Heading north on Monday!

My first morning with Ecovision was glorious. Since I’ve learned there is much pleasure balanced with much work to the RV lifestyle.

Amazingly this cold is just about gone after just 4 days so I’m in the midst of packing for nearly a month on the road.

When I first got my RV I was stunned to hear my friends say they needed a week to get their RV ready for the season. Well, this is my third summer with a RV and I now completely understand. I’ve been out already this summer so the basics like pots and pans, atlases, cleaning products, dinnerware, CB radio, and RV essentials like hoses and power cords are in place. Yet what needs to be added is still extensive: a couple weeks of clothing, food for up to 30 days, electronics, condiments, paper products, fresh sheets and towels, my dog Henry’s food and supplies, medical kit, bug juice, sunscreen, toiletries, etc. You get the idea. With a RV you are truly taking your home with you on the road. It’s an amazing amount of work.

I’ve made progress, but I’m glad I have another day. I cook and freeze meals ahead plus my friend Rachel introduced me to these yummy canned meals from France. I take cans of chicken, tuna, and roast beef plus load the refrigerator with fresh organic vegetables and fruits and condiments. I replenish the fresh food along the way looking for roadside stands, farmers markets, and food co-ops. I always have lots of peanut butter and a big jug of water in a special BPA-free container with a spigot that sits in my sink as I travel. I use this water for cooking, drinking, and filling Henry’s water bowl.

All of these things need to be loaded plus all the clothing and things like laundry detergent and a gad-zillion books about Lake Superior and her islands. Yes, I have a Kindle, but few of my collection of books collected over the last 25 years are available as ebooks. Sigh. As you can see, it is a huge task to get a RV on the road. This is made more challenging because I keep my motorhome six or seven miles south of my home so many trips back and forth are needed. But somehow it will all be done in time for Henry and me to head north Monday morning.

I’m hoping to get as close to Whitefish Point Bird Observatory as possible by late afternoon Monday.  Leaving a couple days later than I planned is pushing me to have a long first day. Weather should cooperate. That’s another thing I’ve learned about RVing: bad weather means staying put. Try driving a big box RV on a windy day or through driving rain and storms just once and you’ll not do it again.

I can hardly wait to smell and feel the north air! Is there anything better?! I may stop on either the south or north side of the bridge just to enjoy the Straits and the several lovely islands in that area. The Big Mac. What a bridge. Michiganders have called the Mackinac Bridge the Big Mac long before there was a hamburger with that name. I still remember going across the bridge for the first time as a child soon after it was built in the 1950s. Have loved it ever since.

North of the bridge it will be straight north although I do want to stop at Tahquamenonn Falls. But for now it is time to get back to packing enough clothes to keep me away from a laundromat a couple weeks. Perhaps until I reach Thunder Bay?

About to begin the big adventure!

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After a couple years of planning, I leave in a couple days to circle Lake Superior! I’ve been loading up my motorhome, Ecovision, and gathering my clothes and food. I’m also dealing with the first cold I’ve had in a couple years so will leave when that’s on the mend.

Today I’m organizing my Great Lakes islands research and writing materials and maps. I hope to interview as many people as possible as I circle so I just printed out consent forms. I want to talk to people involved in various ways with the islands and to get to as many islands as possible. After getting trained in Garageband at the Apple Store, I’ll record the interviews digitally using a “Snowball” microphone connected to my laptop.

I’ll travel clockwise and will take about three weeks. My dog, Henry, will be thrilled to be in our RV for such a long trip. I plan to blog and tweet as often as possible. Yet once I hit Ontario and the north shore of Lake Superior, much of the drive is through isolated–and stunningly beautiful!–areas where wifi will be spotty. So stay tuned!