Traveling the last two days left me behind on posting. On Saturday morning, we started off with Donna’s famous banana pancakes made with just two ingredients – bananas and eggs. We eat them with a little maple syrup and a dollop of fresh ground peanut butter.
The rain in the forecast never materialized – it passed to the north of us. Donna went out for an 18-mile bike ride to check out Lake Cleary Regional Park. On the way back, she saw what looked liked a farmers’ market in downtown Prior Lake. Sure enough it was, but all the vendors were just breaking down. The market is open from 8am to noon every Saturday.
We took advantage of the dry weather and put the Traeger grill to use roasting a whole chicken. Donna rinsed the chicken, patted it dry, brushed it with olive oil and spiced it with salt and pepper inside. She added grated fresh garlic and put a cut lemon with a few sprigs of fresh rosemary inside. This is how she usually prepares the chicken to roast in the oven.
I preheated the grill on high for 10 minutes, then put the chicken on the rack at 450 degrees. An hour later, I added mixed veggies in a special grilling pan with holes in it. Donna cut up peppers, onions and asparagus and coated the mixture with oil before I put them on. After a total time of 75 minutes, we had a delicious roasted chicken and veggies.
Clean-up was a snap. I had lined the drip pan and bucket on the Traeger smoker/grill with aluminum foil before started. All I had to do was wipe down the grill, pull the foil and throw it away and wipe the pan. Simple. I like simple clean-up.
On Sunday morning, we pulled out of Dakotah Meadows RV Park and said goodbye to Prior Lake, Minnesota. We crossed the Mississippi River on I-94 and were in Wisconsin. We left I-94 at the junction of US29. We followed this almost to Wausau before we headed north toward Merrill.
The terrain was a series of rolling hills, never flat. As we drove north on US51, there was a steady stream of vehicles in the southbound lane – cars and trucks pulling trailers with ATVs and boats along with many RVs. Everyone was heading back to the city after a weekend up north.
We took a break at a truck stop and Donna fixed lunch for us. That’s one of the nice things about a motorhome. We can stop and eat, use the restroom and move on without even leaving the coach.
We finally found ourselves driving east on US8 after Nally (our Rand-McNally RVND7720 GPS) directed us along a few lightly traveled county roads. It wasn’t the route I would have chosen looking at a map, but it was interesting drive.
Ozark was in her plastic carrier crate and she wasn’t happy about it. She took a couple of short naps, but spent most of the time vocalizing her displeasure with rolling down the road. I think the crate is the best thing for her though. She isn’t freaked out by the motion and going crazy, just complaining. I don’t know if cats ever get to be good travelers.
We covered about 300 miles of fairly easy driving before we found a wayside park west of Armstrong Creek that we had read about. It had a large lane for parking RVs or trucks with trailers. Overnight parking in rest areas is allowed in Wisconsin, so we set up for the night. We only put out the bedroom slide on the curb side to keep from having a car hit a slide on the street side in the night.
I went outside to check things in the trailer and found the area thick with mosquitoes. Donna put on plenty of insect repellent before she went for a power walk down a forest service road.
In the morning, I went outside to do my usual walk-around before hitting the road. I like to look everything over and make sure all is as it should be before we roll. It had rained in the night and the mosquitoes were out in force. I came inside and swatted 12 mosquitoes on my arms and legs, number 13 was on my face and number 14 got away.
We continued east. Once again, Nally directed us to a little used county road to shortcut our path to US2. The county road was fine at first. Once we crossed the Michigan state line, the road surface immediately deteriorated. Michigan’s reputation for poor road conditions is well-deserved. On this section, we saw more deer than people. My friend Jim Birditt would probably say, “That’s not a bad thing.”
We stopped for fuel at Hermansville and continued east on US2. This route took us through Michigan’s Upper Peninsula along the north shore of Lake Michigan. After 230 miles on the road, we checked in to the Lakeside Park Campground on Lake Michigan about 3 miles west of St. Ignace, where I’m typing this. We lost an hour along the way as we are now in the Eastern Time zone.
Ozark was much better about traveling this time. She spent most of the time napping in her crate and only cried out when Donna would get up or start talking to me. Maybe she’ll adjust to traveling after all.
Donna took a walk along the northeastern shore of Lake Michigan and shot a few photos. I’ve been having a problem with my foot since being bitten by a bug in Texas and have limited my walking while it heals.
We didn’t unpack the grill from the trailer since this is just an overnight stop. Donna prepared tilapia piccata and a veggie medley of oven roasted parsnips, carrots and beets. Like most root crops, beets are full of nutrients but I’m not a fan – they taste too earthy to me.
Today we are road warriors again making the drive across the Mackinac Bridge south through the state to Addison Oaks County Park in Oakland Township – our old stomping grounds. Addison Oaks is one of the first places we stayed in when we started RVing. So much has happened in the two years since then. It’s the time warp I’ve mentioned before. When we think of all the places we’ve been and the things we’ve experienced, we have to wonder how it could all happen in just two years.