical hookups for $15 a night, or free drycamping in the parking lot.  Normally I would balk at paying that much just for electricity at a casino, but their small wooded RV park was far nicer than the busy parking lot, and made for a much better environment.  We did our usual; signing up for their players club and text alerts, giving us each $15 in free slot money, but the casino gods might be tiring of our game because we only managed to turn that into $14 in real cash between us.  Ah well, it provided a fun half our diversion along with free coffee.

Onieda Casino’s small RV campground.

After our one night stay we pushed on to the outskirts of Chicago, staying at the Great Lakes Navy Training Center.   The park was surprisingly full given the lateness in the season, the rainy weather and our weekday arrival, but they had an electric only site for $19 a day.  In better weather this would be a nice little RV park, situated directly on the shore of Lake Michigan, though I could do without the complicated route once inside the base along narrow roads with tight turns and a lot of one ways.

We didn’t have time to explore The Windy City, but we at least took advantage of the stop to pick up a great Chicago style pizza from a local joint.  Which actually took two tries since the first place we stopped, based on a local’s recommendation, did not even have true Chicago style, just a glorified deep dish.  No thanks, we want the authentic version!

Our stay in the U.P. had gotten us out of the habit of checking for toll fees when doing our route planning, and we had been surprised by a couple of cash only ones as we drove through Illinois, which can be particularly troublesome for out of town RVers if you hit one of the coin only, unattended gates and have to pay nearly $5 in change.  We were fortunate to have what we needed that day, but for the rest of our trip we found toll free routes on major roads that only added a few minutes and a couple of miles to the trip.

We broke camp from Great Lakes by mid morning, and I parked Serenity at a Walmart 10 minutes from Chicago O’Hare, and we took Loki the rest of the way to drop Rosemarie off for her flight to Norfolk.  I got hooked pushed hard towards Atlanta.  That trip next post!

Our Last Week in the UP?

Everything was falling into place for our final week in the UP.  While we waited the last few days for our new refrigerator to arrive, we shifted west from Grand Marais to Munising’s municipal RV park.  After four days there on the lookout, we spotted the perfect lake front site open up, so we pulled up stakes and shifted to the shoreline, adding $3 to our daily cost, but well worth it.  Daily walks along the beach resulted in a surprising amount of beach glass and other interesting stones, including quite a lot of green and purple “slag glass” from a former iron plant nearby (silica being one of the main impurities smelted off during processing.)

On Tuesday evening we participated in Munising’s farmers and artisans market, a first for us, but one we hope to do again during a future trip to the region.  We could tell that had we been there during the height of the season, especially when the tour boats were in full swing, things would have been fantastic.  But even with this late in the season event, we still sold enough to make us happy.

Best of all we got word from Hilltop RV that our refrigerator had finally arrived, and they juggled their technicians’ schedule to get us in for installation on Saturday, Oct 7.  Which, by the way, involved something I never considered: they had to take into account their tech’s pet allergies when assigning them work on RV’s, that, like ours, have a full time resident cat!  Who knew?

Regardless, all good news for us, and having finally secured an installation date we were able to develop a complicated “combination driving route to Florida slash flight plan for Rosemarie” to visit Titi Linda and the various cousins and other relatives in Norfolk, VA: She would fly out of American Airline’s major hub in Chicago, which was directly along our route back to FL, and I would continue south, picking her up in Atlanta, also along our route.  Perfect!

We finished off our last days in Munising and the UP with gusto.  Though Cap’n Ron continued to be out of his smoked white fish dip, we reluctantly made do with a nearby competitor.  During an outing to visit thrift ships and the like, we made a side trip to visit some of the many beautiful waterfalls in the region.

We also took a whole day to drive down to the southern region of the UP in order to pick up a new headlight for Loki.  Nearly a year ago I rearranged our rear, ladder-mounted bicycle rack to minimize protrusion of the wheels or handle bars, eventually one of my bungee cords broke, allowing the handle bars to drop down such that a sharp right turn resulted in a bike handle jamming into the Tracker’s passenger headlight, breaking all three bracket mounts and cracking the turn indicator as well.

I found Jake’s Boneyard in Gladstone that had a tracker, and after negotiation they sold me a new headlight and turn signal assembly for $50.  It only took me an hour to figure out how to remove the old one, made so much easier once I disassembled the front grill.  Things were really coming together for our last week in the UP!

