camping with in-laws.

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I went to Michigan last week.  We went to Higgins Lake.  There is a huge campground there.  My husband’s family all live in Michigan so we went there to go camping with them.  It is a pretty lake.071

The temperature was cool all week.  High of 75, low of around 59 F degrees.  I didn’t go swimming.  All the relatives went swimming.  They would all walk over to our camper and ask if we were going swimming.  “Hey, were going swimming, come on, lets go.”  I said “No, it is too cold for me.”  I went for a walk and saw a sign by the water.  “Warning, swimming in this water can give you swimmers itch.”    They talked my son into going.  My husband’s cousin has a boat and he was going to take the children out on the boat.  I walk to the water to watch.  “Bill” was there at the shore in his boat.  The boat would not start.  A few of the brothers were working on the boat, trying to get it to start.  My son was in the water, up to his knees.  He was searching for rocks and little shells.  The boat started, but then died again, so there was no boat rides.  My son came back to our camper to dry off.  He was scratching and scratching his legs.  He wanted to itch off his skin.  We took him to the shower and he washed off, but still itched.  He said it was so itchy and would not stop.  I poured calamine lotion all over his legs and the itching stopped.  The next day, the whole crowd wanted to go swimming again.  My son did not want to go but his aunt begged him to go.  He went and they forced him to go into the water.  He went in a little while.  He was not happy about going in the water after the itching incident.  When he came home, I took him to the shower and he washed really good.  He didn’t get itchy that time.  He did have a little rash on his stomach and top of his feet.  His aunt, who is a nurse said it was not the swimmers itch.  She didn’t think his itching was from that.  Yeah, sure, he got in the water and got out and his skin itched like crazy.  They all went swimming and didn’t itch though.  My son has very sensitive skin though. 

The same cousin, with the boat, invited us over to his cabin for a bar-b-Que.  We all went.  The wife said it was time to cook the hamburgers.  She got out frozen burgers.  They were in two boxes, all stacked up.  She told me to go out and cook them on the grill.  There were all these men standing around and I got stuck cooking the hamburgers.  I asked how many people wanted a burger.  They said to cook 16 of them.  The burgers were frozen so hard, I could not break them apart.  I called one of the guys over and made him break apart the burgers.  He slammed them down and got them loose.  They were thick burgers, it took me 30 minutes to cook them.  I also had to cook hot dogs too.  The hot dogs cooked fast.  They got eaten right away.  By the time the burgers were done cooking, nobody wanted to eat them.  They were full from the hot dogs.  I sat down by the fire, they had a fire going.  I had my book.  I was reading a Stephen King book called Duma Key.  I was really into my book, it is so good.  I sat there reading.  I wanted to go but we had given my husband’s sister a ride and she had brought her laundry and was doing her laundry in the cousin’s washing machine.  We had to wait till she was done. 

I also draw and paint pictures.  My sister-in-law came up to me with a sketch book.  She had a bag of pencils.  She handed them to me.  “I brought these up here to have you draw me a picture.”  She pointed at the trees.  “Draw me trees.”  I didn’t really want to draw trees.  She didn’t take no for an answer.  I sat in a chair and looked at the trees.  I looked in the bag of pencils.  It was all just lead pencils, no color pencils.  I drew some trees but it was not all that inspiring to draw trees with lead pencils.  I gave them back to her and said, I don’t really draw pictures with just pencils.  She liked the picture, but I didn’t.  Black trees, black leaves, black bark, white sky.  Yuck. 

We went to the camp store and took 4 of the kids.  My son got a bug ring and this flashing eyeball ring and the yellow thingy in the top picture, that is squishy and is a thing you put on your arm.  My husband told the kids they could each by $5 worth of stuff.  They were running around trying to pick out what they wanted.  My niece picked out a blue squishy bracelet and then after we bought it, she decided she wanted a pink one instead, even though her favorite color, in the whole wide world, is blue.  I said “Oh, the pink one is pretty, it goes with your clothes.”  She wore it all day. 

