Camping Road Trip – June 2022

In mid-June, we hitched up our Coachmen Clipper travel trailer and set out on an adventure to see family and friends.

The first day we traveled about 450 miles and stayed at a KOA near Dayton, Ohio in site #6.

The next day we made it to our first destination in southwest Michigan.

Site #59 in this campground was our home base for 5 nights.

We saw several black squirrels here. These are eastern gray squirrels with a “faulty pigment gene” (according to one source), and the highest numbers of these rare squirrels are in Michigan and in Ontario. Interesting!

On our first full day, we visited beautiful Silver Beach on Lake Michigan.

We ate a late lunch/early dinner at Silver Beach Pizza. Highly recommend!

While we were in Michigan, we also went to a car show….

…visited another Lake Michigan lighthouse…

…celebrated Father’s Day and a birthday…

and enjoyed a picnic lunch at the campground!

But the very best part of our time in Michigan? This, of course!

After our final goodbyes, we drove out to the lake again to watch the beautiful sunset.

The next morning we started towards Prophetstown State Park in West Lafayette, Indiana. I knew we’d arrive fairly early since it wasn’t a long drive, but I couldn’t find information about check out/check in times on the website or on my reservation confirmation letter.

When we arrived at the park a little after noon, we were told that the checkout time was at 2:00 pm. The people occupying our site hadn’t checked out yet, so the ranger suggested that we wait at a Walmart or grocery store in town until the site was open. Alrighty…

It was nice to finally get everything set up in site #216 for our 3-night stay.

The next morning we drove into town to meet two of my cousins and their spouses for breakfast, and we firmed up plans for a larger gathering that evening at a favorite restaurant. As for the middle part of the day? I wanted to go to a park and zoo I enjoyed in my childhood.

Columbian Park has changed a LOT since I was a kid. I did some of my first driving with my cousin Ken on the park’s “turnpike” back in the day, but I think this recreational feature and the giant slide are long gone.

The small zoo at the park has expanded considerably, however, and we enjoyed seeing all of the animals, including a kookaburra, wallaby, emu, river otter, and prairie dog.

It was also fun to interact with the goats–although one was determined to eat Wayne’s shirt!

It was a challenge to photograph the fluttering little jewels in the butterfly house, but these are a few of my favorite pictures:

Later that evening as we started towards the restaurant, Nine Irish Brothers in West Lafayette, we discovered that all of the traffic lights were out. Not good! And when we got to the restaurant where we had reservations, we learned that they were without power, too. Fortunately their other location was open, so we all drove across town and got seats in one of the large, private rooms. Fun times and great food!

Getting together to talk and eat was most definitely a theme while in Indiana! The next day we met at the historic Fowler House Mansion for lunch, and one of our other cousins and his wife were able to join us, too. 🙂

Before going back to the state park that afternoon, we stopped by Walmart to pick up a large watermelon and cantaloupe for the evening gathering at our campsite. From fruit to cheese to deviled eggs, chips, drinks, and cake, we all shared more food and laughter. Goodness, I enjoy these people!

The next morning we got an early start as we started towards home. Construction and detours around Indianapolis extended the travel time significantly, but once out of that, we had a pretty easy drive southeast.

I didn’t make reservations anywhere–I didn’t know how far we’d get–but we were able to claim site #31 at Krodel Park Campground in Point Pleasant, West Virginia near the confluence of the Ohio and Kanawha Rivers. This campground is in a city-owned park that features a splash pad for kids and a stocked lake. While there appeared to be a few long-term campers, I think a number of folks were there for the weekend or just for the night, like we were.

Once on I-64 the next morning, we found that traveling on a Saturday actually involved less interstate traffic than during the week. Before long we were back in Virginia.

It was really a wonderful vacation, spent with people we love. We’re so thankful that we had safe travels, good weather, good food, and the health and opportunity to do a trip like this, and we look forward to future adventures.

Until next time,

Sharon & Wayne

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