We moved to Brighton Recreation Area Bishop Lake Campground in Brighton, MI, and got a big pull-through spot near the lake. It was a nice spot, except it was pretty muddy, and we got a lot of rain.
Brighton is open year-round, and there are heated bathrooms and showers, but there isn’t any place to fill up water in the winter! Our water tank was mostly full when we arrived, but we had to ration water pretty carefully. The trailer has a monitor for the fresh water, gray water, and black water tanks, so we kept an eye on that. Besides a little cooking we did for Thanksgiving, we didn’t do much cooking and ate off paper plates to avoid dish washing. We did run out of water, the day before we planned to move, and had to fill up a 5 gallon container with water at Brian’s parents’ house.
Our time in Brighton felt strange. We had great Thanksgiving celebrations with our families and friends. We were so busy with plans that we didn’t spend that much time in the trailer. It was really cluttered inside, because we brought in a lot of stuff that we usually store in the truck (like Brian’s fishing stuff), so we didn’t even really want to spend much time at home.
We did go on a couple hikes in Brighton Recreation Area. In the beginning of our stay, there was even some ice in the lake, which made Brian happy!
We also visited downtown Brighton, and checked out the cute shops and restaurants. It’s a nice town. There is a boardwalk around a lake, right downtown. We ate some tasty crepes!
A big thing that we struggled with is not knowing what was going on with our truck, when we would be able to travel, and how our plans would need to change. Uncertainty is not a comfortable thing for me! We finally heard back about the truck a week and a half after it was towed in for repair. It needs a new engine. A new engine in a truck with 42,000 miles! They say a bearing near the crank shaft failed. Fortunately, it will again be covered under the power train warranty, but unfortunately the repair will likely take at least two weeks.
So we weighed our options. We could camp locally, occasionally borrowing a truck to change campsites if needed, or we could rent a truck and continue traveling, or we could put the trailer in storage and travel without it, staying in a hotel or airbnb. This choice felt so much harder than it actually was. Every time we thought we decided, we changed our minds. I think it was because we had a plan already, and when that plan didn’t work out, it was really hard to readjust our expectations. We eventually decided to stay in Michigan and camp through December. This way we will be able to get ready for Christmas, and spend time with friends and family, while still living in our trailer. Winter camping in Michigan isn’t easy (barely any campgrounds open, and the ones that are open aren’t fully functional), but we will try.
I know the truck problems are out of our control, but I can’t help but feel like we are failing at this. We only traveled for one month before being grounded for two months. I don’t think I would feel so disappointed if we had more travel under our belts already. But, we will make the best of it. We were planning to spend a couple weeks at home for Christmas anyway, this will give us more time with family and friends, and to make travel plans for next year.
On a happier note, we spotted some Sandhill Cranes!
Day 66 | Mile ??