Monday, August 31, 2009
Ionia State Recreation Area, MI
Last night we tried out the furnace for the first time as the temperature plunged to 40 degrees - in August! If global warming is real, then what about this part of the globe? At least the magical propane tank continues to fuel the three appliance that we need it for - refrigerator, hot water heater and furnace. Still have yet to turn on either the range or oven, since the microwave does such a good job at minimizing the hassle of food prep. The tank gauge is showing more than 3/8 full, while the coach lights indicate 2/3 full.
Today, we found the Ionia - the Holy Grail of camping. A perfect campground, sparsely occupied, in an absolutely beautiful setting, with perfect weather, state of the art plumbing, and we are situated just off the end of a country landing strip with sail planes. We almost ditched this destination when we found another casino was just about as far for today's jaunt. But Lynne pointed out that I was probably more interested in the buffet than the gambling, and she was right. So we continued on our original plan to Ionia.
Along the way, we detoured through Grand Ledge to pick up supplies at a Meijer. Wow, event that was an experience. Much bigger store that what we are used to in Ohio, with larger selections, and very noticeably fresher, cleaner, and better organized. But then we are getting close to home base for the Meijers's. Here is obviously where the brightest and fastest rising stars in store management come home to roost.
We bought a 3 liter box of Chardonnay wine for cocktails and dining. This replaced a somewhat strange chillable red that, at 5 liters, seemed to be lasting a really long time. We also took advantage of a half-price sale on Lean Cuisine - a welcome change from the steamer meals that had been a regular. Then just had to stock up on the orange pumice hand cleaner. The $3 bottle was on sale, but so was the $5 dollar jug, then we found the keg for $6. Lynne dutifully un-shopped the smaller bottle so I could have a 15 year supply right at hand in our traveling garage.
To set up camp here, we pulled just about everything out from Morty's garage: the recliners, camp chairs, bikes and helmets. Then we rode down to the lake and looked around a the fishing and picnic area - deserted. Then we pedaled on over to the beach and found some other users. The 800 foot sandy beach, had one couple and a single taking a little sun in basically street clothes. The college intern who checked us in to the campground was on his last day of vacation before returning to school to study natural resource management - he might have just been filling in while the regular was out to lunch. We saw him again mowing the grass around the bathhouse at the beach.
I am anxious for darkness, so that I can work on some more dark sky photos. The sky has been perfectly clear today, and I am hoping that it will hold into the night, even though we are supposed to plunge back into the forties again. It's starting to look like we will want to spend another day here before moving on to the western shore of Lake Michigan. At least here, we have a local propane dealer right in town if we suddenly find out that we have to be a lot more pessimistic in interpreting our propane gauges! He might even make house calls.