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Saturday, July 23, 2011

Empire, Michigan

      We arrived Thursday.  I've been a little slow in reporting in.  We had just finished a couple of weeks in Illinois and Indiana with heat index temperatures over 110, plus we have been doing a lot of driving.  So it has been wonderful to chill out (pun intended), relax, get laundry done and crash for a while.  We have stayed at this campground twice before in 2003 and 2008 back when it was known as Sleeping Bear Campground.  In perhaps the most dramatic turnaround I have ever seen in this business, it has morphed into one of the nicest high end resorts around.    
     It is now called Indigo Bluffs.  I'll spend some more bandwidth in the future extolling the virtues of this place after we have checked them all out.  As you can see, the sites are well separated by acres of wild flowers.  The parking is on a massive slab of concrete that was embossed just before hardening so that it looks like flagstone.  Then the concrete was sealed.  For those of you who remember, it is exactly what I did for our driveway in Nashua in 1990.  In lieu of a fire ring, there is a fire bowl on four legs with a ceramic tile ring around the perimeter.  A couple of substantial chairs complete the patio.  The manager who accompanied us to the site and got us set up said, "If you'd like some firewood, call and we'll bring it down in a golf cart."  We are going to spend a week here because this is where Dick and Jeanette Daniel live.  Dick and I were college roommates for four years.
     Empire is a town of 760 that is completely surrounded by the Sleeping Bear Dunes National Park on the shore of Lake Michigan.  The Daniels are among that half of the population that spends twelve months a year here.  Last night we went out to eat at an old time local restaurant called the Manor.  After some spicy mussels, I had a lake trout.  Today Durelle finished up the laundry chores and we went to the Daniel's for supper and bridge.
        This is their back yard with greenery on the latticework over their deck.  There is an abundance of veggies and flowers that struggle to survive the host of deer that share the yard.  
     The weather was perfect for eating outside.  Check those steaks!  It was a pleasant evening with comfortable breezes off Lake Michigan.  After supper the guys spotted the girls the first game, and then eked out the next two for a 500 rubber.
         The last picture doesn't really fit into the narrative, but I thought you might enjoy seeing Baxter contemplating the black-eyed susans.
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