Thursday, September 03, 2009

Orchard Beach State Park, Michigan

Relentless in his determination to make it to the UP, Morty went further north on Thursday, September 3, 2009 to Orchard Beach. We could have stayed longer in Muskegon, but now have an impromptu mini-class reunion date in Painesville OH on the 24th, so excessive dallying is now not on the program.
Lynne made breakfast, and generally got us ready to clean up and hit the road. This process exposed some peaches with bad spots that were just purchased yesterday.
And that was all it took to put out a general quarters alert to all the fruit flies in two and half counties. We promptly disposed of all suspect fruit at the sanitation station on the way out of the park, but that still left about three dozen or so fruit flies who now thought of the bathroom as their weekend get-away. We tried opening the bedroom window as we drove to encourage them to look elsewhere.
As the anxiety over the propane indicators grew, we finally passed a dealer who was open and pulled in. A couple of ladies in the office, said that there was no one there to work the equipment - all the men were out training - but another dealer was just a couple of miles up the road. So we found the second dealer, with even more office personnel holding down the fort. Here there was also an operator, but he was occupied in selling a furnace to an extended family that all seemed to be present and mightily involved in the buying decision. So it was nearly a half hour wait for that sale to be completed. I busied my self with a damp dishrag mass extermination of fruit flies that had set up housekeeping in our little bathroom. The little buggers were inordinately drawn to the plastic mirrors, and that made the process pretty easy. In any event, the flies were mostly dispatched by the time the propane pumper was ready to pump. Our six-gallon tank, that was indicating both 3/8 and 2/3 full on the exterior and interior meters respectively, took 3.9 gallons. That leaves 2.1 gallons left in the tank. This means that the accuracy award goes to the exterior indicator since 2.1/.375=5.6 while 2.1/.66=3.2!
Before the propane anxiety could recede adequately, reservation anxiety was taking center stage. The new campground had space available for only one night. So we picked a spot, and settled in, then promptly got online to find a site for the beginning of the holiday weekend. Must avoid the disgrace of camping in the Wal-Mart for the holiday. Our first choice, Traverse City, was full, so we tried Interlochen.  Success, we had to book two nights, and pay a slightly exorbitant reservation fee of $8, but that job also got done. So now it's fairly certain that we will be at that park on Friday and Saturday evenings.
Cell phone service here comes and goes, so there is some question about when we can post this update. At least we are not stranded here, not that there's any thing wrong with that. Today's beach walk was awesome; it was down about four stories of extremely steep stairs from our campsite.  The sand was brown and rough, with extremely many pebbles to keep your feet on their feet. The pictures are fairly accurate. The water was mostly very clear, certainly not what you expect of a lake in which the water comes, and doesn't leave for over 100 years.
Turns out the fruit fly campaign was less successful that initially thought. Lynne, though came up with the ingenious solution of using the handi-vac to suck them up to release on the outside. Now we are making real progress...

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