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 always love arriving at the Grand Haven resort. It's a campground that's part of our membership, so we can stay up to 3 weeks for free. This year will be the first year that we're utilizing our park-hopper upgrade, so we'll see how that goes.
For my note, we stayed on site 226 this year, but we'd prefer 225 next time. We love NOT being under the trees. :-)
A quick trip to Grand Haven is always fun, and even though it was still a little cold, we enjoyed the pier walk with new concrete! :-)
A few photos of one of our favorite parks.. The resort is one of the oldest owned by Outdoor Adventures, and they purchased it from Yogi Bear parks. It has gorgeous trees, nicer spacious sites, and nice people. The amenities include a pool, putt putt, go carts, and a beautiful playground and activities.
Mark and dad went to Washington D.C. via the Amtrak train which took 13 hours each way. They definitely found out it was NOT ADA accessible enough to navigate where they wanted, but with Mark's help, they made it all work. It was a very treasured trip together. One of their main goals was the see the International Bible Museum. They were able to see hundreds of scrolls and bibles, along with the historical record of its preservation.
Back on Mother's, I planted a Lily for mom. It finally bloomed this week! :-)
During our stay at mom & dads, Mark's sister Beth made us a beautiful doily for our table. What an awesome job and a LOT of work!
As we were hooking up the RV in preparation for travel day, mom & dad came out to visit and watch. To them, it's amazing how far (and big) campers have gotten, but it was awesome for us to share all the information they wanted to know. We're starting to feel like pros at this! I was also very lucky to get this pretty awesome picture of them.
This was one of the best travel days yet. Neither of us got very much sleep though, so we were looking forward to taking a quick break at a rest area. Pica was tired too, as you can see her snoozing in her bicycle basket. At the rest area, the bedroom slide is in, so the foot of the bed is right against the dresser. Pica LOVES that spot because she can look out and stay on patrol. We had a beautiful cool breeze with very little traffic at the rest area, so it was quiet! Needless to say, it was a VERY good nap. :-)
OMG! I cannot express enough how much we enjoy our bi-annual camping trips with Katie, Tony and the kids, and this was no exception. We all decided to meet up at the Mammoth Cave to give the kids a new caving experience. The weather was super awesome (actually a little too warm), but the kids had their usual water time outside, and we all grilled, ate, and just got caught up on life.
The cave tour was the "Domes and Dripstones" tour. A 2-hour long moderate level tour that took us through a mile of cave. We enjoyed watching the kids see everything for the first time!
This is the 3rd cave we visited this year, and even though Mammoth is the largest, we still vote for Carlsbad as the prettiest. :-)
Thank you Katie & Tony for taking the time to come out and spend the night & day with us!
During our stay, on one of our trips to the garbage, we were stopped by a couple that wanted to talk about dogs.. This is pretty normal. What's not normal, was during that visit, another couple tapped us on the shoulder and told us that they had met us earlier this winter! Where? At Palatki Heritage Site! It was within our first week there, and we had really connected with them about camping and full-time RV living. We met up several more times during this stay, but how AWESOME to meet up with such a wonderful couple after touring half the country and five months later! I sure hope we get to visit with them more! Thank you so much Mark & Debbie for stopping to say HI! You definitely made our day! :-).
* Check out Mark & Debbie's website HERE!
Stay Details: Mammoth Cave Campground - Mammoth Cave, Kentucky. A dry-camping campground that has water available around each loop, and a dump station. It is a mere 10-minute walk from the Mammoth Cave visitor center which is where all tours depart. We chose site 82, which was a pull-through spot right next to the restrooms. It also gave us a very large site to house the clam tent, and 2 sleeping tents.
The campground itself has a lot of trees, so be prepared to have very little sun, or have a generator. We needed to use our generator twice each day even though we have 1000 watts of solar. Generator hours are 8am-8pm, and the campground is VERY quiet after that. Sites are large, restrooms are clean, and cell service is minimal, but we both had enough to upload these pictures. :-)
One of the volunteer things we wanted to do after Mayfield was hit by a severe tornado in December 2021, was to volunteer and help clean up or start rebuilding. We contacted several agencies and never heard back. So, while at LBL (Land Between the Lakes), we took a drive over to Mayfield to see the tornado damage first hand. This was the first time I've ever seen damage this bad. Even though I know there's been worse, it brought the severity of these storms to reality.
