This Time Last Year

Discussion in 'Let me tell you about my trip' started by PopUpSteve, Aug 28, 2018.

  1. PopUpSteve

    PopUpSteve Administrator

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    This time last year (09/05/2017) was basically just a travel day, point A to B only. Traveling East, one has to take into account that the time-zone changes are not favorable. And this time of year may find you setting up in the dark if you try for the same daily mileage as in the West bound days. Halfway through my day I’d be back on Eastern time and sunset would be around 7:25pm. Boy, nobody told me I would have to use math when camping! I would have paid more attention in class if they had.

    The goal today was to get to Straits State Park in St. Ignace Michigan (the UP), at the Northern end of the Mackinac Bridge. Wouldn’t you know, when I got to the metropolis of Escanaba, it was already 4pm and I started to hit a little rush-hour traffic, aren’t these people supposed to be at Deer Camp by now? Made it to Straits SP around 6:30pm and the ranger was just closing up.

    One thing that bugs me with Michigan State Parks is that they charge an entrance fee even though you have already paid for your campsite. Come on, really, just include it in the site fee! Now I’m pissed, after another long day on the road and somebody has their hand out for more money. Plus the guy has the lights off in the place because he was closing up, so when I go to fill out the registration form I ask for a pen to which he responds “there should be one right in front of you”. Well, there isn’t so the smart ass that I am says “there very well could be but it’s so damn dark in here, I can’t see a pen”. I guess I should have taken an extra 5 minutes at that last gas stop then I wouldn’t have had to deal with Ranger Smith and I may have saved the entrance fee.

    I finally get to my site (another park with bad signage) and since I’ll be here for two nights, I did a full setup including awning and my propane campfire. Once I have that lit, I’ll be a happy camper again.

    Map Link

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    Last edited: Sep 5, 2018
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  2. mpking

    mpking Well-Known Member

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    I don't know. I have a Newfoundland dog (that's the type of Breed).

    They are on the Big side... :p
     
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  3. Bamabrat

    Bamabrat Member

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    Realizing I'm several days behind your log, I really enjoyed devils tower back around 1997. I haven't been since but plan to take the family. You can see it for so far and it seems like forever to get there. We climbed the rocks at the base and really got the sense of its size. Are the prairie dogs still there before you get to DT? I also thoroughly enjoyed Yellowstone (even further back in your log). My favorite spot...ive been twice now...is Painter's Point. In 1997, we went (not in order) from bham, al to st Louis, to Mt rushmore, the rockies (pearl jam concert), San fran, monterrey acquarium, vegas, reno, phoenix, mx, grand canyon and then back to bham in 2 weeks. 4 guys afyer graduating college. I really wish I could find my trip log but it's gone. Hope you're enjoying you're trip. You're hitting some fantastic spots.
     
  4. PopUpSteve

    PopUpSteve Administrator

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    Yup, there's a whole prairie dog village at the base of DT.

    Not on the trip now, this was "Last Year at this Time".
     
  5. PopUpSteve

    PopUpSteve Administrator

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    This time last year (09/06/2017), heading for the big lake they called 'Gitche Gumee'.

    I slept in late this day since I was staying for two nights. I got going about 8:30 and decided to have a good breakfast locally. Unfortunately, I stopped at McDonalds instead. When I came out, sitting a few spots away from my truck was an antique roadster pulling a Lees-ure Lite popup tent trailer, cool! The roadster had Alaska plates, that’s a long trek home if that’s where they were headed.

    Got on the road for Whitefish Point to visit the Great Lakes Shipwreck Museum. This is where the bell from the Edmund Fitzgerald was placed after being recovered back in 1995. Besides the museum, there’s the lighthouse and a beautiful view of Lake Superior. If you’re ever in the area, this is well worth the time to visit.

