What a day. I did a few things here in the morning and filled up my car with another load. I drove to the storage facility and pulled out Ecovision and put my Honda in her place. I unloaded my car, but didn’t put anything away. Then it was a quick half-hour drive to Camping World in Belleville. Before I left I turned on my 3-way refrigerator (on DC) so it would start to cool down for my trip.

Things went really smoothly and (amazingly) inexpensively at Camping World. The mechanic assigned to my dewinterization was ready and even waiting when I got there and he handled everything easily. He made sure my tire pressure was correct (65 pounds in front tires, 80 in rear tires–if you don’t know why the differential then you need to get your motorhome weighed!) and that the propane was on. Last time I had Ecovision serviced I had the suggested propane drop test done so I know it’s good to go.

I drove back to the storage facility switching around the vehicles. I put everything away and made my bed. Sure is feeling cozy and welcoming in there. I switched the refrigerator onto “gas” (propane) so it will continue to get cold. Hopefully by morning I can load in my food with no worries.

As I was driving home I saw a Verizon store. I needed to get my 4G Samsung mifi going for a just one month via prepaid at Verizon so I stopped in. That took some time because it’s so “old” (2 years, 1 month!) and they didn’t know how much to charge. After two phone calls it turns out it’s only $40 for 4GB. Should take care of all my wireless needs for the two to three weeks I’ll be on the road. Sweet. Then I stop service and put the mifi away until next year.

It is a glorious day. Just finished walking Henry and didn’t even want to come home. Hopefully most of our days circling will be nice although frankly a rainy day forces me to read, write and maybe play a little solitaire. This evening I’ll finish the laundry and packing. I also plan to cook and freeze some pork chops in a red currant sauce so they are ready to load tomorrow. Henry’s all packed. He will be so excited when he see Ecovision. Henry Boy loves to RV!

A win-win situation

American Redstart © Skip Shand

One of the draws of the Great Lakes to me are birds. These magical creatures provide endless delight and my mother-heart wants to protect and cherish them all.  Neotropical migrants such as the American Redstart hold special interest.  So during my lake circles over the next five years I plan to see as many birds as possible as well visit organizations and places dedicated to birds, their conservation, and research. As I prepare for my Lake Superior circle tour this year I am researching and planning to visit highlights such as Whitefish Point Bird Observatory in Paradise, Michigan and Hawk Ridge Bird Observatory in Duluth.  As this blog gains some traction I am hoping readers will share their favorite not-to-be missed birding places around the Great Lakes.

Japanese Crane collage by Jason LaFerrera

In the meantime, as an artist, I really like Etsy. Today I happened upon this lovely digital collage image of a Japanese crane on Etsy with all proceeds going to Red Cross for Japanese earthquake and tsunami relief.  So purchasing this collage–which is an archival giclee print on watercolor paper–is a wonderful win-win of art and doing good.  The crane symbolizes longevity and was believed to carry the soul to the afterlife. The International Crane Foundation (ICF) happens to be in the Great Lakes basin in Baraboo, Wisconsin (northwest of Madison) so check out their amazing work on behalf of cranes.  Although the ICF will be a little out of my way, I plan to stop in on my Lake Michigan circle tour in 2012.

The Great Lakes Commission has put together a Birds of the Great Lakes Region page on the  Great Lakes Information Network.  I’ll be adding links to bird sites and information as well as other creatures over time.