Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Michihistrigan RV Park (Upper Peninsula, MI) (August 29 to September 5, 2012)

The Michihistrigan RV Park is located on Route 2 that runs east-to-west on the Upper Peninsula of Michigan. We chose this park due to its central location on the peninsula and, also, because it had a restaurant/bar on the premises. It is out in the middle of nowhere, so it seemed. The closest sizable town was Manistique, MI, located 30 miles to the west. We booked our stay for a week for Labor Day weekend was coming up and we wanted to stay off the roads. I am glad we did stay the week for as we were setting up I noticed a problem.

(Click on the image to see it full screen and in High Definition) 

I, normally, do not hook up the sewage lines during the initial setup. No need to empty the tanks for at least several days. They are big tanks and can hold 5-6 days without emptying. This time, however, I did hook up the sewage line and in doing so I noticed water dripping from the undercarriage. That is never a good sign. The drip was in the center of the RV and located near the dump valves. Because the undercarriage is sealed I could not determine where the leak was coming from. I decided to wait until the morning and investigate further.

The next morning the drip had gotten worse and it was obviously coming from the black water tank. Yuck. It had to be that one. Our RV has three 42 gallon waste water holding tanks: one for the kitchen sink (gray water), one for the shower/bathroom sink (gray water), and one for the toilet (black water). All three have separate dump valves emptying into one sewer hose connector. To locate exactly where this leak was would involve removing the undercarriage cover. Although not an extremely hard job, it is very time consuming. Better get started.

By mid-morning I had the cover dropped and began searching for the leak. Before I could get under the trailer, though, I had to wash down the inside of the undercarriage cover for it was wet with sewage water. Once done I was able to see where the leak was. It seems the plastic weld connecting the tank to the discharge pipe had failed. There was a two inch crack along the weld and it would leak when the pressure began to build up. Quick fix was to keep the black water dump valve open so pressure would not build up inside the tank. In the meantime I had to research on how to fix this. It was obvious I could not replace the tank here. OK Google, do your stuff. After several hours Googling and reading I decided to seal the joint with fiberglass. OK. Where do I get the materials? Hardware store, of course. Closest one was in Manistique, We'll take a road trip in the morning, but in the meantime it was time for a brew at the local watering hole a few hundred feet from our site. Convenient.

The next morning I headed into Manistique and located an Ace Hardware store. I purchased the items I believed I would need and headed back. I spent the rest of the day making the repairs making sure I covered every detail. It took most of the day to complete and now I had to wait for the fiberglass to cure, at least, 24 hours before I could test the repair and replace the undercarriage cover. No problem. It was beverage time anyway. Later on, after dinner, we all sat around the campfire, roasted some marshmallows, and, generally, relaxed. 

While in Manistique I saw a poster for a classic car show on Saturday. We love car shows so after breakfast and a quick check on the tank repair we all loaded into the truck and headed back to Manistique. The town's Main St. was blocked off to traffic and all of the cars were parked on each side. Probably 70-80 cars. There were so many they had to use overflow parking in some side street lots. Some beautiful machines were gathered there that day.

Once we had our fill of all the eye candy, conversation with the car owners, and explaining to dozens of people what breed of dog Guinness and Rosco were, we headed back to the truck. Not ready to return to the RV park we picked up some snacks, fed the furbabies, and decided to take a ride along the local lake shore. Unfortunately, like so many of the other lakes we have encountered around this country, most of the shore is private land. There were a few spots where the water was accessible, but the majority of the shore was off limits. So...we headed back home.

Getting back early gave me time to inspect the repair job and, so far, all looked good. I decided to wait until the morning to test it. And this brought us to that magic time again. So glad there was a watering hole so close. Oh, and did I mention there was a full service restaurant here, too? Yep, and we thought we would try it out tonight. Glad we did. Good service and the food was perfect. Now, time for some more campfire and play time with the babies.

Today is the big day to see if the tank repairs were successful. The fiberglass is cured and should hold up to the strain of the water in the tank. Since it was empty I had to completely fill the 42 gallon tank. That took a while. Once it was filled it became wait time. Wait and see if it leaks. So far, so good. Best to let it set for several hours. In the meantime we decided to go for a short drive in the area.

Back at the trailer the repairs seemed to have been successful. We all breathed a sigh of relief. Now for some sightseeing and exploring. We have two more full days here so we have to see as much as we can.

Monday morning we headed north to Lake Superior. We wanted to visit Pictured Rocks National Seashore. To get there we took a round-a-bout route so we could see what this part of the state looked like. Flat, very flat and sparsely populated. There were areas where we drove for miles without seeing a house or another car and this was Labor Day. Besides being very flat and wooded there were many lakes and streams that seemed to be good fishing spots. Saw quite a few fly fisherman in many of these lakes.

We picked up H-58 at Grand Marais and went west toward Munising. This was a beautiful drive and if our truck was a 4 wheel drive we would have taken some of the unpaved roads to the lake shore. After an nearly two hours or so of slow driving and stopping we made a right onto Miner's Castle Rd. This took us to the Pictured Rock Overlook. It was quite crowded with tourists, like ourselves, so we took our time in navigating the steep trails leading to the viewing areas. What a beautiful vista. Well worth the drive and the hike.

Back in the truck we drove into Munising. Here one can take several sightseeing cruises to the Pictured Rocks and Grand Island. It is a small city, but there seemed to be a lot to do here and in the surrounding area. We found a city park and boat ramp on the lake and deemed it a perfect spot for Guinness and Rosco to take a dip in Lake Superior. They were eager to take the plunge, but only Guinness would swim out any. Rosco just waded around for a short while. Guinness, also, did not stay long for the water was exceptionally cold. After less than 5 minutes Guinness was shivering so we dried them off and got back into the truck for warmth. This swim, though, would check off lake number 4 of the 5 Great Lakes. Lake Huron was the last one on their bucket list.

We made it back to the RV just in time for supper. We were all ravenous from the days activities. Afterwards we started a fire and just relaxed until it got dark and headed to an early bedtime.

The next morning we had planned to drive into St. Ignace and Sault Ste. Marie to explore that area, but we had to make a change of plan. First of all we had to put the undercarriage cover back on before we departed tomorrow. I didn't replace it in case another leak occurred. None so far. That took the better part of the morning. We, also, found we should do laundry while we had access to a laundry room. So....we made the day into a chores day and play-with-the-Doodles-day. No problem. We had already decided we would come back this way again and do some more exploring. Next time we will stay for several weeks or more.

No comments: