Travels with Bentley

Travels with Bentley
Bentley - our Heartland Bighorn

Sunday, July 31, 2016

July 29-31, 2016 - Pioneer Trail Park, Gladstone, MI

July 29-31, 2016 - Pioneer Trail Park, Gladstone, MI

Friday, July 29, 2016
This morning before we leave Peninsula State Park, we have a few more stops to make.  We did not have time yesterday to stop at any of the roadside markets/shops to check out any of the locally made products.  Cherries are in season so we were really interested in something cherry.

We first visited Wood Orchard Market.  We liked it here because they had LOTS of things we could taste.  We ended up purchasing a cherry struesel and some caramel corn like we found in Amana.

Our second stop was Lautenbach's Orchard County Winery & Market.  Again, another wonderful market.  They make their own wine, and like the previous stop they had cherry items for sale.  We purchased two bottles of sparkling wine - raspberry and peach.  They were light and semi-sweet.  I bought a cheese knife for soft cheeses and spreads, and a jar of cherry pie filling.

Before we left we had done quite a bit of preparation prior to leaving.  We had to put in the slides and hookup and we were pulling out of Peninsula State Park at about 10:20.  It was a beautiful morning, 71 degrees.  We have about a 4 hour drive to Pioneer Trail Park in Gladstone, MI - our first time to camp in Michigan.

Dean remarked as were were moving out of Door County it seemed like the drive south went much faster than when we were first heading north to Peninsula SP.  We find that happens often in our travels.  In no time we had routed around Green Bay, WI.  At Marinette we took state highway 35 into Escanaba.  Highway 35 ran alongside of Lake Michigan most of the way.  It did not seem like long and we were pulling into Pioneer Trail Park, a Delta County park.  The campground sets along the Escanaba River.  All of the sites are very open and nicely spaced with 50 amp electric and water at each site.  It is really nice to have a water hookup since we've had to use the water pump the last several days.  There are beautiful tall pines throughout the park and they shade the campsites very nicely.

We are not sure when it occurred, but we moved into Eastern Standard Time so it was 3:30 when we arrived here at the park.  I took some pictures of our site.
Our site

Love these tall pine trees.

Areas open next to us.  Large yards!

We prefer to have an easy meal our first night after arriving at a new campground.  We are usually tired from the drive.  Occasionally we will go into the nearest town and look for something if we just really are not in the mood to cook.  Tonight we decided to have a few more of Matt's hot dogs that I have in the freezer.  We are now down to just 3 more.  I sure wish I would have made room to bring all of them with us so we could share them with our Matt and Megan when we arrive in a couple of weeks.

We met our neighbors to our left, Scott and Casey.  They recently sold their home and are now full-time however they will remain in this area for awhile while he is finishing up a job.  We enjoyed talking with them and hearing about the upgrades they have made to their new DVR Mobilesuites RV. It is a beauty.  I asked him how long it was and I think he said it was about 46', which is 10' longer than Bentley.  I'd never get Dean to pull something that size and after staying at Peninsula SP I'm sure I would not want anything longer with the trouble we had on corners.

It was a quiet evening watching TV while I worked on the blog.  I'm trying very hard to get caught up before we move to Copper Harbor, MI.  There is little chance we will have any Verizon signal or internet connection the three days we are there.

Saturday, July 30, 2013
It's been awhile since we have went out to eat for breakfast.  I suggested we see if we could find someplace this morning and Dean was all for it.  Taking a look at TripAdvisor, I found Rosy's Diner.  It sounded like our kind of place, so we headed to Escanaba to check it out.  What a find!  Dean loved it, it reminded him of Tina's - his favorite breakfast diner, located in our hometown of Oswego, KS.  Rosy was the cook, waitress, chief bottlewasher and whatever else she needed to do, such as let children pick a toy from a big container she had on her counter.  It was like being transported back to Tina's.  She had the same type of little signs around the restaurant like Tina has in hers.  Here are a few pictures inside and out.
Front of the diner

Side shot with Wimpy!

