Stopping along the Way

Hi everyone!
While traveling to the campground to meet our friends and family for our week long get together, we make many pit stops along the way. Our trip started first from our home (in SE Michigan) to the campground where we keep our trailer (mid-Michigan). This is a 3.5 –4.5 hour (depending on what time of the day it is) trip. Once we got to the trailer, we had to hook it up and ready it for travel. This took about 1.5 – 2 hours. Then we headed to the State Campground, Harrisville State Park, which is NE Michigan, on Lake Huron. This was another 4 hour leg of driving.
We had planned to break this trip up in two days, however, we had some last minute business come up and couldn’t leave when we planned. So, this turned into a 10 hour trip. In the middle we spent 2 hours sweating like crazy getting the trailer ready to move.
Troy and I used to do these kinds of trips all the time and were just fine but, 10 years seems to have made a difference. Also, now we have a 3 year old and after a few injuries, neither of us can sit in one place for very long. So, that means pit stops along the way.
We are on a tight budget so, I plan ahead for as much as I can. Our campsite was prepaid back in February when we reserved our site. With coupons and sales, I had plenty of food, drinks and extra treats stashed away for this trip. I had saved some extra spending money for just fun things that may come up. And of course, the biggest expense of the trip was gas (about $300.00). So, stopping along the way and just grabbing drinks or fast food is not where I want to spend our money. I packed a small cooler with drinks, sandwiches, pasta salad and snacks before we left.
We are fortunate here in Michigan because we have a lot of beautiful places to stop along the way. We have 3 different types of state stopping areas. Roadside Parks, Rest Areas and Welcome Centers.
The most basic one is Roadside Parks. Here are pictures of one we stopped at.
Harrisville State Park2011 076These areas are small pull off the side of the road kind of places. No vending machines.
(I know I misspelled "picnic". I was just too lazy to go and redo the picture)

road2 Harrisville State Park2011 078 Harrisville State Park2011 081 After a simple lunch, potty break and some running around by the Princess, we were on the road again.
Later, the next pit stop is a Rest Area. These are much larger and have vending machines.
Harrisville State Park2011 114Outside
Harrisville State Park2011 124Inside
Harrisville State Park2011 125I figured since no one else was in the ladies room, what the heck! LOL You just never know what you will find here at The Thrifty Groove!
  Harrisville State Park2011 115  Rest areas also have picnic tables and grills.
Harrisville State Park2011 113I HAD to include this picture! These people have their dog while sitting right next to the “No Dogs Allowed” sign! The dog area is right behind them! Arghhhh!
The last kind of state run stopping areas are the Welcome Centers. We have these throughout the state, not just at border areas.
Harrisville State Park2011 092Harrisville State Park2011 103The Welcome Centers have the full information and gift store in them. They are the largest stopping areas and have sculptures and major flower gardens areas.
 Harrisville State Park2011 091-tile Harrisville State Park2011 102 Harrisville State Park2011 098-tile Harrisville State Park2011 100 One of the best parts of traveling with a trailer is stopping at places like this and being able to go into the trailer and prepare a meal to enjoy at a pretty little picnic area.
Harrisville State Park2011 105 So, that was a glimpse into some of our pit stops to and from our vacation spot, Harrisville State Park in Michigan.
Harrisville State Park2011 071Thanks for coming along and now, everybody back in the truck! Did you all use the bathroom? We aren’t stopping until lunch!
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Seasonal Sunday


  1. Hi friend! I love the post today! You are sharing such a nice family journey here and I really like reading about your family. I like the nice large rest areas but we don't seem to have them here. I think the nicest ones I saw were in the South. They look like big plantation houses!
    Hope you are having great fun. Always good to stop by. Hugs Anne

  2. Have a fun and relaxing vacation!
    when you return please join MY "Attitude of Gratitude" Saturday Posts..:)

  3. Have a great vacation! Looks like it is off to a great start!

  4. I know what you mean about having to stop and stretch out those legs and backs. Not as young as I once was for sure. I also love welcome centers and nice areas to stop and use the bathroom (love that picture and really that was one nice public restroom). I take snacks and drinks with me also. Enjoyed and so glad you had a safe and thrifty trip (except for gas and I agree yikes it has really gotten high this summer).
    hugs, Linda

  5. 10 hours! My husband would be ready to kill someone! Hope you have a nice trip!
    P.S. don't you just hate people who ignore signs?

  6. Looks like a nice clean place! I have dogs and I think what bothers me the most is when people don't pick up after their own dogs or follow the rules. They ruin it for the rest of us!~Ames

  7. Great pictures! I think it's really great that your state has the different types of rest areas. I hope you are enjoying your trip. Be safe coming home.

  8. I like those roadside areas ~ they remind me of the places we stopped when I was a kid. I had to laugh at the picture of the bathroom. I was in a rest area last week and the handicapped stall also had a tiny commode in it. I so wished I had my camera with me.

  9. I love it when they are all nice and clean that way..wish I was going on vaca soon..oh wait does an overnight count?

  10. Hope you have a safe fun trip! Those people with the dog are annoying. They should get a ticket for breaking the rule. The dog area was right in back of them!
    Gas here is still close to $4 .00 a gallon.
    Happy camping!

  11. So happy to see that you're enjoying your travels and making the best of the delays. Thanks for being a part of Seasonal Sundays.

    - The Tablescaper

  12. congrats on making that LONG ride...

  13. A few weeks ago when MN was having some budget difficulties they put chains across the entrance roads and closed all their rest areas, as well as state parks. Someone from the state of WI with a sense of humor added signs saying "WI is open for business" at entrances to the rest stops.
    A FB friend who did not know what was going on had as his status "Why is MN so unwelcome to travelers in need?" (We felt so bad for him.)
    Sometimes the things we do not think about make the biggest impression on strangers/travelers.


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