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.