If you haven't been to Mayfield, imagine your entire downtown - GONE! This has hit them very hard, and we will continue to pray for Mayfield as they recover through this devastation.
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.
We haven't been to Arkansas in a while, and we certainly found one of our favorite campgrounds ever! A Corps of Engineer park, sitting on Degray Lake called Iron Mountain Campground. There were only 5 people in this entire campground when we were there, so it was nice and quiet. Along with having great cell service, we couldn't go wrong. Will definitely be back here.
The sunset pic was taken at Walmart after the storm. Just thought it was very pretty. :-)
Since early February, we've been working on removing some of the dark stain in the rig. This lightens up the area and gives us the view of natural and beautiful wood.
During our off-time at Charis Hills, we got a LOT done, and the last day was no different.
1 - The kitchen is complete with a new backsplash and new wood look.. Spice rack is all washed down, I'll have to make new labels soon.
2- The entire living room area is complete, along with adding a slate veneer to the hutch and fireplace.
3- The last day we had a bit more time, so Mark sanded down the table and exposed its natural beauty! I stained it to match the rest of the wood, and what a pretty look! (At least we think so)..
*Take a look at the before and after photo on the hutch.
We have finally arrived to the camp we'll be working for 3 weeks, but not without incident. It's obvious that the Lord is keeping us safe! On the way here, we had two VERY scary things happen.
1) A very large chunk of rubber hit us in the middle of our windshield! We expected some serious damage from this, but after inspection, there was NO evidence of it even hitting us! Praise God!
2) We were approaching a truck that suddenly decided to make his left turn in front of us! Mark slammed on the brakes and God opened the path, because there were NO cars anywhere else in the intersection! Mark was able to maneuver around the passenger side of the truck and avoid this potential head-on collision! Disaster averted thank's to the many prayers from all our friends and family. THANK YOU GOD!!
- Also, thank you for the dash-cam Nate.. We were able to get the truck number and report the driver!
Finally arriving at Charis Hills Camp, we met our GL's (Group Leaders), and had a tour of the camp. Charis Hills is a camp for autistic kids, and they have a LOT of wonderful activities! We LOVE our GL's (Rob & Helen), and can hardly wait to meet everyone else and get to work!
Saturday church also proved to be full of Devine appointments! This church had 3 autistic kids, and we were able to tell their parents about Charis Hills! The musicians were AWESOME, and by the time we left church, we made several friends, AND Mark is on the schedule for special music next week! PRAISE GOD!
Needless to say, this week, and especially these past few days, have been FULL of praises! We are are VERY Blessed!
I tell ya.. Getting from "the west" into the heart of Texas is a REALLY boring drive! Flat lands, oil fields, cotton fields, and a LOT of trucks! However, it was an uneventful drive which is always a good thing.
In the meantime, we've been having some sink draining issue since Sedona. We've been trying things here and there, but nothing has worked.
Today, upon arriving at the park, we had a nice size puddle all over the floor. Apparently, the P-trap under the kitchen sink had loosened, and spilled all our standing water on the floor. Well, since I wanted to wash the floor anyway, it all got cleaned up pretty quick. After that we worked with the sink and tried a few more things that were suggested by some people on the blog. It's working better, but still not perfect. So, we continue trying to figure out what the issue is.
Today could have been a lot worse, but we are thankful that the rest of the day was uneventful, and no matter what, we will get this figured out. Every little problem helps us gain experience and learn our RV.. We are thankful for those experiences too. :-)
1st pic below is showing the massive amount of cotton bales in one of the fields. Cotton, Cattle & Oil are the BIG THREE in Texas.. Amazing how much land they have dedicated to each. Even the cotton fields were scattered with oil wells!
2nd pic is Pica at the end of our trip. She was tired, and decided to rest her head on the water bottle. lol! When we begin to park the RV, she is VERY quiet and refuses to get out of the truck.. Stubborn little kid.. lol!