Unless, of course, things went south.  Oct 7th, Saturday morning, we broke camp early and headed to Hilltop RV.  Having waited five weeks to get our new refrigerator, we were excited to not only be on our way, but also to cease living out of a cheap, decades old cooler.  The only thing that could prevent our fabulous departure plan from Michigan was if the techs discovered another major problem during the fridge, microwave, or awning repair process.  Which, of course, they did.

And let me be very clear, Hilltop RV has been nothing short of amazing for us, flexing their schedules, rushing what needed rushing, and generally working with us in every conceivable way.  Especially our service manager, Elizabeth.  But sometimes things happen, and this was one of those times: as they were removing our old refrigerator they found a significant propane leak from our furnace valve.

This is a significant hazard, and needed to be addressed, post haste.  Elizabeth managed two things in the wake of this discovery: she got EasyCare to include it on the warranty under the existing work order (meaning we would not have to pay an additional deductible,) and got the valve part ordered for delivery Tuesday morning.

So, yeah, this would be a major pain in the ass, involve us rejiggering those previously mentioned flight plans, and having to return to our luxury casino “hotel” for a few days, but it’s kinda hard to complain about getting a significant safety issue discovered and repaired for no additional cost, right?  Right!  We would sort out the ticket changes with American Airlines later, and a few more days in the UP wouldn’t hurt us, especially since we had confidence that Hilltop RV would, in the end, get us on the road.

33 Months Fulltiming: September 2017 Report

Look at us, so on top of the blog that the monthly report comes out within a week!

The Distance:  239 miles, as predicted in our August Report, a big slow down after our sprint east.  The entire month consisted of crossing from one end of the UP and back, with our schedule defined by Serenity’s ongoing repairs.  Our annual total is up to 8,031.   October will be a big mileage month as we work our way all the way to Central Florida.

The Places:   We spent the entire month on Michigan’s Upper Peninsula. We had only planned to be her for maybe 25 days, but the wait for our new refrigerator has pushed us up to five weeks.  Fortunately the weather has been mild, sometimes downright blazing.  We started the month in Ishpiming at the RV park behind Hilltop RV Superstore before moving to the Ojibwa Casino (another lucky casino for us) near Marquette.  After a sprint back to Ishpiming for repair related reasons, we continued west to our favorite U.P. spot, Woodland Park in Grand MaraisAfter nearly three weeks there we decided to try another U.P. town, and moved back east to Munising’s City Tourist RV Park.

We stayed eight nights at private campgrounds (including three at the casino) with the remaining 22 at public sites (all at municipal campgrounds.)  No drycamping at all this month; we had at least electrical power for all 30 days (27 with power and water, 3 with 20 amp electric only at the casino.)

The Budget:  We killed it this month!  The lucrative RVers promotion at Ojibwa Casino contributed, but our great success at the Grand Marais and (especially) Marquette markets really did the trick.  We ended up under budget by 33%, which puts us within striking distance of being on budget for the year.  This really validates our last minute plan to head to the U.P.; sure it contributed to us being way over budget last month, but the fridge was already bad by then, that tire was gonna blow one way or another this year, and the extra gas to get here will, by the time we get back to Florida, only account for perhaps an additional $350.

The first half of October will be tough since we have to pay the rest of our EasyCare Warranty deductible and freight costs for the new refrigerator, but when we get back to Florida late in the month we have a series of markets lined up to buff up the funding picture.

The Drama and the Improvements:  We have been living out of a cooler for five weeks now as we wait for our new refrigerator, but the end is in sight; it should be installed by this weekend.  This involved some unfortunate delays since our extended warranty company insisted on sending an inspector to confirm the required repairs, but most of the delay was just waiting for a new fridge from the factory.  I finally got around to addressing the heavily oxidized and bug embedded paint on Serenity’s front end, going at it with rubbing compound, polish, and wax.  Huge improvement.  Lastly, we have heard from two different readers that our ongoing picture problem following the Photobucket fiasco seems to have solved itself.  No idea what happened, but that’s good news.  I am working to get the pics and associated links from 2016 and 2015 posts uploaded and repaired this month.

2017 monthly reports to date:

And here are our 2016 and 2015 annual summaries which include monthly report links.

A new spot in the UP: Munising

A shorter than usual post just to close out the month of September.

Having spent nearly three weeks in Grand Marais, we decided to check out another part of the UP for what we hoped would be our final week in the region.  Not that we don’t love the place, but we are pushing our luck with seasonal weather and would like to get south before the first freeze.  Having driven through Munising several times, it looked like a nice town, right on the lake shore, bigger than Grand Marais, smaller than Marquette, and having several nice features to make it perfect for our needs.