    I was thinking of finding a spot to put my kayak into Lake Superior but, after seeing the lake, which is more like an ocean, I decided not to try. My kayak is not a “sea kayak” and I didn’t feel like becoming another statistic to this body of water. "The sea was angry that day, my friends - like an old man trying to send back soup in a deli." So I opted for taking my shoes off and standing in the surf for a few minutes. I did the same in each of the Great Lakes.

    Had lunch and started back to base-camp. I was going to take the ferry over to Mackinac Island but the weather wasn’t cooperating, getting ready to storm out on the island, so instead I walked around St. Ignace for a bit to see if the weather would clear. After about 2 hour I gave-up and went back to the camper. It never did rain at the campground. On my way back I went to either side of the base of the Mackinac Bridge and stepped into Lakes

    Michigan and Huron. Again, I would have preferred kayaking but they were both very choppy as well. Oh well, three down, two to go.

    Had a nice dinner and relaxed by the fire. Another early day in the morning so I packed away all the loose gear and went to bed.

    Map Links

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  6. PopUpSteve

    PopUpSteve Administrator

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    This time last year (09/07/2017), Oh Canada!

    Started breaking camp around 6:30am. I needed to get to Lansing by lunch time to meet-up with my niece who was going to the Michigan School of Veterinary Medicine. I promised I’d buy her lunch between classes.

    Afterwards I headed East to cross the border into Canada at Point Edward. No problem getting into Canada. The border guard asked if I had any weapons and I told her only a hatchet, a machete, and a knife back in the camper. “OK, enjoy your stay in Canada”! Now in Canada and with no flashing lights in my rear-view mirror, I set course for Long Point Provincial Park. This park is on the northwest shore of Lake Erie near Port Rowan, ON, Canada. The park is part of a sandy spit of land called Long Point that juts out into the lake.

    I didn’t get to the campground after 8:30pm and it had just started raining. Add to that, the sites are on sand, my site is all the way at the end of the road, and it took me 10 minutes to turn the camper around to get it into the site. And of course, the electrical box is on the far right of the site, on what would be the curb-side of the camper. Really Canada, Really? The box only had 30 and 50 amp receptacles so I had to convert my 30 amp plug end to 20 amp to use an extension cord and then back to 30 amp. If it weren’t for the power cord, this would have been one of my quickest setups. Amazing how fast you can move when it’s raining.

    Warmed up some dinner and went to bed. Sorry, no photos of this day’s travels or of the campsite. Just imagine me setting up camp like the scene from Forrest Gump with Lieutenant Dan in the hurricane.

    Map Link

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  7. mpking

    mpking Well-Known Member

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    You know. I never considered this happening, and I don't have appropriate adaptors to do this. Looks like something got added to my list of things to pickup.
     
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  8. BikeNFish

    BikeNFish Well-Known Member

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    I have been there close to two dozen times, including 14 of the last 15 years. I have all of the same pictures going back to 1962 when I (in the red shoes) was just two.
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    Young BikeNFish in 1962 (red shoes)!
     
    Last edited: Sep 9, 2018
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  9. PopUpSteve

    PopUpSteve Administrator

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    This time last year (09/08/2017), next to last day on the road.

    The rain stopped during the night so at least I didn’t have to take-down in the rain but I had to give it some extra time to dry the canvas. Since I’ve been leaving my PopUp Gizmos on, they help to keep some of the canvas dry.

    Being my last full day on the road and having only one scheduled stop, I was in a bit of a rush to get going. Got on the road about 8am and made it to the border around 11am. I can’t believe they let me back into the country!

    I made it to Bradford PA and stopped at the Zippo Museum at about 2pm. Neat place, worth a stop if you’re in the area. I stayed about a hour and a half, got my lighter engraved to commemorate my trip.

    Now back in Pennsylvania but on the other side of the state from home. I spent the night at Parker Dam State Park. Only another 200 miles to go.

    Map Link

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  10. BillyMc

    BillyMc Well-Known Member

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    I'm so looking forward to retirement so the DW and I can do this. There are so many places I saw as an OTR driver that I would like to spend a little time exploring.
     