My son did not know how to ride a bike.  All the kids had bikes and were riding all the time.  By the time we were ready to go home, they taught my son how to ride a bike.  The morning we were to leave, my son rode the bike with his aunt around the park for about an hour.  He said he loved doing it.  It is so hot here, that he haa not rode his bike.  I told him to ride the other evening, but he was afraid of the traffic on our street.  I have to take the bike to a parking lot that is vacant and let him ride.  It is 95 in the daytime and I think he would get too hot.  Next year, I am taking his bike camping with us.

I would go sit by the fire and roast marshmallows.  I like them light tan color.  That is the best.010keep

Well that is my camping trip in a condensed form.  I will talk about the fishing another time.

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Looking for craw-fish

Right by our camp ground, right behind our camper, ran a creek.  It wasn’t very big.  It  ran along, going around the big rocks and trees.  The trees had giant roots hanging down into the water, hanging on in giant clumps to hold up the giant, heavy tree.  My son wanted to go look for craw-fish.  I walked down the steep bank and stood right beside the water, looking in to see if I could see anything.  I looked by a tree and there in the water was a craw-fish, laying there, blending in with the colors around it.  It lay really still.  I told my son to go get his net and put on his flip-flops and get into the water and see if he could catch it.  I went back inside my camper to read my book that I had started.  I was reading Inkheart and it was a good story.  My son came into the camper and said the creek was cold and his feet were so cold.  He didn’t want to go back into it.  buckhorn dam, natural bridge 045

The next day I put on my thongs (flip-flops) and grabbed the net.  “I am going to go look for craw-fish.”  My son just looked at me.  “Is it too cold to go do that.  You are going to freeze your feet.”  he said.  It was pretty warm outside.  I went to the water and walked in.  The water was cold, but not deep.  I started turning over rocks to look under them.  My son came up to watch.  I saw a craw-fish in the water but it swam off really fast when I tried to catch it.  After a while the cold didn’t even bother my feet.  I did catch a nice size craw-fish.  I had a water bottle, I cut the top off and filled the rest of it up with creek water and dumped in the craw-fish.  Out of the creek water it looked brown and red.  It didn’t like being in my bottle.  My son ran and put on his water shoes.  He got in the water and helped me look for more.  He forgot all about the water being cold.  We  found a couple of more craw-fish.  We caught them too.  We put them in more cups.  buckhorn dam, natural bridge 040

These two boys came over to the creek where we were.  The decided to get into the water and help us.  I gave them the net.  They were putting rocks across the creek  to dam the water and then they would chase the fish into the net.  They caught a lot of little fish.  Pretty soon they were catching a lot of craw-fish and kept putting them into our cups.  By this time I had 4 cups along the bank, full of craw-fish.  They ran and got a bottle to put their fish into.  They wanted the fish to go fishing with.  buckhorn dam, natural bridge 038

I let all of the craw-fish , but 2, back into the water.  My son wanted to look at the two we had longer.  The boys wanted to keep following the stream to look for more fish.  We walked all the way along the stream.  It came to the road and we walked under the road through the tunnel under the road.  The stream came out into a lot bigger creek.  It was a bit deeper.  In the deeper water the boys caught bigger fish in the net.  I noticed that it was starting to rain.  I told them it was starting to rain and took my net back.  The sun was still out but the rain was coming down.  We started to go back to our camp.  We went up the bank and crossed the road.  The rain started coming down a lot harder.  I looked up and the sky was deep grey.  Then it started pouring, like you were in a shower.  We were getting soaked.  I saw the restrooms and said we should run for that.  It was coming down in buckets and we were totally wet.  My husband drove up in our vehicle.  He came to get us because he figured we would need a ride.  It rained for a while.  My son had a great time looking for life in the creek.  After the rain stopped he went to the water and let the craw-fish go.  The boys had also gave him a fish and he let that go too.