Another great U.P. location on the shore of Lake Superior

Like Grand Marais, it has an affordable “first come, first serve,” municipal RV campground right on Lake Superior.  Munising City Tourist Park has a rate structure that runs from $25 a night all the way up to $39 for the premium, full hook spots closest to the beach.  We selected a $31 site with 50 amp and water one row back from the lake.  Though we arrived in rainy and windy weather, since then we have had beautiful days.

Our spacious site at Munising City Tourist Park.  The electrical and water connections can be a bit confusing and tough to reach, but a great park.  First Come First Serve after September.

Munising also has a Moose Lodge, which we had stopped into for a drink last week on our way back from Marquette.  Now just a few miles from it, we were able to participate in the Friday evening fish fry.  We chose to split the mixed basket, which included white fish, perch, and walleye, of which the latter was the clear winner by our votes.

One of the other great things about this place is that puts us only 45 minutes from the Marquette market that has been so successful for us.  This removed the need for a hotel stay in town, and a good thing too because we were running a bit low on points for that program.  So on Saturday morning we woke up early and headed back to Marquette for another market; our participation there has really pushed our budget back on track this month.

In lieu of yet another picture of the Marquette market, here is a cat. Which we almost never post.

We had another fantastic day with excellent, if chilly, weather.  This time I got to the mushroom guy while he still had shiitake and wine caps in addition to the oysters.  As we have enjoyed ever increasing success at this event, we have become more willing to spend some of the profit with our fellow vendors.  This time we treated ourselves to some warm bread pretzels, a ham and swiss pinwheel, an entire quart of the shrooms, and did so despite having sold almost nothing the first hour or so.  Because, as mentioned last post, our sales come with the lunch crowd, and sure enough we enjoyed a bonanza, again breaking our sales record for a single event.  As advertised, we donated 10% of our sales to help some people in Puerto Rico deal with their recovery.

I’m thinking about tossing this on top of the RV and bringing it back to Florida.  It would look great as the centerpiece in a big aquarium.

So we closed out September on a great note, our six market having allowed us to live a bit richer than our normal routine and still finish the month well under budget.  Since then we have finally gotten definitive word on our replacement refrigerator, and foresee the first full week of October as our last week in U.P.  All of that after our September Fulltiming Report.

Sunset from the shore.

Fourth week in the UP, and our last days in Grand Marais

For our last full week in Grand Marais we made some slight adjustments to the schedule that we came up with the previous week.  We left for Marquette earlier on Friday with Loki loaded up for the market, stopped by the Ojibwa Casino to enter a drawing, and then hit the two major thrift stores in town.  We tried to do our “big city errands” on Friday so that once we completed the Saturday market we could snag groceries and head back to Grand Marais a bit earlier.  We checked into the same hotel on points, and were once again upgraded to a junior suite based on still having a tiny bit of elite status with this chain left over from my business travel days.  Milk it while we can!

The colors, they are a-changing.

Whereas last week the trip had a frenetic, mildly disorganized quality, this week we had things wired for efficiency and relaxation.  Another Friday night meal at Hong Kong Buffet, and then the pool, hot tub, bath (in a real tub!) and TV.   Most of those are things we don’t get to enjoy often with our RV lifestyle, so we reveled in it.

Fast changing weather as we enter Fall.  This day, heavy fog.

The next morning it was off to the Downtown Marquette Market, our fourth time participating this year.  While we have had some rainy days during our UP stay, we lucked out again with beautiful weather for the event, which brought out the crowds.  We have learned that the pattern for this market involves a limited number of serious fruit and veggie shoppers in the morning who have no time for anything else, and then a lunch time rush filled with more casual shoppers willing to linger and look over everyone’s wares.  So we don’t panic when we sell almost nothing the first hour or two; it’s that late morning and early afternoon group that works for us.  Sure enough, we ended up breaking our old sales record, which we set at this place just two weeks earlier.  Fantastic.

