Day Ten: Elberta and Frankfort, Michigan

Boy am I so happy we drove up the night before so we didn’t have an early morning. After sleeping in for over five days (took me three days to get there) it’s hard to go back to waking up early with the really late nights of family time we have been enjoying around the campfires. Will was able to hold some office hours and the kids slept in till around 9:00am.

Today’s fun activity I was so excited about when I first found it on Pinterest. Seeing as how our family dynamics are different (not less), I always make an effort to find everything we can do where each of us is able to participate.

As you may remember this part of Michigan has the Point Betsie Lighthouse, the Betsie River, the Betsie Lake….just about everything is Betsie something. Well, there is a twenty mile bike path starting in Elberta in Benzie County which is right outside Frankfort called the Betsie Trail. Right at the start of the trailhead there is the cutest little shop, Conundrum Cafe, where you can get lunch, coffee, ice cream, all types of alcohol to go only and they have bike rentals. But the best part of this trail is this incredible organization called Joy 2 Ride Benzie. They offer an all accessible bike with a “pilot” and two spotters who will bike your loved one or friend so they can enjoy the trail with you. Carol, the founder, and I became friends fast over the weeks leading up to our trip. It was so nice to finally put a face to a name.

Anna Cate and her pilot, Kevin

Before heading out on our adventure we ate lunch at Conundrum Cafe and it was delicious. Elberta is a very small town and this is pretty much one of the only places in town if you need “quick” this is not your place to visit. Knowing it was a small community and we were most likely the only family going out with Joy 2 Ride we took a gamble and ate. Luckily we only ran over about five minutes!

Conundrum Cafe

We had the most fun biking as a family eight miles on the Betsie Trail. Anna Cate loved it and had a smile on her face the whole time. The trail starts by crossing the Betsie Bay and then runs parallel to River Road. Along the trail we also passed Betsie River Campground which was a fun place for Betsie to get some “Betsie” gear. Every person associated with the organization was a joy to be around and you could tell they genuinely loved bringing joy to others.

The Joy 2 Ride Benzie crew (Carol the founder is to my right and her husband is Kevin)
Here we go crossing the Betsie Bay

After this special moment we traveled twenty minutes to Frankfort. It was a much bigger town than we were expecting and super cute. I know I keep saying this about each town, but it’s true. You feel like you have stepped back in time with each one (except Bay Harbor as that is a new development). Unfortunately Will couldn’t enjoy the visit as he had a conference call. We treated him to some Moomers ice cream as we wanted some too. The girls and I can’t get enough of the Dole Whip around here and it was Pineapple! The boys stayed true to their favorites- Eli loves his chocolate milkshakes and Will anything with chocolate and peanut butter mixed.

After our ice cream treat the girls and I walked around and went into a few shops until Anna Cate let me know she was tired. Not knowing how much longer Will had on his call she took a break with Eli in the car (and Will too), while Betsie and I explored the last block. Not having visited many coffee shops on this trip I popped into Petals & Perks for a latte for me and an iced coffee for Will.

It seemed like Will’s call was not winding down so I moved the car to the end of the town which took you directly to a beach on Lake Michigan. The sand was incredibly soft and the views were incredible. They had benches everywhere for you to sit and look out. We could have stayed on the paved walkway but we decided to get a little sandy and walk to benches with a little better view. It felt so good to sit and let the warm sun hit our faces. Before too long Will joined us but only before hopping on his last call for the day.

The kids giving me a weird bear hug

We thought and tried to head back to the RV while he was on his last call, but we lost cell coverage right outside of town so we turned around and drove around Frankfort for about twenty minutes. Once the call was over we headed back to the RV Resort.

Indigo Bluffs was one of our favorite RV Resorts of all the ones we have ever stayed in. The layout allows you to have space even though someone could be right next to you and they have plantings on the side where all your hookups are. You may wonder why this matters….so I will tell you. When you are at your RV “site”, all your hookups (electricity, water, sewer) are on one side and your “hangout” area is on the other. So your “hangout” area is usually facing someone else hookup side. Now most RV parks there is a nice distance between or they make it somewhat appealing; however, there are many that do not. But Indigo Bluffs was one of the few that had a line of plantings tall enough so you did not have a view of anyone’s hookup side. Now I do want to note this was only on the RV side which was for Class A’s, Super C’s, and fifth wheels. This side also had a lodge with amazing showers, laundry room and a full kitchen you could use!

See the line of plantings….it would allow this site I’m standing in not be able to see our hookups

When we got back to the RV we decided to hook Betsie’s car up to save us time in the morning knowing Will wanted an early departure. Even though it was going to be a process as we had to unhook, bring slides in, etc we knew it would be well worth it in the morning (and it was!). After we got the car hooked up while Will was hooking everything back up I went to run two loads of laundry. Since we don’t have a “home” when we return back to Richmond and will have a quick turnaround before leaving to take Betsie to camp, I don’t want to overwhelm my mom with all the laundry I would need to do. Besides sheets and towels all clothes will be saved for when we get to North Carolina.

While the laundry was going I came back to prep the chicken for dinner. We were having chicken in the air fryer with a crispy panko coating and either jasmine rice or cauliflower rice. The items in the fridge are getting low which means the trip is coming to an end. Will had picked up a Peach Pie outside Petoskey from the House of Pies in Oden. Knowing we were going to sink our teeth into it around the campfire we didn’t load up on dinner.

Betsie and Eli preferred s’mores while AC, Will and I ate the peach pie. It was pretty amazing. It was not sweet, but sweet. It’s hard to explain. It tasted so incredibly fresh that it didn’t need to be overpowered by sugar or anything.

Right before dessert we took Anna Cate to the lodge showers as they were so nice and huge. It allowed for more space to spread out and a “home” like shower experience.

Inside the lodge
Look at the smile after a shower in a big shower

The evening was perfect weather and temperature wise to end our time in Michigan. We “tried” to get into bed early for a very early wake up and start to the journey back home.

True to wanting to get on the road as soon as we could, we pulled out of our site at 6:50am. I prayed before I woke AC and had to transition her to the sofa that she would fall back to sleep as I hate disturbing her when she is sleeping so soundly. I knew Betsie and Eli wouldn’t have trouble going back to sleep (they had to come out of their bunks for us to bring the slides in due to weight). The transition for AC went smoothly and she was back in dreamland before we left Indigo Bluffs! Thank you Jesus!!!!!

Tonight around the last RV dinner I will do the trip round up interview of the family to share everyone’s favorites. I need to go finish my coffee to try and wake myself up and help keep the Captain company before my paralegal skills are needed.

Michigan we love you and can’t wait to return!

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