Week 2 has been amazing in unexpected ways. We had a feeling Indiana would be miles of farmland and flat roads, we knew the Lake Michigan coastline would be beautiful and we expected the campsites to be peaceful and relaxing, that all held true but the unexpected is what made week 2 so awesome.
This week we made it from Elizabethtown, KY up to Montague, MI. We’ve had great weather, picture perfect views and maybe a couple of problems but that’s what makes it fun!
Simmons Winery – Columbus, IN
This was a Harvest Hosts location, which tends to mean it’s a great one
night stay. We camped on a large open field just outside of the winery’s restaurant which gave us plenty of space and beautiful views. We ate dinner at the restaurant which was outstanding, and Ashley enjoyed a wine tasting after dinner. We couldn’t have asked for a nicer break location on our push north.
Grissom Air Museum – Peru, IN
We aren’t flight or plane enthusiasts to say the least, but this proved to be an entertaining stop. We were given a great camp site directly under one of the planes on display. Evelyn hasn’t loved planes due to their being loud and next to invisible overhead, but after this stop shes definitely more… on board. We toured the museum and got the chance to sit in a plane and helicopter which made for an experience we definitely wouldn’t have tried out on a typical vacation.
Lucky Lake Campground – Montague, MI
Lucky Lake was an outstanding campground. We had a campsite about 3 times the size of other campgrounds, full hookups and located right on the lake.
It was quiet, but located about a mile off of the interstate so we could get to local spots easily. We had looked at things to do in the area as we were here for 4 nights and we stumbled across a petting farm which we thought would be fun for Evelyn for a couple of hours. It ended up being a blast for all of us and we went 2 days straight and would definitely go back.
Lewis Farms, New Era, MI
This is surprisingly one of the best places we’ve been on this trip. It’s not an amazing scenic location, it’s not a big city or major attraction, but it was so much fun for the family!
We walked in hoping to let Evelyn pet a few goats and maybe see a donkey or two and we were definitely taken by surprise. Lewis Farms had camels, rabbits, alpaca, DEER (our favorites- they had the cutest whiskers and ate the food so gently out of your hands), chickens, wallaby, peacocks, lemurs, birds- I hope we aren’t missing any. So the animals were fantastic, but just as entertaining were all of the rides and activities for kids and families alike. Tether-ball, rubber duck races, see-saws, carousel, train ride, many wooden jungle gyms for the kids to explore and the giant JUMPING PILLOWS! We all had too much fun on the jumping pillows! And I can’t forget to mention their great little bakery with breads, doughnuts, danishes and cookies- all very reasonably priced. They also sell some local goods and produce which is always fun to check out.
Silver Lake Sand Dunes – Hart, Michigan
The Silver Lake Sand Dunes are easily the most inspiring location we have seen so far, and possibly for quite some time. We were so impressed we went two days in a row. The first day we walked up the dunes and explored with Evelyn, there were absolutely amazing views. We took a few stops for pictures and a few more stops to catch our breath. The second day we paid for a dune ride at MacWoods and couldn’t have been happier. It was $36 for the whole family for a 45 minute ride into, through and over the dunes, we sped down huge dune hills and out along the Lake Michigan coast. Evelyn loved every minute of it and we would recommend this stop to anyone traveling through Michigan.
While in Elizabethtown we had been smelling a foul odor like rotten eggs outside of the RV but only towards the front. This was the opposite end of the black tank (sewage holding tank) and was also closest to the dump facility. We asked some local campers and they assured us it was definitely sewage and not from our RV so we rested assured we were good to go and while we are newbies, this odor was some other suckers problem. As we drove North we made it to
Indiana, we were setting up for the stay and… the smell was back! Now we are feeling about 100% confident this is us and it’s probably a sign of trouble. With some quick googling we found that the rotten eggs smell typically comes from an overheating battery. We found that one of our batteries was definitely overheating and quickly disconnected the batteries. Luckily we found an awesome service center close to Lucky Lake, we called ahead and made sure they could help, we stopped by for about 30 minutes and they diagnosed it as a bad battery, quickly replaced it and had us back on the road for $150. Not ideal but also not a big deal.
Before we left on this trip there was some debate about whether or not tethering to our smart phones would give us adequate internet. We’ve used them before for work and never had issues but a year around the US is a little different. We went through potentially getting MiFi devices, internet boosters/extenders and other devices we’d never heard of and knew nothing about. Being frugal, we opted to wing it with our cell phones. Our backup was to find the nearest free WiFi coffee shop and deal with the drive, if things got really bad we could research and buy a device on the road. However, using our phones as hot spots has not been an issue at all! From Florida to Michigan so far and they are great. This is on the Verizon network and we are limited to 20GB of tethering data but that is plenty for work. I’m currently averaging 2GB per week. Be aware that RV campsites that advertise “wifi” usually have unstable-at best connections, from our experience thus far.
Well week 2 is good to go but Week 1 videos and pictures are all stored on a hard drive that decided that it no longer agrees with my computer… or any other computer for that matter. I’m confident we will retrieve the content but for now our trip begins with Week 2. That’s alright though, it’s life.