I was pleased to have found tonight's campground while I was doing research at Keith's... it's a private campground right next door to W.J. Hayes State Park, which my DeLorme's Gazetteer notes is in the "Scenic Irish Hills" and has hiking trails. I called the campground from Battle Creek, and they said they'd charge me $17 a night, which is a bargain by Michigan standards. So that's part of why I went so far yesterday: to get closer to tonight's stop so I'd have time to hike.
Right after I left Shady Acres, about a mile and a half down the road, in the middle of nowhere, I found a UU church. What it's doing way out there I don't know. It claims to belong to the town of East Liberty, which isn't on the map. But had I known it was there, I could have camped for free. Clearly I need to do better research. ;-)
I stopped in Brooklyn, MI to do some errands. It's a nice size town: large enough for a serious supermarket and a big-box discount store, but with a healthy downtown of manageable size, its own newspaper (weekly), and so on.
As soon as I left Brooklyn I saw signs for the Scenic Irish Hills. Oh boy! Got to my campground... golf course. Packed up my hiking stuff and rode to the state park... no hiking trails, just a beach. No hills, either. Lots of picnic tables, though. Well over a hundred. One for each Canada goose to sit down with a seagull. Why so many tables at this park's beach and only three at Holland State Park's beach, on Lake Michigan?
So I spent the afternoon doing some overdue maintenance on my tent and trailer. The tent has gotten mildew, and I hope the soapy sponging and thorough drying the care tag recommended makes a difference, 'cause otherwise I'll have to buy another tent soon, and probably another every few months for the rest of the trip.
Total distance: 18.42 mi
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