A Change of Plans and Some Rest


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Published: June 11th 2018
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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 days here, but one of them, Saturday, was a planned down day and we had to spend a big chunk of that doing laundry and grocery shopping. Then, because the campground was booked up solid all weekend, we couldn’t get a site with electrical power until Sunday afternoon. So that meant that we would have to use up a chunk of Sunday hitching-up, dumping, and moving to another site, unhitching, etc. etc. In the end, we only really had a little over two days to see all the interesting and fun things in this park - clearly not enough.

Oh, and there’s the minor little problem of Joan’s bicycle accident. She’s doing well - quite well, actually. She’s managed to figure out how to use her right hand without moving her shoulder. My fears that she wouldn’t be able to help with all the chores of managing the trailer have not materialized - she’s almost back to normal.

Except for the pain. She’s slowly consuming her Vicodin, but mostly at night to let her sleep a little better. And we bought these lidocaine patches (Salonpas I think they are) which she’s applying to her back to ease the pain there. She getting better every day, but is still fighting pain. That’s not only not fun, but it is also exhausting. She needs a lot of rest.

Put all of that together and it didn’t look real good for seeing Sleeping Bear Dunes. And she still can’t ride a bicycle. So, I was thinking about the next stop on the trip which was to spend a day riding bicycles on Mackinac Island. We were going to drive up to the straits, which is just a couple of hours, take our bicycles on the ferry over to the island, and spend the day cycling around. But if she couldn’t ride the bicycle, how much fun was that going to be? Was it worth two days out of our trip plan to go there, especially if she couldn’t use her bicycle?

I posed the problem to her and she pointed out that we could easily just walk around the island, stopping at all the shops, restaurants, and drinking holes. Yep, that was true, I replied, but, given how tired she is, how long would she be able to do that before she got tired enough that we had to return to the trailer anyway? Would we really be able to take advantage of a full day on the island? She thought about it and we looked at the park cancellation policies, which would mean that we would lose about $30 of our investment.

In the end, it made a lot of sense to cancel the Mackinac island segment of the trip and add those days to the stay here at Sleeping Bear Dunes. It meant that we would be able to see more of this park, and at a more leisurely pace, using mornings for sightseeing, and afternoons for napping. And that’s what we did, finding a first-come-first-serve campsite here at the campground that we could move into and stay for five nights without having to move again. Yes, we lose Mackinac Island, and Joan was looking forward to that stop, but given everything that has happened recently, it made a lot of sense. Plan change made and executed.

After arranging everything at the campground office, we came back to the trailer and broke camp. Since we were only moving to a new campsite we didn’t have to secure everything quite as well as we normally do, so it went faster. Then we went over to the dump station and dumped the sewer tanks (never a fun job, but a necessary one), and made camp at our new site. In a lot of ways, the new site is better than the last one, offering a lot more privacy. It will be a good place to relax for a few more days.

Taking advantage of our new plan, we made a lunch of deli-meat and cheese sandwiches and potato chips and then promptly took a three-hour nap in the afternoon. The days are relatively cool up here and the humidity is tolerable, so it was a delightful and well-earned.

Afterwards, Joan got a campfire going and, with the dogs, we sat outside and read until it started to get dark. Today we can start touring this park at a leisurely pace.

Speaking of reading, I love it when I read something that is about where I am. That happened yesterday reading chapter three of the Egan book. In there, he talks about the efforts in the 1980s to stock the Great Lakes with salmon as a way to introduce a top-level fish in the food chain that would help control a run-away population of herring called alewives, which had resulted from our overfishing the trout population. Salmon, of course, need a river to be born in so that they can return there to spawn. A successful stocking of a Great Lake would have to start in a river. The stocking program started in the Platte River and, well, we are staying at the Platte River Campground. The Platte River is just a quarter-mile or so away from where I was reading about it. Just a bit of synchronicity.

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