Monday, July 25, 2022

2022 - Patoka Lake




We left home on July 13, 2022 headed to Patoka Lake SRA.  We camped there in April of 2022 and had snow.  This time we had temperatures in the high 80's and low 90's, not the best camping weather.Patoka Lake is a large reservoir in southern Indiana, run by the Corp of Engineers.  The park is operated by the Indiana DNR.


We hiked around the campground, and found a path from our campsite down to the water.  There was a Blue/Green algae warning, so we chose not to swim.





 We scheduled a quick visit to the vet for Sarah on Friday, and then decided to spend the day exploring Jasper, Indiana.  First we stopped to see the famous Geode  Grotto.

"CONSTRUCTED  OVER TEN YEARS ON the site of a former handball court on the grounds of the Providence Home, the Geode Grotto was the idea of Father Phillip Ottavi, and Italian immigrant who was inspired by religious grottes in Europe.  As a child he was orphaned ny the Messina earthquake, which killed 100,000 or more people in Italy in 1908, which leds to his involvement with the Order of the sons of Divine Providence who are dedicated to helping the less fortunate."

"Grottos have long been associated with Catholic fervor and devotion.  The grotto at Lourdes, France, became famous when an apparition of Mary to a youg girl was followed by miraculous cures.  A frenzy of grotto building in Europe began even earlier in the mid 1600s and continued through the Victorian period."

"Geodes are abundant in southern Indiana and the soft rocks with crystal-filled centers have been used locally as building and decorative material for generations.  The geodes in this grotto come from Heltonville, Indiana.  The white Carrara marble statues were imported from Italy."

"The Geode Grotto was built between 1960 - 1970 under the guidance of Father Ottavi with help of residents and coworkers from the home.  The grotto covers four city blocks in fountains, planters, cave-like openings and gardens."

There are two major shrines: the Mother of God Shrine on the south end, and the St. Joseph Shrine in the North.  The entrance is through Mother of God Shrine, just north of the Providence Home on Bartley Street.




  Mother of God Shrine


Saint Joseph Shrine





 Saint Anthony

                                                                               Saint Jude



 When we were in Jasper in 2021 we had lunch at Schnitzelbank Restaurant.  We picked up carry-out on this trip and enjoyed a great German meal.  Jasper is and old German town that carries on many German traditions throughout the year.

                                                               St. Joseph Catholic Church
             We stopped at the Jasper City Mill and Susan picked up a loaf of fresh Amish wheat bread.

Jasper Train Depot

                                The Jacob Moery Cabin was moved to and restored at Patoka Lake Nature Center

We had a visitor at our campsite

                                                     Our son's family came for a visit and BBQ

                                We spent five days at Patoka Lake and plan on returning next year.

Saturday, June 25, 2022

Michigan - 2022








 We left home on June 9th, headed for Northern Michigan.  Our first stop for a couple nights was the Muskegon, MI KOA.  We had a nice view of the small lake.  During our stay we hiked around the lake 3-4 times.


Our second stop was Wilderness State Park on Lake Michigan.  We had a view of Lake Michigan from our campsite.  The weather was amazing.  We had night time lows in the mid-40's to mid-50's and daytime highs in the 60's and 70's.  This was perfect camping weather.  I ventured into the lake, up to my waist.  The water was still ice cold and would probably remain like that until late July.




We had beautiful sunsets each night and it was great taking walks along the beach.  Sunset was close to 9:30pm each night

On Monday, June 13 we took the Star Hydro-Jet ferry to Mackinac Island.  We took the early ferry that took a side trip under the Mackinac Bridge.


While on the island we took a carriage ride.  Approximately half way through we switched to a 3-horse carriage that took us through Mackinac State Park



                                                                            Arch Rock

                                                               Round Island lighthouse


  This is the famous Grand Hotel.  We wanted to visit the hotel, but ran out of time.  We later found out they charge you to enter the grounds and also charge you to walk on the covered deck overlooking Lake Huron.

                                                             Round Island Passage Light

                                                     Picture of the Hydro-Jet ferry rooster tail

                                                                            Joli Olli

            Dog Day afternoon.  Sara had the shelter all to herself, spending several hours sleeping

We could not resist taking pictures of the small trailer. with window boxes and 10-15 pink flamingos dotting the campsite.  There were 4-5 chairs around the campfire.  Not once did we see any sign of life and all of a sudden it was gone.

                                                               Mackinac Bridge

                                                               Old Mackinac Point Lighthouse


                                   McGulpin Point Lighthouse.  This lighthouse began operation in 1869,                                making it one of the oldest lighthouses in the Straits.  It operated until 1906

                       Wawatam Lighthouse, St. Ignace, MI  This is a fully automated lighthouse                                                                that was built in 1998 and guards the harbor4 of St. Ignace.

 On Monday June 20th we started our trip home.  We stopped for 2 nights at Salamonie Lake State Park South of Huntington, IN  We had a beautiful view from our campsite, that also included the marina.


We stopped at 2 local breweries, Cheboygan Brewing Company in Cheboygan, MI and Rusted Spoke in Mackinaw City, MI.  We also picked up a couple of beef pasties, a Michigan specialty.. 19th century Cornish immigrants brought the pasty into the iron mines of the Upper Peninsula.  The Cornish Pasty descends from a broader family of medieval English meat pies.

We were gone 12 days and had a great time.  Our arrival back into Indiana was met with mid-90 degree temperatures.  Air Conditioning was a life saver.  Thanks for riding along.  Until next time.