Natural bridge

buckhorn dam, natural bridge 081kWe went camping again.  We went to a place called Natural Bridge in Kentucky.  You have to go to the resort lodge and go to the trail to the natural bridge.  We walked over to the start of the trail and it looked like it went uphill.  I didn’t have a walking stick or water, so we didn’t go.  They have a sky tram to go to the bridge also.  We opted for the sky tram.  buckhorn dam, natural bridge 025

Those things do not stop so you have to jump off of them.  When we got to the top, there was this narrow trail, covered in rocks and sometimes mud.  We got to the edge and saw the natural bridge.buckhorn dam, natural bridge 014b

When we were on the sky tram I was hanging onto the bars.  I just didn’t like it rocking around, and we were up high.  We went over this huge rock and on top of the rock was a lot of money.  I wish I could climb to the top of the rock and get that money that people throw on top of it.buckhorn dam, natural bridge 021

It was fun riding on the tram.  I am glad I didn’t have to climb up a mountain to see the natural bridge.

Tubes and college

This last week, I was at the college. I signed my son up for a Claymation class. It was for 5 days, 9 to 12. When I saw the ad for this class, I called and paid for it over the phone. I thought the class was downtown. Later they sent me an address. This college was not the one downtown. It is 25 miles from my house. I took him and then waited for 3 hours till he was done with the class. It was a long….3……hours wait. The 2nd day, I parked in the parking lot, at the end of the parking lot. This girl in a blue convertible car drove up next to me and parked. She had the top down on her car. I looked at her. She was on her cell phone. She pushed a button and the top started to unfold and go up. It totally went up all by itself. She was cute, had blond hair, pulled back in a ponytail. She talked on her phone for a while. Then this car drove up behind her and honked and she got out of her car and went over and sat in the guy’s car for a while. They finally got out and she got her books and they walked into the school. I decided to go find the cafeteria. It was getting hot sitting in the car. I got my book and started walking and noticed the girl’s car. She had a lot of beads hanging from the rear view mirror and in the corner of the windshield she had a crown. She must think she is a princess. I just had to take a picture of the crown. 024B
She must be a princess, because when I was her age, I didn’t have a convertible car to drive.
Anyway…..I found the building that had the cafeteria. The grass outside of it had these strange tubes in the ground. It reminded me of an old movie. The movie is called A boy and his dog.  This movie is about this guy that lives on earth after everything has been destroyed and these people that live underground get him.  They need him to provide sperm to the girls.  They tie him up and hook him to a machine to get it.  They have these tubes on the ground to get air.  He escapes in the end and goes out a door like in my picture. 035Sky030bThe door is on the other side of the grey bricks.
It is funny how you see something and it triggers a memory from many years ago. If you click on the link you can see a little clip of the movie. It had Don Johnson when he was young and a talking dog. I liked that movie.
Anyway…..I would go sit in the cafeteria everyday and read my book, Inkheart. Sometimes I would drive over to Pilot (a gas station that has the best coffee in town) and get a coffee and then hit McDonalds for a breakfast egg sausage mcmuffin.  I am so glad the class is over now.  It is boring just waiting for 3 hours to go by.

MyTravels: Jack Daniel’s whiskey tour.

bottle

This is a bottle of Jack Daniel’s Tennessee whiskey 90 proof.   We went to Lynchburg, TN.  I wanted to go see how whiskey was made, so we drove there and took the tour.  It was free.  First they show you a movie and then drive you over to this cave.  Inside the cave is the pure water they use.  You just see the opening.  They have it roped off.  There is an amazing breeze blowing out of the opening of the cave, it is so cool.  The cave is a constant 55 degrees.  They also put up a statue of Jack Daniels.  tn park vac 068  They show you the grain they use.  They use corn, rye and barley.  They then show you these giant vats of the mash, bubbling and fermenting mixed with yeast. jackdanialspics006_Full