From here we drove down to Ludington Park that sets alongside the Little Bay de Noc.  It was a beautiful sitting with a marina housing several sailboats, the Sand Point Lighthouse and a wonderful paved walking trail throughout the large park area.  They were having some kind of festival so we decided to get out and walk the trail to see if there was anything interesting going on.  I think we missed whatever the festival itself had going on this morning, but there was a bad sitting up to play. Before we were through there was some great jazz music being belted out.  It was a beautiful morning in the upper 70's and felt very nice as we walked along the path, a large part alongside the bay.

We stopped at the Sandy Point Lighthouse to take some pictures and read the various informational signs.  After that we left the park.  We drove back toward the highway and took a road that took us toward the south part of town.  I noticed a sign we had seen as we came into town with a camera on it with the name of a road.  Typically when you see a camera on a sign it indicates there is a scenic area. We drove the road but we did not see anything scenic enough to take pictures of so I'm not sure what the camera was all about.

I love the color of the skies here!

Sand Point Lighthouse

Interesting story of Mary Terry, female keeper of Sand Point Lighthouse.

On the way back to the campsite, we decided to go on north to Gladstone.  We drove around a bit. They too have a nice park, Van Cleve Park along the Little Bay de Noc, as well as the Gladstone Bay Campground.  It appeared to be as popular as our campground here at Pioneer Trail.

Once we returned we had some lunch and then we just pretty much hung out here for the rest of the day.  I worked on the blog and Dean watched some TV.  Later I made a sausage pizza and Dean cooked it on the grill.  It was great!

Sunday, July 31, 2016
I kept hearing my phone making sounds this morning and I could not figure out why that was happening since I have it on "Do Not Disturb" if it's before 5:30am.  Yes, I am an early riser.  I did notice it seemed light outside but guess I was to asleep to realize what that meant.  Then I realized if my phone was going off and it was before 5:30 maybe someone was trying to call me - as I have my phone set for certain to people to be able to call me at anytime in case of emergency.  When I looked at my phone and saw it was 7:34 I could not believe it.  It's been quite awhile since I've slept that late.

After breakfast we walked the entire campground, including down to the boat launch.  Here are a few pictures I took.

Today is laundry day.  I've mentioned in previous posts that we have a hand crank washer and a spin-dryer that removes most of the moisture from the clothes.  We still need to hang things up to dry afterwards but they both do a great job.  So Dean manned the washer and I took care of the drying portion and hanging up the clothes.

Here are a few pictures of the process.  We washed three full loads in about an hour.  I hung the white clothes in the shower with a fan on them, and the dehumidifier running, and our shirts and pants out on the arms of our awning.  The clothes outside were dry in about an hour or so.  It really works pretty well for us.

Here's Dean cranking the washer on his left, and filling pitchers on his right for the next load.
We made a pretty good team.
My job:
Insert wet clothes.

Add plastic cover and push down well.  Turn on.

Water dispenses into shower.

After lunch I went back to working on the blog and Dean set outside for awhile.  Later he cleaned the awning.  It was really looking pretty bad.  It looks great now!

Tonight we ran into town to get lunch meat and bread, fill up the truck with diesel and decided to eat dinner at The Buck Inn.  Dean had roasted chicken, rice and a salad.  I had a burger with pepperjack cheese and chipolte sauce, with sweet potato fries on the side.  We both thought our meals were very good.

Tomorrow morning we will pull up our jacks and move on north.

I am relieved to have the blog caught up to this point.  I apologize if it has errors or at times does not make sense.  I was determined to finish it before we leave here so it did not get that one last read through before posting.

July 27-28, 2016 - Peninsula State Park, Fish Creek, WI

July 27 - July 29, 2016 - Peninsula State Park, Fish Creek, WI - Adventures in Door County

Wednesday, July 27, 2016 
Since we only have a couple hour's drive to our next stop, we took our time getting around this morning. We were able to walk 2.5 miles. Even though it was still a little humid the trees in the park really keep you pretty cool. We saw Steve as he was making rounds through the campground. It was nice to have a chance to visit with him one last time and to say goodbye.

