Enjoying the Moment at Smith Lake

…We interrupt the Italy re-cap to give you an update on our current travels…

I will finish up the Italy trip summary, but many people have been asking for an update on our summer adventures, so we will divert today’s post and return to Italy very soon.

The truth is…We’ve been going nonstop since we arrived home to Florida on June 24, packed up the Airstream and headed north. We stopped to see our son and daughter in law’s new home in South Carolina on our way up to Michigan.


Our son, Joel, proudly welcomes us to his sweet new home. 

After a week in Milford visiting with my Dad, friends and family, we continued the drive north to the Blissfest folk festival near Harbor Springs, then continued to the Upper Peninsula, spending a few blustery days in Marquette.

Since we can’t go much further north and still be in the US, we have started working our way west towards Glacier National Park, where we have reservations starting next Wednesday.

We were planning to take Route 2 west, but a severe storm last Monday washed out the road near the Apostle Islands in northern Wisconsin. We diverted slightly south and are now in Park Falls, WI, staying for two days at the quiet, county-owned Smith Lake Campground.


Smith Lake features large, private, wooded campsites, each equipped with a high table for cleaning fish as well as a picnic table. There is a path that leads directly to the lake from our site, #30.


Here’s our Chula Girl, out for an adventure at Smith Lake

The park has modern vault toilets, a clean, new shower house, a large picnic pavilion, horseshoe pits, beachside grills, a new children’s playground and a small beach with a boat launch nearby.   There are piles of free firewood. Oh, and did I mention that all sites have electric hookups and there is a dump station with potable water available? All for $20/night. It’s a camper’s paradise and quite a good value.


Smith Lake Campground Pavillion and Beach

Rob’s been able to work easily from here using his unlimited Verizon account. The signal is so good that when I’m not outside, I can also get caught up with the Tour de France stages I missed while we were camped at the Blissfest last weekend.  I’m hopeless when it comes to the Tour.


Good picture!

The dogs hated the noise and confinement of the Blissfest and are thrilled to be here. Sugar practically danced when I let her out of the car!


I love this place SO much!

Chula is a natural camper

When out on the leash, she is the ‘Queen of the Sniff Walk’ and we’ve circled the camping loops several times so she can make sure she hasn’t missed any “l’eau de canine.”   A robin and a bunny greeted us as we arrived back at our campsite after this afternoon’s walk and Chula, all 7 pounds of her, nearly pulled my arm off trying to chase them.


Yummmmm.  This smells SO good!

Most days are simple and uncomplicated, making living in the moment possible.

Each morning, Rob gets up, makes a cup of coffee and sits down at his desk, ready to begin work.  With a good Verizon connection, he is able to work just as well as if he’s sitting at his desk in Ann Arbor.  We try to do the bulk of the driving on the weekends and have been careful to study the Verizon coverage map before we make a decision about where to camp and have had few problems.

My life is simple.  I keep our home clean and do most of the cooking as Rob works.  I’m able to work on some sewing and other projects, walk with the dogs and keep in touch with my friends and family.  It’s the life I craved on those crazy nonstop days at work.

When Rob’s not working, we share time together.  This evening, we took a walk out to Smith Lake.  When we approached the shoreline, Chula started barking madly at a bug in the lake.  Gotta watch those water bugs!


“You get that bug, Chula Girl!”

As I write this, I look out my window at the thick forest greenery.  I hear that robin sweetly chirping away in one of the trees above the campsite. Next to me on the couch, Sugar’s having a dream—She must be running, because her feet keep twitching as she barks in her sleep.   I look over at her and am happy we get to share this adventure together.


Sleep well, sweet pup!




  1. Annie R | 17th Jul 16

    Looks lovely and relaxing! “L’eau de canine” gave me a chuckle 🙂

    • Stella | 17th Jul 16

      I’ve been watching Le Tour de France, so my French is coming out…

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