LOCATION: Near Alpena, Michigan – on eastern side of the state
CAMPGROUND: Campers Cove RV. Water, electricity, bad firepit, crumbling picnic table, bad TV, so-so internet, nice bathrooms. Indoor pool. Marina. with pontoons, canoes, kayaks to rent. $34/night. 3 stars out of 5
WEATHER: Mostly cloudy. Rain in the evening
DISTANCE DRIVEN: 2 hours (++++ – see below)
We said good-bye to our little piece of heaven – 6 Mile Lake Campground. It has been a lovely 3-night stay here.
After about a half hour driving on country roads, our tire monitor started beeping and going crazy. I saw it nosedive from about 80 to 17 in seconds. I found a spot to pull over. Yes, indeedy…. Joy had a flat tire.
Since it is the 4th of July, and since we are out in the middle of nowhere, George decided he would have to change it himself. He got out his wimpy travel jack and surveyed the situation.
Meanwhile, I stood on the side of the not well-travelled road and waved to a man slowly passing us on a tractor. He stopped and asked us if we needed anything. We told him about the tire and he invited us to follow him about a half mile to his well-equipped garage. So we did.
If you are going to have a flat tire, then………..this is the place to have it! His garage/machine shop has every tool imaginable that one might need. And, it is neat as a pin. He has an RV and boat, so the driveway was paved and easy to maneuver around.
The kind man brought out his heavy-duty jack. He and George worked together, removing the spare tire, taking off the flat tire, and putting the spare on.
The culprit was a muffler hangar that had somehow had flipped up and punctured the tire. A little patch job won’t work here!
What luck that this happened near his shop and that he was there with his tools to help us!.
The man suggested that we stop in Gaylord, about 25 miles away at the Walmart to get a new tire. he thought it would be the only place open on this holiday. So after about a half hour, we were off again.
Gaylord experienced a bad tornado a few weeks ago, and we saw some of the damage as we entered town. Buildings like Hobby Lobby and others were totally smashed. It looked like the tornado had jumped around a lot.
Normally, I bad-mouth WalMart but today I sang its praises!
Not only did they have the tire (a kind of uncommon RV type), they had a mechanic ready to put it on. The friendly and seemingly competent (how would I know?) mechanic was efficient and eager to do everything George asked him to do.
Twenty minutes and $125 later, we were off again toward Alpena. Lots of beautiful wild flowers along the road.
We were a bit disappointed when we entered this RV park. It seems crowded, and not the kind of place we usually like. We couldn’t find the hook-ups, and then realized we have to share the box with 3 other sites. This meant that we had to back deep into the site in order for the cord to reach the post. We even had to move the neighbor’s clothesline! There had not been many options for this 4th of July holiday weekend when I booked it several months ago. On a positive note, we may rent one of their pontoons one day while we are here. We are about 6 miles from the town of Alpena and we will find things to do, I’m sure.
DINNER: All-American 4th of July dinner – brats, potato salad, and corn on the cob. Well actually brats and potato salad are really German; corn is Mexican. Right? But isn’t that what the USA is? A melting pot!
One brat was cheddar asparagus and the other jalapeno pepper. Super delicious. George started cooking them on the campfire, but it started to rain and the fire went out. We finished up in the trailer. I made my mother’s potato salad recipe that always turns out well, and the corn was super tasty. All quite a nice holiday meal.
BOOK: “Vanish” by Tess Gerritsen. This is one in a series about a female detective with a great personality. Always a good read. 4 stars out of 5