Well…our last night in Hanna IN we went about 3 miles northeast from Last Resort Campground headed to the White Horse Saloon in Union Mills…which is even smaller than Hanna…basically the whole downtown is 1 block long. Nonetheless…the White Horse was our kinda place…friendly people, cold beer…although we had to have an ale since they don’t have nay dark beer. We had Old Style Ale which is a local brew and even though it’s a pale lager it’s actually pretty darned good. To go along with it we had some Nacho’s with pulled pork and some tater tots. Mighty nice…and we were able to get back to the campground without going on any road with cars…just a couple of country roads to get there.
Thursday morning June 30…we headed off for a couple of weeks…first stop was Frankfort MI which is on the west side of the lower peninsula right on the shore and pretty close to the top of the lower peninsula. We pulled into Frankfort Crystal Lake Campground 290 miles later and got quickly set up in site 9…our hosts Paul and Stevie are friendly guys. We have a nice back in full hookup site with a concrete pad.
That night…we headed off for dinner to the Bayview Grill…it’s right in downtown on the water front. We had a couple of brews…Horny Monk which turned out to be an IPA and a little hoppy for us so we split it and each drank half of the nasty stuff. Our other one was a dark ale that I can’t remember the name of right now…which is very dark like a stout but a texture and taste more like a brown ale. After that we had a couple of Bells Brown Ale which was good as well. We wanted more of the dark brew…but had the last bottle on our first round so we had had to pick something else. Dinner was crab cakes…an appetizer for Connie and sandwich for Neil. Both were pretty good although not up to the standard set by the places over on the Chesapeake Bay in MD.
Friday we just lounged around the house…sat outside under the shade and did pretty much nuttin. Dinner was a flatbread we bought from Walmart and baked…it was pretty good for store bought.
Saturday we set off on our first Fun Stuff© of the week…a trip over to Mount Pleasant MI to visit the campus of Central Michigan University (Connie got her Master’s degree from them via the extension campus in the DC area)…she figured we should visit since she had a diploma. Neil couldna cared less about it…but you know the old saying…happy wife, happy life. He was ready to get out and do something and that was as good as anything else. Our trip encompassed about 250 miles total…southwest from Frankfort to Mount Pleasant then west to a little town named Pentwater…a quaint little town on the lake where we had lunch at a place named The Brown Bear. The highlight of The Brown Bear was that they had a cask of an old brew named Andy Ale…Neil took a picture of it and sent it to his internet buddy Andy Ihnatko.
We also some shots of Connie at the school and of the library inside and outside…the library was the only campus resource she used during her degree program.
And a shot of the Lake Michigan shoreline and one of the entrance to Frankfort harbor.
Sunday was church…and then we sort of went on a drive up to the Dunes National Seashore. Actually we only made it about 10 miles before we gave up…the traffic was just too bad and there were waaaay too many people there for us…but then it was Independence Day weekend. We were headed out that way again on Tuesday so decided to just skip it and come home. Dinner was some grilled chicken…Neil marinated it with some Indian/curry spices and we had one of our favorite sides with it…cous cous with goodies. Cous cous is just really small pasta…we whipped up a little concoction of sautéed onions, bacon, and chopped mushrooms…added in some dried cranberries, chopped pecans and coconut…and mixed it with the cous cous. Mighty tasty.
Monday was July 4th…and we had already made the decision not to go anywhere…just too darn many people no matter where you went…we had tried on Sunday to visit the Stormcloud Brewery in downtown Frankfort and had to give up as no parking places were to be found. So…we just sat around, rested in the shade…and then for dinner had grilled corn on the cob with lime-hot sauce-cilantro butter on it and some marinated/grilled country ribs. For those of you who like ribs on the grill…you should try you out some country ribs. They have very little bone content compared to your traditional side of ribs or spare ribs…but more meat and the same flavor. Lots of fat of course…but then ribs always have lots of fat and I said they tasted good…not that they were healthy. Neil marinated them overnight before they were grilled and slathered them (that’s a southern term) with sauce made of some bottled BBQ sauce, olive oil, balsamic vinegar and beer…mighty tasty and we have leftovers for one night this week. Had a couple of wine coolers while we sat in the shade and grilled…and since it was July 4th had a Kentucky Bourbon Barrel Stout with dinner. Dessert was Blueberry Crisp with whipped cream…one of our fave homemade desserts.
Tuesday we set off early for our second Fun Stuff© day…a trip northwards along the shore of the lake to Northpoint then south to Traverse City where we had lunch scheduled…although it turned out to be a really late lunch at 1500 which meant we skipped dinner. We ended up at the Workshop Brewery where we had really great beer…Plumb Bob American Stout then we had just a taste of their Wrecking Ball Bourbon Barrel Aged Imperial Porter. I could go on for the next two paragraphs about the differences between stout and porter…but I’ll spare ya from that…suffice it to say that both are dark and heavy…and delicious. We actually liked the Plumb Bob better…the Wrecking Ball tasted great but it was strongly bourbon flavored and drinking a whole pint of it would just be too much…it’s more of an after dinner sort of brew and a little glass of it would be plenty. Late lunch was a couple of pulled pork sandwiches…which were pretty good considering that we’re in northern Michigan…but would only have been average BBQ in the south. We did have some adventures in parking Big Red in downtown Traverse City…it turned out there was some sort of Cherry Festival going on this week and there were a lot of people in town. We finally found a public parking lot with a space and Neil got Big Red into it although he did need Connie to help guide him in as there wasn’t a lot of room to spare.
Some shots along the way…the Betsie Point Lighthouse.
Then we were up at the Dunes National Lakeshore…this is Sleeping Bear Dune from the old Indian days.
And some more shots of the shoreline, dunes, and a little covered bridge we went over on a driving loop through the Lakeshore.
This dune is about 250-300 feet high and according to the signs you could get down in 5 minutes but it takes 2 hours to climb back up. If you fall off and injure yourself…there’s a huge rescue fee you get charged for the local emergency folks to drag you back up the dune.
It turned out that Workshop Brewery was Connie’s original choice…but she didn’t think they opened until 1500…so we tried Mackinaw Brewery instead as a second choice…but it was jam packed with yuppies going to the festival. So we walked down the street and were actually headed for North Peak Brewing as our third choice…they didn’t have very good reviews on their food. Saw the sign for Workshop and it was almost 1500 so we headed that way instead. Turned out they actually opened at 1200 so all was good.
After late lunch we headed home arriving right about 1700 and settled down for the evening. Had a little leftover wine from the 4th…Connie caught up her fantasy bike racing team stats and we watched TV until bedtime.
Wednesday will be work for Connie and laundry for Neil…followed by either dinner at Stormcloud Brewery or leftover ribs…then Thursday morning we’ve moving about 250 miles southeast to Ortonville MI right outside Detroit. The attraction there is that Macomb MI is close by and lots of Neil’s ancestors are buried there…so we’re going to (well, actually Connie is going…Neil’s just the bus driver) check it out.
Interesting Stuff found on the net this week.
Funny…I thought it was just about perfect.
For those of you who are still doing the whole work thing…think of this the next time you’re having a bad day at the office.
Happy Independence Day.
Nice sunset and storm.
Finally…what do bears do in the woods?