We arrived on Friday May 17 at Steamboat Park Campground, outside of Grand Rapids, MI for a seven night stay. On our way and with Julie almost to a half tank, we fueled up for the first time. We’ve noticed a trend in Michigan where many roads are being resurfaced after the cold season, so it wasn’t a surprise to have the road leading to the Flying J Truck Stop under construction. This lead to a tight squeeze as semi trailers are the regular customers and RV’s are the exception to the rule.
The plan was for me to pump the fuel and Lynn to go inside and pay. Unlike regular gas stations, there is typically no pay at the pump. “$275 on Pump 21”, Lynn says incredulously. Equally surprised, the clerk looks at her and says, “You are a truck driver”? Lynn explains that we’re just the odd duck motorhome and all is fine. Pumping through a larger nozzle, at what I have heard at a 3X rate, fills the diesel into the drivers’ side fuel inlet. With a 150 gallon tank and the gauge at just above half full, we figured 70 gallons @ $3.25. Much to my surprise, Julie burped out a cup of foaming fuel as the pump clicked off at 60 gallons – $198.54. So, with the lovely smell of home heating oil, I climbed back in and off we went with a full tank.
Steamboat Park Campground is a new and very nice place, located along the Grand River, just downstream (West) of Grand Rapids. Nice, level spots and the river is about 20 yards out our windshield. They have a pool (too cold now), an old riverboat offering evening tours and its very quiet here. In the evening, we watch countless swallows gliding along the river in search of insects. Multiple flocks of geese have their 5-6 chicks with them, pecking away at vegetation. And, with full hookups, showers are longer and much nicer.
Grand Rapids has a very extensive craft beer scene and we visited Mitten Brewing, Greyline and Founders breweries. Mitten was in an old firehouse located in a neighborhood. All three were excellent! We fell head-over-heels for Founders CBS (Canadian Breakfast Stout), which is their already excellent stout aged for a year in maple syrup-soaked bourbon barrels. At 11.7ABV with a velvet mouthfeel and complex taste characteristics… it is simply amazing. Oh yeah, we are going back as soon as I finish this blog…so Cheers.
Tomorrow (Wednesday) I get to ride on an airplane again! Yay. This trip to Myrtle Beach is sandwiched between two quite different Bike Weeks. With just 3 days left until our temporary tags expire, I need to make the South Carolina tax people, the Horry County tax people and the and Department of Motor Vehicle people happy. So, landing at 11:00AM, I have that afternoon to visit the County Auditor, get a tax bill based on our Bill Of Sale…then take that tax bill down to the happy people to pay the County Treasurer. Once I have proof of their happiness, I take a pile of paperwork to the DMV to get my metal SC license plate for Julie. Once all that is done, I carefully make a restaurant choice not related to motorcycle crowds (sushi perhaps….crepes maybe?) and hunker down for the evening before flying home Thursday at noon.
And, with luck, fate and the stars aligning….I have the distinct pleasure to be flying MYR-CLT with my absolute favorite flight attendant in the skies. Not sure if she’s working first class, nor if I will get the upgrade….but I can’t wait to see you Stephanie, whether from 2A or 16F.