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Tuesday, August 28, 2012

More about the camping trip. And a few pictures...

...pictures of what I wrote about in the previous post.

So, the campsite was nice, and we had great weather the whole trip. It wouldn't have mattered if it rained because that would just have made the off-road trails all the more fun. The camp kitchen, tent, and Ruby are all in this picture. So is Cindy.

You could always tell when you were driving on one of the main roads in the area because there were road signs..Hahahahahahahahahaha!

...OK, it isn't as bad as it looks. This is actually one of the best roads we were on that wasn't paved. The actual road does curve sharply left, and the road that continues straight ahead is a National Forest road which quickly deteriorates. The main difference is that the named roads are mostly passable, and the forest roads may be passable in four wheel drive with high wheel clearance. The question is: If a tree falls in the National Forest, and it lands on a road, will they remove it this year, or next year, or just let you drive around it through the woods and make a new curve in the road. Really! Anyway, this was a good road, so good in fact that it was named "Good Road". It was even in the Jeep's GPS system. Go figure! At one point we actually got Ruby up into 3rd gear. Three out of six ain't bad!

Yes!, Ruby has a six-speed manual transmission ... so with a 2-speed transfer case and low range that makes for 12 speeds forward, and 2 in reverse, with a couple of neutrals thrown in here and there. My doctor guesses I will have trouble driving the manual before I actually have trouble driving. I hope he is right! So far ...so good. With all that she is really easy to drive, and can go just about anywhere you dare to try, on the road, or off.

I was afraid my passenger might get bored hanging on for dear life bouncing around the seat next to me dodging occasional branches, so I coerced her into driving for a while. Ruby really is easy to drive, and very comfortable all things considered. Imagine my pleasant surprise a few minutes later when we were bouncing up a rutted hillside road, tires churning the dirt, as this woman giggled hysterically fists clenched on the wheel.

Did you notice that the rut in the road she is standing in is waist deep? It is hard to tell in the picture, but there was about a 30 inch drop off. Ruby didn't even spin a tire.

What great fun!

She is driving. I was taking the picture to prove it! This is a typical good part of one of the park's seasonal roads. They call them that because they just give up, and close them all when the weather gets bad.

We had many places where we had to turn around because the road ended, or there was a huge tree fallen across the road with no way around it. Sometimes the road just kept getting worse, and worse, and disappeared. Once the road just went right into a swamp. I think the road stopped a couple hundred yards before we did. It finally just got too rough, and there was no track to follow, and I could not see what was hidden in the tall weeds. But ...the trail continued to somewhere. I think there was an old saw mill back there somewhere, but I turned around before I got stuck. OK, there was really little danger of that, but I did finally have to use low range. That might just be a first!

We did not spend all of the time off-roading, but that was the most fun ...at least for me. I mentioned we explored the town. It was very picturesque in the "Historical Downtown District", but a little touristy.
The river walk along the Manistee River, in Manistee, Mi.

I spent a little time taking some pictures. There were plenty of flowers, and some other interesting scenery. The night in camp were cool. The temperature was around 80 degrees during the day, but dropped into the 50's at night. The campfire was welcomed, and were the Margaritas after a hard days play.

Our campsite at night. The light is from a Coleman Lantern.

One night, around two o'clock in the morning, and owl decided to give us a serenade from the tree above the tent. It screeched, whistled, hooted, and clucked for a while before moving on. From the sound of it , it was probably a Barred Owl, common in the park. We heard many different owls calling each night in the distance. Other than that, and the crickets, there was silence broken only by the faint sound of a car on the road a few miles away.  It was dark with no lights from any nearby city polluting the night sky, and the stars were amazing.
I adjusted this a little so it would show better on a computer, but the sky was black, and the stars ...the stars!

I wish I was there right now!

Comments are welcome

1 comment:

  1. Wow! Ruby must have jiggled your brain a bit. Possible treatment? Wouldn't that be nice...