We pulled out of High Cliff at 11:20 after making a stop at the dump station.  The 2 hour drive went by pretty quick and we were soon pulling into Peninsula State Park.  The worse part of the drive was the few blocks we had to drive through Fish Creek on Main Street.  Vehicle and pedestrian traffic are very heavy with all of the cute shops and restaurants in their downtown area.

Once we were checked in at the campground, we had to find a place to fill our water tank before parking. We found the water fill site but it was only after turning some very tight corners that scratched the sides on Bentley.  We are hoping they will buff out okay.  By the time Dean got the tank filled and we got backed in to our site it was 3:00pm.  Our site 440, is very nice with good privacy between sites.  We have a clear opening with few tree branches overhead.

We soon discovered there's even less of a Verizon signal here than at High Cliff.

We turned the air conditioner on, and as usual we got in the truck and took a spin around the park to check things out.  We are in Tennison campground right on Lake Michigan and near Green Bay (not the city but the name of the bay here on Lake Michigan).  There is a kayak launch near us so we went to check it out.

We've yet to try out our new kayak and in reality we probably will not do that here since we have so little time to explore the area.  It was a beautiful area though and the location would be great for viewing a sunset.  We may have to visit it again later this evening.  We drove Shore Road the entire perimeter of the park.  We stopped at a few places along the way including Eagle Bluff Lighthouse,

Anchor from the Schooner, Oak Leaf.  It was sunk in Sturgeon Bay in 1926.

Eagle Bluff Lighthouse

Guess who?

and this large overlook, which we discovered was closed to the public.  What a disappointment!

Here's a picture I took as we are driving one of the park roads.  Most of them are just like this - very peaceful.

We returned to Bentley, made a little dinner and just hung out for the evening.

Thursday, July 28, 2016
It rained last night and into this morning.  We are hoping it is over as we have big plans for this only full day we have here in Door County.

Fourteen years ago Dean and I visited this area for a couple of days.  We stayed at a hotel in Sturgeon Bay.  While we were there we happened on to this great little restaurant, Scaturo's who had the best biscuits either of us had ever tasted.  One of the first things I checked on before deciding to revisit Door County was to see if Scaturo's is still open - and it is.  That's our destination for breakfast!

We soon found it, and if the number of cars in the parking lot means the biscuits are still good - then they surely must be.  It was packed.  We found a place to park and walked in to wait for a table. Upon being seated, our waiter took our order right away.  When they set our plates in front of us, I think we both had the same look on our face - disappointment.  We could tell by looking, the biscuits were no longer the same.

You know how good homemade biscuits look, they puff up high and they are very light, they are somewhat broken in the middle like they are separating and the top is kind of rough and it browns just perfectly. These were not like that at all.  They were smooth pretty much all over, and looked like they came from frozen dough. While they were okay, they were not even close to the delicious biscuits we had so long ago.  In fact we loved them so much on our first visit, we came back the following morning on that first trip to have them one more time.  What happened?  Did they get so busy that they couldn't keep up with the number of biscuits needed?  It was apparent they had added on to their restaurant - maybe twice.  It has to be hard to keep up with that many folks coming in - but, we were crushed!  Such a disappointment.  I will say the biscuits were not bad - just not the same at all and nothing compared to what we experienced before.  The breakfast itself was great - in fact the home fries were wonderful, but we were after the biscuits.

When we left Scaturo's we headed to the Door County Visitors Bureau.  We only have a day to spend here and we want to make the best use of our time.  There was a wonderful lady who assisted us.  We explained our short stay and told her we were thinking of taking the ferry to Washington Island.  She provided us with the information we needed.  We asked about the best place to participate in a fish boil. She looked up the restaurants who would be having fish boils this evening.  Our final request was information on roadside stores for cherry products.  She gave us information on some near Fish Creek. Once we left and after looking over the information she gave us for the different fish boils avaiable, we chose Pelletier's Fish Boil in Fish Creek.  We aren't sure how much time we'll have after the ferry trip to Washington Island, so it made sense to keep it close to where we are staying.  I called to make a reservation for us at 7pm.

