We are comfortable and resting at my mom’s home in Midland, Michigan, enjoying a second helping of the autumn season we just left a couple of weeks ago in Alaska, this one’s colors much more flamboyant.
After the adventures of Pink Mountain, we had less travail as we eased down into the plains of Alberta and our outlook improved at pace with our gas mileage. We no longer had as many issues with the water lines wanting to freeze up at night, driving became more enjoyable under better conditions and we settled back into our daily routines.
We spent our last night in Canada at a pretty little RV park outside of Fort MacLeod named the Daisy May Campground, where we easily backed into two spots next to the Oldman River. We did have a bit of hassle getting gas at the Costco in Calgary the previous day, with none of our cards working at the gas pump and a couple of trips in and out of the store to get cash and then to buy a store card to use. But none of the other people waiting to buy gas honked at us, so it was all good.
We passed back into the States without any issues and continued on into Shelby, Montana. We said our farewells to Sue, who would be continuing on to Great Falls that afternoon and then to her home and husband in Arizona. I don’t think that we would have had such a good trip through the wilds of Canadia without her and we were sad to part ways.
While in Shelby we visited with our friend Sandra and had a nice lunch with her and were also joined by her daughter and granddaughter, who brought a large bag of clothes for us to bring for Erabella. After lunch we stopped by O’Haire Manor, where Robert had taken photos of the neon room lights several years earlier when our daughter Katie had her wedding in Shelby, and had become friends with the proprietress, Angela.
Off we went, heading east. By the time we hit the far eastern side of North Dakota, we could see the landscape becoming more forested. Most of the leaves had fallen but colors were still evident as we traveled. We spent one night in Bemidji, Minnesota in a sweet little campground nestled in the trees appropriately named Royal Oaks RV Park. Very pleasant. I think we could be enticed to relocate to this part of the country, and the Upper Peninsula of Michigan as well. We weren’t as impressed with Wisconsin as much for some reason. Maybe just because it’s Wisconsin.
Oh! In Bemidji we found some of the most delicious mocha we’ve had on the trip. It was soooo good we decided to track down more of it while we were in Duluth, since it’s a small chain, Dunn Bros Coffee. Well, it wasn’t quite as good at the second location but I guess it’s only going to be as good as the barista makes it. (Male or female, they are a barista. It’s Italian, not Spanish. Just found this out.)
In the Northwoods, there are trees, trees, trees. So beautiful, dark and deep, I would look out the window as Robert drove and my eyes would try to wander down the many dirt paths we passed as we rushed by. The green pines interrupted by flashes of color from oak, larch and maple, with poplar and birch chiming in, especially as we neared Lake Michigan.
The atv we had been carrying in the back of the trailer was finally delivered in Iron Mountain, which is so close to the Wisconsin/Michigan border, I had to look up exactly which state it’s actually in (Michigan). We spent an uncomfortably short night in the Walmart parking lot there, woke up to the low battery alarm a couple times, truckers pulling in for a snooze, and when lightning and thunder woke up Moonlight with a start, we wearily packed up and left at the next series of low power beeps. Sans coffee, even.
We drove for a few hours and found a rest stop on the shoreline of the Lake. We took Moonlight out for a run-around on the beach then took a nap for a couple of hours, and so freshened up we started out once more.
When we got to the Mackinac Bridge, it was pretty well socked in with fog but I took a couple pictures as we went over anyway, and the fog dissipated as we made our way inland towards Midland. The foliage was stunning. We were exhausted. But we made it to my mom’s house, who had dinner waiting for us….and it was still hot.