Went shopping, put in claim for insurance for damages to car in 2 minor accidents, took car to Dean & Harris garage for repairs.
Wed. July 16
Loafed around and rested, first time in days, sat in lawn swing. Did a few last minute things, helped Ruby a little but mostly loafed. Got the car back in the evening with radiator repaired, new windshield, brakes adjusted, and bumping jobs in door and a front fender. M.H. ran into a cow in the Upper Peninsula and a stone hit the windshield & smashed a corner up near Mackinaw City while I was driving. In N.D. I ran down a grade off the road about 4 ft high without damage while rounding a corner too fast. No other accidents occurred during the trip.
Thur. July 17
Drove to the state park at Tawas City and camped. It proved to be a good deal of an enterprise, touring en famille. Ruby had to leave out some of the things she wished to take and I some I had taken West, but we got away. Numerous steps and a late start also seemed necessary, the latter because of working till midnight getting ready. Our day's drive therefore totaled 164 miles. For the first time, Ruby helped with the driving doing 40 mile shifts while I took 60.
The camp at Tawas is large and has a good many people. We found the kind of place we like by driving through the occupied part to a point further down the beach, nearly to the dock of the Lake Huron Fish Co., where there was plenty of shade, more seclusion and room to spread out. The lake is a comfortable temperature for bathing, but full of bits of wood, mill waste, etc. Ruby & Jane are having a good time here. I am enjoying the rest, and John tolerates it because he must. He dislikes having his schedule of bath, nursing, sunbath and orange juice upset. He is brown as bronze from sun tan and has lived outdoors all day every day for weeks.
Drove to Rogers City where we camped in the deep woods at the rear of the park. Nobody disturbs us here, for the crowd is over nearer the lake. Near our camp is a spring for which I made a cover and shelf during our stay so as to use it for a cooler. One good soaking shower visited us at this camp, the only one during our entire 37 day trip, lasting about two hours but without causing us much discomfort. Our tent is unmistakably waterproof (the roof only as yet) but did not admit a drop. The bucksaw is an essential item of camp equipment for me hereafter. It makes a neat and businesslike woodpile and makes it rapidly. It would have saved me a tremendous amount of hard chopping in the West if I had had it along. I cut a dead balsam about a foot through near our camp, cut it into ten foot logs and split them lengthwise with wedges. These flat sided pieces would then be still to be sawed when laid across another log as in the sketch.
During our whole trip we ate as well and kept as clean as at home. At first it took a good deal of time, but we soon learned to work more rapidly, and could very comfortably spend every other day in sightseeing. It could as well have been used for fishing, hunting or what have you. Toward the last there was time to go swimming or take a walk or snooze or invite somebody in for the evening on the workday. Baked 6 loaves of bread, 3 doz. cookies, a loaf of cornbread and a lot of pancakes at this stop.
Drove to Brimley State Park. Huckleberries are very abundant near Rogers City and Brimley, but not in the other places we stopped. Spent one day seeing the Soo Locks and went fishing another day. A cold wind discouraged very much outdoor cooking here and we lived from hand to mouth. Not a stop that added much to the pleasure of our trip, though we were not actually uncomfortable. In fishing season one might troll for lake trout between Round Island and Cedar Point, and they cast for rainbows, etc. in the St. Mary's rapids. Use boots and get well out in the stream on one of the big rocks. The fish must be played in swift water. There is trout fishing in Pennell's Creek, and pike fishing in Pennell's Lake, but both must be from a foot. The stream is fished in the beaver ponds just below the lake. It is too small to fish below these ponds and is covered with dense brush. It is only about 3 feet wide too. It is reported to be fished to death, and is probably none too good, any time as the lake from which it flows is a marshy, shallow place, about a mile from Lake Superior and but little above it. The water cannot possibly be very well aerated, though it is cold, almost as cold as ice water.