On the first day of the drive back south, I’m at a rest-stop on US 23 just north of Ann Arbor, MI, where I plan to spend the night. It’s quiet and clean, and my parking spot is quite level. I spent last night at Onaway State Park, in the far northern part of Michigan’s southern peninsula. It was a lovely park, its campsites shaded by green, abundant trees, within view of a fairly large lake (Black Lake). I was delighted by the peaceful surroundings, with few sounds except for the cheerful chorus of bird songs that greeted me as I left the RV to walk down to a pavilion near the water’s edge. The sun hung low over the water and cast a sparkling runner of light across its surface, wavelets shimmering like silver sequins or brilliant diamonds. I think the reason we like shiny things intuitively, is that in the wild, they signal water, a pleasant sight indeed (and biologically essential). A couple of children were still playing in the small swimming area before the pavilion; they made little enough noise that the slosh and gurgle of waves lapping against the nearby rocks was clear and mesmerizing. This is the sort of place that, if one came here every summer as a child, it would seem like the most beautiful place on earth, against which all other natural beauty might be compared.
I left Virg and Don’s yesterday, a little after noon, and originally intended just to dump and fill up with water at Onaway State Park, then head south that evening. I intend to head straight down US 23, all the way south until it runs into I-26, and then take that into Charleston. It looks like the shortest way, if not the quickest, since I won’t be stopping to see Lis and family in Nashville. US 23 passes through Portsmouth, Ohio, where my cousin, John, and his family live; I wasn’t sure whether or not I’d visit them on this trip, but with Nashville off the itinerary, I decided to stop in Portsmouth instead. However, when I called him on his cell phone, I found that he was in upstate New York, but intending to be back on Sunday. So I decided to take an extra day or two on the trip south and visit with him and his family, since he is one of my favorite cousins and I haven’t seen him for several years.