A Wasted Trip

 Posted by at 12:02 am  Nick's Blog
Jun 142012

Since we only had a short distance to go yesterday, we were in no hurry to get on the road. But we kept hearing a strange noise that piqued our curiosity, so we got up to check it out and found a huge Great Lakes freighter docked right across from the Fisherman’s Landing Campground.

The Algoway was so big that we couldn’t get a photo that shows the entire ship from the campground, but here is one I borrowed from the Internet. At 650 feet long, she is a medium sized self-unloading bulk carrier, launched in 1972. The ship is powered by four Fairbanks Morse 1666 horsepower 10-cylinder diesel engines, as well as three V-12 cylinder 700 horsepower auxiliary diesel engines made by Caterpillar. The ship has 17 hatches that feed into four massive below-deck holds where she can carry up to 24,000 tons of cargo. In Muskegon, she was unloading rock salt that I assume will be used on the local roadways in wintertime.


Speaking of ships, here is a picture that Rocky took of Miss Terry and me the other day when we toured the Milwaukee Clipper. Terry is the pretty one on the right.

Nick Terry Milwaukee Clipper

We needed to pick up a few things at the grocery store before we headed out, so we called Berni to ask if she could sneak away for an early lunch. She could, and we picked her up and went to a place called Brooklyn Bagels that was only a couple of blocks from her office. It was nice to get to see her one last time before we took off.

Back at the campground I filled our freshwater tank, then unhooked the campground utilities and got ready to travel. We stopped at the dump station to empty our holding tanks, hook the Explorer to our Blue Ox tow bar, and got on the road.

My Microsoft Streets & Trips mapping program told me it was 117 miles to our destination; Coleman, Michigan. So I expected the trip to take us about 2 1/2 hours. As it turned out, it was actually 144 miles and took about 3 hours to get here. Part of that was because we took a slightly different route than the mapping program suggested, to keep on better roads.

As it turned out, it looks like this was pretty much a wasted trip for us. There was a distinct personality conflict with the lady who was supposed to “help” Terry with her sock knitting machine. Earlier our money was fine when she was selling it, but when we arrived she didn’t try to hide the fact that she looked down her nose at people who live a lifestyle that doesn’t fit into her perfectly ordered world. We felt uncomfortable the moment we said hello and it was obvious she did too. She couldn’t believe that anyone would not have a house somewhere, and our gypsy lifestyle was as alien to her as the dark side of the moon. Terry spent a few hours with her and came home so frustrated she was shaking.

We always say that we have wheels under our house, and if we don’t like the neighbors or the neighborhood, we just leave. This is one of those cases, and we were tempted to leave right then. But since it was after 8 PM when Terry got home, it was getting close to dark, and we hadn’t eaten since our early lunch with Berni. So we decided to stay parked on their acreage overnight, and today we will take off. Terry is a smart lady and she’ll figure out the darn machine on her own once we get to Elkhart and get settled in.

We have an appointment Monday morning at Spartan Chassis, in Charlotte, Michigan, which is about 100 miles south of us. Between now and then we will probably spend a couple of days at one of the many Elks lodges, fairgrounds, and small campgrounds between here and there. We don’t have a pressing need to be anywhere, so we’ll just settle in someplace comfortable, get some writing done, and kick back for a few days. Life is good!

Thought For The Day – Living well is the best revenge.

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Nick Russell

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  8 Responses to “A Wasted Trip”

  1. Don’t know what kind of a machine you have but there are YouTube videos for sock knitting machines. You might check them out if you have-not done so already.

  2. I found this website that might be of interest to Terry. http://psknits.com/knitting_club.htm
    The club is in Granger, which is about 9-10 miles from the Elkhart Campground. There is contact information on the website. I don’t know anything about it, but it is a machine knitter’s club. There surely would be someone with experience with different machines. If not, they would probably know of other resources. It appears they meet monthly and do different projects.


  3. Terry–contact http://kareninthewoods-kareninthewoods.blogspot.com/ if you haven’t all ready. Karen and her husband Steve have just sold their home and are preparing to full time. Karen is an avid “fiber” person and has a couple of those knitting machines turning out socks for sale on Esty. While I’ve never met her I feel she would be kind enough to help you with your knitting machine. She might also point you in the direction of someone else closer to you at this point in time.

  4. See Terry, you don’t need the help of Ms. Grabby; you have lots of friends with great ideas and suggestions. Sorry she made you feel bad.

  5. So sorry for Terry’s disappointment!! Oh well, at least you are not related to this person and have to have more contact eh?? And you do not have to go back again!! I was going to suggest that often online you can find any information you need. Sounds like the above commentors have some great ideas and links.

    Happy travels…tis great to be able to move on when needed, eh??

  6. Hey Nick, since you don’t have to be in Charlotte until Mon, this is a good time to
    head down to Jackson (right at the junctiion of US127 & I-94) to check out
    the Cascades Falls, Ella Sharp Museum, tour what were once the largest
    walled prisons in the country. Also, a Jackson restaurant was just voted
    to have the best bbq in the State of Michigan – it’s just a couple miles
    south of the city. We also have an Elks campground which is still open just
    about 3 mi. east of 127. And Charlotte is about 21 Mi. west of the city out
    M-50. And if you need to stock up on vittles, our Meijers Supermarkets are
    the best – 2 in Jackson and 1 in Charlotte, right on M-50.
    If you were a race fan you could head to MIS Speedway for the race on Sun.
    In any event, have a Happy Father’s Day and enjoy your free time.

  7. What a let down for Terri. If only you had made a left turn in IL and headed up to Karen -in– the- Woods, in Oconto, WI… Karen would have made you feel like family and you can actually feel the love pouring out of her. She is a true Fiber Artist and would have shown Terri so much that she would have had that sock machine just a smokin by now. Contact Karen. She will lead you in the right direction.
    I feel bad that you had to encounter such bad bahavior.
    Contact Karen at : pfundt@gmail.com

  8. I was going to offer the same advice that Janna did. I’ll bet you & Terry would get a warm welcome from Karen and learn a lot about that old sock knitting machine. Plus, with them being future full-timers you would have plenty to talk about.

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