I used to like the sound of trains...

July 9, 2017 - Van Riper State Park, Michigan, United States

One of the challenges when pointed in the homeward direction is to still enjoy the journey.  We were up and out of camp by 7:35 a.m.  As Bill drove down the road I checked out the map for any “points of interest”.  Sure enough, by 8:45 a.m. we were in Rugby, North Dakota at the “Geological Center of North America”.  Who knew? Geographical Center of North America

At 3:25 p.m. our little RAV4 turned over 120,000 miles; one day short of the 5-year anniversary of my purchase.  That’s only 24,000 miles a year.  We were pushing to add some more miles to her this day.  The trip home from Glacier seems to take forever!


We were in Wisconsin by 4:45 and shortly after, crossing the Michigan state line.  I was ready to set up camp.  We came upon a sign for Bond Falls that indicated camping was available.  Only problem was, it did not indicate how far down the road we’d have to go.  I committed to five miles; but then I did keep going until we reached a sign that indicated 3 more miles.  We pulled into the parking area for Bond Falls but found no camping.  Neither one of us had ever been to Bond Falls so we figured we might as well take a look.  They were lovely.  I was reminded of how beautiful Michigan is.  There are a lot more waterfalls to be explored; especially in the U.P.  We did find the campground but it was operated by the power company.  Directions were sketchy so we decided to push on to Van Riper State Park, 30 miles west of Marquette.  The deer on the roadways were making me really nervous.  We passed several groups consisting of a doe with twin fawns.  Aw, they’re so cute!  I’d just hate to hit any one of them.  Michigan has so many deer!Bond Falls


We arrived at the park about 9:45 EST.  We finally settled on a site and set up camp amid a feeding frenzy of Michigan mosquitoes!  Someone at the previous campground had just asked me how long it took us to set up our popup.  My response was, “Depends on whether or not it’s raining.”  Well, edit that to, “Depends on whether or not we’re in the U.P. with man-killing, blood-sucking mosquitoes!”  We are pretty efficient.


Once we got the popup up, we discovered that all of the contents of the fridge had again spilled out.  Our plan for a late dinner of delicious dogs was dashed!  Everything had a very bad smell about it.  Instead, I dug around in the cupboard and produced (dum-da-da-dah) Mexican escalloped potatoes!  I fried up a can of potatoes; added in some onion, severely wilted cheese, and well-preserved salsa; for a most delectable dish.  It worked.  We had still not adjusted to the “normal” time so after dinner we played a couple hands of poker.  Bill won all the marbles.


Just before heading to bed and reverberating across Lake Michigamme at 11:00 p.m. was the loudest train whistle I’d heard to date.  “Are you kidding me?” I asked Bill.  He attempted to assure me that it was probably the last run of the night.



Geographical Center of North America
Bond Falls
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