When we were getting ready to leave Silver Lake at the end of the summer, we planned to spend several days back at our old standby near family, Camp Lord Willing, but after checking several times in the weeks before, they were completely full on the days we were going to be there. Plan B, since we were only going to be there for a few days and not months like we have in the past, was the local state park.
Fortunately for us, this park was completely renovated about 15 years ago, and now all the sites are paved and there are quite a few that are full hookup, which is not normal for a Michigan State Park.
Before heading to Monroe, though, we first had to make a one-night stop in Shipshewana to stock up on supplies. We arrived at another of our regular parks, and were surprised to learn that they were full! Yikes – what’s going on?!
They did manage to find an electric only site for us, and since we were only staying one night, it was fine. Actually, it was a pretty nice site – nicely shaded in the afternoon sun!
We did our shopping – popcorn at Yoder’s Popcorn Store; steaks, sausage and pork chops at Yoder’s Meat Store; bulk foods, spices, and candy at E&S – and then went to dinner at the 5 & 20 Restaurant, another favorite. It was a full afternoon, but then we were ready to head out in the morning.
We made our way to Monroe, taking back roads to avoid tolls and construction in Toledo, and arrived by 1pm.
After getting set up on site 160,
Tom rested for awhile while I got some work done,
and then we headed down to my Mom’s house to go through our mail and get some dinner with her.
The next nine days were a whirlwind of meetings, appointments, dinners out, and work for me, but we did manage to see all of the family at least once, and a few friends, too.
On the Friday morning, we drove out to East Lansing to bring Bryce home for the weekend so that he could get registered to vote, see the family one more time, and have an early celebration of his birthday . . . oh, and he did a little bit of yard work for Grandma, too!
I was also able to attend my niece, Kelly’s, baby shower. Our family is growing by one more girl next month!
She got several nice quilts, courtesy of her mom and aunts.
My sister Diane made this adorable doggie quilt – it’s so cute!
My sister Tina made this giraffe quilt – another cute one!
On Sunday afternoon, we drove Bryce back to East Lansing and said our goodbyes again . . . for a little longer this time . . . we won’t see him until Christmas!
Between all the busy-ness,Tom and I did manage to do some bike riding on the nice bike paths they have at the state park, and spent one evening sitting around a fire with the hosts (we were camped right next to them).
Sterling State Park is sandwiched between two power plants – one traditional one,
and the nuclear power plant, Fermi II,
on the Lake Erie coast.
The campground is mostly empty at this time of year,
and the beach has more geese and seagulls than sunbathers.
The water looks pretty clean, though, and Lake Erie seems to be high, just like Lake Michigan.
The park has a multi-lane boat launch, and it was getting plenty of use while we were there . . . the fishing must be good in Lake Erie! We rode our bikes through the campground and day use areas several times, and also around the channel by the boat launch.
Crossing this bridge will take you the rest of the way around the channel.
It made a great backdrop for some beautiful sunsets!
Along the bike paths, there are benches for resting or just sitting and watching the birds, or the sunset.
Even the steam from the power plant took on a pink tint in the setting sun!
As our 9 days in Monroe came to an end, it was time to get back on the road and get back into travel & explore mode, making our way down to South Carolina where we’ll spend some time with Nicolas while volunteering at the Santee National Wildlife Refuge. We may not have the boys with us anymore, but we did pick up a new passenger . . .
Tom’s dad is travelling south with us, and will stay with us through Nicolas’ graduation.
This is a whole new experience for him – travelling in the M/H, staying in campgrounds, and exploring new places – it’ll be quite an adventure!