136. Staged at Wabasis Lake Campground

Having arrived in Western MI too early to start my ‘gig’ at Silver Lake State Park and having relatives in area to visit, I got a reservation for 15 days at Wabasis Lake Campground near Greenville, Mi. Since thi s reservation was last minute, there was no single site available for the whole 15 days so I will make 2 site moves between 3 sites which is just fine with me.

Mon., 5/17/21

After 3 days in my first site I needed to move to site #2. On Sundays the weekenders execute the typical exit parade from the campground EXCEPT the campers in the site I’m supposed to move to aren’t supposed to leave until Monday. If you thought they’d get an early or reasonably early Monday start, you’d be wrong. Checkout is at 2 pm and at 1:30pm none of the bikes and masses of other stuff (lots) had moved. Hoses still hooked up. No people visible. Zero movement.

They started packing shortly thereafter and pulled off the site with 2 minutes to spare. Ten minutes later I was on the new site hooking up my water, power, sewer, leveling the Bus and extending slide outs. Leveling was a bit tricky as the site, side to side, was too sloped for a normal automatic leveling. As it is, my outside rear dually tire doesn’t touch the asphalt pad. Also, the site will barely accommodate the length of the rig. My rear levelers are behind the rear tires and if I back the rig in to be sure I’m sufficiently off the road for next weekend’s crowd, my rear tires are at the back edge of the asphalt meaning the rear jacks, extending behind the tires, miss the asphalt and go to ground. With ground being 6-8” lower, the jacks are ineffective. So it was compromise time and pull the rig closer to the road so that the rear jacks would extend onto the raised asphalt. Paved site and they couldn’t build it level or even close. With my jacks leveling the Bus, the passenger rear dually is off the pavement. Not optimum as the parking air brakes are in the rear so with one set of rear wheels off the ground, 1/2 of the parking brakes are ineffective. Since I’m on this site for 9 days or so, I pulled out my chairs and outdoor rug.

I have an aversion to coin laundries and now that I had a full hookup site with water and sewer, I could do my laundry which was accumulating since the DC area 20 days ago. So, settled into the new site it was time to do some laundry loads. It sure is convenient to have my hanging clothes on one side of the dryer and drawers for folding clothes on the other. No more than 2-3 steps to get it dried and put away. While the washer/dryer were doing their thing, I hooked up another hose and washed the rig. It needed a bath as it had been over 3 weeks. Lots of spattered mud but the dirt, mud and grime pretty much stops about halfway up. So I washed the bottom half and finally got the bug spatters (full height) off the front. Feels good but I’m not used to expending that much energy in such a short time.

New campsite

I also had a visit from one of my acquaintances and blog readers. All my work was done and I was sitting and a policeman stops in. Well a retired one. Ralph-Rick Ruiter (a retired LEO from Kentwood who always showed forbearance when I’d be driving my ‘Vette) stopped by. Haven’t seen him for a long long time/decades but still recognize him despite grey hair!😎. My kids remember and still talk about him as one time (there were a couple) when we were anchored off shore of Grand Haven on our old boat 40 or so years ago some swimmer swam all the way from the State Park beach to the boat transom and it was Rick looking for a beer. He now lives about 10 or so miles from Wabasis Lake Campground and knew I was here from the blog. So glad he stopped by and we got to chat!

From back in the day (1981) relaxing off the beach

Tues., 5/18/21

The days are warming up into the 70’s! Yay! After lunch drove to Holland to see my BIL Tom and sister Laurie. I haven’t seen them too often in the past years. For most of my life they lived out of state and by the time Tom retired and they moved back to Michigan (and unretired), our kids were gone and Sharon and I had left MI to start our nomadic life (1997). So it was time or past time for a visit. In the past year they had spent 6 months full time in MN with Tom at the Mayo Clinic for a transplant. When finally released, it was back to Holland MI where they have lots of church friends and family. The kidney has not been rejected but Tom has lost some mobility, tough for an athletic guy. It was nice visiting and putting up with Laurie’s ‘baby brother’ stories. It’s so good to see them both and especially a recovered/recovering Tom. Keep up the good work.

Weds., 5/19/21

Relaxed in the morning and early afternoon supervised a worker who mowed my grass! Later in the afternoon, drove to Grand Rapids to visit with my brother and his wife, sitting on the back patio until a passing rain drove us inside. They recently sold their camper but in the past they’ve provided some names of really good places to camp in MI and places to see. They’ve seen, by boat, a part of America’s Great Loop that I’ve missed. They and another couple (also blog readers and location contributors) rented a self captained canal boat and did much of the NY canal system, including I think, the locks I recently pictured in the blog at Lockport, NY. We ended by going out to a nearby Mission BBQ for dinner, a BBQ chain that I’ve frequented a few times in Baltimore, the Tampa area and I think other areas. Anyway we enjoyed a nice meal and more fun conversation.

