July 30, 2016


“Eighty percent of success is showing up.”  Woody Allen

Carol writes:  During our week at the Spartan Academy, our names were picked in a drawing for 3 free days at a luxury RV resort in Petoskey called Hearthside Grove.

From Hearthside Grove's Facebook page

Since we were headed in that direction, Al made a slight change to our plans so we could take advantage of this lucky opportunity.

In “RV Park Reviews” Hearthside Grove rates a 9.9 out of 10.  For the life of me, I don’t know what accounts for the tenth of a point deduction in their score!  The investors who built this luxury RV resort built it with sale of the individual RV sites in mind—for Class A motorhomes only.  Our site

was an unimproved lot in the newest section, which had each lot designed with the potential to accommodate a large-style bungalow in addition to the RV hookup site in an extra wide driveway.  This design certainly offered a pretty sweet summer vacation spot with all the room you could want for visitors!  Tennis courts, outdoor fireplaces, shaded patios, a pool and a clubhouse rounded out the amenities. 

I must say the landscaping was out of this world!  And the premium lots with a lake view were situated just perfectly.

Lot improvements ranged from a small bungalow   

to the ultra-deluxe ones with a small house (called a large bungalow).  This lake site pictured below had an advertised price of $659,000!  Uh, we'll pass...

This was certainly an interesting concept that we had never seen before in our RV life on the road.

We spent an afternoon walking around the cute little town of Petoskey.  By the time we parked, The Little Traverse History Museum was only 15 minutes from closing, but we were kindly allowed that time to take a quick look around.  I was curious about the Michigan connection with writer Ernest Hemingway, so I headed straight to the gallery with displays all about the time Hemingway lived in the area as a young man.  The Hemingway family spent summers at their family cottage called Windemere on nearby Walloon Lake.  It was in Michigan where young Hemingway perfected his writing style in stories set in Michigan locales.

According to the museum display, “The Torrents of Spring” was Hemingway’s very first novel, and this book was a satire set in Petoskey.  Might be interesting to look that one up…

The next day we decided to head up toward Harbor Springs and Good Hart, near the tip of the Mitten State, along the scenic Tunnel of Trees.

We thought Petoskey was a pleasant little town along the shore of Lake Michigan, but Harbor Springs was over-the-top interesting and photogenic!

The harbor area with its lovely floral beds

and luxury yachts

got our attention right out of the parking lot.

Beautifully landscaped bed and breakfast homes had elevated killer views of the marina in the distance.

We had a nice conversation at a coffee shop with a family of 3 who were out for the day biking 50 miles along the coast.  They enthusiastically gave us tips on Michigan sights we must see.

The main street in Harbor Springs had typical tourist shops with cuteness overload,

plus a nod to their claim on Hemingway, one of the greatest writers of the 20th century.

North of Harbor Springs the beauty of the Scenic Heritage road called the “Tunnel of Trees” was a little difficult to appreciate when an afternoon rain shower blew in off the lake. 

I had become hooked on a Michigan true crime writer by the name of Mardi Link.  In 2008 she published a book titled “When Evil Came to Good Hart,” the story of the unsolved murder of the Robison family of 6 who were slain in their Good Hart family cabin back in 1968.   I had just started reading this novel when our travel route took an unanticipated turn toward Good Hart. Since we had noticed many signs advertising a Mini-Fair in Good Hart, I found it irresistible not to drive a little further north to Good Hart so I could  get the perfect visual for the story that had captured my attention.

Soon we came upon the mini-fair and used the time there to escape the tail end of that afternoon’s rain showers.

A hamburger and a drink out of the rain was just what we needed.

Back in Good Hart we drove by the Good Hart General Store, the physical hub of this tiny town for over 70 years.  Aside from private homes, the entire town of Good Hart consisted of no more than approximately 4 buildings.

Another venue briefly mentioned in Mardi Link’s story was the St. Ignatius Church and Native American cemetery.

The cloudy, rainy day made for spooky ambience as we absorbed the minimal small-town sights and sounds of Good Hart, a tiny northern Michigan village that hasn’t changed all that much since that summer 48 years ago when it was torn apart by unspeakable violence.

Traveling.  It leaves you speechless, then turns you into a storyteller.”  IBN Battuta


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