I Need a Pith Helmet

Instead of this floppy gardening hat I bought back in Bethesda at the overpriced hardware store.  I’m not sure what a pith helmet is exactly, but if it’s rigid and has bug netting, I’ll take it in trade. Seems like the hat you want for adventures. 

First Adventure: Finding a Place to Live 

We’d kind of counted on getting a site at Ontonogen, MI (upper peninsula), but even calling several times exactly when we thought one would open didn’t do the trick.  Turns out you need to stand in line starting at 8 am to get your name on the list, which will be referenced at 11 am, and then you’ll be called and told if you got a site. An interior site only; there’s a second list for lake-side sites, but you have to be camping there already to get on that list. One Grateful Dead show at a time, here. 

Tomorrow we’ll drive the hour from where we’re camped now to try to get on the list.  In the meantime, Tracy found us this camping area off the grid (thus, with campsites available) and free, totally in the woods.  

To get here we drove along dirt roads following vague signs to a scenic site for waterfalls, hoping a campground would be in the woods nearby. It is! Just a loop of a dirt road, with a speed limit sign in the shape of a woodpecker.  We drove the loop once, picked out a sunny spot with hopes for solar charging, and set up our home for as long as we need as we try to get tickets, I mean a camping spot, in Ontonogen.  

Second Adventure: The Woods

I missed trees, it turns out.

As soon as we set up and ate a late lunch of leftovers on the picnic table, I took Banjo off on a walk in the woods to find the other part of the campground. We trotted along the dirt paths and turned away from the pond thinking that’s the way, but it wasn’t. 

Bugs in my face. Dirt in my shoes. The sound of leaves moving against each other in the wind. I missed this! 

And I walked too far.

As soon as I told Banjo to give up that direction and turn around, she got all overly excited and nearly pulled my arm off dancing around. Silly girl thought we were lost. 

Third Adventure: The Falls

After my walk we jumped back in the truck to find the advertised falls, but the parking area was swarming with people so we turned around. Then this morning at 9 am we were the only ones there. Glorious. 

The electric company here maintains the hydroelectric dam, plus several sweet paths through the pine forest along the river down from the dam. It’s called Bond Falls (guy named Bond owned the land), and it’s spectacular.  My photos don’t show the sound and the power and the movement and the mist.

As Tracy mentioned, you know it’s good falls when you walk away wet. 

Again, a pith helmet would have been welcome! 

Tonight we sit in the tent (one giant pith helmet for us three?) and read and soak up the sound of the wind in the tree tops.  Tomorrow we try again for Ontonogen.  

6 thoughts to “I Need a Pith Helmet”

  1. “soak up the sound of the wind in the tree tops” – nothing like songs sung by trees. I love trees too.
    cross the fingers for Dead tickets!

  2. I love the overpriced hat…it’s the Audrey Hepburn look~. Looks like the last time Tracey trimmed his beard was at the start of COVID. Sweet retirement!