  11. Dan from Troup

    Dan from Troup Well-Known Member

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    Enjoying the journey. Thanks Steve.
     
  12. PopUpSteve

    PopUpSteve Administrator

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    This time last year (09/09/2017), last day on the road.

    Got going about 9am. When I got to I-80 I saw a sign for route 322 and decide to take that since just off 322, about 200 miles away, is where I store my camper. Cool, less turns. Well when I get down to State College PA, 322 merges with I-99 and within a mile, I’m in a traffic jam. For those who don’t know, State College is the home of Penn State and guess what, it’s Saturday and it’s a home game for Penn State football. After about 45 minutes the left lane finally starts to clear as people exited at the stadium. OK, that’s one last traffic issue for the trip. I seemed to have had at least one traffic issue every day of the trip.

    I think that this last 200 miles was the longest of the trip but soon I saw a welcome sign. There’s a little village in the eastern foothills of the Allegheny Mountains called Mt Gretna and it’s like a second home to me. Passing the sign for the exit was, well, a sign that I was almost home. Another 40 miles and I’m backing the camper into its spot. Now you would think that after three weeks of backing the camper into every type of campsite you can think of, I could easily do this last one. Nope, four tries to get it in to this one. OK, time to do the last 14 mile to home and a hot shower.

    Thanks for following me on the last half of my trip. I kind of wish I had thought of doing these “This time last year” daily posts back on Aug 17th so I could share the full trip with everyone.

    Map Link

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  13. Merlin14

    Merlin14 Active Member

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    A great read, thanks!
    Question:
    As you were in bear country, do you have a past history of cooking and eating in your pup?
     
  14. PopUpSteve

    PopUpSteve Administrator

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    I rarely cook inside my camper. I'm not a good cook, I've been known to use the smoke detector as a timer. I have eaten in the camper but knowing that I would be heading into bear country, I stopped even doing that early in the year. But bears can smell a potato chip from 10 miles so best to be on guard.

    But when you think about it, you're going to get the smell of food on your clothes, food smell on the outside of the canvas (and inside) from cooking outside with the wind blowing in the right direction and so on. If a bear comes across your camper, he's going to be getting a whiff of a meal you had while leaning against your closed camper, at a truck stop, a year ago.

    Best I could do was to minimize the damage as best I could.

    I was thinking of getting a bear fence or some other type of deterrent. You could always put up an alert wire around your campsite, string and bells/cans. But in the end I opted for just the personal protection of bear spray and bell.
     
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  15. Nani2

    Nani2 Active Member

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    I have loved reading of your adventures. As your trip ended I felt the sadness you do when your'e about to finish a great book. I have wanted to go to some of the places you talk about and never heard of others but might add them. I love that you were able to see all your siblings. I really enjoyed the history stuff, esp Lewis and Clark being a St. Louis native and having many field trips to the Arch and museum below it.
    Hope you're planning another trip soon so we can live vicariously through it.
     
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  16. PopUpSteve

    PopUpSteve Administrator

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    Thanks! I really enjoyed reliving the trip. As I was writing these daily post I would remember things I had forgotten like getting pulled over for missing the inspection station and other things which didn't make it on to these pages but made me smile.
     
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  17. Lagman

    Lagman Member

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    Hi Steve, it’s Jim from Langhorne, (The BAL lift) this thread was great! Lots of info. I’m doing it in reverse mid May. Can’t wait!
     
  18. PopUpSteve

    PopUpSteve Administrator

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    Thanks, have a safe trip Jim. Stop and smell the roses along the way.
     
  19. jmkay1

    jmkay1 2004 Fleetwood/Coleman Utah

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    .Sorry to revisit this, but I just read this and want more information. Are we talking about those weigh stations? Or something else? Grant you I don't travel much beyond the east coast but never stopped on my travels anywhere. Just want to make sure I am following appropriate proceedurers.
     
  20. PopUpSteve

    PopUpSteve Administrator

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    Watercraft Check Point.

     

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