Dawn Patrol to Michigan

I’ve decided I’m OK with the dawn patrol.  Up at dark, campground shower with no one else around, kids rousted and then allowed to go right back to sleep, and a few hours of driving before anyone’s on the road to get in our way.

One little tidbit we hadn’t considered until late last night was that you can’t just check into a campground at 9AM.  Not unlike a hotel, there’s a check in and check out time.  Oops.  So we tried to rent our campsite (which very fortunately for us was not occupied) for last night, but the online system wouldn’t let us.  A bit disconcerting to get on the road knowing we’d have to do a very quick turnaround at the campground but not knowing for sure we’d be able to park there.  Fortunately an 8AM phone call to the campground rewarded us with a very nice worker (ranger?) who said it would be no problem to set up in our site early and they wouldn’t even charge us.

Here’s what I’m not OK with — multiple roundabouts in a residential area when I’m lugging 50′ of clumsy vehicle.  I made the considerable mistake of using Waze to get us up to the State Park once we got into the Detroit area.  While I’m sure it’s an excellent app, it’s perfectly happy driving you down any old residential street if it thinks it might save you a minute or two.  Frustratingly though (and this is a pet peeve of GPS driving/map apps in general), it doesn’t show you an overview of your route, just the next 500′ or so.  So you get a “hey, if you turn left here, I can save you 15 minutes!” which of course you assent to, then the next thing you know you’re getting rudely gestured at (rightfully so) and scraping the top of the motorhome on low hanging trees as you try to avoid people attempting to get in their cars to go to work.  Even more infuriating was watching the ETA click steadily right back up to beyond where it was before our turn off the interstate.  And don’t even get me started on roundabouts.  I’m a fan of them as long as I’m in a car and I’m among other drivers who know how they work (pro tip: you have to yield to the drivers in the circle.  You do not have to stop.)  But in the motorhome where every sharp turn sends things on shelves skittering to undesired places and you have to think about your turn radius with the towed car and the fact that your tail end swings outward due to how far forward the rear wheels are… it’s a special kind of hell.  Anyway, rant off.  We made it unscathed.  Here’s the route:


The park / campground is nice.  Woodsy, lakes, trails.  There’s even an “inflatable park” in one of the lakes that I’m hoping the kids will get a chance to play on.

As for now I’m off to work.  I did nearly get removed from a flight today, however, which is a first for me.  Generally commuting is easy no matter which airline I fly on, but today I managed to get the surly gate agent we all dread.  She was quite short with me and some other commuting crew from her own airline, but that was fine.  The situation deteriorated when she decided I didn’t have time to ask for a ride from the captain, who was in the lav right behind the cockpit at the time, and ordered me to my seat.  Things escalated when I explained that protocol and courtesy dictated that I do, in fact, need to check in with the captain and she vigorously disagreed.  The flight attendant was horrified by this and attempted to intercede on my behalf, but that only upset the gate agent further, prompting her to hiss “I’m 30 seconds from kicking you off this plane!” as I walked back to my seat after checking in quickly with the captain.  Crisis averted though, I’m on my way to Portland, and my family is tucked safely into the campsite in the Michigan woods north of 8 Mile.


3 thoughts on “Dawn Patrol to Michigan

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