Page 6 of MisterParks Travel Blog Posts

Platte River Campground, Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore, Honor, Michigan My good friend Andy can’t understand how we can travel the way we do. His idea of traveling, with their motorhome, is to simply go where they want to go, stay as long as they want, and leave whenever they want to head out to some new place. Andy doesn’t like to make reservations, preferring not to be boxed in by some pre-arranged schedule. Being a ‘Type A’ personality, I can’t imagine traveling that way and need the security of a plan which I adhere to almost religiously. ‘Almost’ is the key word there, because yesterday is case where we actually did change the plan. I lamented yesterday that we had discovered that this park is much bigger than we originally thought. We had allocated four ... read more

Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore, Empire, Michigan The refrigerator was getting empty and the dirty clothes bag was overflowing. So we needed to get some chores done. We were also pretty tired from the drive up here and the hangover from Joan’s bicycle accident. We called a down-day, slept-in, and had a big bacon-and-eggs breakfast. Then we gathered up the dirty clothes, stripped the bed, made a grocery list and headed for the nearest town that had both a grocery store and a laundromat - Frankfort. It was ten miles away, but the drive was through thickly wooded forests with several lakes hiding behind the trees. We later learned that these are all glacier formed lakes that used to be arms and flooded valleys of a much larger Lake Michigan. Over time, though, the winds and ... read more

North America » United States June 9th 2018

Platte River Campground, Honor, Michigan We finished our northwestern push yesterday, ending up in the part of the Michigan mitten where the little finger would be. Traverse City is probably the nearest city of any noticeable size. This is a campground inside the National Lakeshore here. Unlike most national park campgrounds, this one has electrical service, although when we booked our campsites, six months ago, all of the electrical sites were already taken for this weekend. So we are dry camping for two days. (Sunday, we will move everything over to a campsite with an electrical site.). Electrical or not, this is a beautiful campground as the pictures show. And the great thing for us seniors is that the campsites are discounted in national parks, so all this natural beauty is only costing us $27/night. (Of ... read more

North America » United States » Michigan » Lansing June 8th 2018

Sleepy Hollow State Park, Lainesburg, Michigan We left Ohio yesterday. We spent more than two weeks there in two different locations. We explored four National Parks - Charles Young Buffalo Soldiers National Monument, Dayton Aviation Heritage and Hopewell Culture National Historical Parks, and, of course, Cuyahoga Valley National Park. So that’s four bucket list items to cross off. And Joan adequately staged her rebellion with an exploration of the city of Dayton’s Art Institute and a bicycle ride down the Simon Kenton Trail. I suspect we are done now with Ohio, although we might pass through it someday to or from another section of the country. Our next Great Lakes state is Michigan. We spent part of a day here earlier when we drove up the southeastern shore of Lake Michigan, but this time we will ... read more

Cuyahoga Valley National Park, Cleveland/Akron, Ohio Joan is still having some pain issues in her back, but they aren’t severe and, with the bones back in the right places, her shoulder is a little sore, but manageable. She spent most of yesterday sleeping - fighting that much pain is exhausting. But she also managed to shower herself, so she’s going to be able to do a few things on her own. We’ve decided, at least temporarily, that we have so much invested in this trip that we don’t want to cancel it right now. We are going to be leaving Ohio, headed for points north, today so it will be a good test of what its going to take to travel with three arms instead of four. I certainly don’t want to abandon the trip, but ... read more

Cuyahoga Valley National Park/Akron General Hospital, Stowe, Ohio This morning Joan is much better. She’s pretty immobilized with her right arm in a sling. And I will be headed out here shortly to fill a prescription for Tylenol with Codeine to ease the pain in her shoulder and back. She will really be fine, although the doctor said it may take as long as six weeks before the ligaments in her shoulder are fully healed back up. So during that time she has to minimize the motion in her arm. And since it is her right arm, she won’t be doing much of anything for awhile. Joan dislocated her shoulder yesterday. We were bicycling, actually at the tail end of our planned trip. She had slowed down and was trying to come to a stop so ... read more

Cuyahoga Valley National Park, Cleveland/Akron, Ohio We continued exploring the park on foot yesterday by tackling the second-biggest ‘official’ hike in the park. Called the Plateau Trail, it is south of Peninsula a couple of miles and is accessible at the Valley Picnic Area off of Riverview Road. (There is a larger parking lot with facilities on the other side of the trail area.) It is considered ‘moderate to difficult’ in Park lingo, although even us old folks managed it so I’m not sure about the ‘difficult’ part - the elevation change is only 200 feet over the 5 mile length of the trail. There is a shorter version available, called the Oak Hill trail and using pieces of both trails you can carve out your own path. The trail gets its name because it is ... read more

Grafton, Ohio Let’s see - we were tired after two big days of exploring the park; we were out of some food items and needed to make a run to the grocery store; and the forecast was for a massive rain storm which was going to make touring the park a muddy mess. So the plan was obvious - we declared a down day and stayed home. We slept in and even took a short nap later in the day. Made it to the grocery store in Grafton and restocked the fridge. And it did rain, in fact, it rained so hard we almost lost the awning to the downpour. The campground is still littered with puddles and the grounds are so wet that you sink in an inch with each step. We definitely made the ... read more

Cuyahoga Valley National Park, Cleveland/Akron, Ohio This is truly a spectacular park. And yet, it is very difficult to explain what makes it such a treasure. The mountains aren’t nearly as spectacular as the Great Smoky’s. The hemlock and beech forests are soothing and lush, but not nearly as tall as Congaree or Redwoods. There is no Old Faithful geyser, or anything like it to draw throngs to a single spot. The closest thing I can compare it to is Central Park in the middle of New York City, although Central Park is substantially smaller. Cuyahoga Valley, like Central Park, is known as an ‘urban retreat’, a place city people can go to to restore their energy and re-embrace nature. As we explored this park over the last couple of days we did run into out-of-staters ... read more

North America » United States » Ohio » Akron June 1st 2018

American Wilderness Campground, Grafton, Ohio Dripping with sweat, we managed to break camp yesterday morning. It wasn’t really all that hot at 8:00 - at least wasn’t yet in the 80s, but the humidity made everything we did seem extra difficult. But aside from sweating profusely, breaking camp went smoothly and so did the dump. We made our way out of the campground. Destination was up here in Northern Ohio. We still have one more park to do in this state, and it will take a few days to see it. So we are changing campgrounds. We could have driven Interstate 71 right straight up pretty much all the way to Akron, but since it was less than 200 miles, and we had all day to do it, we decided to take ‘the old highway, US42. ... read more

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