Tues., 5/25/21

Met my nieces Joan and Sue and nephew Bob at a well known national chain restaurant in Grand Rapids for lunch. The restaurant was almost empty and, as far as I could tell, staffed with 2 employees. It was a bit strange but looking back over the past 2-3 weeks, Michigan’s strangling COVID19 regulations have been obvious. Fast food restaurants still only offer drive thru service while the Governor ignores her own regulations and flies to FL to see relatives and when back in MI is photographed in a bar, sitting elbow to elbow with at least 10 friends around tables that have been pushed together (gatherings of that sort are limited to 6 unless socially distanced) and unmasked. She’s really disgraceful, IMO. But I digress. We had a great visit and I enjoyed catching up as well as reliving the past. Thanx guys!

Back at the campground Amazon had delivered the materials I ordered to make up “crafts to go” bags for the State Park gigs.

Some of the “stuff” for kiddie craft bags. Back: 24 bottles of different color paints, 100 white paper bags with handles, 50 small wooden flower pots unpainted. Middle: 50 kids paintbrushes, 40 bags of multi color glitter, and 24 bags of wildflower seeds. Bottom row: 3 of the 100 flat rocks, 240 small plastic cups with plastic covers attached in rows of 6 per row. Not pictured are 48 sidewalk chalks.

For girls the intent is to give a bag and paint brush with 1 or 2 flower pots. I’ll fill 4 of the little plastic cups with assorted paint colors, one cup with some glitter and the last cup with some wildflower seeds and a note card to paint and decorate their flower pots and after it dries, puts some soil in it and plant the seeds and water them and watch for them to grow. For the boys, 5cups of paint and one of glitter, a brush and a couple rocks with instructions to paint a fish or a turtle or design and keep or maybe hide for the next camper to find. Once on site, perhaps previous hosts from earlier years will have left some supplies in the shed for the hosts? I hope.

Weds., 5/26/21

Last night it rained quite hard for most of the night. The area is in a mild drought so I’m sure the farmers and all are happy. I was expecting the rain so I had already, yesterday, put away my outside shakes, the rug and grill. I also filled my water tank and then disconnected from water and from the sewer dump so I wouldn’t have to do that in the rain since I needed to move Weds morning to a different site. Trying to avoid packing up in the rain is a habit from many years past. By 9 am the rain had stopped and around 10am I unhooked from power, brought in the slide outs, raised the hydraulic jacks and moved up the hill to a new and empty site where I’ll stay Weds and Thursday nights before heading to my full hookup site at Silver Lake State Park. I only needed to run out the slides, push the button to lower the jacks for auto level and plug into power at the new site. No need to hook up to water etc as I will be self sufficient till Silver Lake SP.

In the afternoon I went to see brother & SIL, Ron & Gert and stayed for a fine supper and fresh homemade blueberry pie courtesy of Gert. Laughs and discussions on stock investments. A good visit! I also made an appointment for late next week at Silver Lake SP for the AquaHot repairman to come out from Holland and take another look at my boiler. Something else has quit working on it and I’m not agile enough to get down and into the basement bay to see if I can figure it out. So I’ll get it fixed around here on the theory it’ll be cheaper at West MI travel and labor rates with better service than trying to get service from the Detroit area to come up to Bay City in July.

Fri., 5/28/21

Weather has turned cold. High in the 50’s and heavy winds (30+ mph). Also time to head to Silver Lake State Park for a month.

I pulled into the campground around 3 pm. Nice wide site, level, paved, water, sewer and 30 amp service. The roads are very narrow and treed and so even with a deep and wide site, it was a challenge to back in without hitting trees on the road. I have a double deep, locked Rubbermaid walk in shed for storage of crafts etc plus 4 picnic tables on site. Within a half hour their tractor delivered a big load of complimentary firewood. Have the best view in the park of the lake and the sand dunes beyond. The ranger boss man dropped in around 5 and went over some paper work, gave me the key to the shed and a master key to the office and other locked areas and he reviewed what was expected of me. On premises on the weekends, two days of my choice off during the week and a total of 6 hrs presence per day average during the 5 days on. Walk the park, say hi, answer questions, let the office know if something needs to be done etc. I got my State Park DNR vest and Tshirt😂😂😂. I also have discovered zero cell service for my provider (TMobile) and no over the air TV service. Lots of ice cream shops, souvenir shops, T shirts etc. it seems as though texts slip thru from time to time.

‘Telephoto’ taken from the steps of the RV. The beige horizontal band on the far side of the lake is sand dunes
My campsite in the background

With limited cell service and a crushing work schedule, my blog posts will probably be far a few between.

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