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Sunday, July 25, 2010

CAMPING - FRIDAY - at Paint River Forks in the Ottawa National Forest of the U.P. of Michigan


This weekend we are back to NO grandkids... LOL   Just Steve and I headed north to Michigan.  We were meeting up with my sister Schmoo and her husband Fuzz.   Just us two couples for a quiet weekend in the woods.

It was 87 hot humid muggy icky hazy and plain old awful when we left Oconto about 1pm (Steveio got off work early)   So I was loaded up in the driveway and ready to roll as soon as he got home.  

We drove 15 miles to the next town and stopped at Piggly Wiggly grocery store for a few things before heading north.  Just the few minutes that I was in the store, the motorhome was getting quite uncomfortable in the newly tarred black parking lot.  So Steveio fired up the generator and turned on the air conditioners while he and the doggies waited for me to get out of the store.   Loaded up with a few more necessities, we made our way north. 

The further north we got, the NICER it got... the sky clear up to puffy white clouds and the sunshine was out.   Here is a through-the-windshield shot:paint river forks july 20100 It was a very pleasant drive and the temps dropped as we trekked our 131 miles north.



By the time we reached the Paint River, it was now 74 degrees, all blue sky, not a cloud in sight and no humidity.   We pulled in after the last mile or so of rough gravel roads, and saw the welcoming sign to “The Forks”  

(about 15 years ago my little nephew accidently knocked over this sign with a four-wheeler and hid behind the outhouse rather than tell us what he did.  We fixed the sign)

paint river forks july 201059

So we are at The Paint River Forks, which I wrote about a past visit in a blog about here:



paint river forks google earth shot

This campground has only 4 campsites that are no longer maintained or fees charged by the National Forest Service.  It's so out of the way for them to come to maintain or collect, and with budget cuts and turning the campgrounds in the area over to concessionaires to run, there is no longer anything done to these four sites.  The concessionaires won't bother with just 4 sites either, so nobody really runs this place or takes care of it.   They even took out the well pitcher pump, but at least the outhouse is still here!

Our brotherinlaw Fuzz had already hauled their trailer out during the day on Friday, but my sister had to work till 5pm.   When he had been at the campground, he put a lawn chair over in the site we were going to take.  Good thing he did, because when we pulled in, there were other people in the other two sites!   We didn't really recognize the lawn chair as being one of my sister's chairs... so I walked over to the other campers to ask if they were saving this site.  Nobody around.   So we moved the chair and pulled into the site anyhow, thinking if someone did come, we would pull out and move doubled up on my sister's site if we had to.

Someone did come outta the other camper about 20 minutes later, in his skivvies!    So we weren't going to approach him then!  Looks like he just rolled outta bed at 4pm in the afternoon!   LOL  

I started to make up a supper casserole, while Steveio got out the lawn chairs and let the doggers do their thing.   Suddenly a very friendly dog popped around the corner of our rig to say "hello" and the neighbors pulled on their clothes to come retrieve him.  LOL  We then asked if that was their chair, they said no, but they said they saw my brotherinlaw put it there before he left for town.  Good, now we knew the site was ours and we could set up and level off.

I made up a pan of a chicken casserole --

-slice up thin pieces of boneless skinless chicken breast
-lay the bottom of a pan sprayed with cooking spray
-preboil some tiny chunks of broccoli, cauliflower, onions and mushrooms till soft
-drain and dumped the veggies on top of the chicken
-then 2 cans of cream of celery soup slathered on top with a spatula,
-and then arranged a layer of tater tots on top. 
-Season and cover with tinfoil
-and put in the "Easy Bake Oven" on 350 to bake slowly till done. 

Schmoo and Fuzz arrived from town, got the campfire started and supper was done!

After setting up our camping spots, we hauled out the lawn chairs, a few adult beverages and relaxed.

paint river forks july 20103 paint river forks july 20101

paint river forks july 20102

We sat out till late, around the campfire, doing what we do best.... the coyotes were howling at the almost-full moon and we were in the woods... what more could we ask for?


paint river forks july 201054

(stay tuned for the next two posts – Saturday and Sunday…

they deal with pickles and blueberries!)


  1. I loved the pic taken from the window going down the road. The area you went was quite spectacular and seemd very peaceful and refreshing. Yesterday at 7pm it was 97 here with high humidity.
    I look forward to your next 2 days at Paint River Forks weekend.
    Take care and be safe.
    Mike & Gerri

  2. Looks like a great campground, small quiet and FREE, we like free.

    Kevin and Ruth


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