 They then drip the liquid  through 10 feet of charcoal.  They made the charcoal from a certain wood.  He opened up one of the charcoal lids real quick and it smelled like a strong whiskey.  They put it in barrels that they made and age it for many years.  They have millions of barrels.  The ones we saw were from 2005 and they were still not ready yet.   Some of the barrels were leaking.  I didn’t lick them.  We also saw the bottle process of  the whiskey too.   st_Maturation_pic

They don’t let you take pictures when you are inside but you can take pictures outside.  It is a dry county so they can’t let you taste the whiskey, but they can sell collector bottles of Jack.  I got the one at the top of this post.  It is only sold there.  You register the bottle online and they send you a certificate.  They even took our group picture and put it on their web site to grab.dsc03493_4932

I am over on the left side in the red shirt.  The guide  is in front of me crouching down.  I liked him.  He grew up there and his dad and grandpa worked for Jack Daniel’s and he is even related to Jack Daniel’s.  It is a neat place to tour, if you ever want to go see it.  It was pretty busy, so get there early to get a parking space.

A use for my Nesco

073I have a popup, or tent trailer.  We went to the beach on Monday and stayed for 5 days.  There was a grocery store about one mile from the campground that we shopped at.  A Piggly Wiggly.  It was a very nice store.  Every day I would buy enough ground sirloin to make hamburgers for dinner.  One night we had hotdogs.  I bought this hotdog cooker, it rolls the hotdogs around and around, like at a convience store.  We checked out a couple of restaurants that served seafood.  The prices were sky high.  This one place wanted $36 for a fish dinner.  I walked away after reading that menu.  I can make a burger for $1, why would I pay for dinner that costs so much.  So we ate in, I cooked each night.  I came home and thought there has to be more options for better meals.  I bought a Nesco roaster last November to cook some turkey in.  Never used it since.  It is a little oven.  I am going to take that with me and cook muffins and pizza.  I tried it out today.  I made some muffins and cooked them in the roaster oven.  They came out perfect.  I then went to K-mart and bought a pan to cook a pizza,or a cake in.   I am going to be eating good, the next time I go camping, which will be in one week.   We are going to a lake in KY.  We are taking our blow up boat and go out on it on the lake and swim and have fun.

The waves scare me.

089We just got back from Myrtle Beach, well actually Huntington Beach, South Carolina, it is 15 miles from Myrtle Beach.  The water was so warm.  It was a little wavy.  One day I got up enough courage to go stand in the waves.  These people were using these body boards to ride the waves.  I went out far enough and just floated and got the big idea to float in on the wave on my stomach.  Wrong thing to do.  I jumped into the wave and it pushed me down, went over the top of me and just rolled me around.  It was strong and it just kind of pushed me down for a while.  I decided not to do that again.  We then went a bought a body board.  After getting dragged around by the waves, I didn’t really want to go back into the water.  I was standing in the water, letting the waves go by.  They are really strong.  You have to stand sideways to keep your balance.  I saw this really heavy woman standing in the water, letting the waves hit her.  She was a little further out than I was.  A really big wave came by and it hit her.  I bet she weighed around 300 pounds, maybe more.  The wave knocked her over and she fell into the water.  The wave washed over her.  She then could not get up and the waves just kept going over her.  She would try to get up, but each wave just kept knocking her down.  She would look and hold her nose as each wave washed over her.  She was floundering around on her belly, trying to get up but she couldn’t.  Then her friend that was with her, came out to her and grabbed her arm, trying to help her up.  She could not pull her up because she was so heavy.  It took a few tries but the woman finally stood up as her friend pulled and pulled on her.  She then went back to her beach chair and just sat there and did not go back into the water. 

My husband and son did the body board pretty good.  My husband made me use it.  I did not want to.  He drug me out to where the waves were breaking.  I was scared.  I just kept thinking that a shark could eat me.  When a big wave came, he let go and there I was going across the water.  Then it stopped and then another wave hit me and I was in the shallow water and my knee was scraping the sand.  It was like rubbing my knee with sand paper.  I didn’t do it again. 

I just stood there and watched them use the board.   084