Heading north, we stopped overnight at Rocky Fork Ranch Resort in Kimbolton, Ohio. Beth had won 30 days of free camping from Travel Resorts of America at the Hershey RV Show last fall. We paid for it by sitting through a time-share sales pitch at their Gettysburg resort in October. This was the first time we had a chance to use a free night and it was a different experience. We checked in at the office, then drove up a steep, rutted, steep hill to the campground. Our first site was next to a cabin and the electric had reversed polarity. We walked around the campsite and found a couple of vacant sites and tested their electric service before calling the office. When we called, they were fine with us moving to another site. Checking out the campground we found old stand-alone restrooms that weren't in good shape. Exploring the clubhouse and pool area the facilities were much nicer and in better repair.
|Our Second Site at Rocky Fork Ranch|
Heading to the pool complex for a morning shower, I was surprised to see a horse stopped at the gate while an Amish gentleman keyed in the combination from his seat atop a fully laden wagon. Not sure what they were delivering, but I was impressed that a single horse pulled the wagon full of large sacks up the hill.
|Hilltop Garden at Rocky Fork Ranch|
Leaving the ranch, we chose to travel diagonally across Ohio on route 250 instead of taking the turnpikes. The route passed through small towns and pretty farmland. Road shoulders are wider than in NC so they can accommodate horses and wagons. Even so, I don't envy them being passed by large trucks traveling 55+ mph. We tried to give them plenty of room when there wasn't oncoming traffic.
Noticing a bright red roofed building, we pulled in to see what we might find. Red Tomato Market in Dundee had a little bit of everything, including Whoopie Pies, something we haven't found much outside of Maine. Dundee is in the heart of Ohio Amish country and the market accommodated Amish clientelle by having a hitching rail alongside the building for horses.
Route 250, 20 and 23 avoided Toledo and Detroit traffic and we arrived in SE Michigan with no problems.
One visit led us to Michigan State University's dairy store. The ice cream is made on campus and flavors reflect the big 10 team names. Rumor has it that it has a higher fat content than allowed by law, so can't be sold off campus. No wonder it tastes so good!
Beth did her undergraduate degree work at MSU and had fun showing Noah and I around campus.
Perry Hotel garden for ice tea. The hotel opened in 1899 and continues to be a delightful spot with a great view of Lake Michigan.
Back in a more reasonably priced area, we enjoyed downtown Gaylord. The local Elk's Club held a surprise. The Elk's Park, next door, actually contained a small herd of elk including this big male.
Reservoir Park for $27. No one was at the office, so we drove around in the park and noticed a few empty sites on this Sunday evening. It appeared to be a summer place where people leave their campers. Several folks had built-out porches and screen rooms, so they didn't look like they would be moving any time soon. We were on our way out but noticed the office manager had returned. We caught her just as she was closing up and did manage to get a site.
Now I'm a person who likes trains, but be warned that this campground is very close to an active double-track mainline. I counted at least ten trains passing through during our overnight stay. The sad part was a woodland barrier prevented the railfan in me from seeing any of them!
The three of us had a good time covering 1,366 miles over two weeks with several relaxing visits. The van performed perfectly and averaged 19.1 mpg.