Sunday, August 16, 2009

Home Sweet Home...

It's great to be home in Ellijay. We got to get Toby and he was thrilled that we were home. What was so funny was that I had brought Pat a little red bag with a thank you present in it... Toby thought I had brought him a present. So he kept knudging me to give him the bag and he was so excited about the present. When I gave it to Pat he acted like I'd made a mistake and wanted her to give it to him. He did this because I always buy him toy animals, he has a whole zoo. I don't ever spend but a dollar or two at Big Lots for them but I really see how spoiled he is with them after the little present for Pat.

I will start back up at Mackinaw Bridge, Michigan about our trip. We stayed there two nights and really enjoyed it. When you cross over the bridge you are in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan. I really don't understand how that State got divided like it is because the Upper Peninsula seems like it should become Wisconsin.. oh well, that's what they decided.

We were heading for Sault Sainte Marie, Michigan and Canada. This is where the Soo Locks are and Lake Huron is connected to Lake Superior. There is a beautiful park where the locks are and they have stands for viewers to watch the boats go through the locks. It is all very interesting. Here you can see the boat coming in and then after the lock is filled with water, raising the boat to the level of Lake Superior to make the transition out.

We stopped at a diner to eat and when we pulled in the truck next to us had a Gwinnett County tag. So Terry goes in and decides which table is from Gwinnett. His choice was wrong the lady and man sitting at the first table he asked said no, but the next table with the two biker looking guys said... we are. They invited him to have a seat but he declined because of me. They were from Lilburn and own a motorcycle shop there. Just so happens that when we pulled in to stay the night at a campground outside of Newberry, MI they were there. They had their big truck toy hauler and a large motor home along with two Harleys.

The next morning we were up early and off to Tahquamenon Falls and Whitefish up on Lake Superior. The falls were beautiful and had a very nice trail that went to the Upper Falls and then also to the lower falls. The falls have alot of tannin in the water giving them a brown cast at times depending on the light. The water is so treacherous there and they must have alot of people getting hurt in this area. Then when you get to the lower falls and the lake below it is so peaceful.

The next stop was Whitefish where there was a "beach"! Who would have thought that the Great Lakes had beautiful sand beaches. No shells but really pretty colorful rocks and we found some rock gathers. We actually became rock gathers too. We asked this couple, who were really into rock collecting, what kind of rock were they looking for. Winds up it was agate. The man showed us a good one he'd found so that was all it took for us to start looking. We managed to find pockets and arms to carry quite alot back to the camper.

Just loved this little boy. He (and his dad) had gathered driftwood and made a fort. He proudly posed for me in front of his creation. Our day at the beach was really nice. Hard to believe that this is in Michigan.

We needed to get on up the road or down I guess, so we headed to towards Wisconsin. We camped in Michigan but very close to Wisconsin on Lake Michigan. The camp, No-nah-mah Resort was on property that had been originally the site of a timber company. The small canals connected to the lake were used to hold the timber before it was processed. There was a beautiful copper incinerator that looked like a silo there. On the way though there we were trying to escape a storm. The clouds were really scarry! Poor Terry the storm caught up with us when we arrived at the camp to register.

Terry says this incinerator isn't copper but it sure looks like it to me. The lady at the camp said that it was built in the early nineteen hundreds. Terry took this picture and I love the reflection in the water.

So it's a pretty day and we're off again, or as Terry says "Were on the road again".

The next place we stayed the night was Illinois Beach State Park. It was just north of Chicago and very nice, we could see the "beach" Lake Michigan from our camper site. Then we headed to Chicago which was a nightmare. It took us 3 hours to go about 80 miles because I think they have the worst traffic ever. Atlanta is bad but nothing compared to Chicago. Finally we hit the Indiana state line and my visit with my mother's family. That was just wonderful.

All along the way we're seeing huge wind turbine farms that they are building in Indiana and beautiful farms sprinkled across the countryside. After leaving Indiana we thought we would go a secondary road down through Kentucky. Big Mistake! It took forever, twisting and turning with roads being worked on and detours; but it's still seeing pretty country. I think you get a little more anxious about getting home once you're headed that way.

We spent the final night in Berea, Kentucky, we enjoyed that stop on our way up. In Old Town there they had open studios you could go through and we enjoyed looking at the furniture craftsmen, weavers, glass blowers and other artisans.

Well we got home about 6:30 pm and hurried to get our puppy. We're home and there is truly no place like home. Georgia is a beautiful state and we don't need to take a back seat to any other state. Now we've got to get back to Snellville today and our kids and grandkids.... we really do miss them.

Take care. Sally...

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Hooray!!! I finally got some internet...

