Officially a non-resident

Michigan state parks require a “passport” to use them, a fee they charge on top of the campsite fee and it applies even if you just want to have a picnic it seems. The one day rate isn’t bad, it makes the price about the same as camping in Ontario. They have an annual passport too, and I think if you camp more than 4 days (as a non-resident, it’s much cheaper for residents) it pays to go that route. I knew I’d be camping at least twice in Michigan on this trip so I gambled and got the sticker for the year.

In any case it’s now official, I’m a non-resident and my camper proudly displays that. I wonder how many of those I’ll end up collecting. There certainly are lots of places I don’t reside (for more than a day or so).

The drive across Michigan was nice, I took a route I haven’t been on before and went by Grand Rapids before getting to Zeeland/Holland and then heading south. I made a note to get some more VirginMobile top-up cards for future trips. I’m set for this excursion but it’s always handy to have some extras in the glove box. A very small detour to a Best Buy in Holland and I was all set. Next stop, Van Buren State Park.

Holland, not that one

On the way I passed some pick-your-own fields that I have known exist but haven’t seen before… blueberries. Not the same as picking wild but still good. I don’t need a big bunch of berries though so I just took a photo and carried on.

Blueberry fields, pick your own

The park will be full on the weekend, lots of room for me to stay this one Thurs. night though. It’s an interesting spot, very sandy (huge dunes, nice beach, going to be cleaning sand out of Babe for weeks!) and lots of options for where to camp. I picked a site right by the path down to the beach even though I knew it would have more traffic. The sites aren’t large enough to have a real sense of privacy so I wasn’t too concerned about that.

Site 11 @ Van Buren SP

Last time I swam it was in salt water (New Zealand)

Set up, plugged in (all the sites have power) and then it was a swim and a ride. Next up is a shower and what may be my last shave until I get home!

One thing I hadn’t expected was cactus. Last time I rode through them (well, beside them since I was on the road and they weren’t) was in 2003 in Colorado. Never seen them up in Michigan before, live and learn.

Stop right there!

 Tomorrow I get back to work… cameras are ready, computer is set up, mifi network is configured. Should be a good weekend of racing.

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