September 15-29, 2005 - Michigan Lower Peninsula

It was Diane's driving day so she again drove across the Mackinaw Straits Bridge, just as she did two years earlier.  Again we wondered why this bridge is so scary for many others, we guess bridges are normal for us and we are used to them.

Our drive was 130 miles to Wild Cherry Resort in Lake Leelanau, MI, just north of Traverse City close to Grand Traverse Bay.  The put us next to Ed and Steve, who we met in Thunder Bay (Ed is next to us and Steve further on):

Here is the view from the front:

Ed and Steve were gone but when they came back we met their wives Yvonne and Beverly, respectively.  Beverly and Steve looked more familiar and we figured out we were at the same rally in Baker City, OR in August 2004.  We set everyone up with our Wi-Fi key so they could use our satellite internet.

Turns out the storms a couple days earlier had been strong here, but no significant damage or problems except the phone line for using the modem was down.

A couple friends had recommended we try the burger and frozen custard chain, Culvers, so we drove into Traverse City to try them out.  The specialty is a "Butter Burger", which wasn't really that much different than a normal fast food hamburger.  The frozen custard was good, but Culvers did not make our list of places to look for while traveling. 

The six of us went out to dinner a few times and one day we ran into Yvonne and Beverly at another restaurant for lunch, all of the good places are in our restaurants web page under Michigan in Suttons Bay.

One day we went to Sleepy Bear Dunes National Lakeshore.  The crazies would go down the dunes to Lake Michigan and crawl back up the 400 feet of sand.  Here are pictures:

Another day we drove down to Interlochen to see the school grounds, a friend's daughter had gone to high school there for the music program.

Ed had an appointment for some work at Spartan in Charlotte, so they took off before we did.  Our package with our new mast part had not come in.  The weather was supposed to get wet and it did, very wet.  When the part came into the office they delivered it right to our site, now that is service.  Wild Cherry Resort is a very nice place.

Of course the weather was better on the 20th when we drove the 134 miles to Silver Creek RV Resort in Mears, MI.  Here is our campsite and a view of the satellite mast with the new, hidden, part installed:

Bill was ready to make modifications to his homemade mast extension so it was vertical, but now it is sitting in a box.  The official mast extension lifts the mast two inches, which seems to be enough for the dish to clear, while Bill's lifts it six inches. 

We roamed around the area but didn't take any pictures.  One interesting side trip was to the Shelby Gem Factory, which makes synthetic gems.  It was interesting for Diane's material science background in addition to how nice the stones were.

On the 25th we drove to the Eaton County Fairgrounds in Charlotte for the Spartan Chassis Rally.  Steve ended up being the one who helped Diane park, so we had a nice reunion.  Here is our parking spot, with 20AMP electricity:

Over half the motorhomes were Newmar and about a third of the total motorhomes were Dutch Stars, even though American Coach is the largest user of Spartan Chassis.  We went to a lot of classes, toured the Spartan factory two miles away, visited and ate out.  Charlotte had some nice and cheap places to eat, though we wished Michigan had a clean air act in place for the smoking.  Here is a shot of rally:

Our friends Cherie and Dexter Yard came in and we had a good time visiting with them.   They introduced us to Rita and Roland, who we would see again at Newmar, along with Yvonne and Ed, and Beverly and Steve.

One day we and the Yards went to a dinner theatre for "Singing in the Rain", it was a lot of fun and the food was good.  Dexter was able to mimic the high pitched voice of the woman who couldn't sing and had the bus laughing on the way back.

We met another couple who we met at the National RV rally in Salina, KS.  They hadn't liked the current models from National RV either and bought an American Tradition from American Coach.

Now the rally was over and we headed out.  The Yards were going to Detroit, Yvonne, Ed, Beverly, and Steve where heading to Newmar, and we were heading to Elkhart, IN.

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