Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Frustrating Day, New Time Zone, and New Lake

level camp sites at Indiana Dunes State Park
What a day! I woke up last night to the sound of teeming rain and this morning continued more of same. We went to Mass and came back intending to pack up and leave, but delayed to see if the rain would stop. An hour later we decided it wasn't going to end anytime soon and donned our rain ponchos. The rain wasn't coming straight down, however, it was blowing from the side so, by the time we were done hooking up, we were both soaked despite our rain gear. Ah well, neither of us is a witch so we don't melt. But, wouldn't you know it, as soon as we turned out of the campground the rain let up.

Now that's a big tree!

Our plan was a visit to Sorrowful Mother Shrine in Bellevue about half an hour south and only a little out of the way to our next stop. We put the address in the Garmin and off we went. Ah...the best laid plans.Thirty minutes later we were at the location according to the Garmin with nothing but farms and fields all around us. We drove another four miles on State road shrine and no signs indicating it was anywhere along that road despite the address on their website. Disappointed we decided we'd save that adventure for another time and turned around to head back to the turnpike.

The rain continued all the way through Ohio, but the skies began to clear shortly after we crossed into Indiana. What a blessing to see the sun! Near South Bend we passed into the Central Time Zone and picked up an hour which let us arrive at Indiana Dunes State Park on Lake Michigan around 4:15 with time to take a short hike. At least that was our plan until we opened the camper to find the refrigerator door lying on the floor and food rolling around. The screws on the oven door had worked loose as well and handle was hanging askew. Sigh!

We planned to keep the car hooked up to the camper so we could just take off tomorrow, but Larry didn't have the right size wrench to fix the door, so he figured he'd need to go off to the hardware store to get what he needed. On the way over to the bathroom I was praying and the thought popped into my head, "Ask your neighbor." Of course! Larry went over and borrowed an entire tool box full of different sized wrenches. He fixed the refrigerator door and we were off on that hike after all down to the beach. Then back "home" for a delicious dinner of homemade stew, salad, and bread and butter. We topped it off with the Pennsylvania red wine Bert and Jenny gave us on Monday. As I type this, Larry is fixing the oven door and things aren't looking so bad after all. Our frustrations seem a lot less annoying after a good dinner.

I always stop to smell snap the flowers.
Indiana Dunes is a beautiful state park and the campsites are generous and level. The park is located right on Lake Michigan. From the campground the beach is about a third of a mile with a large bathhouse that has an oriental look to it -- very exotic. It's closed now since swimming is prohibited after Labor Day. The waves were wild. It reminded me of the Outer Banks, but the wind was a gale blowing up a stinging sandstorm that  made me glad I hadn't taken off my glasses. We walked along the beach and were going to take one of the dune trails back to the campground, but after walking up the first dune and seeing the downhill stretch and another tall dune ahead we decided to return to the beach for the flat walk back. Tomorrow morning we plan to hike the marsh  trail before we head out for our next stop -- Champion, Wisconsin and the Shrine to Our Lady of Help. Hopefully, we'll find that one!

Lessons for the day:

1) Don't trust the weather man. He said the weather between Virginia and Wisconsin for our first few days of travel was going to be partly cloudy. Ha!

2) Don't trust the Garmin. Sometimes it's great. Other times....

3) The only one you can trust all the time is the Lord. When in crisis pray. He may send you to the neighbor with the right tools.

1 comment:

Jessica Kreitzer said...

Use the Maps feature on the iPad. I often checked it and compared to the GPS when we were going somewhere. The Maps feature will also tell you if there is traffic - the roads will be red if the traffic is bad. But, this can be useful, especially if you hit traffic on a highway. You can see how far it goes and decide to get off it it's too bad. Very useful.

Sounds like fun! Makes me want to go again. Such a great adventure.