Home Away From Home, Michigan

Kilwin Chocolate and Castle Rock

Today didn’t exactly turn out like we planned but then is that anything unusual? The bike rack is on the motor home (and can be used on the ForeRunner) but we don’t have a rack for the Avalon which is the car we tow when we’re traveling. Jerry wanted to get one so we can use the bikes when we’re away from the campgrounds. We looked online but ordering was not an option so today we started calling bike shops in the area. Since they don’t open until either 9:30 or 10:00 we couldn’t even get started until then. He finally found a sporting goods store in Petoskey that had what he needed so about 11:00 we took off for Petoskey. It’s about a 45 minute drive – at least!

We got to MC Sports and they had exactly what he wanted so we got it. Since it was lunch time we asked for a recommendation and they suggested Grand Traverse Pie Company. Jerry got the chicken pot pie that came with a salad and a slice of pie (cherry crumble). I got a salad and a pastie. While the pastie was good I didn’t think it was as good as the one I got in Traverse City at Cousin Jenny’s earlier in the week. Once Jerry finally found me some hot sauce though that helped.

Not our best shot!
Not our best shot!

As we were leaving Petoskey we  saw Kilwin Chocolate and decided to stop for a tour.  Boy, I got a sugar high just walking in the door!  What aroma!  Before the tour we all had to cover our hair with caps and the men with beards and mustaches had to cover that as well.  The guide was very well informed and the tour was great.  Afterward we got to sample some of their wares and wow – it was good!

We came back through Mackinaw City and rode around there trying to decide if we could ride bikes there tomorrow. We then went to the Michigan Welcome Center and got some pamphlets.

IMG_2201Our next stop was Castle Rock. The store itself is filled with touristy things, a lot of shirts and knickknacks that I wonder if ever get sold and of course they had a magnet! The cost of the climb is $1.00. As soon as you exit there are two big statues of Paul Bunyan and Babe, the Blue Ox. They are fenced in so you can’t get very close but we still got a picture. I don’t know how many steps there are up to the rock but there are a lot and they are very inconsistent in height and width. This was possibly one of the most difficult climbs we’ve made but we did make it. Once at the end of the steps there’s a ramp leading to a small space at the top where there is a very picturesque view of Lake Huron. It really is beautiful and worth the climb although we did have to rest a couple of times during the trip up.

The view from Castle Rock
The view from Castle Rock

We came on back to the campground and while I came inside and started catching up on the blog Jerry went outside to install the bike rack only to discover that he needed another piece in order to put my bike up there. A call to MC Sports and we were off to Petoskey AGAIN! It is not a short ride! On the way Jerry discussed the possibility of us being back by 7:30 and then riding the bikes into St. Ignace. Really Jerry – we were going to be back to St. Ignace by 7:30 – it was 7:14 when we got to MC Sports!

We got the necessary piece and then started back to St. Ignace. As we traveled Highway 31 again we began to look for restaurants, stopped at two and finally decided to eat when we got back to the coach.

As we were getting out of the car our neighbors invited us over to enjoy their campfire so after we ate a bite we went over and spent a very pleasant evening with them. That’s probably one of my favorite things to do when camping. Good evenings with nice people. In fact it was nearly 11:00 when we got in.

Temperatures are supposed to get down in the 40’s tonight! Good Sleeping Weather!