Backtracking to Michigan

Our tour around Iowa to visit Tracy’s peeps has (sadly) ended, but now we’re backtracking east to Michigan to visit Finn in his new digs at grad school.  So, once again, we’re uncharacteristically booking it down the road. We’ve headed from Iowa to Illinois to Indiana to Michigan.

Our First Fairgrounds Stay

I hadn’t thought about this before, but when the fair’s not in town, the fairgrounds is basically a lot of land with nothing on it.  I know some off-season events happen at some fairgrounds, but I didn’t know that you can also camp there.  

We stayed in Sandwich, Illinois, for one very peaceful, lovely night.  Just $20, too, and we had electric hookup (which we needed because it was hot hot hot) and a water connection.  

This local couple rode over to ask what the heck people are doing camping at their fairgrounds, and we had a nice chat about retirement and their plans to RV, too.  Can you tell the woman is a dog trainer? Banjo has literally never gone up to strangers like this, much less approached a golf cart or gotten up on one. Her new stardom may have given her confidence. 😉

Vacationers on Lake Michigan

We managed to skirt around Chicago on a Sunday morning (which is the only way to do it) and camped the next night on Lake Michigan at Van Buren State Park.  Most of Michigan decided to camp there, too.  Lots of families, kids, dogs, luckily all in a good mood and very social, in the campground and on the beach.  (This photo is from early the next morning after a storm so no one’s on the beach. Much more lovely this way.)

Banjo was bummed that our hastily chosen campsite was directly on the path to the dog beach, so she couldn’t sit outside due to high dog traffic. Heck, sitting outside was a risk to us, too, due to how many people stopped to ask us:

  • Where in Texas are ya’ll from? And then we have to choose which complicated response to give: we’re not actually from there, or we’re from a tiny town there (our official address) but do not know the six people you’re going to name from nearby.
  • They ask about our Airstream, because here we are, back in rare-Airstream country.  People with Airstreams want to compare models and notes, and people with different model campers say vague things like, “That’s quite a rig.”  

The big excitement here was a huge storm last night that came in off the lake. For more than an hour, I watched constant lightning through our two skylights and listened to thunder roll seemingly back and forth above us.  Banjo crouched on Tracy’s side of the bed whimpering, and we lost power, as did my local cell tower, apparently.  

No hail though, so woohoo! And no tornado, so we didn’t have to shelter in the campground bathroom with all these folks (and I presume their dogs, which would have been a trick). 

Next up: we have reservations for a week at a campsite a little less than an hour south of Finn’s apartment in East Lansing.  Again, this one was almost booked up by the time I made the reservations, so I’m not confident it’ll be a decent campsite, but we will see! We’re not there to vacation, so as long as we can fit in the campsite and Banjo can spend time outside, we’ll be happy.

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