Monday morning August 19th we got up and decided we would hike one of the 3 trails here at Pontiac Lake Recreation State Park. The check-out time is not till 1pm so we had plenty of time.
We took the yellow trail which took us from our campground to Pontiac Lake 2 miles through the woods. We first walked around the perimeter of the campground and then set off on the trail. The trail had a lot of steep hills causing us to take much more time than we had planned for the hike. At 11 am and with only a quarter of a mile left we decided to head back so we could break camp and get on the road. We also decided that we needed to take showers before we leave too!
|About a mile in we needed to climb over this fallen tree.|
We managed to leave the campsite on time at 1:00 and after hitting the dump station we were on the road by 1:30. This was going to be a very easy travel day of just 130 miles up I75 to West Branch MI. Originally we were going go all the way to St. Ignace, 270 miles, but we decided to split it up into 2 travel days. We are really trying to slow down!
As part of our usual routine, Patty had called ahead to the campground after we were on the road to ensure we had an available site. The woman who answered the phone said she wouldn't be there so we could pick either of 2 offered sites and she would see us in the morning. A few minutes after Patty hung-up with the campground, the woman called back. She wanted to give us directions as the GPS location was wrong for this campground. She was right; the campground was about 5 miles away from the GPS location!
We arrived at the Loragan Pines RV Park just south of West Branch MI at 3:00. This is a linear campground with about 50 sites in a row between 2 rows of pine trees. We really liked this campground. The sites are very large with almost enough room to put 2 big rigs on the same site side by side. There isn't anything between the sites but since the sites are so big and there was 2 sites on each side of empty it felt very private.
That was it for the travel day. We got settled in and started cocktail hour with a glass of wine and started dinner. Patty made some pork chops and I made some stuffing and we both made some vegetables for a fine dinner to end the day.
Tuesday the 20th we were visited by the campground owner to get our money for our stay. At the Passport America rate we were charged just $36 for 2 nights with full 50A hook-ups :-) So far for 2013 we are averaging $21 a night for camping fees. This is very good since we budgeted $32 a night.
We decided we would go in to the town of West Branch and do a little shopping. We really don't need much but we were looking for fresh fish and we wanted to get a dustbuster for the RV. Wow, that sounds a little funny, fresh fish and a dust buster!
We found a Wally World for the dust buster but no fresh fish. Across the street from the Wally World there was a butcher shop. We have been trying to get fresh food whenever possible so we decided to try out the butcher shop for some meat. We ended up with some pork chops, bacon, and some rib eyes for dinner tonight.
Patty and I have found that thick steaks taste better than the thin steaks. However, the thick steaks are way too much for each of to eat. We bought 2 one pound steaks. We cooked one of the steaks for dinner and then cut it up in small serving sized that we could both pick from. The other steak we froze for later. We don't like to freeze meat but it won't be for long.
We decided to eat at the picnic table tonight and watch the news on the outside TV.
Then after dinner we took a couple mile walk on a trail that runs behind the campground. We found out that this trail is mainly used for local deer hunters. It also looks like these hunters are not your usual law abiding hunters either. The hunting area consists of a quarter mile long by 300 foot wide grassland surrounded by pine trees on all sides. On one of the long ends was a tree stand complete with propane heat. Now, for the bad part; along the long side was a large dispenser used for grain as bait to attract the deer. Just doesn’t seem to be very much sport in that.
|The tree stand.|
|View from the tree stand.|
|Bait feeder along the left side of the killing field.|
Anyway, that was it for us tonight. We watched some TV and then off to bed. Tomorrow we leave for St. Ignace 140 miles north.