The wild shroom forager was sold out by the time I got to him, but the traditional shroom farmer still had a pint of oysters. Delicious with ribs, rice, and market shallots

We packed up as temperatures pushed towards 90 degrees and headed to Walmart for resupply.  On the way home we stopped in Munising, about half way between Marquette and Grand Marais.   We had two reasons for the delay: fish dip and a Moose Lodge.  In 2015 we were routinely buying white fish dip from a local fisherman in Grand Marais.   He is not selling this year, and no one seems to know why.  During one of our trips to or from Marquette we spotted a sign for white fish dip as we passed through Munising, and hoping it would be as good we resolved to stop.  So we pulled into Cap’n Ron’s and scored some fantastic dip, which we will be getting more of, and learned that it was his brother from whom we had been buying in GM!  Small peninsula.

We had passed by the Munising Moose Lodge the previous week on our run to Marquette, but before it was open for the day.  This trip our timing was better, so we pulled in if for no other reason than to finally visit another Moose.  Hard to believe that this is only the second one we have been to all year.  The west half of the country has a lot fewer of them than in the east.  This Lodge seems to have a pretty active membership; though the bar was nearly empty the social room had at least a dozen men playing Texas Hold’em.  One of the members bought our first drink, something we have found is pretty common for out of towners making their first visit to a new lodge.  We made plans to come back for the Friday evening fish fry if we could work it into our schedule.

Once back in Grand Marais we enjoyed a few more days of decent weather mixed with others full of wind and rain.  It’s fascinating to see the shore of Lake Superior in such varied conditions: with but the slightest ripples one day, and crashing white tops pounding the shore the next.  During this week Rosemarie finally found her first Lake Superior agate, one of the things the region is known for.  Every morning, even in foul weather, you can see locals and tourists alike marching along the shore, heads down, often with their custom rock scooping stick in hand, scouring the rocky beach for agates and other interesting rocks.

Rosemarie’s Lake Superior agate!

The women that owns the agate museum across the street from the county RV park will identify one rock for free per visit, and tells people that bring in what she calls “second cousins to agates” i.e., not an agate, that when you find one you’ll know it; they are that distinct.  That turned out to be the case for Rosemarie, we were nearly certain once she found it, and the museum owner confirmed it later that week.

Confirmed at the Gitchee Gumee Museum and Agate Shop

We celebrated my birthday with a late morning trip to the only restaurant we had not yet tried: The West Bay Diner.  It is an old 1950’s style diner building, apparently from New Jersey, full restored and connected to a more traditional and larger structure.  The place has a bit of a reputation that might remind some of a classic Seinfeld episode.  Our understanding is that the head cook works at his own pace, sometimes doesn’t feel like making one of your choices so you get something else, and if that doesn’t work for you you’re welcome to eat elsewhere.

The classic diner interior.  All the customers were in the main building due to the heat of the day.

The important thing is to know all this going in so you are in the right state of mind.  Fortunately, we were forwarned by locals and reviews, and were further advised by our waitress that it might be up to an hour wait for our food (despite whatever idiosyncrasies the place has, it is busy on the weekends.)  No problem, we waited, enjoyed the never ending pot of fresh coffee, and once it arrived the food was a hefty serving of awesome.  If you can handle the wait we rate this as the best restaurant of the three in town, though we will have to give the Grand Marais Tavern another try next visit to confirm.

Eggs Benedict, a bit firmer than normal.

Rosemarie also stumbled across a yoga studio across the street from the RV park.  We had passed the building dozens of times without knowing what it was.  Offering very affordable one hour sessions at various times throughout the week, she was disappointed to discover it so late in our stay, but made the best of it with a morning stretch class ($5!) and later in the week an evening traditional yoga class for $10.  Next visit we will be more prepared to enjoy all Grand Marais has to offer.

PKM’s monthly bath followed by flea drops. She loves this.

We closed out our last day in Grand Marais with our third week of participation at the  local market.  The limited number of shoppers really drove home how the tourist season is coming to an end; we ended up with less than a third of what we made the previous two Thursday’s.   But while there we finally got to meet Carol and Mike, fellow travel RVers who Rosemarie has followed on Instagram for years, and who first recommended we visit the UP and Grand Marais back in 2015.

The market as reflection.

We also got in on the discussion among the other vendors about moving the day and time for next year.   Several of the vendors feel that Thursday is too early in the week; the weekend tourists and ATV enthusiasts have not fully arrived.  They seem to have settled on doing it Friday evening as the main day with Saturday morning as sort of secondary event for those that did not sell out the previous evening.  (The vast majority of the vendors are selling perishable food, especially baked goods.)  We are not sure that will work for us when we return considering our Saturday Marquette event, but we shall see.

We shall see what this sign says next year.

Next post: we try a different part of the U.P. on for size.

On the leash, at the beach.  Whose a good cat?