It was pretty cool this morning.  We wore shorts/capris and short sleeved shirts to breakfast but we decided to change to jeans before we headed up to North Port to catch the ferry to Washington Island. We should have remained in the shorts/capris.  The day warmed up much more than we expected.  In fact it was a perfect day.  We were never really too hot and the sky up here is the bluest blue I've seen in a long time.  Gorgeous.

As we drove north from the campground we passed through Sister Bay.  There was a unique site we don't see back home as you drive by the Al Johnson's Restaurant.  The building has a grass roof with goats enjoying the grass.  Today did not disappoint!

We arrived at the ferry just as one ferry was taking off and another was arriving.  Our timing could not have been more perfect.  We were soon boarding the ferry.  It is amazing how they can pack so many vehicles in what seems like such a small area.  It took about 30 minutes from the time we boarded until we departed the ferry at Washington Island.
Leaving the ferry pier for Washington Island.

As we were approaching the pier on Washington Island a crew member (possibly the captain) came to the back where we were sitting and opened this box that allowed him to maneuver the ferry to perfect spot at the pier to unload.  Dean enjoyed watching him line things up and told him he would have helped him out if he'd known about the controls.

Everything that comes to Washington Island must come by ferry.  As we were waiting for the vehicles to leave, an SUV with a Ranger boat pulled off.

When we purchased our tickets they also included taking a tour aboard the Cherry Train once we arrived on the island.  Since we are on a limited time frame and we are unfamiliar with the island it seemed the best package for us.  I doubt we would have seen or learned this much about the island had we driven over on our own.

Our first stop on the Cherry Train was at the Washington Island Art & Nature Center.  As we entered the building I made a comment about the beautiful quilt on display.  They were selling tickets for chances to win, $1 per ticket.  I ended up purchasing 2 tickets.  There were many beautiful items on display and for sale from area artists.  Items included paintings, drawings, portraits, jewelry, pottery, knitted items, books, etc.

The next room was the nature center.  There were many things on display but here are just a couple I took pictures of.  My son Marc has recently taken up beekeeping so of course the bee display caught my attention.  I was also really taken with this display called Hollow Log where carpenter ants actually burrowed out the inside of this tree.  It's an amazing sight.

Our next stop was at Schoolhouse Beach.  This was an amazing place and was appropriately named as a schoolhouse was originally located near the beach area.  The entire beach here is only pebbled rocks, no sand at all.  It is one of only five similar sand-less beaches worldwide.  The rocks were glacier-polished over thousands of years.  The driver of the train told us that at one time the rocks came clear up to the roadway running nearest the beach but now they are several feet below that.  So many people were taking the rocks there is now a fine of $250 for each rock that is removed from the beach.  It was a gorgeous sight and the water was very, very clear.  People often build cairns here on the beach like this one below.

The water was so clear but it was very cold!

As we continued to move around the island we soon arrived at Farm Museum.  Farm buildings from locations around the Island were re-assembled here along with old-time farm tools and implements. There is special emphasis on the period from 1870 to 1940. 

I took many pictures but I'll just share a few here.  The farm homes are always interesting and remind me how very fortunate that we have few more comforts today.   There were several barns with equipment used for washing clothes, churning butter, etc., equipment used in farming from thrashers, wagons, etc., and an interesting one you don't see on display often was a   They even had a recipe for making moonshine!

An old still

along with the recipe to make your own moonshine!

Next door to the Farm Museum was a restaurant, bar, music venue, and antique store called Fiddler's Green.  If we had more time we would have considered lunch here.  A unique location, the train driver told us the owner "Kate" is Irish, she cuts hair at her shop in the back and she is also a pilot. Fiddler's Green is located near the air strip on Washington Island.

Inside of Fiddler's Green

The bar is an old boat.

Old sheet music on display

This neat travel trailer was sitting out behind Fiddler's Green.  It would be fun to fix up and older trailer like this.

