(this is one of series of posts of various campgrounds we have been to over the years... I am going through my files in alphabetical order and posting past camping trips in my blog.... something to do over this long long winter---- sigh)
Runkle Lake is located on the east end of Crystal Falls, Michigan in the Upper Peninsula. It’s my father’s hometown and many of the Bicigo’s still live there. The Bicigo Shoe Shop is still functioning on main street, run by some second cousins and great uncles.
The campground is down on the end of main street, across the river and up past the cemetery and on the left. I took a Google Earth shot to show the campground. As you drive in past the ball diamond, dump station and tennis courts, the campground is divided into two halves. The right side is very hilly, rutted with tree roots and you park just about anywhere, willy nilly. There are only a few water spigots and the power pedestals are kinda catch as you can or run long long cords. The left side is a newer section with definite sites and logically spaced power pedestals and water hookups.
SITES #1 - #17
(WATER, ELECTRIC & SEWER HOOKUPS)
(WATER & ELECTRIC HOOKUPS)
The lake is experiencing an invasion of the milfoil plants, which are choking out other plants and causing real problems with boating and swimming. The beach area is cleaned out regularly, but the weeds are encroaching and causing a lot of extra work.
These photos are from a combination of a few years worth of camping at the lake. Our family gathers here twice yearly… once for the Bass Festival and once for the Fungus Fest. (more on that later)
Poor photo here, from old cheap digital camera pre-2002 camping shots…. but it shows how campers just park willy nilly here under the tall trees.
Here is the crew gathered around my sister’s trailer. This is her favorite spot as its right next to the horseshoe courts. At both festivals we attend, the guys join the horseshoe tournaments. It’s their main priority of coming to this park! LOL
Here is my Mister Steveio, doing what he does best!
My brother is the beer distributor during the time these photos were taken… he would set up the beer tent and haul back the empties in the back of his pickup truck, as there wasn’t a lot of room to bring in the big beer truck just to unload empty half barrels.
Parked in the willy nilly area of campers, also is my brother’s boat. This is common for folks to want have boats and campers when camping in the UP of Michigan… so it usually means also having a spouse drive a separate vehicle to tow a boat, in addition to their fifth wheels or travel trailers. But my brother no longer has a spouse! Steveio had made him the extra hitch on back of his fifth wheel to tow triple… but it kinda scares him. This particular time he had me drive his fiver and truck back to town for him after camping was done.
This is the morning after …. poor Beerman Butch and his hangover. Pass around the Tylenol. This is kinda common among our crew of beer drinkers. (I drink wine)
Here is a more recent shot, I think from 2008… twilight before heading over to the pavilion for dancing to the live music. Yup, this is our Crew. LOL Smokey foreground from the campfire smoke. Mother hung incicle lights from her motorhome, oh geesh.
We all went over to the pavilion for some dancing.. here are the folks, Ma and Pa Hall. Then our crew out on the dance floor. Steveio was doing his best “Frog in the Blender” rendition of dance moves.. heh heh
Steveio and I, the Honeymooners… dancing late into the night! This was the ubiquitous camera shot of holding it at arms length and hoping it catches both of us in the lens.
The festivals in the town of Crystal Falls have themes such as Bass Fest, Harvest Fest, Fungus Fest. They are all just excuses for a PARTY~!
Now here is a little bit I gleaned from this site about the Fungust Fest:
This particular weekend, I was able to get 3 bushels of cucumbers from a local truck farmer to make dill pickles with. My sister and my mom love to do pickles, so we hauled all the gear up to make them. The canning kettle sets on the LP burner stand from our turkey fryers. The other kettle is the hot pickling brine.
(not kidding, a little *brag* here-- at the County Fair, I won Best in Show for my pickles, and got a ton of great prizes from the Kerr-Ball canning company to boot!)
Mother sat for hours, scrubbing pickles clean before processing. What a gal…. as children, we helped her many many years canning pickles, saur kraut, tomatoes etc.
(don’t ask, our recipe is a prize-winning secret!)