Saturday, August 26, 2017

Time to Head South(west)

I woke up this morning at my campsite in Michigan's UP shivering.  After I forced myself to get out of bed and turn on the heat I looked at the Mini's thermometer:

August 26 and it's 48 degrees in the Mini!

I'm going to spend this morning planning my migration to the Southwest.  Watching the news about the hurricane this morning I guess I'm lucky it's just cold here.  Glad my house has wheels!

Thanks for reading!

Sunday, August 20, 2017

90th Birthday Party

The weekend after my Dad's birthday my family got together at one of Midland's parks to celebrate!

Bros, sisters, nephews, nieces, uncle, in-laws, the whole gang!
Although rain was forecast we lucked out with beautiful sunny weather and everyone had a blast.

Thanks for reading!

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Campground Review: Glen Gough Memorial Park Pickford, MI

There's a really nice city park in the northeast corner of the small township of Pickford, MI (Pop. 1,595) called Glen Gough Memorial Park and I made it my final camping spot in this year's Upper Peninsula swing.

A Canadian named Charles Pickford settled along the Munuscong River (which borders the park's northern boundary) in 1877, giving the town it's name.  Gough Park covers 32 acres and contains 18 back-in sites with 30 amp hookups, individual trash barrels, and picnic tables.

The Mini's site in Gough Park.

The park is extremely well kept by the town with a crew of three employees working on it every day I stayed there.

You can obviously stay at least a month at the park.

Here's the Glen Gough data sheet:

Hookups:                                             30 amp                                               
Fire ring:                                              Yes                                                                             
Water Access:                                     Yes                                                     
Fresh Water:                                        Yes (near dump station)                                             
Trash Service:                                      Yes                                         
Toilets:                                                Yes (flush)                                                     
Showers:                                             Yes                                                                 
Dump station:                                      Yes                                                     
WiFi:                                                   No                                                      
Level sites:                                          Yes                                         
Laundry:                                              No                                                      
Store:                                                  No                                                                  
Pool:                                                   No                                          
Shade:                                                 Yes                                         
Verizon reception:                                4G, 1 bar                                            
Internet reception:                                1 bar                                       
Cost:                                                  $12/night or $75/week

I reported that the park has water access and due to the Munuscong River providing the park's northern border that is true, but I wouldn't plan on doing any swimming.

Picnic area near the muddy Munuscong.

The park has a little league ball diamond, a kiddo play area, and a large meeting hall.

The ball diamond and kids playground.

Gough Park actually has two separate camp areas.  The one closest to the park entrance where I stayed has nine sites then along the north edge is a second group of sites with nine more sites.

The mostly empty northern campground.

 I usually don't comment on the bathrooms and showers at places I camp but I have to say that the Gough Park showers were the cleanest I've ever seen!

Clean showers!
If you enjoy camping in clean, quiet, reasonably priced municipal parks then Glen Gough Memorial Park is for you!  It's always rewarding to discover a really good camping spot to work into the camping "rotation" in a particular geographic area, Gough Park gets added to next years Upper Peninsula rotation.

Thanks for reading!

Thursday, August 10, 2017

Happy Birthday, Dad!

My Dad turns 90 years old today!  Pretty amazing stuff, it's hard to imagine myself reaching that milestone.  It's also hard to imagine myself being 90 and still being able to do this:

My Uncle Dick looks on as my Dad prepares his tee shot.

Here's wishing you many more fun rounds, Dad!

Thanks for reading!

Saturday, August 5, 2017

Campground Review: Brevoort Lake Campground Moran, MI

I decided to continue heading east in Michigan's Upper Peninsula and found a campsite at the US Forest Service's Brevoort Lake Recreation Area within the Hiawatha National Forest.  I love camping in National Forests because I get to use my Senior Pass that gives me 50% off of whatever the nightly camping rate is.  When I bought my card, which is good for your lifetime, incidentally, the price was a ridiculously low $10!  It more than paid that back in savings on my first usage.

Located about two miles north of US 2 (the UP's main drag) the campground is accessed by a paved road all the way into the campsites, which is nice if it's been raining.  The campground is situated on a peninsula that juts into the 4233 acre Brevoort Lake so there are a lot of waterfront campsites but you need to get reservations to get one of those, as I was a "walk in" I ended up in a non-waterfront site, although I had a view of the lake.  There are about 70 campsites divided into two areas.

Call that number or go online to try and reserve a waterfront site.

Here's the data sheet on Brevoort Lake:

Hookups:                                             None (Dry camping)                                                  
Fire ring:                                              Yes                                                                 
Water Access:                                     Yes                                        
Fresh Water:                                        Yes                                                     
Trash Service:                                      Yes                                                     
Toilets:                                                Yes (Flush)                                                     
Showers:                                             No                                                                  
Dump station:                                      Yes                                         
WiFi:                                                   No                                                      
Level sites:                                          Yes                                                     
Laundry:                                              No                                                                  
Store:                                                  No                                                                  
Pool:                                                   No                                          
Shade:                                                Yes                                                     
Verizon reception:                                4G, 1 bar                                            
Internet reception:                                1 bar               
Cost:                                                  $18/night ($9/night with US Recreation Card)

The campsites at Brevoort Lake are very spacious and almost all are completely shaded by the large forest in which it resides, that was somewhat problematic for my attempts at using the Mini's solar suitcase although I managed enough sunlight to keep the house battery and my electronics charged.

This was about "max sunlight" for solar at my site note the tree shadows.

My site was adjacent to the boat ramp and fishing pier and actually had a little trail through the woods to the ramp and pier so I guess that was my "waterfront".

The fishing pier on Brevoort Lake allows the boatless to still fish.

Ducks sleeping on the dock next to the boat ramp.

There were a couple hiking trails through the forest around the camp but the first one I tried was very narrow and seemed to have poison ivy along it (I'm never 100% sure of my ability to ID poison ivy) so I pretty much kept to the camp roads to do my walking.

On the plus side, there were very few mosquitoes around my site which, anyone who has camped the UP knows, was pretty amazing.  I did my walking without spraying DEET all over myself!

View of the lake from one of the waterfront sites.

I stayed four days at Brevoort Lake Campground and found the camping there really enjoyable.  The one piece of advice I'd give anyone who is considering camping there (and which I'll remember for next year) is to reserve a waterfront site well in advance of when you want to camp there, it'll make your camping experience much more memorable.

Thanks for reading!