Well I had thought that I would be able to "blog on the road" but ... the campgrounds that we've stayed at didn't have WiFi or if they did I was too tired. So now I have so many things to tell you about my trip, but today was the highlight. So I'll tell you about today and then talk about the trip.

Today we were close to West Point, Indiana (where my mother's (brother) family was from) and so I called to see if it was convenient to stop. I called Becky to see if she had a phone number and she did. To my surprise, they answered, and it was fine to stop by. I was (I think) about 15-16 the last time I was there, so I was thrilled to see them. Seems like when you get married you don't travel with your family, so you get out of touch. Jack and Vonda looked wonderful and I was so glad to get to visit with them. Jackie, their daughter, came over to their house to see us too. She said her Daddy will be 90 on Saturday. He had been in the hospital recently but he and Vonda looked just like I remember them. We had dinner with Jackie and her husband, Gary and it was really great to share about our families and what's going on with us now. I hope Jackie and Gary will come to see us in Georgia and we can stay in touch. I feel like I found a long lost friend... it was great.

I have put our picture here... we're still those young girls.

Now for the trip... I can't believe that we left Georgia a week ago. We have really had a great trip and we aren't home yet. We left August 5th and went up through Tennessee, Kentucky, Ohio, and Michigan. Some of our highlights; Kentucky Artisan Center in Berea, Ky. was a fabulous art center full of original works in art, metal sculptures, pottery and glass. We enjoyed looking at everything and they also had really good icecream. I just loved the "Frog Artist".

Is he not just the cutest thing you've ever seen? I think that he was actually made in copper... reminds me that I have to get working on my copper vine for Terry's gate... he's through and I'm not.

We spent the first night at Oakdale Campground in Quincy, Ohio. It was on the Miami River and when we pulled into register, there was a boat on a trailer pulled up behind us and we had it blocked. Terry was kidding with the park lady and said he'd be glad to move if he could drive the boat. She told him she could arrange it. We all laughed. Terry set up the camper and I cooked our supper. So we were eating our dinner when this man came up in a golf cart with "Cece" his little black poodle and asked us if we'd like to take a boat ride. We were both shocked but said yes. It was a very nice pontoon type boat and we floated down the river and it was really pretty with the sun setting. It reminded me of a wide Okefenokee swamp boat ride we went on last year. Willowy trees and even big wild turkeys were trying to roost in the trees and they didn't like the boat when we'd go by. It was such a wonderful surprise to go on the boat ride. Thanks Lavon.. we really enjoyed it. You meet the nicest people in campgrounds.

The second night we stayed at some "Chinook Club" peoples place that Terry communicated with on the internet. He joined the Chinook website after we got our camper (which is a Chinook). Anyway when he said we were going to Michigan and the Mackinaw Bridge, Toni and Theresa invited us to stop. When we got close and called them, Toni answered with a very British accent. Small world, they are from England and Terry was born there. They live in a lovely place in their Chinook during the summer (Michigan is cool and their children live there) and travel back to their home in Arizona when it starts getting cold. They have a piece of land in a very nice development with golf course, lakes, etc. They are able to "camp" on the site or build a home, but when they leave they cannot leave anything there. They have a large trailor that they've made an office for them and then part is for storage. Their Chinook is beautiful with alot bigger bath and kitchen than ours has. I can't imagine living in mine for 5 months but they love it. We really enjoyed our visit with the too. They have made two trailor spaces on their property, so we were able to use one of them.

This is the famous Mackinaw Bridge... it is a beautiful sight. The mist made it even prettier and it was a little scary when we rode over it.
This was the "destination" for our trip.

Well we keep ambling along and are next night is at the Mill Creek Camp which is on Lake Huron with Mackinaw Bridge to our left and Mackinac Island directly across from us. Very pretty views at this camp. We took a ferry over to the Island and it was just beautiful. There isn't any motorized vehicles on the Island, everything is moved by horse drawn wagons and carriages. People rent bikes at the shops and ride around the island... we walked. It was stormy when we left on the ferry but around lunchtime it stopped raining. A little rain doesn't stop us though.

The shipping is all about what created the Great Lakes and the Soo Locks. We were also able to go and see them. They really are interesting. This was viewed from the island.

This is Terry in front of Doud's Market.. I guess their only grocery store if you live there. All of their supplies are brought to them on the ferrys, plus all of the tourists.

Horses carry everything from people to all of their supplies. They are beautiful draft horses and very well cared for.

More horses and bicycles.
I'm not through yet but it is late and I have to go to bed... Terry said I needed to sleep because we have to travel tomorrow. I've just missed my internet so much. I have discovered some amazing new things with my smart phone though when you're desperate for internet... it will do things I didn't even know about. That will be for another journal.
Take care and Goodnight! Sally...