We had one more big job for Duncan that would require us to be out of the rig for a couple days so we took a mini vacation along the Lake Michigan coast. Our tech, Dan, was ill on Monday so we waited until Tuesday to leave. The real advantage to not having a set schedule.
The last job was to install new AGM maintenance free batteries. The battery tray was corroded to the point that it needed to be sandblasted and repainted. The job is now all done and I am happy that I will not have to worry about topping off the water in the batteries. Our overall experience at Duncan RV Service was very satisfactory and we would recommend them to anyone who needs just about any kind of work done. Even though the work was done, we decided to take advantage of the "free" camping at Duncan so I could wash the exterior while Nanc cleaned the interior of the rig.
We headed to Lake Michigan where our first stop was the Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore. The park is a patchwork of over 15,000 acres that has been saved from industrial development. There is a steel mill and a big power plant right next to the park. Even with those industrial sites the park offers several miles of undisturbed sandy lake shore.
Part of the park surrounds the Beverly Shores housing development that was started in the early 1900's. These homes were brought here from the Century of Progress exhibit at the 1933 Chicago Exposition. They are now owned by the park service and leased to private individuals. The pink one is a Florida home. The round House of Tomorrow is being repaired. Bottom is a house covered with steel and a cedar log home. Indiana Dunes is a neat oasis in the middle of an urban industrial area.
Since we were traveling mid week we did not make a reservation. We drove through a couple of small beach towns and ended up staying in Saint Joseph, a neat little place.
Saint Joseph was once the home of the Silver Beach Amusement Park. The site is now a county park, but they do have a beautiful carousel that Nanc could not resist.
The weather was wonderful and the sandy beach was crowded with sun bathers.
Saint Joseph has these neat old lighthouses at the harbor entrance. They are typical of other Great Lakes lighthouses we have seen. There are often two together so boats would know they were heading toward the harbor when they lined them up.
The hotel where we stayed had an outdoor show one afternoon. It included the band, The Willeys, and Marshall Crenshaw. We never pass up a chance to hear a bit of music.
Saint Joseph had a lot of public art at the local museum and around town. I particularly like the plane on the roof. How many times as a kid did you lose one of those small balsam wood planes when it landed on the roof? This one had a 10 foot wingspan.
Another public art display was the painted trains, planes and helicopters scattered around town.
The sunset was not very good this evening, but the water park fountain sure was.
On our way back to Elkhart we stopped at the Round Barn Winery, Brewery and Distillery. Nanc did a wine tasting and I checked out the beer. They were both good enough that we made a purchase. We have been trying to get to the Lake Michigan dunes area since we headed that way in 2006 on our first big trip in our new rig. The plans on that trip changed when we ended up at Newmar having some work done. So this year repairs have brought us back to the area.
Tomorrow we will be heading west. We plan to spend some time in Hannibal, then head to Branson and travel a bit of Route 66 on our way to the balloon fiesta. We have made some reservations since the holiday weekend is coming up, but most of the plan is still written in sand.