Thanks to Maria and Bree's excitement for raising their Monarch 'Parker', she got us interested into raising a few of our own. We found a few eggs and small cats, and began. I tell you what, there is a LOT to learn, but OH, so VERY fun! I have the description on each of the photos.
A piece of info. It is illegal to cross state lines with any kind of monarch in any stage. For that reason, we have to make sure we do this process only in MI while we're here. They will all be released by the end of August so they stay in their home area.
We have been wanting to stay here for a while. At the last minute though, we decided to reserve an electric site instead of depending on an open spot at a dispersed campground. Mostly because we're larger. We're glad we did, as it got pretty cold at night, so we were able to use our fireplace to keep warm instead of propane.
The site at Energy Lake Campground was awesome! Site 7 gave us a 100 degree view of the lake. Site #9 would be best if you're interested. It's for larger rigs, and provides a GREAT view of the lake at the top of the hill.
We visited the Nature Center Zoo during our stay, and their animals were all found on the peninsula and are being rehabilitated or are injured and cannot be released.
Stay Details: Energy Lake Campground - North/east side on Land Between the Lakes, Kentucky. There are a LOT of areas on the peninsula that are dispersed camping, but only 3 campgrounds that are more modern with electric and water. This being one of them.
Out site was #7, but if we stay here again we will reserve #9. All on this loop have beautiful views of the lake, and the campground has spacious, well cared for sites.
Since City of Rocks is a really dark campground, we took advantage of that and had some fun with the telescope. It was a cold evening (34 degrees), but no breeze so it was doable. During the telescope setup, an owl came to visit in a nearby tree! So, we aimed the telescope at him. How pretty!
Before heading out for the day of sightseeing, Mark filled in as Docent for one tour because they were short-handed. It gave me an opportunity to take some photos of him doing what he LOVES to do; teaching others. Here are some photos of Mark's tour and some beautiful views of Sedona.
Honanki Heritage Site is Palatki's sister site. However, the archeologists have only found proof of the Sinagua people being there and no prior archaic people like they did at Palatki. Even though the archeologists documented over 1200 pictograph images, they do not study it anymore because of all the graffiti has covered up much of the history in a few short years. You can still see the pictographs and the dwelling very well, but because of this, the site is open to visitors without a docent and no reservations are required.
Here are photos of Honanki Heritage Site....
The Chapel of the Holy Cross has been an icon of Sedona since 1956. It has been on our "to-see" list for a while, and it does indeed have a gorgeous view of the valley and nearby mountains! If you plan a visit here, know that the parking spots are pretty small.
Last but not least, is some extra photos around Palatki. Some views from the grotto, along with sunset views and some animals we caught on our night camera. It was a Mule Deer and Hooded Skunk.
Stopped over to see Katie & the family before heading west. This was the 2nd camping trip we've had with them this year and we always have a blast (like we do with the other kids).. This time, the weather was beautiful except for some tiny bit of rain in the morning, and everyone had a great time. In the morning we went to the zoo, and Sunday Mark went to see the kids sing in church, then helped Tony with the car in the afternoon. I stayed back with a sick me and sick Pica, but felt better the next morning.
Stay details: Charlestown State Park; Charlestown, IN - Site 141
Notes: We choose this campground close to Katie because it has large sites where we have plenty of room to put multiple tents. The sites are electric only and have no sewer or water at the sites. There are water spigots around the campgrounds, and the shower houses are clean and well taken care of. The playground is in the main loop and has a climbing gym and swings.
Ruth & Darrell invited us to the fair before we left. It was large, beautifully set up, and had a lot of wonderful events. Here are some highlights from the fair:
Up near the top of the U.S., we took the higher route to Maine so we didn't have to go straight through the mountains. This allowed us more time to see things we've never seen before.
Robert Moses State Park was full of beauty. From the beach, the marina, and the locks.. Nice biking trails allowed us to get to all the places around the island, but most of all, it was really cool to see the locks so close.
The videos below, two of a time-lapse of a ship going through the locks. The other was what we think was a drunk skunk (on mushrooms maybe?) going through our campsite.