Our next stop was one I enjoyed more than Dean.  I've never seen a lavender field and it was a beautiful sight.  I didn't know there are 4 types of lavender, light purple, dark purple, white and pink. The dark purple is the only one that is fragrant.  There was a large patch right next to their store that smelled wonderful.  Here are a few pictures.

I also took pictures of some of the fields out behind the shop and their sign.

Our final stop was at Stavkirke.  What a beautiful and intricate structure.  From the phamplet on display:  "The foundation for the Stavkirke was begun in October of 1991 by carpenters with largely volunteer labor, a project undertaken by the men and women of Trinity Evangelical Lutheran Church. It was dedicated as a Christian house of worship in August of 1995.  A bell tower and dragon heads were added in 1999.  Landscaping, lighting and other work has been accomplished since then.  

The Stavkirke -- which refers to the use of vertical posts -- was conceived first and foremost as a place for spiritual meditation and worship.  Secondly, the island Stavkirke is patterened from this ancient style of church construction common in Norway during medieval times--at a time when paganism was giving way to Christianity--and it is both a replica and a tribute to Washington Island's Scandinavian heritage.  This particular stavkirke is patterned after the Borgun, Norway, church built in 1150 A.D.  Of the more than 1,000 old stave churches that once existed, some thirty-three now remain."

It was a totally unexpected surprise on this small island.

Leaving the Stavkirke, we returned to the ferry pier on the Cherry Train.  
The only picture I took of the Cherry Train, sitting by the rode while we were at Stavkirke.

As we made our way back to Fish Creek we saw the goats on Al Johnson's restaurant again.  I was able to get a few more pictures.

We also enjoyed seeing these beautiful sailboats sitting in the bay here at Ephraim, south of Sister Bay.

And our final event of the evening was having dinner at Pettetier's for their Fish Boil.  We made reservations for 7:00 and they told us to arrive 30 minutes early.  We arrived in downtown Fish Creek around 6:00.  Once we found a place to park we walked through some of the shops near the restaurant.  We enjoyed looking.  We arrived at Pettetier's at 6:15.  We had to wait in line to get our tickets.  While we were waiting we began a conversation with the couple in front of us.  They wanted to know if we lived in the area and we explained we were visiting as part of an RV trip to see our son in NY.  I asked where they were from and she said they lived in Illinois, just a few miles south of Wisconsin.  I told her we had just spent a few days near Rockport, IL at a campground there, and she said oh, we live just south of Rockport.  I remember thinking wouldn't it be something if they lived in Roscoe, where Dennis and Ruthann live.  Sure enough when I mentioned that we had been there to visit Dean's sister and her family who actually live in Roscoe, she said that is where we live. It is such a small world.  They were such a nice couple.  They asked us where we were camping and surpirse - they are also camped there.

Here are a couple of pictures from the Fish Boil.  Before he threw the oil on the fire, he told us the fire gets very hot, so we might want to move back.  We were standing back more than most folks but we still backed up some.  I am glad, he was right, it was hot!  Fortunately Dean and I found a table outside on the patio near where the fish boil took place after they finished.  It was a beautiful evening. They soon brought our meal.  Dean had a regular sized meal which included two pieces of fish, boiled potatoes and onion, coleslaw and both rye and white bread with butter.  I had the petite which was the same except I only received one piece of fish.  As part of the meal we could select a drink (water, pop, tea, or lemonade) and a piece of cherry pie.

Neither of us were that fond of the fish.  It wasn't bad tasting, it actually had little taste at all, but you have to pull up on the fish to remove the bones located in the middle.  There were too many little bones left and I don't like picking those out at all.  Everything else was really good.  We are glad we experienced a "Fish Boil" but not sure it's something we'll run out to do again.

Once dinner was over we headed back to Bentley.  The sunset was absolutely gorgeous and I had Dean stop a couple of times so I could take a few pictures.  I'll leave you with these.

The first stop we made.

These two were down the road a little later.