Back from Vacation

Well, I am back from my little vacation. We had a good time, more on that later though.

Today is August 28th, and that means just 11 Days to my Birthday. I am not sure what to expect, but as goes my motto, “If you aim low, you won’t be disappointed”.

I think I had a record set a week ago. On August 17th I had 30 visits. It is now down slightly to 20 a day as the more recent max. Both Google and yahoo are still pointing to me for searches on those bad words. Right now, Sitemeter is estimating 520 – 570 visits in next month? That should drop as soon as Google and Yahoo drop my pages from a certain search.

The ODRAM (One Day Ride Across Michigan) will be on 9/11. You may recall that for a week this winter I was temporarily insane and thought I could do it. I may go out to state park around 4 ish to watch some of the people come in, but am NOT going to ride.

In the Alice Cooper softball game, I have been informed by Tim that I work with (who also works at Wheelz, and was in the game) that the radio stations won 10-6.

My 2000th visitor was Jenn. Like my IP address, hers too was changed, thus confusing me on the winner’s identity.

So the trip…
We left on Tuesday about 4:30 after some final packing and running around. We made a pit stop in West branch for some Arby’s and again in Gaylord at Glenn’s and for gas. We arrived in mackinaw about 8ish, got our campsite, and started setting up.

After setting up the tent and getting our bedding made up, we went to a General store that we had passed for a bag of ice and firewood, then returned to build our campfire. We made some smores, talked for a while, walked down to the lake, and went to bed about 12ish. We fell asleep pretty easy after the long drive, fresh air, and the noise of the waves coming on the beach about 300 ft away.

Wednesday morning at about 4, we were awakened by the patter of rain outside, but nothing hard. By 4;30 it was a thunderstorm and we could feel the water coming in through the tent’s seams. We managed to eventually fall back asleep though, despite having a wet bed.

When we got up in the morning we were definitely wet. After a warm shower we put all the wet blankets and pillows in the truck and headed for Mackinaw. We drove around the city some, looked at the bridge, fort giftshop, and lighthouse, and bought a disposable camera. We then headed for Cheboygan in search of a laundromat. We had lunch at Big Boy (Slim Jims are not good btw) and then went to Wal-Mart. There, we found a queen size air mattress for the low price of $17, and couldnt resist. We then went to a laundromat to dry everything and headed back to camp.

After getting back, we set up our new mattress, laid the bedding back out, and decided on a bike ride. For future reference, if the sign says “No Bikes”, you should listen, It’s not that the DNR doesn’t want bikes on the trail, but that bikes are simply incapable of making it. Of the 1.5 mile trail, about half was marsh land with 3 2x4s laid on some old branches making up the trail. The rest was fun though. You pedal as fast and hard as you can to climb the hills, only to either enter sand or hit a root stopping you just 5 feet from the top. The downhills were mostly good, except where you are going 15 mph and come to a sharp bend with the alternative being a steep drop into trees and brush. Needless to say, you stopped ASAP and walked around the bend. After some fun though, we made it to a bike-friendly 2 track trail that lead us back to the main road.

Along the way back to camp, we found a section of beach and decided to go for a swim. I don’t think I made it to my knees before I turned around and ran back screaming like a girl. That water is COLD. So, we resorted to building a sand castle just out of reach of the evil waves. Afterward though, we were of course covered in sand, and there was only 1 way to come clean. I made it out to my waste this time, hoping I would get used to it. Nope. By the time we were at camp, we had gone 4 miles, with an easy equivalent to a 10 mile on road trip.

Back at camp, we decided to drive to the other general store. We picked up some cheese dip, mustard, and Jiffy Pop. We then made our fire, and cooked hot dogs on the end of a stick. We had baked beans too, but no can opener. Me, my cub-scout pocket knife, and the can of beans had a 20 minute conversation, and eventually came to an understanding. Jenn said the beans tasted a bit like metal, but I just tasted the victory.

After dinner, we pretty much just sat around the fire, ducking into the tent now and then to avoid a few showers. We were in bed by 12 again, after quite a Day. We again had rain that night, but with an air mattress it was much better. In the morning we packed everything up, and set off toward home, kinda.

First, we headed the wrong way up the road, to see where it went. It leads eventually to the end of the peninsula the state park is on, with the rustic cabins off on side roads. We then went in to Mackinaw and got some Pasties. You just have to. I got back on I-75 at exit 339, the last one before the bridge. We stopped off again at Cheboygan, to see Sea Shell City. A lot of nautical stuff in there, including some stuff that was pretty cool. I did not see the “Man Eating Giant Clam” though, and left disappointed. We stopped in West Branch to stretch and jenn did a little shopping, then headed back home.

We totaled about 488 miles, for a total of around $50 in gas, including $20 to but the tank back where it was when we left. It was 180 miles from here to there on Tuesday, I presume about the same back, and then 100 or so on Wednesday running to Cheboygan and back. In all I spent about $100, for gas and the $52 for the camp site and vehicle permit. Was it worth it? Hell yes. We had a great time. Yeah, it would have been nice to get some star gazing in, or the water to be warmer, or to not have the rain, but it’s all part of the adventure. Plus, we had almost no bugs (except a special lady bug that Jenn found in a precarious position) and our neighbors were quiet and seemed nice. My only regret is that we didn’t cross the bridge to go see the St. Ignace Mystery Spot. It’s Ok though, since that bridge scares the begesus out of me.

Since returning, I have mostly just unpacked some stuff and tried to catch up on some sleep I lost to the rain. When Jenn gets the Pictures developed I will scan and post them on the blog. There aren’t many, but what the hell.

Well, that’s more than enough for now. See you all on Tuesday.

bye,
nick

is it just me, or am I the only one?

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3 thoughts on “Back from Vacation

  1. Sarah says:

    The “Man Eating Giant Clam” does exist at Sea Shell City… it just isn’t as big as you’d think (believe me, I saw it before). And too bad you missed out on the Mystery Spot in St. Ignace… now that is something I highly recommend for everyone to experience.

  2. Robin says:

    read your blog learned much more about your trip, i am glad the 2 of you had such a wonderful time
    i am thinking you owe me an oil change

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