Thursday, August 05, 2010

Monday August 2nd was departure day and we left at about 10:00 am, heading West toward Sarnia, Ontario and border crossing into Michigan.

The trip was uneventful except for a very long delay at the border. We were going to stay overnight at Camping World just outside Detroit, but decided to go to a Passport America campground instead. So we called Walnut Hills Family Campground and booked in there. The Passport America price is $15 a night which was great. In the end we decided to stay 2 nights.

Walnut Hills Family Campground is a very big campground in the town of Durand, Michigan. There are a lot of seasonal campers and a few overnight sites. The swimming pond did not look too inviting, but for $15 per night, who can complain! The washrooms (showers and toilets) were immaculate and quite new. The showers were free and hot. No laundry. No internet. The sites are very close together and have water and electricity. For an extra fee you can have the honey sucker come and empty your black and grey tanks. It was stinking hot and so humid, so it was nice to have electricity and that air conditioner on the motor home worked almost solidly for 36 hours! The amount of water that ran off the roof from the AC was like a fountain it was so humid. Not surprising as we were about ½ way between Lakes Huron and Michigan.

Tuesday, August 3rd. We took advantage of our day off and drove up to Frankenmuth. This is a small town in Michigan which was settled by Lutheran missionaries from Bavaria. The Bavarian buildings have been preserved (and added to, I suspect). It is very pretty and we spent the day wandering around, looking at all the touristy stores, eating ice cream and drinking coffee. There are fudge stores where you can get free samples, so we took advantage of this and treated ourselves many times over with taffy, chocolate and cheese samples. Who needs to buy treats??

Back to the campground for a quiet night and a fish and chips dinner.

Wednesday, August 4th We left the campground at Durand at about 1030 after having some difficulty getting the car hitched up. The campground road was so uneven that it took a couple if tries before the arms of the Blue Ox finally snapped into place.

A pretty boring trip to Indiana where the plan was to camp at Indiana Dunes State Park. As soon as we crossed the state line from Michigan into Indiana we stopped at the Visitor Centre and phoned the State Park who told us they were full. The other alternative was the Indiana National Dunes Lakeshore. We got lost trying to find the National Park and asked for directions at a nearby restaurant. The barmaid gave us directions, which turned out to be to the State Park. We stopped at the Administrative offices who very kindly phoned the State Park office and found out that there had been a cancellation and that there was a site for us. Hooray!! We proceeded to the gate and they gave us a site which turned out to be right next to the “Comfort Station” (Showers and wash basins and toilets). Fine with us. It was so hot and humid that we immediately plugged in and turned on the AC!

Indiana Dunes State Park Review

Cost: $10 just to get into the State Park and then $17.50 per day to camp.

Sites: level concrete pads with electricity, 15 to 50 watt. Very nice and not too close to each other.

Amenities: Large Comfort Stations with hot showers. No charge.

Beach: Beautiful white sandy beach on Lake Michigan. Large old pavilion built in art deco style in 1926. Nearby large smoke stacks, belching smoke.

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