With a nod to Jimmy Buffet, our changes in lattitude have changed our attitude for sure. It dropped the temperature considerably – we left the low 90s and are now in the upper 60’s. We will take that for sure. We are about to head out, continuing our trip north to Michigan.
But I need to share another “oops” moment. In Wapakoneta we actually did not have rain overnight, but Jackie woke me in the middle of the night saying she heard water running. Under the kitchen sink water was spraying all over — I hopped out the door, squish, and ran around to shut off the the water supply. Well it seems we must have had a pressure burst overnight, which dislodged the plug under the sink water filter, so water was streaming out of the bottom storage bin, which fortunately had only the outside chairs and tables. But it was a pretty good puddle and some mopping up to do under the sink. Never a dull moment.
On the road in the morning, again with drizzle and clouds, headed up and across Indiana, bypassing Fort Wayne and into Michigan. We made it to Kalamazoo area rather early in the afternoon and set up at Fort Custer State Recreation Area. It was a really nice site in a pretty empty campground. We had filled our water tank in Wapakoneta, since this was electric only. Since the weather cleared, we took Kodi for a walk around the trails and nearby lake. We were surprised to see trumpeter swans in the lake, feeding among the pond grasses. Kinda cool. The fields were filled with purple asters and milkweed stems that were releasing their silky seeds. Not much fall color yet, but we are hopeful.
Of course the highlight of this stop was going to be a visit to Bell’s brewery – in this case their Eccentric Cafe in Kalamazoo. But before we got as far as Bell’s we found Arcadia Ale Brewing and pulled in to see what they had on tap. What a great spot! The tap room opened up to a wide garden area with outdoor seating along the Kalamazoo River. Although it was still cloudy and a bit drizzly, it was still a wonderful afternoon sampling a flight of their scotch ale, stouts and a very tasty Michigan raspberry and blueberry witt.
Just across the river was Bell’s – not much from the outside but a very cool tap room inside. We ordered a flight each and a food order. Jackie had mostly stouts, I had some of their tap-room-only brews and liked a saison they featured from a local homebrewer. The Imperial Octoberfest was great with the meal, but Jackie loved their Brown Ale. Doug paired his beer with a grilled Michigan trout sandwich, Jackie had a burger with cherry jam and bacon. Good stuff all around.
Next day was another travel day further up the “mitten.” Another overcast start to the day as we headed up toward Grand Rapids. Unfortunately it was too early to stop at Founder’s Brewery – we just had to watch as we drove by. But as we rolled over the hills and farmland, we spotted a harvested cornfield that naturally had plenty of Canada geese. But in the midst of them was a pair of Sandhill cranes . Rrrrrrppp. Stop the van. Get the shot. Get back in and keep going.
We were taking a 2-lane road through the country that had some really nice farms along the way. One was a field of gourds and pumpkins being harvested, others had self-serve farmstands at the end of the driveway. Nice. We also realized we would have time to stop in Frankfort just before checking in at our campground. Frankfort is a lovely town on Lake Michigan that looks like it would be very busy in the summer. The wide main street had plenty of room for the motorhome to park, so it was quite easy to stop and check out yet another brewery for a flight. Stormcloud Brewing had a nice patio and we had some nice beer. Oddly, our favorite was their Georgia brew with peaches and pecans. Actually better than similar ones we have had back home.
We pulled in to the Platte River Campground in the Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore and set up. Plenty of time to head up to see the dunes and shoreline of Lake Michigan. But more on that in the next post.
Thanks for keeping up with us as we head to New England and the coast of Maine in search of fall colors. Stay tuned for more.