Stay Details: Robert Moses State Park; Maseena NY - Site 241
Notes: Nice campground near a beach and most sites have lake access, but it's a small walk away from the campsites. The dum station is in the other campground loop. The bath houses were nice and upgraded, and each of the sites have decent room. The island has great bike riding areas, and nice access to 2 dams and power centers.
If we were to stay in the area again, we would recommend the Long Sault Loop on sites 187-192, which are water front sites with views of the ships going through the locks.
It was difficult to find a campground on the west side of the state, so we settled for a lesser-known one, Orchard Beach State Park. I'm really glad we did though, because our site was absolutely beautiful and we found several treasures in the area.
- Lake Bluff Bird Sanctuary: Just a few miles from our place, this little haven is home to the only 3 Giant Sequoia's in Michigan. They Grey family brought 6 of them from CA in 1938 and planted the seeds on their farm in Manistee. Three are left today, and all are here at this bird sanctuary/farm
- Arcadia Marsh Preserve. 15 miles north of Orchard Beach, this 305-acre preserve is home to 231 bird species (17 endangered), 28 fish species, and 201 plant species. It was a beautiful and serene boardwalk stroll in the morning before it was too hot.
- Orchard Beach Trail is a 2-mile trail just outside the campground. It was a beautiful walk in the woods and some meadows. We would highly recommend this walk for exercise and time to unwind.
- Manistee Bay and Lighthouses. Must take a quick tour through town and visit the lighthouses. To our surprise, the city beach here is a dog beach! Even though Pica chose to stay behind on this hot day, now we know where to take her for some fun. It was a fun walk with some cool shots for a night without the pup. There is also a Riverwalk on the south side of the river if you're interested.
Stay Details: Orchard Beach State Park; Manistee MI
*Note: This very large and active campground is a very well-kept campground with a lot of recent upgrades due to its beach erosion in 2019. They are still relocation the main pavilion and steps going to the beach, so don't expect the beach to be open yet. Most sites are tight and made for group camping. We were lucky enough to get a large pull-through site that gave us a pretty good view of the lake. Sites provide 50a electric only, so fill up your water before finding your site.
Just a quick stop here because it's an affiliate park without our home membership resort. It has a lot of ammenities, and best yet is that they are all open! Even the hot tub!
We parked on lot VS3, so we are in the front opposite of the lake, very near the pool. Mark just LOVES the pool! While here, we got some laundry done, played miniature golf, swam, took a lot of walks, and got some paperwork and cleaning done.
We have an upcoming appointment with the Grand Design (our RV factory), so get some warranty work, so we want all the Arizona dust removed. lol!!
The worst part of our stay was getting stuck in the rain while on a walk. Well, Pica didn't like it, it got her bloomers wet. Ha!
We would definitely recommend this campground, even if it's for a membership. They take good care of their grounds, and are even building more campsites on the other side of the park. There are a lot of friendly geese here, fishing allowed, playground, miniature golf, a large clubhouse, and an absolutely beautiful pool.
From FL to Myrtle Beach, had to find an overnight stay. After almost 7 hours of driving, we stopped at this precious little gem. MUCH better than a truck stop, don't you think?? :-)
Before leaving in the morning, we walked 3 miles on the trails (listed below), then rode our bikes about 12 miles on the other trails. We saw over 20 alligators, numerous birds (herons and Anhingas), a lot of frogs and unfortunately, numerous deer flies that drove us nuts. However, surprisingly we did not encounter many mosquitos here during this visit.
Stay Details: Santee Coastal Reserve, McClellanville, SC
* This is a small FREE campground in a beautiful reserve which lies inside the Francis Marion National Forest. The campground is total dry camping, meaning there is no bathrooms, water or garbage for people. You have to be totally self-contained. There are about 8 sites that are First Come, First Serve, and there were 3 left when we arrived. There were several beautiful trails in the area, a boardwalk over the marsh, and the possibility of seeing quite a few different animals. We walked the Marshland Trail, the rode our bikes on the Cape Trail and Eldorado Trail.
* The Eldorado Trail leads to the ruins of the Eldorado Plantation which was build in 1797, was hit with a canon ball during the Civil War, then ended up burning to the ground years later. It was a very interesting piece of history.