The end of winter

It's over. No matter the calendar says spring came over a month ago. It really came this weekend, at least to my part of the Midwest – Michigan. Finally.

Sunny skies – the first in a long time – and temperatures in the 60's was all it took. So here we are, Jennifer, Bo and me, camped in the  Muskegon State Park which itself just opened for the season a few days ago.

That's our 2017 Roadtrek CS Adventurous XL 4X4 in the above photo, parked next to the lake at sunset Sunday.

No matter that there are still scattered piles of snow on the edge of the roads and the shaded side of the steep sand dunes along Lake Michigan. No matter that many of the bpicnic tables are still propped up on fire rings to shed the several feet of snow that fell on them this past winter. No matter that Lake Michigan itself is so cold that when you stand on the shore the air temperature drops about 10 degrees.

Bo running along Lake Michigan celebrating the return of warm weather

Winter is over. We feel it in our bones. The long range forecast has the temperatures above freezing every night. We are so sure winter is over that we dewinterized. Again, As we did a few months back when we headed to Florida. The second batch of antifreeze I flushed through the system two weeks ago as we returned to the north was itself flushed out Saturday.

There are still some scattered piles of snow in shady areas

I know. I know. The melancholy naysayers out there think I'm premature. But I know deep down that winter is over.

So we're out here living the RV Lifestyle in a park that, once school gets out, is filled with a waiting list all summer.  Saturday, there were early season campers galore. Most all but a few checked out Sunday to return home for school and work. We checked in and found a great spot steps away from a pathway along a river that empties into Lake Michigan, a few minute's walk to the west.

The local fishermen were out casting for steelhead along the breakwater. Ask them and they will agree. Winter is over. The spring run is starting.

The steelhead are running

Ask the people who were lined up at every Dairy Queen and Whippy Dip and ice cream shop we passed as we drove here trough the busy tourist towns of South Haven, Holland, and Grand Haven. Winter is over.

We came to Western Michigan Saturday night, camping at a Jellystone Park Resort near South Haven with our son, Jeff, and daughter-in-law, Aimee, who brought our grandchildren, Jovie, 3, and Jax, 8 months, to enjoy their first camping experience in their brand new 27-foot travel trailer. I'll have a video on that after in the week. But that park was almost filled with camping families anxious to be outside with their RVs again. Everyone there sensed it. This is it. A weather page has turned. No more snow. Winter is over. Time to go camping again.

After Jeff and Aimee broke camp Sunday and checked out to return to their home in Kalamazoo and a new work week, we leisurely drove the shoreline north to Muskegon. We were in no such hurry. After picking our site, we hiked that paved walkway along the Muskegon River to its Lake Michigan mouth and then meandered through sand dunes to the big lake's beach, soaking in the sunshine.

Our spot at Muskegon State Park

Along the spectacular sandy coast, the air temperature read 63 degrees. It dropped to 53 right on the beach, thanks to a stiff westerly wind. But back a few dozen yards on the other side of the sand dunes it felt warm and wonderful. All up and down the beach, folks came to watch the sun set.

Winter is over.

If it's not, well… I can rewinterize again in abut five minutes. But I won't have to.

Winter is over.

And it's wonderful.

But that doesn't mean we didn't need the heater at night. The low got down to around 40 degrees.

But it will be nearly 70 Monday.

I'm telling you. Winter is over. Believe it!

 





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